Flavorful harissa chicken meatballs! Air fried or baked chicken meatballs cooked to perfection smothered in a spicy and creamy harissa coconut sauce!
Meatballs are one of my favorite week-night dinners! You can make them healthy. You can bake, air fry or cook them in a skillet. They’re easy and quick to throw together. Also, you can make them a number of ways. Just customize to whatever cuisine you’re craving. Whether, that’s Asian, Italian, Indian, Mexican. There’s a meatball for every type of cuisine!
Some other meatball recipe you will love:
Lately I cannot get enough of harissa! It’s just packed with so much flavor. Check out my harissa chicken enchiladas here.
What is harissa?
Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s a used a lot in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. Harissa recipes depend on the country but typically include a mixture of smoked hot Chile peppers, oil, garlic and spices like cumin and coriander. It’s pretty spicy so a little bit goes a long way!
I get my harissa paste at Trader Joe’s and I love it. Harissa and coconut cream/milk is also an amazing combination. The creamy coconut and the spicy harissa just compliment each other so nicely. Which is why the two main ingredients in this sauce is coconut cream (I also find this at Trader Joe’s) and harissa paste. There’s also some canned tomato sauce in it. The sauce is so tasty, I want to put it on everything.
The meatballs can be air fried or baked. I’ve tested both ways. You can’t go wrong with either. However, I prefer air frying just because it’s so much quicker. These harissa chicken meatballs came out so juicy and tender.
This dish is perfect for week-night dinners. You can add some rice, cauliflower rice or quinoa. As well as a green veggie like broccoli or brussels sprouts. Then you have yourself a balanced and flavorful meal!Print
1 lb. ground chicken
5 tbsp breadcrumbs, you can use gluten-free breadcrumbs or Trader Joe’s rice-crumbs for gluten-free version
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp harissa paste
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp harissa paste, you can half a tbsp more if you want more spice
3/4 cup coconut cream, from a can – make sure to get the creamy part at the top
1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp chopped green onion for topping, optional
In a mixing bowl combine ground chicken with onion, cumin, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs, olive oil, and harissa paste. Whisk in the egg and mix to combine.
Using a cookie scoop or clean hands form into round balls. They should be about 1 1/2 tbsp of mixture per meatball and make about 13-15 meatballs.
If baking –
Place meatballs on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 360 degrees F for 18-20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through.
If air frying –
Spray air fryer basket and place meatballs in the basket. Do not over crowd them. You may have to cook them in batches. Air fry at 380 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until they’re cooked through.
While meatballs are cooking, prepare your sauce.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
Add garlic and let cook about a minute, stirring it around so it doesn’t burn.
Add cumin and paprika and mix around until it’s a pasty mixture. Should only take a minute.
Next add the harissa paste.
Immediately, whisk in your tomato sauce and coconut cream.
Season with salt and let simmer for 6-8 minutes, lightly whisking frequently.
Mix the meatballs with the sauce to make sure they’re all coated.
Top with chopped green onions and serve!