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Sheet Pan Harissa Meatballs and Cabbage

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Calories: 417
Sheet Pan Harissa Meatballs with Cabbage

Smoky, warm, fragrant Middle Eastern spices imbue this simple sheet-pan cabbage-and-meatball dinner with big, bold flavors.

Simple and Different—Our Favorite Combo

We love to experiment with new flavors and ingredients, and love that doing so doesn’t have to be a whole thing. Meatballs are something that we return to again and again as a canvas for flavor experiments. Many cuisines around the globe have some sort of meatball in their recipe catalogue—from Swedish meatballs to kofta to classic Italian beef meatballs—so it’s not as strange as it may sound to play around with different meatball seasonings. Today’s inspiration is harissa, a North African chili paste that’s full of warm, smoky spices and has become incredibly easy to find here in the U.S. Don’t you just love it when you try something new and just like that it becomes a new pantry staple? That’s how it was for us and harissa.

Ingredients laid out for harissa meatballs with cabbage bread crumbs, eggs, olive oil parsley

So, What Is Harissa?

Short answer? Harissa is kind of like spicy ketchup. Longer answer? Harissa is a common condiment used in Tunisia, Morocco and all throughout North Africa that is becoming more and more common here in the U.S., too—yay! It’s often sold in tubes (just like tomato paste or anchovy paste) but you can also find jarred versions. Or, if you’re feeling super ambitious, you could make your own. Recipes vary brand to brand, but harissa is always made of dried chiles that are rehydrated and then mixed together with spices like cumin, coriander, caraway and garlic. It’s spicy, but not insanely hot—mostly, it’s just wonderfully, deeply flavorful. A little jar of harissa delivers a ton of deliciousness for a modest price. Like we said, it has definitely earned a spot as a new staple in our pantries.

ingredient s for harissa meatballs in a bowl, ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs and parsley
ingredient s for harissa meatballs mixed up in a bowl, ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs and parsley
harissa meatballs on a baking sheet
raw meatballs on a baking sheet with cabbage wedges

Sheet-Pan Dinner + Meatballs for Dinner = Quite Possibly the Most TMP Recipe Ever.

Goodness knows we love a sheet pan dinner. And everyone knows about our meatball fan club membership. So really, it was only a matter of time before we put the two together. And oh boy, are they ever a winning combination. This easy sheet pan recipe is low-carb (basically no-carb, actually), satisfying, cheap and FAST. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Ground beef
  • Herbs and spices: cumin, smoked paprika, parsley and garlic.
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Cabbage
  • Olive oil
  • Harissa
  • Lemon
  • Fresh mint
Harissa meatballs on a sheet pan with cabbage

How to Make Sheet Pan Meatballs With Cabbage

We echo the smoky, cumin-tinged kick of harissa in the meatball mixture, but only use harissa paste in the delicate, 3-ingredient sauce that finishes this easy sheet-pan dinner recipe. 1 sheet pan, 15 minutes of prep time, 30 minutes in the oven and dinner is DONE. Here’s how to make this healthy, low-carb, meatball sheet pan recipe:

  1. Mix the meatballs. Remember to mix with your hands, and try to have a light touch.
  2. Roll the meatballs. Wetting your hands before you roll the harissa-spiced meatballs makes this easier.
  3. Bake the meatballs! Nestle the quartered cabbage onto the sheet pan amidst the meatballs, and bake the whole lovely dinner for about 30 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the cabbage is nicely roasted.
  4. Make the harissa sauce! Or is it a harissa dressing? Either way, it’s delicious. Just a little harissa, fresh lemon juice and olive oil.
  5. Drizzle the harissa sauce!
  6. Gobble it all up! Feel virtuous AND delightfully full, at the very same time!
Sheet pan Meatballs with Cabbage and Harissa

Tools You’ll Need:

More Sheet-Pan Dinner Recipes

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Sheet pan Meatballs with Cabbage and Harissa on a plate with yogurt

Sheet Pans—Not Just For Cookies Anymore.

Remember when all you used your sheet pan for was baking chocolate chip cookies? Yeah, neither do we. If you try these harissa meatballs with cabbage, we want to hear about it! Snap a photo, and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper. Happy eating!

Sheet Pan Harissa Meatballs and Cabbage

  • Serves: 8
  • Prep Time: 25 min
  • Cook Time: 35 min
  • Calories: 417


  • 2 lb Ground beef
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Plain bread crumbs (or gluten free bread crumbs)
  • 1 tbsp Ground cumin
  • ¼ cup Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 3 tsp Salt, divided
  • 1 Head green cabbage, cut into 1-inch wedges
  • 7 tbsp Olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup Harissa
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • ¼ cup Fresh mint
  • Yogurt, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  2. In a large bowl combine ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, cumin, parsley, garlic, smoked paprika and 2 teaspoons of salt. Using your hands form meatballs the size of golf balls, about 2 tablespoons each, and arrange on an oiled baking sheet pan.
  3. Arrange the cabbage wedges on the sheet pan in between the meatballs and brush both meatballs and cabbage with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle cabbage with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes.
  5. While the cabbage and meatballs are baking, make the harissa sauce by combining harissa, remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl.
  6. After 30 minutes, remove sheet pan from oven and brush meatballs with harissa sauce. Place sheet pan back in oven and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. Top with fresh mint. Serve with optional yogurt and Enjoy!

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories 417
  • Protein 38 g
  • Carbohydrates 14 g
  • Total Fat 22 g
  • Dietary Fiber 3 g
  • Cholesterol 145 mg
  • sodium 833 mg
  • Added Sugars 5 g

Sheet Pan Harissa Meatballs and Cabbage

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