This study aimed to evaluate the effect of hazelnut skin by-product supplementation on lamb meat quality characteristics and plasma and muscle proteomes. Twenty-two Valle del Belice male lambs were divided into two experimental groups: control (C), fed a maize-barley diet and hazelnut (H), fed hazelnut skin by-product as maize partial replacer in the concentrate diet. The meat of lambs fed hazelnut skin showed greater values of lightness, redness, yellowness, and chroma color parameters together with the highest myofibril fragmentation index. Two-dimensional electrophoresis and mass spectrometry applied on plasma proteome identified 20 protein spots corresponding to 18 unique gene names to be differently expressed due to hazelnut skin by-product substitution. For the early post-mortem muscle, 23 protein spots (42 unique gene names) were significantly up-regulated due to hazelnut skin by-product supplementation. Four proteins these being APOA1, PHB, ACTG1 and ALB, were found to be common to the two proteomes suggesting that these proteins could be candidate biomarkers to monitor in vita and post-mortem lamb meat quality traits. This study evidenced the main mechanisms involved in the supplementation of hazelnut skin by-product in lambs' diet and confirmed the possibility of using plasma proteome as a non-invasive way to predict lamb meat quality. Significance Maximizing the use of agro-industrial by-products as replacers of traditional feedstuff for improving animal products is one of the important challenges to preserving natural resources and guaranteeing environmental sustainability. Hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) skin, obtained as a results of hazelnut roasting, represents a valuable by-products due to its high content in unsaturated fatty acids, tannins, and vitamins. Thus, including hazelnut skin by-product in small ruminant nutrition could reduce the costs of animal feedings for farmers as well as improve meat nutritional and sensorial characteristics. Additionally, monitoring the meat quality characteristics with fast, accurate, and non-invasive tools to find, before slaughter, animals with desired quality characteristics is of growing interest in the last years. In this regard, the objectives of this study were to assess i) the effect of hazelnut skin supplementation on lamb meat quality characteristics and plasma and muscle proteomes, and ii) whether analyzing plasma proteome by using a gel-based proteomic approach could effectively offer a more readily available option for determining lamb meat quality. Taken together, the proteomic approach applied to plasma and muscle proteomes, allowed us to reveal the pathways and the potential candidate plasma biomarkers to predict lamb meat production in the pre-slaughter phase. All rights reserved, Elsevier.