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Israeli-Moroccan Meatballs With Olives for Passover

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This Moroccan Meatballs with Olives for Passover dish is delicious and savory and oh so easy to make! A perfect to addition to your Passover meals. In fact, it is so good, you will want to serve it for any occasion!

If you love olives, this Israeli-Moroccan Meatballs and Olives for Passover dish is for you!

The mouth-watering mixture of flavors are so good that you will close your eyes and just savor the taste as you eat.

While it is easy to make, it still sure to impress. If you eat kitniyot, this dish is heavenly served over rice, otherwise, try potatoes or another non-kitniyot substitute.

A little of my cooking background

I really wanted to title this blog “If I can make it, anyone can”, because – honestly – if I can make it, anyone can.

I never really liked cooking and when I was single, a meal for me meant grilled cheese, eggs, tuna, or something else that didn’t require effort or time.

When my kids were young, I was still able to get away with preparing only a small variety of easy meals, but the older they got, the more dishes I learned to make at their request.

Still, I insisted on keeping it simple.

Honestly, I never understood why some cooks unnecessarily complicate meals. I have seen recipes that have several ingredients that don’t really seem to add much, if anything, to the dish. So, why bother?

It has always been important to me that whoever eats at my table will have plenty to enjoy and that includes my kids (I never agreed with the “You will eat what is served or you won’t eat” ideology) and, because I keep it simple, I can prepare a variety of dishes in a relatively short period of time.

I have a philosophy regarding being a great cook: Prepare food according to the tastes of those who will be eating it and they will love your cooking!

As far as I am concerned, start with the basic ingredients that make the dish what it is, adapt according to taste, and voila! you are an amazing cook!

The bottom line is that while there are certainly delicate recipes out there for specialty dishes, making delicious meals doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. It’s not difficult to impress – just make sure it tastes good.

While some of the recipes on my blog are more time-consuming than others, they are all tried and true easy-shmeezy!

Of course, one always has to consider the conditions under which they cook. Weather (humidity, heat, cold), different types of ovens, different quality of pots, etc. – all of which can affect your cooking and baking.

Nevertheless, as I said, if I can do it, anyone can!

A little about Israeli cuisine

Some people complain about cultural appropriation in cuisine when food from one country is attributed to another country.

However, national cuisine in itself is often a mingling of food from of a variety of cultures, often due to a change of ruling countries and a shifting of borders.

Turkish cuisine, for example, goes back to the Ottoman Empire and was a combination of several cultures under Ottoman rule.

When people move from country to country, they will take their cultures with them and their decendents may adapt their traditional cuisine with that of their new home and, if they don’t, others might.

Chinese food in US restaurants is quite often not really authentic Chinese, but American Chinese.

Americans have created a whole variety of types and styles of pizza and pineapple pizza was apparently created in Canada by a Greek immigrant. Yet, everyone still calls them all “pizza”, which originated in Italy.

Spaghetti is thought to be an Italian food, but many historians believe that it was brought back to Italy from China by Marco Polo.

Apparently, battered fried fish was from the Portuguese Jewish community as a sabbath food and ended up in England via Holland during the Spanish Inquisition, yet everyone attributes the food to the British.

…and don’t get me started on Hummus.

When one lives in a melting pot, such as the US or Israel, it is just unrealistic to expect that food from a particular culture won’t mingle with that of other cultures.

That being said, “Israeli cuisine” is basically Middle Eastern (as opposed to Eastern European food) that was brought to Israel by Jews when they fled or were expelled from Muslim countries and moved to Israel mostly after the declaration of the State of Israel (collectively known as Mizrahi Jews).

Recipes were passed from generation to generation and, although decades have passed, the foods are still known by the culture they came from and everyone seems to have their own way of making them.

That said, there are many variations of pretty much any “Israeli” recipe, because of background, custom, or even just taste. When choosing a recipe, one has to know what actually constitutes a main ingredient – what makes the dish what it is – and what is left up to individual taste.

I personally find it very arrogant and quite irritating when a blogger(not naming names) will put “authentic” in the title of an “Israeli” recipe, as if all the rest are mere imitations. What’s worse, is when that blogger makes the recipe with her own twist and then calls it authentic!

Adding more or less of a spice or adding a spice that is not in the recipe, does not make it less authentic, but calling it “authentic” and then adding unnecessary extra ingredients above and beyond what needs to be there, is misleading.

For example, “authentic” Israeli salad (what Israelis call Israeli salad) is diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Sometimes, they will add some oil salt and pepper, but THAT’S IT. Anything else does not have to be there, but if you leave out the cucumbers or the tomatoes, you no longer have an “Israeli salad”.

So, find the recipes you like with the ingredients you prefer, add your own twists, and בתאבון (literally translated, “with appetite”) !

Moroccan immigration (aliyah) to Israel

Jews were never considered equal citizens in Arab countries and violence against them was familiar and feared.

With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the Jews of Morocco had even more to fear and in the mid-1950s the violence and terror from the local population intensified as Moroccan independence from France was drawing nearer (Morocco declared independence from France in March 1956).

So, from 1948 to 1956 there was a large wave of immigration from Morocco to Israel via transit camps in Casablanca during which almost 35,000 Moroccan Jews immigrated to the newly formed Jewish state. Once Morocco declared its independence from France, Jews had to immigrate to Israel clandestinely and another 30,000 or so immigrated from 1956-1961.

During a tragic night in January 1961, a ship smuggling 43 Moroccan Jews, and the Israeli representative helping them, sunk and the disaster caused the plight of Moroccan Jewry to make headlines worldwide.

Under international pressure, Moroccan King Hassan II stopped preventing the emigration of Jews from Morocco and, from 1961-1964, 80,000 more Moroccan Jews immigrated to Israel.

Moroccans are the largest group of immigrants to Israel from an Arab country and, over the years, more than 250,000 Jews made aliyah to Israel.

Israel is fortunate to have the wonderful Jewish-Moroccan dishes as part of “Israeli cuisine” and just to give an example of how cultural cuisine is shared, I learned to make this dish from my ex-mother-in-law, who was of Syrian descent. Go figure.

My own table is a combination of American and Israeli foods and my kids have no idea which is which. They just know what they like to eat.

Served over rice or couscous, this dish can make your eyes roll to the back of your head. 🙂

A little about olives

Olives are grown throughout the world, in places such as the Mediterranean, South America, South Africa, India, China, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and the United States and areused either sliced or whole in salads, sandwiches, and a variety of cooked dishes as well as being pressed into olive oil.

Olives contain antioxidants (which are believed to help reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease) and vitamins (such as vitamin E, which is good for the skin and immune system).

Yield: 6 servings

Israeli-Moroccan Meatballs With Olives for Passover

Olives and meatballs in a tomato sauce in a clear bowl on a white wood background

Easy meatballs and green olives in a savory tomato sauce.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 2 cups pitted whole olives
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 28 oz tomato sauce or canned crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chicken consume powder


  1. Roll meat into 1-inch balls.
  2. Place olives in pot, cover with twice the amount of water, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium.
  3. Cook until you can easily push a fork through the olives (approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour), then drain water.
  4. Add tomato sauce and chicken consommé powder, bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium.
  5. Add meatballs one at a time and cook for approximately 10 minutes until meatballs have cooked through.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 371Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 549mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 5gSugar: 10gProtein: 28g

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