These juicy Harissa Chicken Meatballs are a fun twist on traditional meatballs. They're also low-carb, grain-free, and gluten-free, and are made with cauliflower rice instead of breadcrumbs.
Harissa Chicken Meatballs
The smoked paprika and harissa red peppers add depth to these Middle Eastern-inspired harissa chicken meatballs. Ground chicken mixes with onions, garlic, paprika, parsley, salt, egg and frozen cauliflower rice, then cooks in mild harissa sauce. Jarred Harissa is one of my favorite ingredients and one that you will always find in my pantry. For more ways to use harissa, try my harissa shrimp and chickpeas, the shredded harissa chicken, and the grilled harissa lamb chops.
How do you make ground chicken meatballs moist?
To make juicy chicken meatballs, don't mix the ground chicken mixture too much. Over-mixing results in chewy, dry meatballs. Also, in this recipe, I swap the breadcrumbs for cauliflower rice for extra moisture.
Serving suggestion for the meatballs:
Serve the harissa meatballs over spiral butternut squash noodles, spaghetti squash, or couscous. If you want to keep the meal low in carbohydrates, cauliflower rice is delicious too. You can also eat the meatballs in a pita sprinkled with crumbled feta.
Variations and tips:
- When shaping the meatballs, coat your hands lightly with cooking spray to prevent them from sticking.
- Underground turkey for ground chicken.
- If you want to fill up this dish a little more, add a finely chopped carrot and a can of chickpeas to the sauce.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.
What is harissa?
Harissa is a traditional accompaniment with Moroccan and North African food. It's as popular with them as ketchup and mustard are with us here in the States. You can serve it with eggs, burgers, couscous, soups, and much more. For the sake of simplicity, I love Mina Harissa (Affil Link).
How to make harissa:
If you can't find harissa, you can easily do it yourself. This is my favorite method, it is so good you will want to drink it! Double the recipe for these meatballs.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled
- 12 ounce glass of roasted red peppers in water, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, more or less to your taste
Fry the garlic in oil until golden brown and fragrant, then mix with the remaining ingredients in a blender and stir until smooth. Serve at room temperature. See below for the chicken recipe!
More Meatball Recipes You'll Love:
Harissa Chicken Meatballs
Preparation time: 10 min
Cooking time: 35 min
Total time: 45 min
These Harissa Chicken Meatballs are a fun twist on meatballs. Plus, they're low-carb, grain-free, and gluten-free since I use cauliflower rice instead of breadcrumbs.
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked peppers
- 1/2 Cup frozen rice cauliflower
- 1/4 Cup chopped onion
- 1/4 Cup chopped parsley packed
- 3 large peeled garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 big egg
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 Glasses, 10 oz prepared mild harissa sauce each (I love Mina Harissa)
Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl and break open easily. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and smoked paprika.
Add frozen cauliflower, parsley, onion, garlic and egg and mix until ingredients are combined. Avoid overmixing. Divide the chicken mixture into 16 servings (approximately 1 1/4 ounces each); gently shape into balls.
Heat a heavy nonstick pan (with high sides) over medium-high heat.
Spray with olive oil cooking spray, add meatballs and cook, occasionally browning on all sides, about 6 minutes.
Pour in the harissa and let the mixture simmer, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for another 20 to 25 minutes.
Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Freeze for up to 6 months.
Portion: 4thMeatballs with 1/2 cup sauce, Calories: 290kcal, Carbohydrates: 12thG, Protein: 22ndG, Fat: 20thG, Saturated fatty acids: 3G, Cholesterol: 142mg, Sodium: 1520mg, Fiber: 11G, Sugar: 10.5G
Blue Smart Points: 8th
Green Smart Points: 8th
Purple Smart Points: 8th
Keywords: Buffalo chicken meatballs, harissa meatballs, low carb meatballs
Posted January 19, 2021 by Gina