Meatballs With Walnut Pomegranate Sauce

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Turkey meatballs get a rich and tangy twist!

Our Meatballs with Walnut Pomegranate Sauce are a gorgeous and delicious dinner.

Our meatballs with walnut pomegranate sauce give turkey meatballs a much-needed makeover. Created around Persian Fassenjan Meatballs, this recipe strips out fat that’s typically found with a combination of beef and ground duck breast. The resulting flavor provided by walnuts, pomegranate juice, and pomegranate molasses is a meal that’s absolutely delightful. This dish is rich, tangy, deep, and earthy. In other words: It’s a must-try!

Turkey Meatballs Are High In Protein, Low In Fat

Homemade meatballs team up with sweet and tangy sauce to create a yummy, high-protein meal.

Ground turkey is a great staple to keep in the meat drawer. Due to its versatility (pasta, salads, pizza, burgers), you really can’t go wrong with meal planning. Like beef, turkey is high in protein. However, when it comes to saturated fat, beef ranks higher. If you are on a diet and would like to eat high protein, low calorie meals, then fat-free turkey meatballs are a really good idea.

The trick to keeping meatballs in pomegranate sauce moist is to treat the turkey with less heat and time spent cooking. Due to the lack of fat in lean proteins like turkey, it’s easy to overcook the meatballs and cause them to dry out. Pan-searing the turkey meatballs for three minutes followed by a good dunking in the walnut pomegranate sauce ensures your success.

Easy Meatballs With Pomegranate Sauce

Whip up a batch of these pretty little meatballs as an appetizer for your next get together.

The best way to get this recipe going is to grate the onions required in both steps. Then, gather together the necessary seasonings. Finish by grating the garlic and ginger and finely chopping the walnuts. Once you have the basic materials gathered and measured, the rest is a smooth ride down to dinner. 

These turkey meatballs hold their shape very well, but if you’re concerned they may fall apart in the pan, chill them for thirty minutes after forming the individual meatballs. Once you start cooking, it’s vital not to move them too much. If you can, try to shake the pan a few times to roll the meatballs in the oil for even brownness. Visualize yourself as a top chef, effortlessly shaking the pan over the fire. If this technique proves to be difficult, then just very carefully roll the meatballs with tongs until most of the meatball is brown.

The Secret To The Sauce

This meatball recipe is healthy and delicious!

After transferring the turkey meatballs to a paper-lined plate, you may now begin the sauce. Start with sautéing the seasonings to bring forth those rich, exotic flavors. Then, toast the chopped walnuts for a few minutes more before adding the pomegranate juice, molasses, and lime. 

This meatball recipe calls for pomegranate molasses, which may be difficult to find in grocery stores. Subsequently, you may substitute molasses with any number of sweet rich bases such as balsamic vinegar or date syrup. 

Alternatively, you can easily make a reduction from pomegranate juice to achieve the molasses in your own kitchen.  A pint of pomegranate juice will serve well in this recipe. You can use one cup for the juice and reduce the other cup to create the molasses. 

Meatballs with pomegranate sauce taste great over any grain, but they’re best on white rice. If white rice isn’t a go-to for you, try quinoa or steamed riced cauliflower. We served this dish with roasted Brussels sprouts and a barley/rye/mung bean medley. The taste was out of this world. Next time you see a bottle of Pom juice at the store, consider this recipe!

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Meatballs With Walnut Pomegranate Sauce

This American take on an Iranian classic is quick and easy!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 People
Serving Size 4 Meatballs with 1/3 cup of sauce
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup onion grated
  • 1/2 cup parsley fresh, chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Pomegranate Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion grated
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger grated
  • 3/4 cup walnuts chopped finely
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses or balsamic vinegar, date syrup, or molasses
  • 1 lime zested and juiced

Instructions

Meatballs

  • Combine turkey, onion, parsley, coriander, lime zest with juice, and salt. Knead mixture together until well blended.
  • Shape meat into golf-ball sized balls and set aside.
  • Line a plate with paper towels.
  • Coat skillet with oil and bring to medium high heat. Cook meatballs three minutes until brown on all sides. Do not cook more than three minutes. (You’ll add them to the sauce to finish cooking) Drain meatballs on plate lined with paper towels.

Sauce

  • Heat oil in wide saucepan on medium high. Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Saute for three minutes, until onion is soft.
  • Add walnuts and saute for another 3 minutes. Add cumin, salt, and pepper. Pour in both pomegranate juice and molasses. Add zest and juice of one lime. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Bring sauce to a simmer. Now add the meatballs and cover them with the sauce. Cover the pan and cook for three minutes more.
  • Serve hot over grain of choice. Garnished with pomegranate seeds and cilantro takes the presentation up, but it’s optional.

Notes

If you end up using pomegranate juice and molasses, the end result might be more tart than you like. Adjust the taste by adding more sweetener of your choice to get that perfect balance.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 4Meatballs with 1/3 cup of sauce | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 797mg | Potassium: 670mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 676IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 2mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 13
Keywords dairy-free, Diabetic-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Kid-Friendly, Low-Carb, Quick and Easy

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Try these Easy Crispy Parmesan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cilantro Lime Basmati Rice. Make the rice ahead of time and get the Brussels sprouts in the oven before taking on the meatballs!

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Alison Borel

Alison Borel came into the culinary world by owning and operating three family restaurants with her husband in San Diego. During that time, she tested, wrote, and taught all the recipes used by her team. She also led cooking classes for small groups. Familiar with vegan and vegetarian cuisine from working in an organic cafe and camp, her preference lies in a plant-based whole foods diet. Alison knows eating for longevity and nutrition not only tastes good, but feels good too.

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