Moroccan Spiced Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

May 11, 2018 by Nicole Collins

I’ve been sitting on today’s recipe for a hot minute.

I promised you another Disney inspired recipe this week, and I'm totally delivering on that promise!

Well, this recipe was inspired by a burger I had at Animal Kingdom when I went to Florida last year!

I told you...a hot minute!

Those that know me well know that my memory is not great. I didn’t always used to be this way. But, there’s just a lot of stuff that I’m responsible for remembering on a day to day basis. So I think my brain, for real, starts to reject information. I can just picture the little workers in my brain holding up a “sold out” sign, turning away any new information.

But this burger, I remember it (mostly).

It was a wagyu beef burger (slider actually), topped with this tomato chutney type spread and a cilantro curry spread. It was on a fluffy buttery roll, if I remember correctly. We also had this trio of different Indian dips and breads as our appetizer. Then, churros for dessert.

Ok, so I didn’t really remember all of those details. I cheated and looked back at my pictures.

Anyway, I set out to recreate this burger when I first got home last year. But, in my version, I was going to make kabobs.

As you can tell, that recipe never made it to the blog. It just wasn’t right. The flavors were good, but missing a little something. The sauce was good, but missing something. The method of delivery (how to eat it) was not quite working. The pictures were awful. It was something that I needed to revisit, but I shied away a little bit.

This weekend, I went back to the drawing board. I made a few tweaks. And this time, I nailed it. My brain may not remember all of the details of that burger in Disney, but my tastebuds do.

So, with the new and improved version, we’re having Moroccan Spiced Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce!

Let’s break this down. I decided to go with meatballs, because this time around, it just seemed like the right choice for what I was trying to do. I switched up the meat and went with turkey because 1. Wagyu beef is expensive! And 2. I don’t eat a lot of red meat anyway. You can stick with beef if you prefer it.

The meat gets seasoned with a ton of spices that pack a lot of punch: garlic, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cloves…all classic Moroccan spices. Roll them in to smaller meatballs, bake them in the oven to keep it easy, and prepare the cilantro sauce while you wait.

The cilantro yogurt sauce is incredible. It’s a simple mix of greek yogurt, cilantro, garlic, curry powder, and lime juice. Cilantro is one of those herbs that you either love or hate. But, don’t let that scare you about this sauce. It tastes more like curried deliciousness than soapy cilantro. It’s also great for dipping extra bread and veggies in!

When we’re ready to eat, we’ve got some naan bread and some hot mango chutney that we’re inviting to the plate to play. I couldn’t find tomato chutney in the store, and didn’t want to learn how to make it. (It seemed kind of involved). So, store bought hot mango chutney, it is!

This is still a little tricky to figure out how to eat, so there are a couple of ways to go about it. You could, drizzle some cilantro sauce over the meatballs, then dip them in chutney, and shove a piece of bread in your mouth at the same time. Or, you could tear a piece of naan bread, spread on both sauces, top with a meatball, and eat it like a sandwich bite.

However you choose to eat this, just make sure you get one of everything in each bite.

And, make sure you have PLENTY of extra naan bread for dipping in all of those glorious sauces.

Before we wrap this up for the day, I just want to give my brain a special shout out for keeping this incredible meal in the memory bank. I appreciate it!

Enjoy, and let’s eat!

Moroccan Spiced Meatballs with Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Serves: 4 Print

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey

  • 1 egg

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 ½ tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • ¾ tsp cinnamon

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp pepper

  • ¼ tsp ground cloves

  • ¼ tsp garlic powder

  • olive oil cooking spray

For the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce:

  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt

  • 1 small clove garlic, minced

  • ¼ cup packed cilantro

  • ½ tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • pinch salt

  • juice of ½ a lime

For Serving:

  • 2 original naan or 4 mini naan flatbreads

  • ¼ – 1/3 cup hot mango chutney

Directions:

  1. Make the Yogurt Sauce: In a small food processor or blender, combine all ingredients for yogurt sauce. Process until smooth and creamy. Set aside.

  2. Make the Meatballs: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a large sheet pan with aluminum foil, and lightly spray with olive oil cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, egg, olive oil, and all spices. Use your hands to gently combine the mix, being careful not to overwork the meat. Take about 1 tbsp of meat mix and roll in to a ball. Place on prepared baking sheet. Continue with remaining meat. You should have about 16 meatballs. Bake for 18-20 mins until the meatballs are cooked through and the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

  3. To serve: Toast naan bread according to package directions. Divide meatballs evenly between 4 servings. Spread mango chutney and yogurt sauce on the naan bread. Top with meatballs. Or, top meatballs with yogurt sauce, and use naan, chutney, and leftover cilantro sauce for dipping. Enjoy!

Recipe notes:

*You'll have some yogurt sauce left. It's great for just using as a dip for extra naan bread or even for dipping veggies.

*There are a couple of different ways to go about eating this, but just make sure you get one of everything in each bite!

*Lining your pan with foil is not a necessary step, but it make for easy cleanup!

*If you're making this ahead, store each component individually in the fridge, and assemble when it's time to eat.

*You can use this meat mix to make kabobs on the grill too! Heat your grill to 400 degrees, and grill for about 6-7 mins per side.

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