Pomegranate & Pistachio Meatballs

By Chanel Dror
pomegranate and pistachio meatballs

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pomegranate and pistachio meatballs

The Pomegranate + Pistachio Meatballs came together as a hybrid of recipes I got from my mom, from various cookbooks and blogs, and from my own experimentation. They’re made with lamb and beef, fresh herbs, spices, and two of Iran’s most beloved exports: pistachios and pomegranate! They’re rich, sweet, a little spicy, and loaded with flavor. The best part is, you can make them a couple days in advance and pop them out for a party. Instant applause!

*photography by Thomas Winslow

pomegranate and pistachio meatballs

Persian Pomegranate & Pistachio Meatballs

Serves 6

Pomegranate & Pistachio Meatballs

By Camille Styles


  • 1 small onion, completely chopped
  • 1/2 c raw pistachios
  • 1/4 c breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 1/2 c fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 T ground cumin
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 lbs ground lamb (or 1 lb ground lamb + 1 lb ground beef)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 c canola or olive oil


  • 1/3 c pomegranate molasses
  • 1/3 c honey or maple syrup
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes


  1. Pulse all the ingredients, except the meat, egg, and pomegranate molasses, in a food processor until you have a grainy paste.
  2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the meat, egg, pomegranate molasses. Lightly knead with your hands for a few minutes (do not over mix).
  3. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator and shape into bite-sized balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each).
  5. Brown the meatballs (you may have to do this in batches) over medium high heat in a well-oiled skillet. Turn so that all sides are browned and crispy, then transfer to a rack on a baking dish.
  6. Place in a preheated 400 degree Fahrenheit oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl combine all the ingredients for the glaze. It is important that you taste the glaze and be sure that it has a good balance between sweet and sour—add more sweetener if the pomegranate molasses you have used is too sour.
  8. Remove meatballs from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Glaze the meatballs and bake for another 10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. If too sour add more honey; if too sweet add more pomegranate molasses. Keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.
  10. Place the meatballs with its sauce in serving dish and garnish with fresh herbs.

Comments (1)

  1. xoxobellablog says:

    Yum! These sound so delicious!

    xoxoBella |

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