Moroccan Meatloaf

Moroccan CuisineBeefLambMeatloaf

Lamb and beef meatloaf with Moroccan seasonings, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, coriander, cayenne, cinnamon, cilantro, saffron, and mint.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

If you like lamb, you will love this Moroccan meatloaf! If you don’t like lamb, I’m willing to bet this meatloaf will convert you.

This meatloaf is superb — flavored with classic Moroccan spices with speckles of cilantro and mint. You can top it with a simple pomegranate molasses sauce, or skip the topping all together.

This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe for Moroccan Meatloaf in the Niman Ranch Cookbook from Chef Monica Pope, of T’Afia in Houston, Texas.

Moroccan Meatloaf

I’ve made it a few times over the years and have recently changed up the spice mix and the topping a bit from the original recipe. Rather than using curry powder, which the original recipe called for (and which is unusual in Moroccan cuisine), I’ve opted for some coriander and a little more cinnamon, and have swapped out fresh ginger for dried.

I’ve simplified the sauce from the original, which oddly included chipotle in adobo. I now just mix some ketchup and pomegranate molasses together in a 2:1 ratio. It’s delicious, and works perfectly with the meatloaf. Again, you can omit the sauce if you want.

Moroccan Meatloaf Recipe

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  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

A mini-chopper or food processor works well to finely chop the carrot, celery, and onion.

Ingredients

Meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs ground lamb
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt (or a teaspoon of sea salt)
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Pomegranate molasses Sauce:

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the lamb and beef in a large bowl. Set aside.

2 Sauté onions, carrot, celery, garlic: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.

cook vegetables for moroccan meatloaf add spices for moroccan meatloaf

Add the salt, paprika, cumin, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground coriander, cayenne, pepper, and saffron. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes to release the flavors. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes.

3 Make meatloaf mixture: Stir the vegetables into the ground meat. Mix in the breadcrumbs, eggs, cilantro, and mint.

breadcrumbs, eggs, cilantro, mint, spices, moroccan meatloaf mixture combine moroccan meatloaf mixture

4 Place meatloaf mixture into loaf pan: Pack meatloaf mixture into a  5x9 or 4x8 loaf pan. If using a 4x8 pan, you'll need to mound the mixture high in the pan. Set the loaf pan in a baking pan. Pour about 1/2 inch of hot water into the baking pan so it comes up the sides of the loaf pan a bit.

place moroccan meatloaf mixture into loaf pan place loaf pan with meatloaf mixture into a large pan with an inch or so of water

5 Bake: Bake the meatloaf for 1 1/2 hours, or until firm and cooked through. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Un-mold onto a plate and slice.

Serve with pomegranate molasses sauce, ketchup, or just the drippings from the meatloaf itself. Very good served with rice pilaf.

6 Make the (optional) pomegranate molasses sauce: Mix the ketchup and the pomegranate molasses in a small bowl. Heat in a microwave or warm in a saucepan until just warm.

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Moroccan Meatloaf

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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20 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  • Lotra

    I use Pomegranate Craisins 5 oz
    POM juice 12 oz, 1/4 c Agave sweetener plus 1/4tsp dried onion and a twist of salt thickened it with 1 Tbsp corn starch in a bit of POM juice. I also added juice of one lime to meat mixture.

  • TJ

    This meatloaf was fantastic. My dinner guests enjoyed it, the people at work enjoyed the leftovers and I ate the last of it as meatloaf sandwiches. I liked the sauce, but did add a little more of the pomegranate molasses to make it a little sweeter due to the original comments about the spiciness of the sauce. In my opinion the sauce could have benefited from a whole pepper if not two instead of a half, but I like things spicy. The spices for the meat were perfect. I’ll be making this again for sure as I’ve already been asked how long it will be before I make another one.

  • Sana

    Hi Elise! I love your blog!!
    I tried this today and it turned out amazing!! Just a tad bit dry but soo good. I had with a chipotle tobasco and blueberry pomegranate Vinaigrette. Just YUM!!!!!!!!

  • Celine

    Hello Elise. First of all thank you so much for this amazing blog. You add colours and taste to my life! I’m a newlywed and my husband and I are real foodies, always into trying new flavours or ingredients. We actually had our honeymoon in Morocco and I brought that special spice mix called Ras El Hanout, the one that’s used in couscous and all kind of stews. Do you think I could replace the spice combination in this recipe by Ras El Hanout? Thank you!

  • Dee paz

    My boyfriend can’t get enough of it!!

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