Sheet Pan Pistachio Chicken Meatball Bowls

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You know those dinners you make for the week that you can’t WAIT to eat? This is one of those. One that takes a few extra steps and a blend of ingredients that make it a recipe worth sharing with everyone you know.

Say hello to my sheet pan jalapeño pistachio chicken meatballs with crispy baked chickpeas, fluffy couscous, plenty of fresh herbs, and pickled red onion all on top of my brand new Spicy Green Feta Sauce. They’re hearty, satisfying, and will have you practically licking the bowl clean.

I like to serve them with toasted pita to scoop up the extra sauce, but as always, add the toppings and sides your heart desires!

Everything you’ll need to make this pistachio chicken meatball

Pretty much every delicious adjective you can think of can be used to describe these sheet pan pistachio chicken meatball bowls. They’re herby, savory, fresh, a little spicy, and bursting with flavor thanks to some key spices. Here’s what you’ll need to make them:

  • For the meatballs: yes, we’re adding finely ground pistachios (almost like pistachio flour) to the meatballs themselves! This helps bind them together and gives them such a unique flavor. You’ll need lean ground chicken, panko bread crumbs, an egg, lemon zest, fresh cilantro & parsley, a little honey, garlic powder, sweet paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper.
  • For the chickpeas: we’ll be roasting chickpeas to crispy perfection right with the meatballs, but first, you’ll toss them with olive oil, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper.
  • For the couscous: what’s a meatball bowl without fluffy, tender grains? You’ll cook the pearl couscous in low-sodium chicken broth, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • For topping: here’s where things get a little *extra* (aka absolutely delicious). Top your bowls with my brand new Spicy Green Feta Sauce, lemon zest, extra cilantro & parsley, feta crumbles, chopped pistachios, and regular or pickled red onion. Talk about flavor bombs!
  • To serve: I love serving these bowls with toasty pita bread to scoop up all that goodness.

rolling pistachio chicken meatballs with a cookie scoop

Can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Yes! Simply use gluten-free bread crumbs, and then swap the pearl couscous for another grain like rice or quinoa, OR serve the meatballs and chickpeas over a bed of arugula.

unbaked pistachio chicken meatballs on a baking sheet with chickpeas

Easy dairy-free swaps

Yes, you can easily make these pistachio chicken meatball bowls dairy free by omitting the feta cheese and swapping the sauce for:

sheet pan pistachio chicken. meatballs with chickpeas on a baking sheet

Don’t forget this meatball-rolling tip

If you’re using your hands to form meatballs, I recommend wetting your hands or coating them with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray to prevent the meatball mixture from sticking. So easy!

pistachio chicken meatball bowls with chickpeas and couscous

Want to make your meatballs ahead of time?

It’s so easy, and there are a couple of ways to do it:

  1. Mix and form the pistachio chicken meatballs as directed in the recipe.
  2. Bake them as directed (I’d recommend baking the chickpeas separately) and store them in the fridge for up to 2-3 days until you’re ready to continue with the recipe, OR place them raw on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Tightly cover the meatballs with plastic wrap.
  3. Put the raw meatballs in the fridge until you are ready to cook them. You can prep these meatballs 1-2 days ahead of time.
  4. Once ready to cook, simply follow the rest of the recipe as written. Start at Step 5 to prep and bake the chickpeas, then skip to Step 7 of the recipe if you’ve already cooked your meatballs ahead of time.

easy pistachio chicken meatballs with chickpeas and couscous in bowls

Freezer-friendly pistachio chicken meatballs

You can easily freeze these meatballs ahead of time, but please note that I don’t recommend freezing the chickpeas or couscous. To freeze the meatballs separately:

  • Bake first, then freeze: place your meatballs in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let the meatballs thaw in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight, and then reheat them in a pan on the stovetop until they’re nice and warm.
  • Freeze before baking: you can also freeze these meatballs before cooking them! Form your meatballs as instructed, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1-2 hours. Then, transfer your frozen meatballs to an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply place them in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight and then cook them as directed in the recipe.

sheet pan pistachio chicken meatballs in a bowl with chickpeas and couscous

More meatball recipes you’ll love

Get all of my meatball recipes here!

I hope you love these pistachio chicken meatball bowls! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

The
Ambitious Kitchen
Cookbook

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Sheet Pan Jalapeño Pistachio Chicken Meatball Bowls

pistachio chicken meatballs with chickpeas and couscous in a bowl

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 1 hour

Serves4 servings

Herby sheet pan pistachio chicken meatballs with a kick of heat from jalapeño and served with crispy spiced chickpeas, tender couscous, fresh toppings, and homemade spicy green feta sauce. These epic pistachio chicken meatball bowls are packed with protein for a fun, flavorful dinner you’ll love!

Ingredients

  • For the meatballs:
  • ½ cup shelled roasted pistachios (salted or unsalted will work)
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken (or sub turkey)
  • cup panko breadcrumbs, gluten free if desired
  • 1 egg
  • Zest from 1 small lemon
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and very finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • For the chickpeas:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the couscous:
  • 1 ½ cups pearl couscous
  • 2 ¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For topping and serving:
  • ½ batch Spicy Green Feta Sauce
  • Lemon zest
  • ¼ cup mixed fresh chopped parsley and cilantro
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta (2 ounces)
  • ¼ cup chopped shelled pistachios
  • cup pickled red onion (or thinly sliced red onion)
  • For serving:
  • Warm pita (optional, but so delicious for scooping!)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • Grind the pistachios: Add pistachios to the bowl of a food processor and process on high until pistachios are finely ground, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

  • Prepare the meatballs: In a large bowl, add the ground pistachios, ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, lemon zest, jalapeno, cilantro, parsley, honey, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, cumin and coriander. Mix with clean hands until ingredients are well incorporated together. Avoid overmixing or you’ll end up with tough meatballs instead of tender ones.

  • Fill a small bowl with water and place it on the counter. Form into 16 golf ball sized meatballs, dipping your hands in water between each meatball to prevent sticking. Place meatballs on the sheet pan.

  • Prepare the chickpeas: In a separate medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with the olive oil, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Spread evenly on the sheet pan around the meatballs.

  • Bake the meatballs: Bake for 15-20 minutes until a meat thermometer inserted into the meatballs reads 165°F. The chickpeas will get slightly crispy. If you want them more crisp, feel free to remove the meatballs and bake the chickpeas 5 more minutes or so.

  • Cook the couscous: While the meatballs cook, prepare the couscous. In a medium pot, add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Immediately stir in the couscous and salt, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in lemon juice, olive oil and season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Garnish and serve: Swoop 1 to 2 tablespoons of the spicy green feta sauce on the bottom of a shallow bowl or a plate. Add a scoop of couscous on the side, then add the meatballs and chickpeas. Garnish with lemon zest, herbs, feta, pistachios and pickled red onion. Serve with warm pita on the side. Enjoy every single bite! Serves 4-6. Save extra spicy green feta sauce for serving throughout the week; it works great as a dip for veggies or topping sandwiches, salads, etc.

Recipe Notes

See the full post for tips, tricks, and ways to customize this dish!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving (based on 4, without sauce or pita)Calories: 712calCarbohydrates: 76.9gProtein: 45.7gFat: 25.5gSaturated Fat: 5gFiber: 10.4gSugar: 5.1g

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