Flavorful lamb meatballs simmered in savory tomato sauce – this classic Moroccan dish takes just 20 minutes to prep, then you can do other stuff while it cooks.

Traditionally made in a clay or ceramic tagine, for this version, I use a dutch oven or deep skillet, so no special equipment is required. (But you can use a tagine if you have one!)

Another adjustment I’ve made to the classic recipe is to use onion powder or granules instead of cooked diced onion – this saves time, and it also reduces the carbs a bit.

If you don’t eat tomatoes, or you want to lower the carb content of this meal further, then just make the meatballs – they’re delicious on their own! To do that, once the meatballs are assembled on the baking sheet, slip them into a preheated 425°F oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until done (165°F with instant read thermometer). Serve them on their own, or over cauli or shirataki rice, or pair them with a salad or your low carb veggies of choice. (You can also use ground beef in the meatballs, instead of lamb, or half and half beef and lamb works well too!)

Whichever way you make it, this yummy recipe is Paleo, low carb, Keto, cleanketo, and Whole30 friendly.

Moroccan Meatballs - Two Ways

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: cleanketo, keto, low carb, paleo, whole30
Servings: 4
Calories: 402kcal


  • Parchment paper


For the meatballs:

  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced or 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced optional
  • tsp paprika
  • tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb ground lamb

For the sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder or granules
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic 4-5 large cloves
  • 2 tsp paprika sweet, or hot if you like spicy
  • 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper or to taste
  • 14 oz can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 1 cup bone broth chicken or beef
  • 2 tsp dried parsley


For the meatballs:

  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all spices with a fork until well mixed.
  • Add lamb to spices, and use your hands to mix until spices are even distributed throughout the meat.
  • Scoop ping pong sized balls of lamb onto the baking sheet.
  • Roll each scoop gently and quickly between your hands to make a smooth ball. (Try not to handle or compact them too much; a light touch makes for a better texture in the end.)
  • Now set the sheet of meatballs aside while you made the sauce.

For the sauce:

  • Heat a large skillet for 1 minute over medium heat, then add oil.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan and stir, then cook for several minutes until tomatoes are hot and have started to soften.
  • Add the onion, garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.
  • Add broth and cook mixture for a few minutes until broth is hot.
  • Gently place the meatballs into the sauce.
  • Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer gently for 40 minutes.
  • Serve as is, or over cauli rice or zero carb shirataki rice (aka konjac or Miracle rice).


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 1265mg | Potassium: 361mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1454IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 4mg