Kufteh – Meatballs with herbs and pistachios and pomegranate glaze

Yes indeed, this is another Kufteh (meatballs in Farsi) in the long line of meatballs in Persian cuisine. Except this one is just jam-packed with incredible and unique flavors that are enhanced with the addition of fresh herbs and sparkling arils of pomegranate and the crunch of the much-beloved emerald green colored Iranian pistachios.

I think of this dish as one of those incredibly rewarding and quick dinner ideas that literally takes about 15 minutes to put together and 30 minutes to bake. The result is delightfully flavorful meatballs for dinner!

These meatballs can be served as a side dish or with a nice green salad and accompanied with Persian flatbreads as the main course. You like these meatballs with rice? You can have it with a big mound of Persian basmati saffron rice and a serving of crunchy saffron Tahdig too!

Who says Persian food takes a long time to cook?! Well, while many of our cherished stews take a significant amount of time to simmer in order to bring out all the amazing flavors, there are easier and quicker dishes for a weeknight meal.


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Kufteh Pesteh

Omid Roustaei, The Caspian Chef
Meatballs with pistachios and pomegranate
4.85 from 32 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Iranian, Persian
Servings 4


  • 1 cup raw shelled pistachios
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon, or 2 tablespoons dried
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup chives
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pound ground beef, or lamb or turkey
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil


  • 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey, optional
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 1 tablespoon pistachios, slivered
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate arils
  • 1 sprig fresh mint and basil


  • In a food processor, ground the pistachios to a course meal. Remove and place in a large bowl.
  • Using the same food processor, add the onion and herbs and process until they are finely chopped. Remove and add to the mixing bowl with the pistachio meal.
  • Add the remaining ingredient, with the exception of the oil, to the bowl and knead the mixture until it is well mixed.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Spread the olive oil in a casserole style baking dish and set aside.
  • Begin rolling the meat mixture into small-sized meatballs. Roughly about 3-4 tablespoons of the meat mixture.
  • Place the meatballs in the baking dish and gently roll them around to coat them with olive oil.
  • Place the meatballs in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine and stir all the ingredients for the glaze.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and using a brush generously glaze the meatballs until all the glaze has been incorporated.
  • Continue to bake for another 5 minutes to make sure the meatballs have fully cooked. Adjust the time according to the size of the meatballs.
  • Remove the meatballs from the oven and place on a serving platter. Drizzle all the remaining glaze and juices from the meatballs on the platter.
  • Garnish the meatballs with pistachios, pomegranate arils and fresh mint and basil.
  • Serve the meatballs with Persian flatbreads and a platter of fresh herbs.


Different brands of pomegranate molasses offer different levels of sweetness and tartness.  Adjust the amount of pomegranate for the glaze according to your taste preferences. 
Keyword beef, herbs, kufteh, meatballs, pistachio, pomegranate
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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