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Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs (Keftedes me Saltsa Domata)

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 29 min
  • Prep: 12 min
  • Cook: 17 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Ingredients

Meatballs:

1 pound ground lamb, or 20-percent fat ground beef

1 cup cooked and cooled couscous (see Cook's Note)

3 scallions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 egg, at room temperature, beaten

1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons dried mint

1 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Sauce:

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 (25-ounce) jar marinara sauce

2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. For the meatballs: In a large bowl, mix together the lamb, couscous, scallions, garlic, egg, parsley, olive oil, mint, oregano, salt, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Form the mixture into 15 to 16 (2-inch diameter) meatballs.
  2. For the sauce: Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Add the marinara sauce, cinnamon sticks, and ground cinnamon. Bring the sauce to a boil and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook, turning occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Discard the cinnamon sticks. Transfer the meatballs and sauce to a large bowl and serve.

Cook’s Note

To make 1 cup cooked couscous, bring 1/2 cup water or stock to a boil. Add 1/3 cup uncooked couscous and cover the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.