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Pistachio-Turkey Meatballs in Orange Sauce

Pistachios and a bright, spicy orange sauce flavored with honey and basil make these mini-meatballs a real party favorite. — Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 20 min.
  • Makes
    4-1/2 dozen


  • 2/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 Italian sausage link (4 ounces), casing removed
  • SAUCE:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios


  • Preheat oven to 375°. In a large bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Add turkey and sausage; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 1-in. balls.
  • Place meatballs on greased racks in shallow baking pans. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cooked through.
  • In a large skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add red pepper and pepper flakes; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until red pepper is tender. Add wine; cook 1 minute longer.
  • In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch, orange juice, broth, honey and orange zest until blended. Stir into pan. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in basil and meatballs. Sprinkle with pistachios.
Nutrition Facts
1 meatball: 49 calories, 4g fat (1g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 66mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.

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  • ejshellabarger
    Jan 8, 2015

    While the meatballs themselves taste fine, I didn't care for the orange sauce at all. I brought the dish to the potluck anyways and I was shocked at how many people liked the dish. I was told the recipe reminded them of thai food. So, while I won't make it again because I didn't like the dish, I was happy that the meatballs were gobbled up by those who enjoyed the unique flavors.

  • gailkurp
    Jan 6, 2014

    These were really different and everyone enjoyed them! There is a lot of flavors going on with this dish, but it all came together in a nice way. It needed a few tweaks - I increased the salt and added soy sauce to both the meatballs and the sauce and it gave this dish the depth it needed. Will definitely make again.