Moroccan meatball tagine with lemon & olives

A wonderfully aromatic North African lamb casserole with a citrus tang – great for dinner parties

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:40 mins
  • Serves 4
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 394
  • fat 26g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 11g
  • sugars 8g
  • fibre 3g
  • protein 31g
  • salt 1.7g


  • 3 onions, peeled
  • 500g minced lamb
  • zest and juice 1 unwaxed lemon, quartered
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • pinch saffron strands
  • 250ml lamb stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100g pitted black kalamata olives
  • small bunch coriander, chopped
  • couscous or fresh crusty bread, to serve


  1. Put the onions in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Put the lamb, lemon zest, spices, parsley and half the onions in a large bowl, and season. Using your hands, mix until well combined, then shape into walnut-sized balls.

  2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof dish, or tagine with a lid, then add the remaining onions, ginger, chilli and saffron. Cook for 5 mins until the onion is softened and starting to colour. Add the lemon juice, stock, tomato purée and olives, then bring to the boil. Add the meatballs, one at a time, then reduce the heat, cover with the lid and cook for 20 mins, turning the meatballs a couple of times.

  3. Remove lid, then add the coriander and lemon wedges, tucking them in between the meatballs. Cook, uncovered, for a further 10 mins until the liquid has reduced and thickened slightly. Serve hot with couscous or fresh crusty bread.

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