Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Meatballs Served With Pistachio Couscous

pomegranate glazed lamb meatballs

Pomegranate glazed lamb meatballs are savory, sweet and tangy with just the right amount of sticky goodness. The flavor and texture of the lamb mixed with lots of fresh herbs and seasoning is one that I believe you will enjoy but if you are not a fan of lamb, beef may be substituted.

Meatballs can be found in many cultures throughout the world, it is just the type of meat as well as the herbs and spices that may vary depending upon the culture. The delicious pomegranate meatballs I’m sharing with you are similar to ones that you might find throughout the Middle East, especially in Turkey, which is one of the largest growers of pomegranates in the world.

The lamb meatballs are delicious even without the glaze because of the chopped mixed fresh herbs and seasonings that are used. Finishing them with the pomegranate glaze gives them a deep and flavorful sweet and tangy taste with just the right amount of sticky goodness that we all love.

I paired the savory and sweet meatballs with pistachio couscous and a cooling mint yogurt sauce for a delicious evening meal. The meatballs are also excellent when entertaining friends. Just prepare them smaller for a one bite size and serve on a platter as a party appetizers with wooden toothpicks.

pomegranate glazed lamb meatballs
Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Meatballs With Pistachio Couscous

Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Meatballs Served With Pistachio Couscous

Serves four, adjust the recipe accordingly

Meatballs

  • 1 lb. ground lamb (or a combination of lamb and beef)
  • 1 small onion or 1/4 of a large onion, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 – 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped mint, more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. Urfa Biber Turkish chile pepper*
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp.cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil for cooking

*Urfa Biber Turkish Chile peppers are very hot and have a dark, almost purple color with a flavor of dried fruit, coffee, and chocolate. Aleppo peppers or hot paprika can be substituted

Mix all the ingredients (except the oil) together until combined and form into meatballs about 1 1/2 inch in size. Heat the oil in a large nonreactive sauté pan (such as stainless steel) over medium high heat. Add the meatballs, brown, giving the pan an occasional shake to roll them around and cook each side until golden, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the meatballs and drain on paper towels. Prepare the pomegranate glaze below.

Pomegranate Glaze

  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp. Pomegranate molasses*, plus additional to drizzle

*Pomegranate molasses is pomegranate juice that’s been reduced to a delicious syrup that has a rich, fruity, intensely tangy and sweet flavor. It is often used in Georgian, Armenian, Iranian, Syrian, Israeli, Lebanese, and Turkish cooking. It can be found in the international aisle of most larger grocery stores, in Middle Eastern and Asian grocery stores, as well as online.  

In the same sauté pan used to cook the meatballs, drain any accumulated fat. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Add the pomegranate molasses, lower the heat and simmer until reduced about half.

To finish, add the meatballs back to the pan with the glaze, turn down the heat to low and gently swirl to evenly coat. When you are ready to serve, place the meatballs on the top of the couscous, drizzle with additional molasses and garnish with chopped mint, if you wish. I like to serve the lamb meatballs with mint yogurt sauce as an optional condiment at the table. You will find my recipe below.

Mint Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced finely
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh mint
  • salt and pepper to taste

Warm the olive oil and minced garlic (I do this to mellow the flavor of the garlic but it is not necessary) then let cool. Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for about 30 minutes for the flavors meld. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary.

Pistachio Couscous

  • 1 10 oz. box of couscous
  • 2 1/4 cups of water*
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 ground pepper
  • 1/2 c. shelled pistachios, toasted lightly and chopped
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh mint

Bring water, oil, salt and pepper to a boil then stir in the couscous. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for at least 5 minutes. Fluff couscous and cool. After cooled, fluff again (I like to use my hands) to remove any small lumps. When ready to serve, stir in the pistachios and mint. *For additional flavor, I like to replace the water with chicken broth. I often add a little cinnamon and cumin as well for an enhanced Mediterranean taste.

**

I used all lamb but you can use beef or a 50-50 mixture of the two.

Good seasoning is very important. Cook a small piece of the lamb mixture as a tester to check for seasoning, adjust if necessary and then cook the meatballs.

Different brands of pomegranate molasses have different levels of sweetness and tartness.  Adjust the amount used, according to your personal tastes.

Be sure to use a  nonreactive sauté pan such as stainless steel pan as pomegranate juice is very acidic and can damage the finish of cast iron pans.

If you wish, you can bake the meatballs for 12 to 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until browned and cooked through.

If you plan to make the meatballs ahead and freeze, I would wait to glaze the meatballs until reheating.

I used the meatballs as a main dish but you can make smaller sized ones and serve as an appetizer.

Notes From The Kitchen

****

This flavorful dinner was a wonderful change of pace from our usual weekday meals. While my husband and I love Italian meatballs cooked in a fresh marinara sauce, it is nice to change things up once in awhile. We enjoyed the meatballs with new tastes and flavors coming from the pomegranate molasses and Urfa Biber chile peppers. I will be experimenting more with these new ingredients that I now have in my kitchen pantry.

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73 thoughts on “Pomegranate Glazed Lamb Meatballs Served With Pistachio Couscous

  1. What an unusual and mouth watering recipe Karen! I adore lamb, and I am just imagining how good ground lamb coated in a sweet pomegranate glaze would be…and the pistachio couscous is also swoon worthy! Please set a place for me at your table!
    Jenna

  2. I love lamb! And it’s terrific in meatballs. And I just happen to have some lamb in the freezer (needs to be ground, but my mixer has a grinder attachment). This looks excellent — thanks.

