There are plenty of meatball appetizer ideas on the internet, but this one is just about as good as it gets. Moroccan spices are mixed into the meatballs and included in a sweet and tangy sauce. Make meatball appetizers in a few minutes for all your parties.
Moroccan Spiced Meatball Appetizers
The spices used here include earthy cumin, floral coriander, cinnamon for sweetness, and cayenne for a bit of heat.
Sun-Maid + Orchard Choice Golden Figs add a nutty, delicately sweet flavor that really complements the sauce, though we love using Mission Figs too for their jammy flavor. They are chopped finely to be mixed into the meat mixture for texture and flavor.
Unlike other meatballs, these do not include eggs in them, using the breadcrumbs as the binder. We have used panko breadcrumbs to great success.
Bite-Sized Meatball Appetizer Ideas
The meatballs are sized to 1 inch, which is a perfect size for meatball appetizers. Just serve them with toothpicks, small forks, or skewers.
While the meatballs cook in the oven, you’ll make the sauce. Ketchup is the base of the sauce, meaning this sauce is ready in 3 minutes on the stovetop. Ketchul also contributes the right viscosity with a little liquid added in to thin it out ever so slightly. Spices get added to the sauce, along with garlic, red wine, and water.
If you are avoiding alcohol, substitute 3 1/2 tablespoons of cranberry juice or pomegranate juice mixed with 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar instead. The vinegar will ensure the sauce isn’t too sweet. White vinegar is bright and citrusy if red wine vinegar isn’t available.
Moroccan Spiced Meatballs & California Figs
- 1 lb ground beef lean
- 8 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs finely chopped
- 1/3 cup onion finely chopped
- 1/3 cup bread crumbs soft
- 2 tsp garlic minced
- 2 tsp coriander ground
- 2 tsp cumin ground
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup dry red wine
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon ground
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- Heat oven to 400°F. In large bowl, combine beef, figs, onion, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon each of garlic, coriander and cumin and the 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well to blend. Form into meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place in single layer on greased baking pan. Bake, shaking pan once or twice, until meatballs are browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large saucepan, combine ketchup, remaining 1 teaspoon each of garlic, coriander, and cumin; add wine, water, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Gently stir in meatballs.