Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce

5 from 2 votes
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Mini cocktail meatballs amped up with whole grain bulgur, enriched with herbs and spices, and tossed in a luscious pomegranate balsamic sauce. Whether you’re entertaining guests, or simply feeding the family, kick off the festivities with this elegant and crowd-pleasing holiday appetizer.Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce | dishingouthealth.comDisclosure: I was asked to participate in the #JuiceCentral campaign as a member of the Healthy Aperture Blogger Network. I was compensated for my time.

Can you guys believe we are ONE WEEK away from Christmas?! I swear, if December flew by any faster, I’d have some serious whip lash.

But what better way to celebrate the holiday season than with festive appetizers? Especially when you’ve already hit your sugar quota from Christmas cookie overload (guilty..) and need some savory goodness in your life.Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce | dishingouthealth.comThese festive holiday meatballs boast flavors that feel indulgent, but healthier ingredients so you can endure holiday gatherings without overdoing it. By forgoing sodium-laden ingredients like the usual ketchup, tomato paste, or chili sauce and including whole-grain bulgur in place of breadcrumbs, these two-bite treats are more nutritious and outrageously flavorful.

They’re also made with 100% juice, which is filled with the same important vitamins and nutrients as the whole fruit it is squeezed from with no added sugar. Considering a whopping 80% of the American population does not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet, juice can be an easy way to supplement this intake.Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce | dishingouthealth.com100% pomegranate juice is brimming with potassium, folate, Vitamin K, and a wealth of antioxidants. The juice’s natural sweetness helps cut the vinegary edge of the balsamic and rounds out a deeply savory flavor profile. Garnished with fresh mint and studded with pomegranate arils, you’ll want to make sure your meatballs are fully doused in this sticky-sweet sauce.

I’m tellin’ ya, love at first BITE.Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce | dishingouthealth.comBeyond appetizers, you could totally turn these meatballs into a meal, too. Serve them with a gorgeous winter salad with pears and arugula, a hearty loaf of fresh focaccia and an assorted cheese platter and you are good to GO.

That is literally the exact meal I enjoyed last night with my girlfriends and we were in heaven. How awesome is food for bringing people together this time of year?

BLESS.Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce | dishingouthealth.com

5 from 2 votes

Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce

Mini cocktail meatballs amped up with whole grain bulgur, enriched with herbs and spices, and tossed in a luscious pomegranate balsamic sauce. Whether you're entertaining guests, or simply feeding the family, kick off the festivities with this elegant and crowd-pleasing holiday appetizer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 20 -24 meatballs

Ingredients  

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb 90% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled bulgur
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh mint finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup 100% pomegranate juice
  • 1/2 cup beef or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water
  • Optional garnish: pomegranate arils
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Instructions 

  • Place all meatball ingredients in a large bowl - ground pork through black pepper. Mix well to combine. Shape into 20-24 (1-inch) meatballs.
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Place meatballs in pan and cook, turning on all sides, until browned. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs.
  • Leaving remaining oil and browned bits in pan, add pomegranate juice to deglaze. Add broth and vinegar. Stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, combine cornstarch and water; mix well. Pour cornstarch mixture into pan and use a whisk to thoroughly combine, removing any clumps. Place meatballs back in pan.
  • Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until sauce is thickened and meatballs are cooked through. Top with fresh mint and pomegranate arils, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 3g | Calories: 250kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 11.5g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 158mg | Fiber: 1.5g | Sugar: 7.5g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce | dishingouthealth.com

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14 Comments

  1. Lee Martin says:

    These are fantastic! I love making your recipes… this one really hits. I’m a hunter, and used fresh ground venison in place of the beef. Then plated on top of hummus with the pomegranate arils and fresh chopped mint & parsley for garnish. (the arils really make the dish) Wish we could post pics, because it looked as good as it tasted!

  2. Ashley V Crockett says:

    Hi! Is the bulgur fine or course?

  3. Lindsey Pine says:

    I bet the bulgur makes these meatballs super tender! These look delicious!

  4. Katie says:

    5 stars
    I am drooling over here!! So yummy!

  5. Mandy Enright says:

    Sounds great! Not a beef eater, so I’m going to try this recipe and swap for turkey meat instead.

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Turkey would work like a charm! Enjoy, Mandy!

  6. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says:

    These look delicious! I love the use of pomegranate juice in this sauce and also love that you added bulgur to these! I don’t eat pork, so what are your thoughts on using all 90% lean beef?

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Yay thank you, Jessica!! I love the texture the bulgur adds!

      1. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious says:

        Not sure if you saw my question about using all beef – would that work or will it be too dry?

        1. dishingouthealth says:

          Hey girl, so sorry about that!! You can definitely use all beef (or even ground turkey). Enjoy!

  7. Lisa says:

    Looks amazing! I’m preparing a meal for someone who has celiac. Can you substitute this with brown rice or another gluten free grain?

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Hi Lisa! Yes — you should be able to use buckwheat, brown rice or quinoa in its place. Enjoy!

  8. Gina @ Running to the Kitchen says:

    This is such a great use for that half empty box of bulgar I bought way back when for tabouleh. The pomegranate sauce makes it so festive!

    1. dishingouthealth says:

      Yay, it was meant to be!! Thanks, Gina!