Three Lily Farm Blog

Forest and Farm to Table

Nettle Meatballs

With vigorous growth happening all over the land, it is simple to incorporate wild foods into my meals on a daily basis. Dandelions in salads one day, milkweed shoots sautéed the next, and nettles happily find their way into just about every dish I'm cooking these days. 

Feeling a craving for a spaghetti supper, I decided to incorporate blanched stinging nettles into a batch of grass fed meatballs. Since liver is not the easiest ingredient to get into my families body, i ground up a few ounces and added them into the mixture along with a few strips of smokey bacon. This method allows me to essentially add "supplements" to my every day recipes which not only adds nice flavor, but a good amount of nutrients. 

Nettle Meatballs


  • 1 pound grass fed ground beef
  • 4 ounces pastured chicken livers
  • 2-3 strips of bacon
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup blanched nettles, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sourdough bread, crust removed, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon or more sea salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Place the bacon and liver in a food processor and blend until smooth. Place in a bowl along with the remaining ingredients and mix well to incorporate. Cook off a small tester patty, adjust seasonings accordingly, then use ice cream scooper to portion out 12 equal sized meatballs. 
  2. To cook, heat a large skillet over medium high heat with a few tablespoons of lard or ghee. Brown all sides of the meatballs before transferring into an oven for a few minutes to finish cooking. If you have a pot of sauce on the stove, you can brown the meatballs than place into the sauce to simmer and flavor the tomatoes.