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Spiced Meatballs in a Tangy Tomato Glaze

Spiced Meatballs in a Tangy Tomato Glaze

Making a hearty, healthy yet still light weeknight meal is one of the hardest things you can do. It’s not easy to just whip it up out of thin air. This stuff takes some thought. If you ever feel like you’re in this dilemma, look no further, i have the meal for you.

I’d like to start this post off by recognizing that I sound contridictory when i call a recipe easy and “weeknight” but then follow it with ingredients and steps to make homemade meatballs. Like girl, what are you thinking. Ain’t nobody got time to make meatballs on a weeknight. I get it. I promise. My intention here is not to imply that you’re going to whip up fresh meatballs and this meal from scratch on a Tuesday evening at 6 PM. What i do want to point out though is that if you prep ahead of time (aka making and freezing your meatballs one weekend) you can pull this dish together in a solid 25 minutes. Also, dont think i’m not above using pre-made, frozen meatballs for a quick meal. If you get the good quality stuff, the glaze you make will compensate for the lack of self seasoned meatballs. I promise it wont be the end of the world if you use store bought meatballs, and i truly wont judge you (ya girl here has used some frozen meatballs in her day). However, obviously if you have the time to prep these meatballs from scratch you’ll be wow-ed by the flavor profile of the meatballs and the glaze together. It’s unreal how good tangy, sumacy tomato sauce is with meatballs. I always serve this dish with a side of rice, but this would be equally delicious to eat with some fluffy pita bread or naan.

I’d also like to point out the following:

  1. You can use fresh, ripe tomatoes if they’re in season and abundant, instead of using crushed tomatoes from the can. In fact, it turns out way more delicious but just takes a touch more work. If you chose to do this, cut your tomatoes or cherry tomatoes into small dices and saute in some olive oil. Add about 3 cups of water and a tbsp of the tomato paste you’ll be using for the glaze and allow to simmer away. It will begin to create a thicker tomato sauce like consistency. It’s delicious and not much harder to do!

  2. Make sure to sear your meatballs once you’ve formed them. If you attempt to throw your meatballs into the sauce just after creating rounds balls, they are going to become ground beef. Pinky promise this extra step is worth it.

  3. If you dont have sumac or pomegranate molasses, i’d highly suggest you invest in some. It’s not expensive but it really makes this dish. It just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Give this recipe a try! Share your comments and some love. If you make this recipe and share it on social media, tag it with the hashtag #hungrilyhomemaderecipe

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 5 servings


for the meatballs

1.     1/2 pound ground lamb

2.     1/2 pound ground beef

3.     ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs

4.     1 egg

5.     1 ½ tbsp of ground cumin

6.     1 tsp ground coriander

7.     1 tsp All spice

8.     1 tbsp sweet paprika

9.     ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper

10.  1 small grated white onion

11.  1 ½ tbsp of salt

12.  1 tsp crushed black pepper

for the glaze/sauce

1.     2 cans of crushed tomatoes

2.     1 diced onion

3.     2 cloves of garlic sliced thin

4.     2 tbsp of sumac

5.     3 tbsp pomegranate molasses (dibs ruman)

6.     1 container of tomato paste

7.     Sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes

8.     Salt and pepper to taste


1. Combine all of the ingredients listed above under meatball ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Lightly and gently mix the contents together until the mixture is uniform and cohesive.

2. Form into small, golfball sized meatballs and heat a large skillet with some olive oil and sauté until they form a gold crust on the outside. Do not overcook. Only cook until you see a slight crust forming and then immediately remove them from the heat and place in a plate to cool while you make the glaze.

3. In the same skillet you cooked the meatballs in, add the garlic and cook until it is aromatic. Add the onions in the pan and allow to sweat until it is translucent.

4. Once the onion and garlic have cooked together for a few minutes, add the crushed red pepper to the pan and allow the heat to hit it. This will release the flavor from the flakes.

5. Add the pomegranate molasses and sumac to the onions, garlic and pepper and allow to lightly saute.

6. Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet and allow to simmer for 15 minutes. The sauce should begin to reduce at this point.

7. Once the sauce has reduced in half, add the meatballs to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavor to absorb. Serve with rice and enjoy!

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