Mini Meatballs in Lemon Leaves

Grilled Meatballs wrapped in Lemon Leaves wrapped – Carne in Foglie di Limone

On one of my blog quests, I stumbled upon an Italian blog site where I saw these meat patties that are sandwiched between lemon leaves and grilled. It was simple and very appetizing.

Simple if you have a lemon tree growing in your backyard…but no one in Denver has! I decided to experiment with this idea. Meanwhile, I wrote down the name of the dish in Italian.

Last year I treated myself to buying two citrus trees that I intended to grow as houseplants. They are a small kumquat and lemon plant. They survived home conditions all year and this summer I put them on the outdoor patio to sunbathe and breathe fresh mountain air, low and behold, they thrived. The kumquat bloomed like crazy and the lemon tree grew more leaves. What to do with the abundance of fresh lemon leaves? Use it to make “carne in foglie di limone.”

Mini Meatballs in Lemon Leaves-Carne in Foglie di Limone

These grilled meatballs sandwiched between lemon leaves are variations of the Italian meatballs. Serve them with red sauce or with lemon and oil.
Print Recipe
Meatballs in Lemon Leaves 2
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cook Time:20 minutes


  • grill
  • grill basket
Main Course


  • 20-24 lemon leaves
  • 500 gram ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano grated
  • 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs homemade or store-bought
  • salt and pepper


Making the meatballs

  • Washed and dry the lemon leaves
    20-24 lemon leaves
  • In a mixing bowl combine beef, egg, and cheese. With your hands mix them together. Incorporate the parsley. Gradually add the breadcrumbs.
    500 gram ground beef, 1 egg, 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano, 2 tablespoon chopped parsley, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, salt and pepper
  • Once you have the mixture ready, start shaping your meatballs, similar to the shape of the leaves.
  • Sandwich the meat patties between two leaves and arrange them on a wire grilling grid and press them.
    mini meatballs
  • Preheat the grill and grill the lemon patties for 4-5 minutes per side, until the ends of the leaves get charred.
    Meatballs in Lemon Leaves
Servings: 4
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