Harissa Baked Chicken Meatballs with Couscous & Yogurt

harissa baked chicken meatballs with dried apricots and herbs, served with pearl couscous and a harissa yogurt sauce

servings: 4


  • 2 oz fresh whole grain bread, diced
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup diced dried turkish apricots
  • 1 ½ lbs ground chicken thigh
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp ground harissa
  • ½ tsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 ½ cups pearl couscous (i used turmeric flavored)
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup harissa sauce
  • 1 lemon, zested + juiced
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Place the diced bread in a large mixing bowl and pour the warm water over top. Let soak for at least 5 minutes. Heat a 2 qt saucepan over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Once hot, add the minced shallots and garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Stir in the dried apricots and turn off the heat.
  3. Add the ground chicken, soaked bread, 2 tablespoons of parsley, 1 tablespoon of dill, harissa, salt, and shallot mixture to the bowl. Mix until incorporated. Chill for 20 minutes. Form the mixture into approximately 15 (2 oz) meatballs, packing them tightly. Place them onto the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  4. Meanwhile, wipe out the saucepan and add 2 ¼ cups of water plus a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Stir in the pearl couscous. Lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 8 minutes until tender. Stir in a drizzle of olive oil, plus the remaining parsley and dill.
  5. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the yogurt, harissa sauce, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Plate the chicken meatballs with the couscous and yogurt sauce alongside. Top with the pecans, any extra herbs, a drizzle of olive oil, and extra harissa sauce if desired.