Ethiopian Meatballs and Couscous

Ethiopian inspired meatballs cooked in a spicy, fragrant tomato sauce and served over couscous. Topped with feta cheese for a creamy kick!


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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

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.