Grilled Sweetbreads (An Odd Bit)

Despite the name, sweetbreads are not a pastry, dessert or even made out of dough. These tender buttery morsels are the thymus or pancreas gland typically from lamb or beef (or veal). This nutrient dense organ meat is rich in protein and healthy fats as well as B6, B12, magnesium, vitamin C, and Iron. Pastured grassfed sources are also good sources of Vitamin D and K2. if you are a believer in "Like Healing Like" or Glandular Therapy (which involves consuming glands from other animals for medicinal purposes) then sweetbreads might be the ticket to boost the health of your thyroid and immune system. Sweetbreads are a great intro to the world of organ meats with their mild flavor and buttery texture. I love "eating nose to tail" which closely aligns with my beliefs of honoring the whole animal. You can make a nice seasonal fermented salsa or cream sauce to serve along with them but I find them irresistible with just a sprinkle of salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Servings 3 people


  • 2 lbs high quality sweetbreads (thymus and/or pancreas)
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste


  1. Soak sweetbreads for 30 minutes in cold filtered water.
  2. Drain and blot dry
  3. Discard large pieces of fat (you can use these to saute with your veggies)
  4. Break into smallish pieces that won't fall through your grill grate (or you can skewer them if they are too small)
  5. Grill over medium to high heat for 7 to 10 minutes each side or until the inside is cooked through.
  6. Let them rest for at least 5 minutes so the juices can recirculate and not end up all over your plate (Don't ask me how I know this)

Recipe Notes

Great dipped into garlic cultured mayo, served with salsa, butter/cream sauces, sauteed onions/mushrooms or just plain.

Pin It on Pinterest