Photo of Bulgur Beef Meatballs in Cinnamon-Scented Tomato Sauce by WW

Bulgur Beef Meatballs in Cinnamon-Scented Tomato Sauce

Points® value
Total Time
57 min
12 min
35 min
Bulgur has a texture similar to ground meat so it works beautifully as a meat substitute but also a binder to make meat go farther. It adds a nutty chew to these meatballs seasoned with herbs, aromatics, and warm spices. The meatballs absorb even more flavour as they simmer in a cinnamon-scented tomato sauce fortified with wine. To get a head start on making this Mediterranean-style main dish, prepare the beef mixture as directed in step 1, but do not shape the meatballs. Transfer to a zippered storage bag. Squeeze out the air and seal the bag; refrigerate up to 1 day.


Uncooked 93% lean ground beef

1 pound(s), (7% fat or less)

Reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 cup(s)

Fresh parsley

¾ cup(s), finely chopped flat-leaf

Fresh parsley

2 tbsp(s), finely chopped flat-leaf

Uncooked bulgur

½ cup(s), coarse


4 medium, finely chopped


1 large, lightly beaten


4 clove(s), large, finely chopped

Extra virgin olive oil

4 tsp(s)

Ground cumin

1 tsp(s)

Kosher salt

1 tsp(s)

Black pepper

½ tsp(s)

Red onion

1 large, chopped (about 1 1/3 cups)

Ground cinnamon


Red wine

2 fl oz, (about 1/3 cup), dry

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz, (1 can)


  1. Mix together beef, ¾ cup of parsley, the bulgur, scallions, egg substitute, 2 teaspoons of garlic, 2 teaspoons of oil, the cumin, ½ teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in large bowl. With damp hands, shape beef-bulgur mixture into 24 (1½-inch) meatballs.
  2. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, covered, stirring, until golden, about 6 minutes. Add remaining garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper, and the cinnamon; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add wine and boil 1 minute; stir in tomatoes. Add meatballs and broth and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until meatballs are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
  3. With slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to platter; keep warm. Bring sauce to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced to 2½ cups, 5–6 minutes. Remove Dutch oven from heat; return meatballs to pot and gently stir until coated with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.
  4. Per serving: 4 meatballs and generous 1/3 cup sauce.