Harissa Meatballs

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harissa meatballs
Lucy Schaeffer

Harissa is spicy chili paste that adds a ton of flavor to any dish. Here, we add it to meatballs and red sauce for some extra heat. You can always add less if you prefer, especially if your harissa already comes on the spicier side. Serve these as is or over rice for an easy dinner. Spice not your thing? Try our Garlic Butter Meatballs instead.

Kitchen Tip: The meatballs are a little wet to work with. Adding more bread crumbs would dry them out too much so we recommend wetting your hands as you roll the meatballs. It'll help keep them from sticking to you! S

Have you made these yet? Let us know how it went in the comments below! 

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Yields: 4 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 15 mins
Total Time: 0 hours 45 mins
1 lb.

ground chicken

3/4 c.

bread crumbs

2 tbsp.

freshly chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

2 tbsp.

freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish


cloves garlic, minced and divided

4 tbsp.

harissa, divided

1 tsp.

ground coriander

1 tsp.

ground cumin

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp.

extra-virgin olive oil


small yellow onion, chopped


(28-oz.) can diced tomatoes

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, bread crumbs, herbs, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons harissa, coriander, and cumin. Season well with salt and pepper. Form into 16 golf ball sized meatballs. 
  2. In a large deep sided skillet or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add meatballs and cook until golden all over, turning every 2 to 3 minutes, about 10 minutes total. Remove from skillet and place on a plate. 
  3. To same skillet, add onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 cloves garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add diced tomatoes and remaining 2 tablespoons harissa. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. 
  4. Return meatballs to skillet and cover. Simmer until meatballs are cooked through and internal temperature is 165°. 
  5. Garnish with herbs to serve.

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