Meatballs are always a good choice for a holiday appetizer, but I like to switch things up from the traditional Italian or Swedish style you normally find at these types of parties. Pomegranate is in season this time of year, and is actually a common ingredient in Persian cooking; I took a page from that cuisine when developing this recipe.

The meatballs are filled with lots of walnut, onion, parsley and turmeric, and finished in a sweet and sour glaze of pomegranate and honey. These Pomegranate meatballs not only look festive, they also taste delicious in a way that your family and friends will not be expecting.

For the meatballs:


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (plus 2 additional tablespoons for garnish)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (plus 2 additional tablespoons for garnish)
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 onion, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the pomegranate sauce:


  • 8 ounces pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Seeds from one pomegranate


Mixing with your hands helps keep the texture of your meatballs soft.
Maksim Shebeko

  1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, parsley, walnuts, breadcrumbs, onion, turmeric, salt and pepper. Mix well until fully combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. In a small sauce pan, cook the pomegranate juice on low for about 30 minutes until reduced slightly.
  3. Form small meatballs, between 1 and 1.5 inches in diameter. You should end up with about 30 meatballs.
  4. In a large frying pan, heat some olive oil. Add the meatballs to the pan one by one and cook on high to brown. Stir every 3 minutes or so with a spatula by running the flat side of the spatula along the bottom of the pan, gently rotating and stirring the meatballs without breaking them.
  5. Once the meatballs are browned on a few sides, add the vinegar, reduced pomegranate juice, and honey. Cook for another 15 minutes or so, until the sauce has formed a sticky glaze and the meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the pomegranate seeds. Pour the meatballs onto a serving platter and top with the parsley and walnuts for serving.