Algerian Kefta (Meatballs) Recipe -
Algerian Kefta (Meatballs) Recipe
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Algerian Kefta (Meatballs)
See how to make ground beef meatballs in a garlicky tomato sauce. See more
  • READY IN 1 hr

Algerian Kefta (Meatballs)

Recipe by  

"This simple meatball dish is delicious, rich, and fresh. It was taught to me by my Algerian husband, one of his favorites from home. The tomato sauce can be used for anything and the amounts of flavors can be adjusted. I like a lot of garlic and pepper. I have also found halal hamburger to be much leaner and lighter than regular. You can find it at international food stores and halal butcher shops in bigger cities. Serve this dish with a French baguette."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 12 patties Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    1 hr


  1. Combine the ground beef with half of the minced garlic and a tablespoon of chopped onion. Mix with your hands until fully incorporated. Shape the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch oblong patties; you should have 12 to 14 meatballs.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the patties in batches until they are crispy on both sides and are no longer pink in the center, about 10 minutes. Set the meatballs aside in a rimmed serving dish and repeat with the remaining patties.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the remaining chopped onion. Add salt and pepper. Cook the onions in the drippings, stirring constantly, until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining half of the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in the roma tomatoes, dried parsley, ras el hanout, and water. Cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Pour the tomato sauce over the meatballs and serve.
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  • Editor's Notes
  • Halal beef is butchered according to religious law, similar to Kosher beef. You may use regular ground beef in this recipe.
  • Ras el hanout is a spice blend common throughout North Africa. It's available from some grocers and specialty purveyors, or you may try this Ras el Hanout recipe.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 31, 2011

These meatballs put inside a French baguette make a pretty good meatball sandwich. However, I think I would throw a little ras el handout into the ground beef if I made it again to give the meat a little more flavor.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jun 19, 2012

This was good, but I didn't find that the meat had enough flavor. The flavor was mostly in the sauce.


20 Ratings

Nov 17, 2010

Wonderful dinner! I served it over rice and substituted a few pinches of cumin and lemon zest for the ras el hanout, and fresh parsley for dried. Also left out the water as the tomatoes made it saucy enough and made the meatballs a bit more bite-sized. Otherwise, terrific!

Jan 18, 2011

I loved these. I made them exactly as called for - but used minced onion instead of chopped. For the tomato sauce - I got creative and added: 1 can rotel, 1 can of italian stewed tomatoes, sofrito (from the spanish isle), some salsa, splash of A1 bold, a 1/2 lime (squeezed), more sofrito, pepper and some cumin. Sofrito adds a little zip and spice to the sauce, as I did not have ras el hanout. Simmer on low and added on top of the meatballs. It was SO good and my company for dinner that night were AMAZED! This is my new "go to" recipe for meatballs. My FAVE!

Oct 29, 2010

These were very tasty! I followed the recipe exactly, except I didn't have any ras el hanout, so I checked AR for what it's made of and simply sprinkled said spices over the tomatoes towards the end. My 3-year old and I gobbled them up for lunch today along with zucchini patties and it was a delicious meal.

Feb 17, 2011

Good meatballs and a nice change from the "run of the mill" meatball recipe. I used a few sprinkles of cumin in place of the ras el hanout and served them in hoagie rolls since we've had a lot of rice lately.

Sep 06, 2011

Fantastic! Made as directed. I did put a little flour in the sauce to thicken it up a bit. I served it over white rice. Even my picky eater went back for seconds! Next time I will double the sauce. This will be a regular at our house from now on.

Jul 20, 2012

The recipe is perfect and even better with ground goat or lamb! I happened to have all the ingredients for the ras el hanout spice/herb mixture- I think you really do need at least some of these spices. We'll be making this again lots of times.


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  • Calories
  • 424 kcal
  • 21%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 5.3 g
  • 2%
  • Cholesterol
  • 114 mg
  • 38%
  • Fat
  • 31.5 g
  • 48%
  • Fiber
  • 1.2 g
  • 5%
  • Protein
  • 27.8 g
  • 56%
  • Sodium
  • 111 mg
  • 4%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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