    1. I totally agree with you Jovina, I think it is my favorite cuisine because of all the herbs and spices that are used in the traditional cooking. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  3. My neighbors and I have started sharing dinner a couple of nights a week. This will definitely be mine this week! Can’t wait!

    1. Amelia, if you love Aleppo peppers you will certainly enjoy the Urfa Biber Turkish Chile pepper. I’ve got a big container of the flakes and an looking forward to using them in other dishes.

    1. Thank you for your compliment and wish Diane. Yes, I am doing well and I appreciate your asking. My body just has to get used to the medicines.

    1. Hi Gary, I do know how much you enjoy lamb and I believe that you would love the flavors of the pomegranate lamb meatballs. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  4. i would definitely use beef rather than lamb but apart from that i love all the flavours here. and i so enjoy couscous and pistachios. This sounds fabulous karen. I made my own pomegranate molasses once; it was so good.

    1. Hi Sherry, I know that a lot of people don’t care for lamb. I do think you would enjoy the meatballs made with beef, especially with the delicious pomegranate glaze. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment Pam, I glad you like this meal. I had promised to post the coconut tart recipe next but hit the wrong key. Sorry, I will be posting it next. If you want to try them for Easter, let me know and I will email you the recipe.

    1. Hi Jeanie, The flavors of the meatballs is really delicious thanks to the pomegranate molasses. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  5. What a fabulous meal! Those lamb meatballs look heavenly and that glaze – yum! Love the complementary pistachio couscous.

  6. I have never done a lot with lamb, Karen, but my son and son-in-law are wild enthusiasts on the occasion that I give it a try! This is a lovely recipe and the description that comes to mind is “simple elegance.” It’s very appealing! I will definitely give this a try!

    1. I appreciate your very lovely compliment Debra. If you do make this for your family, I hope that they enjoy the lamb meatballs as much as we did.

  7. Karen, you come up with the best recipes. I have to try these. I am going to be in Munich in May and will revisit the place as you suggested a few years ago.

    1. I appreciate your kind words Gerlinde, thank you. I do hope you have a wonderful time visiting your family. I wish we were planning another trip there but hopefully soon. Enjoy!

  8. This sounds so delicious — and I love the combination of flavors on the plate. I think I’d love having that mint yogurt sauce at the ready all the time, as I can think of so many things to have with it. 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment. You are right, I love mint yogurt sauce on lamb burgers, southwestern tostades, and many Greek dishes.

  9. Urfa pepper comes from the town of Urfa in Turkey and is similar to the Aleppo pepper but is cured in the sun where it develops such a great flavor profile. I love it in one of my chili recipes 🙂 Your recipe(s) are perfect together – put on my “to make” list.

    1. Hi Judi, Yes, the Turkish pepper is a great one to have in your pantry. We were supposed to be in Istanbul next month but had to cancel our trip. The next best thing is to cook some of the food we might have enjoyed there. I think you would really enjoy these delicious lamb meatballs. Thank your your nice compliment❣️

      1. Sorry you didn’t make it to Istanbul – I have a few cookbooks from the area and love their food – just don’t cook it often enough. Thanks for such a complete menu – I know I would love it all 🙂

    1. Hi Julie, so happy to hear from you but sorry that it has taken so long to reply. I’m glad you like the meatball recipe. Couscous is those of those ingredients I often have in my pantry because it is so quick to prepare. Having said that, I too don’t make it often enough.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment Thao. While the lamb does go great with the pomegranate, if you and your family don’t care for it, beef works perfectly in the recipe as well.

  10. I agree that it’s wonderful to change things up a bit in what we enjoy on the table. The pomegranate sauce sounds heavenly “sticky”! Thank you for sharing all of the tips and the optional ingredients to use. I think these would be great for entertaining too!

    1. Thank you Roz for your lovely compliment, I’m sorry to be so late in responding. Yes, when thinking of meatballs, the first thing I always think of is Italian in marinara sauce. It really is nice to try other recipes. I agree that these meatballs would be great when entertaining.

    1. Hi Inger, I have made several different kinds of lamb meatballs but these may be my favorite, the glaze is so good. Thank you for your nice compliment, I sorry to be responding so late.

  11. This really is a great way to mix up the dinner routine. And as luck would have it, I have some lamb in the freezer right now that I need to use. We’re moving this summer, so we’re in full-on “clean out the freezer” mode…and this is definitely how I plan to use that ground lamb!! The pomegranate glaze is such a fun twist.

    1. HI David, I know where you are coming when having to clean out the freezer when moving. I do think you would enjoy these lamb meatballs, the pomegranate glaze really makes them special. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  12. You got me with the pistachio couscous, but I bet the lamb meatballs are amazing! Can’t wait to try this recipe, thanks Karen! Hope you are feeling better!

    1. Hi Anna, Yes I am feeling lots better, thank you so much❣️ This did turn out to be a terrific meal and the pistachio couscous went so well with the pomegranate meatballs. Thank you and I’m sorry to be responding so late.

  13. What a recipe! I love everything about it from the meatball glaze to the couscous. That a plateful of deliciousness!

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