Moroccan Slow Cooker Meatballs – The Recipe ReDux

Moroccan Slow Cooker Meatballs |

As I write this post, I can hardly wait for it to go live.

Because the links below are going to become my go-to spot to find delicious, set-it-and-forget-it meals for my family all fall and winter long: This month’s theme for The Recipe ReDux is all about The No-Casserole Crock Pot!

I’ve been a slow cooker cook for quite some time – so I’m definitely up for some new inspiration. Since my Crock Pot and I go way back, I’ll share some of the tips I’ve learned along the way:

Brown meat 2-3 minutes per side before adding it to the slow cooker. Caramelizing the meat surface will result in richer flavor and a more appealing appearance.

Don’t peak. It’s tempting, but don’t lift the lid during the cooking. This releases steam, which lengthens cooking time and potentially reducing the temperature inside the slow cooker to a food safety danger zone of below 140°.

Layer Veggies Accordingly. Place vegetables in the crock in this order:

  • Bottom (hottest) – Dense winter squash, cabbage, turnips, potatoes
  • Middle – Semi-dense canned tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers, green beans, parsnips
  • Top is reserved for vegetables that would fall apart in high heat for long lengths of time like eggplant, broccoli, greens and peas.

Finish with zip. Fresh herbs like mint or lime/orange/lemon juice sprinkled on at the end of cooking will jazz up the flavor of mellow slow-cooked food. Avoid adding fresh herbs at the beginning of cooking, they will lose their flavor in the long stew.

Moroccan Slow Cooker Meatballs |

Every time I do meatballs in the slow cooker, my kids yell “Yay, meatballs!” They are so tender so perfect for any kid who doesn’t like to chew tougher cuts of meat.

This dish has a spice combo that’s a delicious meal for guests, too. I’ve made this Cooking Light recipe a few times and below is my latest adaptation:

Moroccan Slow Cooker Meatballs

Makes About 36 meatballs


  • 1/4 cup grated onion - use a box grater and press into a collander to drain slightly if desired
  • 1/4 cup chopped raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 pound ground beef (could also use venison)
  • 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs (a leftover corn muffin works great)
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes
  • Feta cheese & fresh mint for garnish


  1. Combine onions, raisins, spices, garlic, egg, mint in a large bowl. Add beef and breadcrumbs; stir well. Shape into 32-36 (3/4-inch) meatballs.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add a third of the meatballs to pan. Cook 4 minutes total, rolling meatballs around the pan as best as you can to brown most sides. (It's OK if some sides are a little pink on some sides.) Continue with remaining meatballs in 2 more batches. Transfer meatballs to a 4-quart electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray. (DON'T forget the spray to avoid baked-on clean-up.)
  3. Pour tomatoes over meatballs. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours (or on low for about 4 hours) or until meatballs are done. Garnish with cheese and fresh mint.Serve over a mix of brown and white rice.

What do you cook in a slow cooker? I need more inspiration!

Please check out all these great slow cooker recipes from fellow Recipe ReDux members:

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  1. I may need to rush to the store right now to buy all the ingredients to make this for tonights dinner. Love!!! Great tips too for slow cooking. I hate to admit it, but I’ve done very little experimenting w/ my own slow cooker, other than following recipes. I wish I had time to experiment for this month ReDux, but at least I have tons of inspiration from all the recipes here :-)
    thespicyrd recently posted..Peanut Butter Sweetpotato Cookies {White Chocolate Chips Optional}My Profile

    • And I will look forward to reading how you experiment with the slow cooker on your blog my friend. Happy slow cooker cooking! And let me know what you think of the meat balls…and what your kids think!

  2. YUM!
    I was so excited about this challenge cause I knew I would have a whole new slew of easy crockpot recipes to try. This is one of them!
    Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian recently posted..Recipe ReDux: Crock PotMy Profile

  3. This recipe looks absolutely amazing! I love the addition of all those savory spices. I agree with Kristen – I’m so glad to have a collection of recipes to try now :)
    Jessie recently posted..Slow Cooker Cinnamon Apple Butter {Recipe Redux}My Profile

  4. Hi Serena,

    I think you may have solved my dilemma. I’m going to a potluck party and I didn’t know what to take. Your meatballs sound delicious and they’re easy to make too. I’m also glad you gave the tip about not peaking until it was done. I didn”t know that could make the dish drop below the danger zone.
    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits recently posted..Slow Cooker Vegan ChiliMy Profile

  5. Yum! Your meatballs sounds wonderful. Love the combination of beef with raisins, spices and mint. I had trouble when I tried to click on your link from the linky tool from my blog posting. Maybe it is just at my end. Not sure. Just wanted to let you know in case others are having problems.

  6. Yes yes and yes! I agree with your tips completely! So hard not to peak, but it can significantly effect cooking time. Searing is so important, especially for meat so it doesn’t taste boiled, and the zip at the end is so welcome. It adds a whole new layer of complexity. I love this recipe. I love spicy sweet and savory combos like this. I am pinning to my kitchen tips board and beef for that matter.
    Katie | Healthy Seasonal Recipes recently posted..slow cooker skinny cheesesteaksMy Profile

  7. This looks pretty good, I’m glad I stumbled upon your challenge. I have a Moroccan seasoning I brought a while ago I’m going to try it with this. Have you tried it with ground turkey?

    My latest slow cooker creation was a skinny chicken fajita, it came out great and was super easy.
    Kia @ best juicer on the market recently posted..Skinny Slow Cooker Chicken FajitaMy Profile

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