Meatballs in pan with pomegranate seeds

Lamb meatballs with sour cherries, pomegranates & pistachios

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(4 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 40 mins plus 45 mins chilling


Serves 6

Try a taste of the Middle East with these meatballs, marrying rich lamb with vibrant fruit flavours for a sweet and sour effect

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal569
  • fat35g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs15g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre5g
  • protein44g
  • salt2.2g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 2 tbsp very roughly chopped pistachios
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

For the meatballs

  • 1.2kg lamb mince
  • 1 small red onion, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and very finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 tsp ground cumin

For the sauce

  • 75g dried sour cherries
  • 100ml pomegranate juice
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100ml red wine


  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl and mix them together with your hands, really pummelling the meat so that the spices and seasoning get well mixed in. Using wet hands, form the meat into 24 balls just a little bigger than a walnut.

  2. As you form these, put them on to a baking sheet or a tray. Cover them and put in the fridge for 45 mins or so to firm up.

  3. For the sauce, put the cherries and the pomegranate juice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the heat and leave the cherries to sit in the warm liquid and plump up for 40 mins or so.

  4. Heat ½ tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches (they will give off lots of oil when frying). Transfer to a plate as each lot are browned. Remember you aren’t cooking these through, just browning them. Gently fry the onion in 1 tbsp oil in a large shallow casserole or deep frying pan until pale gold. Add the garlic and cook for another couple of mins, then add the wine, stock, pomegranate molasses, cinnamon and bay. Add the cherries, too – they should have absorbed nearly all of the pomegranate juice.

  5. Put the meatballs back in the pan. Bring the sauce to just under boiling, then turn the heat down low, season well, cover the pan and cook for 15 mins. Take the lid off and cook for another 15 mins. You should have a nice sauce around the meatballs, but if it seems too thin, remove the meatballs and reduce the sauce by boiling it, then put the meatballs back in.

  6. Taste for seasoning – you should consider the sweetness as well as the saltiness – and adjust it if you need to (you could add a teaspoon of honey, or a little more pomegranate molasses). Scatter with the herbs, pistachios and pomegranate seeds to finish.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Piers Clitherow's picture
Piers Clitherow
25th May, 2020
Very tasty recipe! Slight disparity between ingredients listed and those in the preparation section, but worth working around that for the outcome.
Hils 19
13th Oct, 2019
I'm just adding this from my magazine to my electronic recipe collection - the last 4 ingredients have been missed out on the BBC website and should be: 250ml lamb stock ½ tbsp pomegranate molasses ½ cinnamon stick 2 bay leaves
4th May, 2019
The method references pomegranate molasses and stock, but no quantities in recipe. Just finished rollibg meatballs and now will have to improvise. Annoying.
Be the first to ask a question about this recipe...Unsure about the cooking time or want to swap an ingredient? Ask us your questions and we’ll try and help you as soon as possible. Or if you want to offer a solution to another user’s question, feel free to get involved...
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?