Lemon Lamb Meatballs with Garlic and Thyme

As many of you many know, our good friend Diane Sanfilippo has been staying with us for the last week and a half while she finishes up the recipe portion of her forthcoming book. Diane is quite the cook, so needless to say we haven’t been doing much cooking around here lately. Unfortunately, a lack of cooking also means a lack of blogging. When Diane is here with us, we are more than happy to step away from Primal Palate, and be a part of the expanded Balanced Bites team. At times it can be a little odd to quiet things down on our end, and let another Paleo Power House take over our kitchen, but we all really enjoy each others company, and we all work and get along together so well that it is usually just a lot of fun.

It is kind of surreal to be doing what we love with Diane, but to also feel like outsiders in a way. It is really interesting to me to see another cook in the kitchen who really knows what she is doing. Although Diane cooks very similarly to how we cook, I have definitely been inspired by watching her at work. Bill has also had to step outside the box so to speak to photograph the food for Diane’s book. She is a creative mind as well, and had a very specific idea for the look of her food photos, and the “Primal Palate perfect photos” as she said, were not what she wanted. Not that Diane thinks there is anything wrong with the way we shoot our style of photos, but she simply said she didn’t want her photos looking “too perfect”. Shooting photos with her style in mind has definitely improved our own photos. An artistic challenge usually makes you stronger, and this project has been a fun one that has definitely inspired both of us to be open to new creative ideas.

Love of food, creative interest, and geeking out on all the nerdy Paleo nutrition stuff are all things we have in common with Diane. During this whole project we have often joked about “how we really eat”. Yes, maybe our food photos look like they were taken in a perfect world, but once the camera switch is turned off, we don’t care what our food looks like, and often repeat simple meals that just taste really good. But really, who would buy a cookbook that had 100 recipes of meat, salt, and fat? So that, and the fact that we all get super geeked out on making food look like art, is the reason we post these recipes. One of our favorite simple dishes to make are meatballs; all three of us love meatballs. Beef, pork, bison, lamb… you name it… throw some spices in it, and we are happy as clams. I guess you can say this recipe for lamb meatballs are Diane-inspired, because her favorite meat is lamb, and she loves meatballs just as much as we do.


this recipe I used a lot of lemon zest, which is what makes these meatballs really tasty. Lemon is something we always have in our house. The zest is great on meats, chicken, and fish, and the juice is perfect over salads. We actually enjoyed these meatballs with our eggs for breakfast, but they would be wonderful with spaghetti squash, mashed cauliflower, or over a salad.


  • 1 pound grass fed ground lamb
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Lemon for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to bake at 350.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine lamb, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
  3. Mix thoroughly with hands until meat is evenly seasoned.
  4. Roll lamb into 1 oz balls and place into a baking dish.
  5. Thinly slice the lemon and place over the meat balls.
  6. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.[Print Recipe]
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    1. February 6, 2012

      I love the idea of baking the meabtalls with lemon – I bet it adds wonderful flavor.

    2. February 11, 2012

      So good! We added oregano and it was delish! great texture and amazing flavor with that lemon zest :0

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