Recipe: Sumac Meatless Meatballs with Veg-loaded Cous Cous

Recipe: Sumac Meatless Meatballs with Veg-loaded Cous Cous

Meatballs are a weeknight staple. This deliciously Sumac-spiced recipe is an update on the classic - made vegetarian, and minus the usual pasta accompaniment. 

Our recipe is a keeper - an overnight keeper that is. The cous cous stays fluffy and flavourful in a container in the fridge, and the meatless mince is delicious cold as it is hot. 

Here's how to make sumac 'Meatless Meatballs' with veg-loaded Cous Cous

Serves 4 plus leftovers
Prep time - 20 minutes 

Want to make it vegan? Just swap yoghurt for vegan yoghurt alternatives


  • 800 g meatless mince 
  • 6 tablespoons breadcrumbs 
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sumac, plus extra to sprinkle
  • 1/2 tablespoon pul biber or chilli flakes
  • 2 preserved lemons, rinds only, finely chopped 
  • A large handful of coriander, finely chopped plus extra to garnish
  • A large handful of mint, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • A large handful of parsley, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish 
  • 150 g giant cous cous
  • 1/2 vegan stock cube / 1 teaspoon vegan bouillon powder 
  • 1 small garlic clove, grated
  • 150 g thick greek yoghurt
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
  • 4 mini cucumbers, one grated, three chopped
  • 150 g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped 
  • 2 large handfuls of jumbo pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • Salt + freshly ground black pepper 
  • Dill for garnish


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the meatless mince, breadcrumbs, spices and preserved lemon rinds. Add most of the chopped herbs, reserving around 1/4 in a separate small bowl. Season well and roll into golf ball sized balls. 
  2. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the cous cous and stock cube and boil for 6 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. 
  3. For the cucumber yoghurt, add the garlic, yoghurt and lemon juice to the small bowl of herbs. Grate half the cucumber into the bowl and season to taste. 
  4. Dice the remaining cucumber half and add to a large bowl with the tomatoes, onion, olives and giant cous cous. 
  5. Add the oil to a large frying pan and fry the meatballs for 2 minutes, moving them around the pan often until they are golden on the outside. 
  6. Serve the meatballs on a bed of the veg-loaded cous cous with the cucumber yoghurt. Sprinkle over some extra sumac and herbs to garnish.