Pork and Pistachio Meatballs


Ground pork and beef contain higher fat content than ground turkey or chicken, so if you want to swap them out, just add a couple tablespoons of olive oil to the meatball mixture to offset some of that leanness. Much of the ingredients here are swappable, so choose your own nuts, spices, herbs and dried fruits and go nutzzzz.

Active Time: 20 min

Total Time: 40 min

Pork and Pistachio Meatballs


  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • 6 garlic cloves


  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup toasted pistachios
  • ⅓ cup dried currants
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 ½ cups whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg


  • 1 pound ground pork

1. Make the meatball mixture:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together ½ cup whole milk greek yogurt and 1 egg until smooth. Whisk in 1 cup panko and let sit while you do some prep to give the panko some time to soften.
  • Finely chop ½ cup pistachios (set aside a tablespoon or so for serving).
  • Pluck a big handful of parsley leaves and tenders stems for serving; finely chop the rest of the bunch.
  • Add the chopped pistachios, chopped parsley, ⅓ cup dried currants, 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, 1 teaspoon turmeric, ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, 2 ½ teaspoons salt, the zest of 1 lemon, 5 finely grated garlic cloves, and 1 pound ground pork to the hydrated panko mixture. Use your hands to work everything together into a well blended homogenous mass.
  • Divide the mixture into 8 even portions and roll into balls.

2. Make the yogurt base:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the remaining cup of yogurt, with 1 grated garlic clove and the juice of half of the lemon. Season with salt and set aside.

3. Sear the meatballs:

  • Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the oil is very hot, add the meatballs and cook, turning every few minutes until browned on several sides, and just cooked through in the center (you can cut into one to see, or use an instant thermom–it should register 145F), 13-15 minutes. Note You’ll want to reduce the heat to medium low after about 5 minutes to prevent them from browning too deeply–the skillet will be very hot at this point! Using tongs, transfer meatballs to a plate.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the remaining teaspoon of turmeric to the oil that remains in the skillet, stir to incorporate and bloom the turmeric and then pour the turmeric stained oil into the garlicky yogurt. Stir well to combine.

4. Serve:

  • Shmear some turmeric yogurt on a serving platter. Arrange the meatballs on top.
  • Scatter the reserved parsley leaves over, squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon half over everything and drizzle with olive oil. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and the reserved chopped pistachios.

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