Spicy meatball tagine with bulgur & chickpeas

Spicy meatball tagine with bulgur & chickpeas

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(21 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 45 mins plus chilling


Serves 4

Who knew meatballs could be 4 of your 5-a-day? This healthy tagine is full of flavour and low on fat, just make sure you choose a lean mince with 5% fat

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal484
  • fat12g
  • saturates3g
  • carbs47g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre15g
  • protein40g
  • salt1.1g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 2 onions, 1 quartered, 1 halved and sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 500g pack extra-lean beef mince
  • 2 tsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 4 large carrots, cut into batons



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lemon, zest removed with a potato peeler, then chopped



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 12 Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • ⅓ pack fresh coriander, chopped

For the bulgur

  • 200g bulgur wheat
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander


  1. Put the quartered onion in the food processor and process to finely chop it. Add the minced beef, 1 tbsp tomato purée, the garlic, egg and chilli powder and blitz to make a smoothish paste. Divide the mixture into 26 even-sized pieces and roll into balls.

  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the meatballs for about 5-10 mins to lightly brown them. Tip from the pan onto a plate.

  3. Now add the sliced onion and carrots to the pan and stir fry briefly in the pan juices to soften them a little. Add the spices and pour in the tomatoes with 1 ½ cans of water then stir in the chopped lemon zest, remaining tomato purée, olives and bouillon powder. Return the meatballs to the pan then cover and cook for 15 mins until the carrots are just tender. Stir in the coriander.

  4. While the tagine is cooking, tip the bulgur into a pan with the chickpeas and water from the can. Add 2 cans of water, the bouillon and coriander. Cover and cook for 10 mins until the bulgur is tender and the liquid had been absorbed. If you're doing the Healthy Diet Plan (serving two people), serve half with half of the tagine and chill the remainder for another night if you like.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Jess B's picture
Jess B
21st May, 2020
Made with pork mince but a very tasty dinner and lunch for the next day!
16th Apr, 2019
The whole family enjoyed this, even the kids, despite having never tried bulgur before! I followed the advice from other reviewers & reduced the water in the sauce and bulgur. Very flavourful and was plenty for my family of five.
SJMEOW's picture
5th Dec, 2018
We absolutely love this and have had it once a week since discovering the recipe! Super hearty and fairly inexpensive for a midweek meal, makes enough for lunch the next day too! I add red pepper too, and usually make with couscous :) highly recommend!
10th Jul, 2018
My four and six year old helped me make this. It tasted great. Used pork mince as they're not keen on beef mince. We all really enjoyed it. Making it again next week with them.
8th May, 2018
Lovely tasty meal, definitely on the list for repeat making, loved by everyone in the family
Ali Cherry's picture
Ali Cherry
20th Mar, 2018
Very tasty and filling meal. Would definitely make this again!
1st Mar, 2017
As I've only got a stick blender I only whizzed the onion and garlic, so the meat balls didn't hold together very well, but it was still tasty. As I'm only cooking for one I've now got three portions in the freezer for future meals.
9th Jan, 2017
I thought this was pretty good, enjoyed the Bulgar wheat mixed with the chick peas. I cooked it with some vegetable stock for a bit more flavour. The meatballs were a bit dry, might have been overcooked (I baked them in the oven) or choice of meat. It looked great with some baby spinach sandwiched between the bulgur and the meatball mix. Kids however sent most of it back and asked what was for pudding.. fail!
7th Jan, 2017
This is tasty and easy. Be gentle with the meatballs (I left them longer than I would mince before moving gently for the first time so they cook all the way around without breaking) and it was a bit watery so use less water in the sauce and for the bulghar wheat.
6th Jan, 2017
I failed miserably at getting the meatballs to hold together so ended up just breaking them up and making it like a bolognese. It was delicious, both myself and my fiancé agreed it was the tastiest meal of the 7 day diet plan we'd had and so filling. If, like me, you're not keen on lemon zest don't leave it out, it really does add something to the recipe and I'm so glad I kept it in. Looking forward to Saturday night when we get to have the other half!


3rd Jan, 2017
As I read this I interprete it as this recipe serves 8, instead of 4, if you serve half and chill the remainder. And for 4 the amount of calories is double, 968 kcal? Is that correct?
goodfoodteam's picture
4th Jan, 2017
Thanks for your question. This recipe serves four people. It is part of our January 2017 Healthy Diet Plan which is designed for two people, hence the suggestion to keep half for another day. We've changed the text in the recipe to clarify that. The calories are per serving (one person). Hope that makes sense now!
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?