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Moroccan Meatless Meatballs Recipe




  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 150ml hot vegan bouillon stock
  • 1tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1tbsp ras-el-hanout
  • 1tbsp ground cumin salt and pepper

For the meatballs

  • 1 shallot, quartered
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 15g fresh root ginger, peeled
  • 1 red chilli
  • large handful of coriander, plus extra, chopped, to garnish
  • 1 preserved lemon
  • 400g meat-free mince
  • 1 slice of stale white bread, torn into pieces
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • ½ tbsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1tbsp tomato purée
  • 2tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • couscous tossed with fruit and nuts, to serve (optional)


Put all the sauce ingredients into the slow cooker, cover with the lid and cook on high for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, put the shallot, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander, stalks and all, in a food processor. Halve the preserved lemon, scrape out the flesh with a teaspoon and discard it, finely chop the rind and add to the food processor. Blitz until you have a slightly chunky paste. Add the remaining ingredients, except the oil, season well with salt and pepper and pulse to combine – to make sure the mixture is fully combined, squeeze it together with your hands.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Divide the meatball mixture into even pieces, roll each into a small golf ball-sized ball and place on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper. Toss the meatballs in the oil to coat and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until browned and caramelised.

Stir the roasted meatballs gently into the sauce, replace the lid and cook, still on high, for a further 1-1½ hours until the sauce has reduced and thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve immediately, being careful when handling the meatballs as they will be quite delicate, sprinkled with the freshly chopped coriander, along with couscous tossed with dried cranberries or raisins and pine nuts or flaked almonds, if you like.

Recipe taken from Vegan Slow Cooker: Over 70 delicious recipes for stress-free meals by Saskia Sidey, published by Hamlyn,


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