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Meatball Shakshuka

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Calories: 485
spiced meatballs in a shakshuka in a ban with feta and pita bread

Ground beef is mixed with the same herbs and spices used in the classic North African shakshuka and then simmered in a smoky, tomato-y shakshuka sauce for a one-pan dinner that everyone will love.

Shakshuka! As Fun to Say as It Is to Eat.

Whether you’re already in love with shakshuka or still part of the uninitiated, we promise you’re going to love this meatball shakshuka as much or more than the egg-y original. Shakshuka is kind of the OG one-pan meal, and you know we’re into that (and we know you are, too). Shakshuka meatballs might sound like a big departure from the original recipe, but it makes a lot of sense if you stop to think about it. Shakshuka is a dish of eggs simmered in tomato sauce—albeit one flavored with Middle Eastern spices—and traditional Italian meatballs are simmered in a simple tomato sauce. All we did was put two and two together! Boom—smoky, spicy, shakshuka meatballs!

ingredients laid out for meatball shakshuka ground beef, eggs, bell peppers, olive oil
ingredients laid out for meatball shakshuka ground beef, eggs, bell peppers, olive oil in a bowl
raw onions green and red bell peppers in a sauce pan
onions, green and red bell peppers sautéd in a pan with spices

Meatball Shakshuka: Simple Ingredients = Extreme Deliciousness

This easy meatball recipe is all about taking familiar techniques and basic ingredients and creating a wildly delicious, one-pan, weeknight dinner that’s so good it’ll make you re-think your whole entire life. Or, will at least just make everyone around your table really happy. We bet you’ve got most of these spices and veggies on-hand already. AND, because the flavors used in the meatball sauce (the shakshuka sauce) are the same as the ones in the meatballs, there’s a lot of overlap between the meatball ingredients and the simmer sauce ingredients. In addition to the basics (olive oil, salt) here’s what you’ll need to make this easy meatball recipe:

  • Red bell peppers
  • Onion
  • Cumin
  • Smoked paprika
  • Canned whole tomatoes
  • Ground beef
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
Hand crushing canned tomatoes into a pan with onions, bell peppers and spices for shakshuka
tomatoes onions bell peppers in a pan for shakshuka
ground beef mixture for meatballs with shakshuka
meatballs on a baking tray

How to Make Meatballs

Are we the most meatball-obsessed people on the internet? It’s hard to say. Possibly. But, lucky for you because we’ve got this meatball-making stuff down to a science. Here are our very best tips for making the best meatballs EVER:

  1. Start with high-quality ground beef. This might seem like an obvious one, but it really does matter. We like to use a classic “80/20” ground beef, which means 80 percent lean beef to 20 percent beef fat. Having some fat in the mix ensures that your meatballs stay nice and moist.
  2. When it’s time to mix seasonings into your meatballs—in this case, smoked paprika, cumin, and lots of garlic—mix the ground beef with a light hand. Gently fold in the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs with your hands until the mixture is just combined. This helps the meatballs stay fluffy and moist instead of dense or rubbery.
  3. Keep a small bowl of water nearby when it’s time to roll the meatballs, and lightly wet your hands as you roll. This will keep the meatball mixture from sticking to your hands and make the whole process faster and tidier.
  4. Roll them evenly to ensure even cooking. This is related to our last tip, which is....
  5. Don’t overcook the meatballs! One of the wonderful things about cooking the meatballs in liquid—in this case, simmering them in a smoky shakshuka sauce—is that it’s harder to overcook them. But still, keep an eye out for doneness. After 20 minutes of simmering, pull out a meatball and check for doneness by simply cutting it in half.
baked meatballs in a tomato sauce with spices in a braiser pan
meatball shakshuka in a saute pan with feta and parsley

Tools You’ll Need:

Meatballs Rule Everything Around Me

We really do live the M.R.E.A.M. life here at TMP. And nobody’s mad about it. Here are 5 easy meatball recipes that fuel our obsession:

Meatball shakshukah with feta and parsley in a pan with pita bread

Shakshuka for Dinner!

So, did you try it? Did you love it? Let us know! Snap a photo of your shakshuka meatballs and maybe even a video of the beautiful people you feed it to. Tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

meatball shakshuka in a large skillet topped with fresh parsley and crumbled feta

Meatball Shakshuka

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 50 min
  • Calories: 485

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 Bell peppers, we used red and green
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 28 oz can whole stewed tomatoes

meatballs

  • 1 lb Ground beef (80/20)
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Bunch of cilantro, finely chopped (reserve some for garnish)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 cup Bread crumbs

Method

  1. In a large lidded saucepan heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add in peppers and onions, stirring often until onions are almost caramelized. About 10 minutes. Add in cumin, smoked paprika and salt and stir until fragrant.
  3. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes one at a time and add to the pepper and onion mixture followed by the remaining liquid from the pan. Bring mixture to a simmer and allow to cook until thickening begins. (about 15 minutes) Adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. While the sauce is thickening combine the ground beef along with all of the meatball ingredients and stir using your hands being careful not to over mix.
  5. Using your hands shape meatballs roughly the size of golfballs.
  6. Carefully arrange meatballs into the sauce and bring back to a simmer. Cover pan and continue cooking on low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover and cook for another 10 minutes. The meatballs are done when they reach an internal temperature of 165° F on an instant-read thermometer
  7. Top meatballs with fresh feta and cilantro. Serve with toasted bread or pita bread.