Melissa d'Arabian's Lemon-Thyme Meatballs Recipe



  • 1 large egg
  • 2 scallions (green parts only), finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ⅔ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef

Makes 24 meatballs
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes Steps:
1. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick pan spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, scallions, garlic, lemon zest and juice, soy sauce, thyme, and pepper. Stir in the bread crumbs, then add the ground beef, breaking it up into small knobs as you add it to the bowl. 3. Use a spoon or your hands to gently mix together and then form the mixture into 24 1-inch balls. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and bake until they are browned and slightly resistant to pressure when pressed, about 20 minutes. 4. Serve hot. Meatball Variations:

  • To 1 pound of ground beef, add 1 large egg, ⅔ cup bread crumbs, 2 minced garlic cloves, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt, and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • Then, add any of the following mix-ins. Place the balls on a prepared baking sheet and bake at 375° F until they are browned and slightly resistant to pressure when pressed, about 20 minutes.
  • Serve hot.

Barbecue Meatballs: Add ¼ cup barbecue sauce.

Sweet Teriyaki Meatballs: Add ¼ cup teriyaki sauce and 3 tablespoons canned crushed pineapple or applesauce.

Basic Italian Meatballs: Add ¼ cup Italian salad dressing, ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Ginger-Soy Meatballs: Add 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar, 2 chopped scallions, and 2 teaspoons of minced peeled fresh ginger.

For more recipes from host Melissa D'Arabian, get a copy of her book, "Ten Dollar Dinners," at

She is also an advocate for suicide awareness. Visit the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention at to get information.

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