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Halibut Meatballs in Spiced Yogurt Sauce

  • Salmon burger
  • Halibut
  • Test Kitchen
  • Mediterranean
  • Make ahead
  • Active Time:1 hr
  • Total Time:1 hr 20 min
  • Servings:4
  • Difficulty:Intermediate
Photo by Julia Gartland

You’ll swear you’re dining in Greece, Turkey, or Lebanon with this Mediterranean-inspired dish of fragrant seafood meatballs served with a luscious yogurt sauce and garnished with tart-sweet pomegranate seeds


  • 1 pound halibut burger Available in Our Seafood Subscription Box

  • 1 large egg

  • ¾ cup bread crumbs or panko

  • ½ cup finely minced yellow onion

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, divided, plus more for garnish

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

  • Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 garlic clove, grated

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for serving

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more for serving

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne, plus more for serving

  • Cooked rice, chopped almonds, and pomegranate seeds, for serving


Prepare the Meatballs

To make the meatballs, place the burger meat in a fine-meshed sieve and gently press to remove any excess liquid. Preheat the oven to 200°F. In a large bowl, beat the egg. Add the halibut burger, bread crumbs, onion, 2 of the tablespoons cilantro, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes, or until firm enough to roll. Form the halibut mixture into 24 balls (each about 1½ inches in diameter).

Cook the Meatballs

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the meatballs, turning occasionally, until cooked through and deeply golden brown, about  5 minutes per batch. Add more olive oil as needed and adjust the heat to prevent scorching. Do not overcrowd the pan or it will be difficult to rotate the meatballs gently. Transfer the cooked meatballs to a baking sheet, then transfer to the oven to keep warm. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels to remove any burnt bits.

Make the Yogurt Sauce

In a medium bowl, combine the stock, yogurt, flour, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and whisk until smooth.

In the cleaned skillet over medium heat, add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly. Simmer over medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon cilantro, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Finish and Serve

Spread the yogurt sauce in an even layer on a wide, shallow platter and top with the rice and meatballs. Garnish with the chopped almonds, pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. If you like, sprinkle additional cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne over the top. Serve at once.

Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions
Premium Seafood Subscription Box delivery of halibut and sockeye portions

Premium Seafood Subscription Box

$159 / box 4.5 lbs

Pro Tips

Pair it Up

A light, crisp viognier will complement the robust and tart flavors of the lemon, cumin, and yogurt in this dish.

Make Ahead

These meatballs freeze well; store in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Lighten It Up

Instead of frying, arrange the meatballs on a baking sheet and generously mist with cooking spray. Broil until golden and crisp, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Proceed as directed.


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