Go a little Moorish with Jose Pizarro’s meatball recipe

Jose Pizarro’s Moorish meatballs.

This Spanish-style meatball recipe from chef Jose Pizarro is quick, easy, and packed with flavor.

“Meatballs are one of my favorite things to cook. It’s a great way to play around with different flavors,” says Jose.

“This recipe is very quick and really different from any meatball dish I’ve made before. It’s perfect for a mid-week dinner or tapas night.

Moorish dumplings by Jose Pizarro

(For 4 people)

The recipe for meatballs by José Pizarro
Jose Pizarro recommends the recipe for a midweek meal or tapas.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
  • 300g ground beef
  • 300g minced pork
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 tsp hot smoked pimenton de la Vera
  • 1 teaspoon mild smoked La Vera pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin a handful of chopped cilantro, plus extra to garnish
  • 30g toasted pine nuts
  • 250g baby spinach
  • 30g raisins
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Crusty bread, for serving

For the yogurt

  • 300g Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
  • A pinch of saffron threads soaked in 1 teaspoon of boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160 Fan/350F/Gas Mark 4. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small skillet (frying pan) over low heat and gently sauté the shallot for 10 minutes until tender. she is tender. Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the two types of mince, along with the garlic, cooled shallot, spices and chopped coriander. Season well and shape into 16 walnut-sized balls.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs and fry until golden, then transfer to the oven for five minutes to finish cooking. Remove to a warm plate and cover loosely with foil.
  4. Meanwhile, prepare the spicy saffron yoghurt. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, garlic and mint and season well, then add the saffron and its soaking water.
  5. Place the frying pan you used for the meatballs over high heat and add the spinach and raisins, along with a little water. Mix and let the spinach melt and mix with the cooking juices of the meatballs. Add the pine nuts, then return the meatballs and any remaining juices to the pan and mix everything together.
  6. Divide the yogurt among four plates and top with the meatballs and spinach. Serve with crusty bread.

The Spanish Home Kitchen: Simple, Seasonal Recipes And Memories From My Home by Jose Pizarro is published by Hardie Grant, priced at £27. Photograph by Emma Lee. Available now.

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