Pistachio and Herb Meatball Hero Recipe

It’s not easy being green—unless you’re a cheesy meatball slathered in a herby, pistachio dressing stuffed in a fluffy roll.
Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Serves 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes


for the pistachio-herb sauce:
½ cup|80 grams toasted and roughly chopped pistachios
¼ cup|20 grams minced fresh basil leaves
¼ cup|15 grams minced fresh parsley
½ cup|125 ml olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

for the meatballs:
¼ cup|60 ml olive oil
⅓ cup|50 grams breadcrumbs
¼ cup|60 ml whole milk
8 ounces|225 grams ground beef
8 ounces|225 grams ground pork
½ cup|40 grams parmesan cheese
¼ cup|15 grams minced fresh basil
¼ cup|16 grams minced fresh parsley
6 tablespoons|100 grams ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, peeled and grated
1 large egg
1 lemon, zested and juiced
½ small yellow onion, peeled and grated


for the hero:
4 (6-inch) seeded hero rolls
8 ounces|225 grams shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Make the pistachio-herb sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the pistachios, herbs, oil, and the lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to use. Makes ¾ cup|177 ml.
  2. Make the meatballs: Heat the oven to broil. Drizzle the oil on a sheet tray and set aside.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs and milk in a large bowl and let sit for 1 minute, then stir in the ground beef and pork, the parmesan, basil, parsley, ricotta, salt, pepper, garlic, egg, lemon zest and juice, and onion. Mix to combine.
  4. Form into 12 meatballs and place on the prepared baking sheet. Broil until golden all over, 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. Make the hero: Slice each of the rolls lengthwise and sprinkle the inside with mozzarella cheese. Broil until the cheese is golden and bubbling, about 2 minutes. Transfer the rolls to plates and top each with 3 meatballs. Drizzle some of the herb sauce over the meatballs and serve.

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