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Pine Nut Meatball Recipe


Pine Nut Meatball Recipe
I love these little nutty meatballs. Awkward name aside, they are perfect little packs of healthy protein- a good balance of beef, nuts and soy. I usually put some spinach into these meatballs to add some vegetables to the mix, but you can omit it and add any additional vegetables you wish.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings


    • 1.5 lbs ground beef
    • 4 Tbsp pine nuts, chopped
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 block tofu, drained and squeezed of excess liquid
    • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
    • 1 Tbsp sesame salt
    • 1/3 cup minced scallions
    • 1/3 cup minced sweet onions
    • 3 Tbsp soy sauce
    • 2 tsp sesame oil
    • 3 handfuls of spinach, chopped (optional)


  1. Mix all pine nut meatball ingredients (meat, seasonings and vegetables) together.
  2. Form 1-inch meatballs from mixture. You can form round meatballs or flatten them for lunchboxes or sliders.
  3. If you have time, place meatballs in refrigerator for 15 minutes.
  4. In a heated and oiled pan, cook the meatballs over medium-high heat. Don't crowd the frying pan, cooking in two batches if necessary.
  5. Turn the meatballs so that they brown on all sides and roll them gently so they don't stick or burn.

Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice (here: spicy and basic).

Some Notes about Pine Nuts:

Pine nuts are the small, oblong edible seeds extracted from several varieties of pine trees. Pine nuts are somewhat more expensive than other nuts, due to a labor-intensive harvesting process. The pine cones that contain the nuts must be collected from the tree or forest floor. The cones are then heated, which opens up their scales and loosens the nuts. They are a truly natural product- almost unchanged over centuries, as they require no pesticides for the trees or chemicals to prepare the kernels for sale. They also keep well for many months if stored properly in dry, cool conditions and out of direct sunlight

Pine nuts are nutritious and compare favorably with pecans, peanuts, and walnuts. They supply all amino acids and provide significant amounts of vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. Fatty acids found in pine nuts include linoleic acid and pinolenic acid which both are the subject of research into their role in regulating blood pressure, suppressing appetite for those trying to control their weight and preventing and treating stomach ulcers.

Pine nuts also contain antioxidants, which help to prevent disease and aging by eliminating free radicals. Pine nuts have almost no sodium, and contain useful amounts of other minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and iron.

Do you have a bitter taste in your mouth after eating pine nuts?

There are many cases of altered taste perception (cacogeusia or pine mouth) after eating pine nuts. The bitter aftertaste lasts from days to a couple weeks, and scientists are still not sure of the cause. No treatment is necessary: pine mouth is self-limited condition and resolves on its own.

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