Lamb Meatballs in Roasted Root Sauce

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Everyone loves meatballs, am I right? Well, this recipe is a firm favorite in our house because it is so full of flavor and, it goes without saying, nutrient-rich as well. I much prefer using lamb — it is a little fattier and therefore the balls are more succulent but, of course, if you prefer beef or even chicken, then go ahead.

You can easily make up the sauce a day or two in advance, so if you already have the oven on for something else, popping the veggies in to roast will save yourself some time later. You can purée them, leave the sauce to cool and then refrigerate until you’re ready to cook dinner. Making the meatballs in advance is also an option; quickly get them together in the morning and leave, covered, in the refrigerator. Then in the evening all you need do is fry them off, heat up the sauce and carry on with the recipe. Like you, I’m all for saving a bit of time!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Lamb Meatballs in Roasted Root Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 5
  • For the root sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or other solid fat
  • ¾ lb red beets (2 medium), peeled
  • ¾ lb yellow beets (2 medium), peeled
  • 12 oz carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 2½ cups hot chicken bone broth
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, Meyer lemon if you can get it
  • Generous pinch sea salt

  • For the meatballs:
  • 1¾ lb ground lamb
  • 2 tablespoon lemon zest, Meyer lemon if you can get it
  • ¼ packed cup finely chopped dill, plus extra for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoon freshly grated horseradish
  • Generous pinch sea salt
  • Coconut oil or other solid fat to fry
  1. Make the sauce. Heat the coconut oil in a roasting pan then cut the beets and carrots into similar sized pieces and put into the pan, together with the garlic. Cook for around 45-50 minutes, turning them half way through. Squeeze the garlic out of the cases and transfer to a blender, along with the roasted veggies, chicken broth, lemon juice and salt, and blend until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile make the meatballs. Put the ground lamb into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Fry a small amount of this mixture in order to check you have added enough seasoning and readjust if necessary. Form into 20 walnut-sized balls.
  3. Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a large heavy based sauté pan and add the meatballs. If they don't all fit, you will need to do two batches. Brown the balls on medium heat, turning them to ensure they are evenly colored and regulating the temperature so they don't burn. Remove to a large plate and then pour the beet purée into the empty pan. Arrange the meatballs over the top, cover with a lid to stop the purée spitting and cook for around 10-12 minutes until cooked through.
  4. Serve with grated horseradish and a sprinkle of chopped dill over the top.


About Kate Jay

Kate Jay, NTP, RWP, CGP and AIP Certified Coach, has been blogging at Healing Family Eats, since June 2014. Diagnosed years ago as hypothyroid, she and her family were already following the GAPS diet for digestive issues when Kate noticed swelling consistent with RA. She set up her AIP food blog as motivation for making the restricted diet as exciting as possible for her children, who felt they missed out on the junk their friends took to school. Originally a classically trained chef, who freelanced with popular food magazines in the UK, she is now passionate about helping her clients heal using a combination of her holistic training, lab work and real food as medicine. She focuses on creating simple, nutritionally dense and balanced family meals, without compromising on flavour. Find her also on FacebookPinterestTwitter and Instagram.


  • […] Anyway, with that you can find the recipe over at Autoimmune Wellness. […]

  • Allison C says

    What would you serve with this? Just trying to think of it as a complete meal. Thanks!

    • Kate Jay says

      Hi Allison, I love this recipe with spaghetti squash, riced or mashed celeriac and/or cauliflower, or spiralised rutabaga (or zucchini). I also serve something green such as sautéed kale, collards, or chard.

  • Christie says

    This looks great! What would you suggest swapping carrots out with? They are an allergen for me
    Thank you!

    • Kate Jay says

      Hi Christie, my choice would be butternut squash.

  • SJ says

    Just made this sauce recipe and it is a huge hit! Thanks for the tomato alternative!

  • Susan Gockeler says

    My 11-year-old son and I thought the meatballs were delicious. The dill and lemon (we omitted the horseradish) was such a welcomed change from regular meatballs. Light and summery. I used beef because I’m working up to lamb. My meatballs were a bit dry–but I may have overcooked them. (Another former vegetarian here.) The root sauce was delish too. They pair nicely but I’m sure will be great used other ways. Thanks so much for the recipe.

    • Hi Susan, great news that you enjoyed the recipe. I hope you give the lamb a go, I think it works better with the other flavours, plus it’s less prone to drying out because of the extra fat 🙂

  • Therese says

    Oh my goodness, I am so glad I found this recipe. It was just delicious! I put it over spiralized zucchini. The sauce reminded me of tomato sauce which I haven’t had in years. Thank you.

  • James says

    Do the carrots roast in the oven? If so, what temperature? Thank you!

    • Good call James! Preheat the oven to 350F. The carrots, beets and garlic all go into the roasting pan together. 🙂

  • Alison says

    This root sauce is very similar to Mickey’s FauxMato sauce, which is fantastic, even for non-AIP eaters. However, I’ve converted the FauxMato sauce recipe to use the Instant Pot and a stick blender, so I can do everything using one pot and less time. Do you think this recipe would convert equally well, or is the roasting necessary for the flavor profile of this dish? Thanks in advance for your help!

  • […] 4. Lamb Meatballs in Roasted Root Sauce […]

  • Amy says

    Please update your cooking time from 1 minute. I was having a very chaotic day and looked at that briefly to see how long it was going to take to get dinner on the table and made my decidions around that. Just got home to find that it needs to cook for MUCH longer than that and it’s all I have for making dinner this evening.

  • Cindy Orisio says

    Can you recommend a protein powder

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Cindy, the two options for AIP protein powders are collagen (which is not a complete protein but good for gut health, hair, skin and nails) or hydrosolate.

  • Amber H. says

    This looks delicious! I want to make this for my boys and I to eat but my oldest son is allergic to citrus. By any chance is it okay to substitute ACV in place of the lemon juice? I don’t think there is anything I can sub in place of the lemon zest, is there? Thank you!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Amber! Yes, you can absolutely use ACV instead of the zest and lemon juice.

  • Christine says

    Utterly delicious!!! My husband who has no dietary restrictions loved it too. Don’t know what I would do without your wonderful recipes.

  • Karen says

    Hi and thank you for this recipe =). Does the grated horseradish go into the meatballs, or is that just for the garnish? Thanks, again!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      The instructions indicate to garnish at the end.

  • joe says

    Real problem here….roasting pan??? Whats the temp?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Joe, she has you make the sauce and the recipe on the stovetop, so there is no oven temperature.

  • Lw says

    The veggies are roasted, right? What temp? Thx

  • […] Lamb Meatballs in Roasted Root Sauce – Autoimmune Wellness […]

  • Tanya says

    Absolutely love this recipe. Sometimes make the ssuce on its own for dip

  • Chris David says

    Great recipe and really a nice one. Will surely try this

  • Venaseal Closure in Colorado says

    I am so glad I found this recipe. It was just delicious! I put it over spiralized zucchini. The sauce reminded me of tomato sauce which I haven’t had in years. Thank you.

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