Warm, exotic Middle Eastern spices inspired these savory Moroccan Meatloaf Bites. The symphony of flavors will make a big hit as small bite appetizers at your wine & dine event.

Prep time:30 minutes
Cook time:12 – 15 minutes
Servings:about 18 – 20


  • 1 pound ground Beef
  • 1 pound ground Lamb, Goat or Pork
  • 2 Eggs
  • ½ cup Bread Crumbs 
  • 2 teaspoons Za’atar
  • 2 teaspoons Moroccan Spice Blend (prepackaged or see below for recipe)
  • ½  teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Fish Sauce 
  • ½ cup frozen marinated veggies mix of Eggplant, Peppers & Zucchini
  • 3 to 4 Button Mushrooms
  • Queso Manchego or Parmesan cheese, for topping
  • Phyllo (Fillo) Dough sheets

Moroccan Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mint leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder

Mix all spices together. Store in an airtight container.

Italian Parsley Pesto

  • 1 bunch fresh Italian (flat leaf) Parsley, top stems and leaves
  • ¼  cup Cilantro, thin stems and leaves
  • ¼ cup Walnuts or Pine Nuts
  • ¼ teaspoon Garlic
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt & ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned Rice Vinegar

Place all dry ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor or blender. While machine is running, add EVOO and Rice Vinegar. Pesto should be slightly coarse. Transfer to a bowl and cover. Best when prepared at least an hour ahead of serving.


  1. Spread 3 layers of phyllo dough on a cutting surface. Cut 5 inch x 5 inch squares. Brush melted butter over the outer edges of each layer leaving the interior section without butter. Line 20 sections of 2 standard muffin pans with the phyllo squares. Repeat the process of spreading layers of phyllo dough, cutting squares and brushing butter as necessary.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine your choice of ground meats and ingredients through soy sauce. In a blender, combine frozen veggie mix and mushrooms, blend to a puree. Combine puree with ground meat.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop or soup spoon, scoop about 1 ½ ounces of meat mixture into each phyllo cup. You should have about 18 to 20 meatball-size servings. Bake at 375°F until meat is cooked through (about 12 – 15 minutes).
  4. Remove from oven and top each serving with micro-gratings of cheese. Allos to cool at least 10 minutes before removing from pan. Sere while warm with Italian Parsley Pesto for topping.

Wine Pairing Guide

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Crisp dry Rosé from any region would be an excellent pairing if these Moroccan Meatloaf Bites are served as an appetizer.

In general, pricing is a guideline as to the style of wine making in red wines. Less expensive reds are made to enjoy as soon as you uncork. Pour and enjoy! More expensive reds typically need 20 to 40 minutes to decant (breathe) to enjoy to their fullest.

Texas: Ruby Cab, Dolcetto
West Coast: Pinot Noir, Barbera, Zinfandel
France: Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Côtes du Ventoux, Gamay, Cinsault, Counoise
Italy: Bardolino, Primitivo, Chianti Classico, Nebbiolo
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Carignan
Texas: Dolcetto, Tempranillo, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Sangiovese
West Coast: Barbera, Zinfandel, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, GSM blends
Argentina: Merlot, Tempranillo, Bonarda
Australia: Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz
Chile: Merlot, Carménère
France: Beaujolais crus, Village Burgundy, Côte du Rhône Village, Grenache/Syrah/Mourvèdre blend, Petite Bordeaux
Italy: Negroamaro, Barbera, Valpolicella, Chianti Riserva, Sangiovese
South Africa: Shiraz, Pinotage
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache
Texas: Tempranillo, Cabernet Franc, Montepulciano, Cabernet Sauvignon
West Coast: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Meritage (Bordeaux-style blend), Petite Syrah/Shiraz, Mourvedre
Argentina: Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon
France: better Bordeaux (Left Bank = bolder-style Cabernet, Right Bank = softer style Merlot), Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Mourvèdre, Vacqueyras, Gigondas
Italy: Amarone, Barolo, Barbaresco, Brunello di Montalcino, Sagrantino, Montepulciano d’ Abruzzo, Salice Salentino, Super Tuscan
Spain: Tempranillo, Grenache, Monastrell (bolder-style red regions: Priorat, Montsant, Toro, Ribera de Duero)