Ethiopian Meatballs and Couscous from A Duck's Oven. Meatballs cooked in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce and served over couscous. Topped with feta cheese for a creamy kick!

This was the last recipe I cooked and shot before schlepping myself from Cape Town, South Africa to Portland, OR. We are baaaaaaack in the USA! If there’s one thing other than family and friends that’s made coming home fun, it’s the incredible kitchen that I left here. I have small appliances galore (EXCEPT THAT MY SMART OVEN WON’T WORK!), every tool or gadget I could every want (okay, not true, but I have a lot), and my dad gave me a pasta making KitchenAid attachment that he found. What. Yes, please!

I’ve got some pretty quintessential American recipes coming to you this week in which I utilized my two most missed small appliances: my waffle iron and crockpot. But today, you get an African dish that was made in my African kitchen. Yes, the dish is inspired by Ethiopian food, and yes, I cooked it at the other end of the continent… but I’ll just leave it at that.

These Ethiopian Meatballs are almost identical to the Key Wat recipe I posted a few months ago, except it’s in meatball form, which is way more fun. Although I did end up using beef to make these meatballs, I wanted to use lamb, and I highly recommend doing so if you can find it and you can dig it.

Ethiopian Meatballs and Couscous from A Duck's Oven. Meatballs cooked in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce and served over couscous. Topped with feta cheese for a creamy kick!

So, here’s what you’re gonna do. Make some meatballs. Bake some meatballs. Simmer some meatballs. Serve those meatballs over couscous. Easy, peasy.

Ethiopian Meatballs and Couscous from A Duck's Oven. Meatballs cooked in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce and served over couscous. Topped with feta cheese for a creamy kick!

Oh, and don’t forget the feta. Well, I guess you can forget it. But feta makes everything better.

Ethiopian Meatballs and Couscous from A Duck's Oven. Meatballs cooked in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce and served over couscous. Topped with feta cheese for a creamy kick!

These Ethiopian meatballs would make an awesome appetizer or they’re great for dinner. I served ours over couscous with a little feta cheese on top. They’re essentially just meatballs cooked in a very spicy, fragrant tomato sauce. You will super love it. Now that I’m back to work, I look at these and think: leftovers lunch!

You can also view this recipe as a step-by-step web story here. 

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Ethiopian Meatballs and Couscous

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Yield: 3 -4 Servings
Ethiopian inspired meatballs cooked in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce and served over couscous. Topped with feta cheese for a creamy kick!

Ingredients
 

Berbere Seasoning:

  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground fenugreek
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 4 tbsp hot pepper flakes, Yes, tablespoons! Not a typo!
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¾ tsp cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Couscous:

  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup water

Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, separated
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp berbere, less if you’re sensitive to spice
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Crumbled feta cheese, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Add all ingredients for the meatballs to a large bowl. Combine using your hands until everything is well incorporated. Form into 1 inch wide balls and set on greased baking sheet at least an inch apart.
  • Bake the meatballs for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from oven and flip the meatballs. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until completely cooked through.
  • While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until onions are soft.
  • Add the salt, pepper, and berbere seasoning. Fry the onions with the spices for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, and sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until meatballs are ready.
  • To make the couscous, bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the couscous, stir, and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
  • When the meatballs have finished cooking, add them to the sauce. Simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Serve the meatballs over the couscous with plenty of sauce. Top with feta cheese.
Cuisine: Ethiopian
Course: Appetizer
Author: Chelsea Cole
Did you make this recipe?Mention @aducksoven on Instagram or tag #aducksoven.