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Harissa Minced Beef Meatballs

Harissa beef meatballs with almonds, dried apricots and finished with pomegranate molasses that can be cooked in the oven or in an air fryer.

Preparing these meatballs takes around 10 minutes, cooking them takes 12-15 minutes in an air fryer and around 20 minutes in an oven.

Harissa beef meatballs served with bulgur wheat.

Moroccan-Influenced Minced Beef Meatballs

These North African influenced harissa beef meatballs join an ever-growing list of meatballs from around the world on my site.

Unlike my Indian venison meatballs or Pork meatballs in a beer sauce, black pudding meatballs with a tomato sauce or my minted lamb meatballs in gravy these do not come with a traditional sauce.

They get a final glaze of wonderfully sweet and sour pomegranate molasses, in many ways, I suppose that makes them similar to my Teriyaki meatballs.

Hidden away in a rather frugal 200g (7oz) of minced beef is a real surprise of glorious flavours and textures. You could also use it to stuff onions as I do with my bacon-wrapped stuffed mushrooms and give them a pomegranate molasses glaze.

We get a fragrant spicy background from harissa paste. I love this ingredient and use it in everything from my halloumi burgers to my harissa and garlic prawns.

We then get a sweet hit from apricots and a glorious texture from almonds!

Essentially classic flavours and textures of Moroccan cuisine, just with my “spin”. I also have some Lebanese-influenced beef kofta kebabs if you North African flavours.

Close-up harissa beef meatballs drizzled with pomegranate molasses served with bulgur wheat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it best to cook these in an air fryer or in the oven?

I usually cook these in my air fryer unless I already have the oven on cooking something else. The air fryer does give a better crust and colour to the meatballs.

But if you cook them in the oven you can give them a bit more colour by heating a pan over a high heat and searing them for a minute or two.

What sort of minced beef should I use?

Regular visitors will know that I am not one for fighting fat content in food, so often it is essential and that is the case here.

Go for minced beef somewhere around 20% fat content. Fat adds both flavour and keeps your balls juicy!

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes, the flavours here work particularly well with lamb, but you could use chicken or turkey too.

However the latter two need cooking a little less, but ensure they reach 73°C or 165°F before serving.

What brand of harissa do you use?

I used to make these meatballs with Le Phare do Cap Bon harissa paste, but I have recently started making them with Belazu rose harissa. Both work really well!

Overhead harissa beef meatballs served with bulgur wheat.

Serving Suggestions

These North African influenced harissa meatballs are wonderfully versatile you could serve them with plain bulgur wheat or a classic tabbouleh salad.

They would also work wonderfully with both my roasted vegetable couscous and giant couscous salad.

Stuff them into pitas to with a nice green salad and maybe a little of this yoghurt and tahini sauce and you have a fantastic lunch!

But no need to stop there, make them a little smaller and cook them a little less and you have wonderful nibbles.

Stick them with fancy cocktail sticks and hand them around at your next “soiree”!

Harissa beef meatballs being drizzled with pomegranate molasses served with bulgur wheat.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Air fryer or oven.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Kitchen tongs.
Harissa minced beef meatballs drizzled with pomegranate molasses served with bulgur wheat.
Yield: 2 Servings

Harissa Beef Meatballs Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Crunchy almonds and sweet dried apricots are glorious surprises in these delicious and really simple beefy harissa meatballs with Moroccan influences.


  • 200g (7 oz) Minced Beef
  • 75g (½ Cup) Onion
  • 50g (⅓-½ Cup) Dried Apricots
  • 25g (¼ Cup) Nibbed almonds
  • 1 Tbsp Harissa Paste
  • ½ Tbsp Zaatar
  • 1 Egg
  • 30g (¼ Cup) Breadcrumbs
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • 50ml (3 Tbsp plus 1 Tsp) Pomegranate Molasses
  • Oil spray or olive oil for cooking.


  1. Dice the onion as finely as possible and add it to a bowl with the minced beef.
  2. Cut the dried apricots into a small 2-3mm (⅛") dice and add it to the bowl.
  3. Add the almonds, zaatar and egg and mix well together.
  4. Using wet hands form into 10 meatballs, they should be around 45g each.

Air Fryer Instructions.

  1. Place the meatballs in the basket of your air fryer.
  2. Spray with cooking oil.
  3. Cook for 8 minutes at 180°C or 350°F.
  4. Flip over the meatballs in the basket.
  5. Cook for a final 4 minutes at 200°C or 400°F.
  6. Serve drizzled with the pomegranate molasses.

Oven Instructions.

  1. Roll the meatballs in olive oil.
  2. Place them on a roasting tray.
  3. Cook for 17-20 minutes at 220°C or 450°F on fan mode. You may need to add a little more colour to these meatballs if you cook them in the oven, simply heat a frying pan over a high heat, add the meatballs and sear for a minute or two.
  4. Roll the meatballs halfway through the cooking time.
  5. Serve drizzled with the pomegranate molasses.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 643Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 182mgSodium: 1051mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 6gSugar: 41gProtein: 37g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!

Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry

Tuesday 30th of January 2018

I love the use of harissa paste to add some back flavour - sounds delicious! Definitely need to give these meatballs a try

Brian Jones

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

Enjoy, they are superb.


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

My goodness, I didn't even know about so many different types of meatballs! They look great, and I love the use of the Bulgar Wheat!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

I'm rpretty sure I made most of them up, but hey if the belly is happy who cares :D


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

Wowzers! My stomach is growling just at the sight of these meatballs! They look DELISH!!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

Cheers Chris.


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

I bet this is delish!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

It certainly is.


Tuesday 30th of January 2018

I love a good meatball! This dish looks simply amazing and so flavourful too. I need to use Harissa paste more often; it is so good!

Brian Jones

Wednesday 31st of January 2018

Harissa is such a great flavour, I make my own quite often but am more than aware that keeping spices at home unless you use them regularly leads to both less tasty food and lots of expense that really is not required. You can get such great store cupboard sauces now with harissa being one of them.

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