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Harissa Meatballs (Whole 30 Recipe)

These harissa meatballs are Whole 30 compliant. They have zero soy, gluten or dairy in them and yet are so flavorful and delicious.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American, Healthy, Italian, Mediterranean, Whole 30
Keyword: whole 30, whole 30 beef recipes, whole 30 chicken meatballs, whole 30 recipes
Servings: 20 Meatballs
Calories: 5kcal
Cost: $12


  • 1 medium Dutch oven
  • 1 medium cookie scoop



  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion diced
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 24 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water

Harissa Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken or turkey
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley + more as garnish
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoons oliveo oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts as garnish (optional)


To Make the Sauce:

  • In a medium pot, set over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is warm, add the diced onion. Add a few pinches of salt and stir; cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in the minced garlic and stir. Add a few tablespoons of the onion/garlic mixture to a medium bowl (we’ll use this for the meatballs) and set aside.
  • To the remaining onions, add the tomato paste, harissa and cumin. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and then transfer to a blender, along with the can of diced tomatoes and water. Pulse until smooth. Transfer back to the pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Cover the pot and allow to simmer, gently, while you make the meatballs.

To Make the Meatballs:

  • To the medium bowl with the onion/garlic mixture, add the ground chicken or turkey, harissa paste, Italian parsley, egg yolk, salt and ground cumin. Mix until thoroughly combined. Using a 1-inch cookie scoop, scoop out balls and form meatballs. Repeat until you’ve worked your way through all of the ground mixture. (Ground chicken is way softer than ground turkey so if you’re using ground chicken, do your best! Don’t be bummed if they’re not perfectly shaped meatballs.)
  • In a medium pan, set over medium-high heat, add a few teaspoons of oil. Add the meatballs, being sure to not overcrowd the pan, and cook on each side for 1 to 2 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside and then repeat with the remaining meatballs, adding more oil as needed.
  • Add all of the meatballs to the tomato sauce, cover the pot and simmer until cooked all the way through. Give the sauce a taste and adjust the salt per your liking. Garnish with Italian parsley and pine nuts. Ladle over anything you like—it’s my favorite over spaghetti squash.
  • These meatballs stay good in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Freeze them in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2 months.


To Make Ahead: 
These meatballs are great to keep in the fridge. They keep well in the sauce for up to 5 days. Freeze in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 2 months. 
Medium OXO Cookie Scoop | Medium Dutch Oven | Silicon Spatulas | Harissa Paste 
Other Tips:
Recipe for  Homemade Harissa


Serving: 4g | Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 1mg