Cooked spiced beef meatballs and giant couscous in a serving dish. Drizzled with yogurt and decorated with pomegranate seeds Cooked spiced beef meatballs and giant couscous in a serving dish. Drizzled with yogurt and decorated with pomegranate seeds

Sticky Pomegranate Beef Meatballs

Chunky meatballs are braised in a tomato sauce with pomegranate molasses and giant couscous. Drizzled with yogurt, pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds.

This is a super vibrant dish that would be gorgeous to serve up to a crowd. It would sit really well alongside big veg-centric salads and breads, in the way that lots of us like to entertain now.

The cinnamon and orange flavours bring gorgeous warmth to the meatballs, and the pomegranate molasses give a great sweet and sour element to it.

Recipe Courtesy of Sophie Wyburd


prep time
15 mins

cook time
35 minutes

4 people


  • For the meatballs:

  • 500g lean British beef mince (12% fat)
  • 1 onion, peeled and grated
  • 80g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • A small bunch of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 orange, zest and juice (separated)
  • For the sauce:

  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout
  • 400g passata
  • 500ml reduced salt hot chicken stock
  • 100ml pomegranate molasses
  • 300g giant wholegrain couscous
  • For decoration:

  • 40g flaked almonds
  • ½ small bunch of fresh parsley
  • 100g thick 0% fat Greek yogurt
  • 75g fresh pomegranate seeds


  1. Start by making your meatballs. Add the onion to a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs and give it a mix. The moisture from the breadcrumbs will hydrate your breadcrumbs. Finely chop all but a handful of your parsley.
  2. Tip your beef mince into the mixing bowl, along with your parsley, cinnamon and cumin. Add the orange zest and season salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix it with your hands so it is totally combined.
  3. Weigh your mixture out into 60g portions, then roll them into balls in your hands. Cover and leave your meatballs to set up in the fridge whilst you continue with the rest of the steps.
  4. Make the sauce. Heat a large wide casserole dish over a medium heat. Add a drizzle of olive oil, then tip in your onions and peppers. Cook these gently for 20 minutes, until they are totally soft and the onions are just starting to caramelise. Add your garlic and ras el hanout and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Whilst your onions cook, brown your meatballs. Heat a large frying pan over a high heat, and drizzle in a little olive oil. Add your meatballs, and fry them for about 3 minutes, until they have an amazing golden crust. Pour your passata, stock and pomegranate molasses into the pan, and bring it to a simmer. Season the mixture to taste.
  6. Add your couscous and give it a good stir, then nestle in your meatballs. Pop on a lid and simmer the mixture for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, for decoration, toast your almonds in a dry frying pan until they are golden. Pick the parsley leaves off their stalks. Mix your yogurt and the reserved orange juice.
  8. Remove the lid from your pan and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Drizzle over your orange yogurt, extra pomegranate molasses, almonds, pomegranate seeds and parsley. Serve it up.