Have you tried kefta before?! It’s spiced ground beef and has variations across North Africa and the Middle East. This recipe for Kefta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce features juicy, meatballs in a silky, savory tomato sauce. It’s as delicious as it is beautiful!
Kefta is a cross between meatballs and hamburgers. It’s hard for me to pinpoint exactly which cuisine this recipe was influenced by. The cumin and paprika are two signature spices of North Africa, yet ground beef stewed in tomato sauce reminds me of Italian cooking.
To make this dish, start by chopping an onion. Use half the onion in the sauce and mix the other half with the beef. For the half onion that gets mixed into the beef, chop it finely so that you get lots of bits of onion throughout the beef and don’t end up with huge chunks of onion.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the finely chopped onion, garlic, cumin, parsley, salt and pepper. Mix it together with your hands and then add the beef. Mix it well and then set it aside.
Saute the other onion half in some olive oil. When the onion begins to get lightly golden, add the water, tomato sauce, and season with salt. Bring it to a boil and it pretty much does the rest on its own! You can use your own homemade tomato sauce or a store bought one. If I don’t have much time, I use jarred organic marinara sauce because I like the fresh tomato flavor it adds.
Once you have the tomato sauce boiling, switch back over to your beef mixture and form it into balls about the size of a golf ball. Flatten each ball into a mini hamburger shape and drop it into the boiling tomato sauce. Continue with the rest of the beef and then let it cook over a low boil until the beef is cooked which will probably take about 20 minutes.
Enjoy this rich, flavorful dish served over your favorite grain. I love it with rice, quinoa, bulgur or couscous and I’m sure it’d also be tasty over pasta. Enjoy a fresh green salad to add a bit of freshness!
I should also mention it makes great leftovers! Amazingly, the sauce and beef taste just as good (if not better) when reheated the next day!
For a tasty mini meatball recipe made with even more spices and a from scratch tomato sauce recipe, try my Bite Sized Meatballs with Tomatoes and Onions or another incredibly delicious dinner recipe, try my Shepherd’s Pie with Ground Turkey.Print
This recipe for Kefta Meatballs in Tomato Sauce makes an easy, healthy dinner! Everyone loves these juicy, delicious meatballs and rich, savory sauce!
FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup tomato sauce
FOR THE BEEF
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2–3/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped, divided
1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix the beef, 1/2 an onion, the garlic, 1 tablespoon of parsley, the paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Begin working on the sauce. Saute 1/2 of the chopped onion in the oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat until onion becomes soft and just starts to take on color. Add the tomato sauce and water and a pinch of salt. Cook over medium-high heat until the sauce starts to boil. Reduce heat to medium but keep at a low boil.
3. Form the beef mixture into balls about the size of an egg. Flatten the balls into a patty/hamburger shape and carefully drop each patty into the sauce. Allow beef to cook in the sauce without stirring for about 20 minutes or until beef has cooked and the sauce has thickened. Check the seasoning and enjoy!
Serve with rice, bulgur, quinoa, or couscous!
Keywords: Beef, kefta, meatballs, tomato sauce, dinner