Serve these spiced lamb burgers at a summer BBQ. They've got a warm Middle Eastern spice and are topped with a deconstructed tzatziki sauce for a refreshing summer meal.
[This post was sponsored by lamb producers from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments]
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How these easy lamb burgers are gonna make your life better
It's important to include social eating when you're cooking for one most nights. For that reason I try to have a monthly dinner party potluck. I usually make a simple main dish and ask friends to bring sides that will go great with that main. These lamb burgers are so easy and packed with flavor, they'll definitely be a crowd pleaser. Plus it'll allow your guests to bring simple sides like fries, fruit, corn, sliced veggies, or whatever they want. This is perfect for those guests who text you asking what the easiest thing is that they can bring. That happens nearly every time I host a dinner, so I like to have a couple easy options in my back pocket.
Why I love this recipe
I'll be honest, I didn't always love lamb. I had one negative experience eating lamb as a kid. I’ve always ordered chicken at Greek restaurants, and didn’t eat much since. But after eating lamb in Iceland last summer, and then trying so many different lamb dishes on my sponsored trip to New Orleans with Nourish with Lamb, I’m excited to share that I’m now a lamb lover. Many cuts are simple to prepare, and once you understand the flavor profile & which flavors and spices go well with it, lamb is a simple and delicious protein source. I talk about flavors that go well with lamb right here. Besides, every protein source has a different nutritional make-up, and eating a variety of protein sources is a healthful habit. For example, a 3 oz serving of lamb provides about 5 times the amount of the essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), compared to a 3-oz. serving of beef. Lamb is also an excellent source of protein, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and selenium and a good source of iron and riboflavin.
The lamb burgers are really easy and have a wonderful warm spice profile that includes ground cumin and coriander, salt and pepper. Shallot and bread crumbs help bind the burger so it’s juicy, tender, and doesn’t fall apart. These burgers are great with ketchup, but I prefer a simple tzatziki sauce to make this burger super refreshing on a hot summer night. My favorite tzatziki sauce is really easy, I use plain yogurt, garlic salt, lemon juice, and fresh mint. Instead of grating or finely chopping the cucumber into the sauce, I opted to slice it thinly for an extra crunch. This burger is great on its own, but a slice of tomato just takes it over the top. Especially a homegrown tomato!
How to make these lamb burgers
Mix spices, minced shallot, and breadcrumbs into ground lamb. The breadcrumbs will help bind the spices and lamb together. You won't be able to tell there are bread crumbs in it.
Mix together spices and lamb. It's easiest to use your hands and then wash them afterward.
Once the lamb and spices are all mixed together, divide meat into 4-6 portions. If you want 4 oz burgers, divide into 4, if you want 6, divide into 6. roll each portion into a ball, then flatten it until it's about ¼ inch bigger than the circumference of your hamburger bun. This way your patty will be about the same size of your bun once it's cooked.
Place each patty on a hot grill or grill pan. Cook first side for 4 minutes, then flip and cook the 2nd side for 4-6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches desired doneness. Cook to 155 degrees and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
While burgers are cooking, make tzatziki by adding mint, lemon juice, and garlic salt to plain yogurt, mix together well.
Thinly slice cucumbers and tomato, set aside.
To assemble burgers, place a slice of tomato on bottom bun, then lamb burger patty, top patty with about a tablespoon (or more!) of tzatziki, and then add 3-4 slices of cucumber on top of that. Place top bun and enjoy.
- If you're using extra lean ground lamb, add ½ tbsp oil so burgers bind well and don't dry out.
- Cook to 155 degrees and let it rest for a few minutes before serving, this will allow your burgers to reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees which is recommended by the USDA
- The tzatziki is pretty thin, if you'd rather have it less messy/drippy, use Greek yogurt instead of regular.
Are these burgers good with ketchup?
I've tried it and they're good with ketchup and mustard even!
How do I know if my burgers are done?
Invest in a simple thermometer. This way you can quickly see when your meat is done, without having to guess or slice it open before serving.
What else can I top this burger with?
It'd be great with avocado & lettuce too, and you can even use the traditional ketchup and mustard if you'd like. But the tzatziki is best!
What to serve with lamb burgers?
I like to serve french fries (if it's a small party) or chips, veggie sticks, and seasonal fruit like watermelon with my burgers. You can also pair the lamb burgers with a simple green salad, fruit salad, coleslaw, or anything else.
Ways to repurpose these ground lamb patties
If you make more than your party eats, or if you want a burger or a few for you I'd recommend a-
- Lamb burger salad. Add whatever veggies you have on hand, a heated patty, bulgur or another grain, and the tzatziki as a salad dressing. This is a great bring to work lunch or quick dinner.
- Lamb pita pizza. Chop up the lamb patty, chop up leftover veggies, add some mozzarella or other mild cheese and broil. Drizzle tzatziki over pizza.
Other recipes using lamb
Did you make these lamb burgers? leave me a comment & rating to share how they turned out!
Spiced Lamb Burgers
- grill or grill pan
- Measuring Spoons
- mixing bowls
- cutting board
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- ¼ cup bread crumbs
- ½ tablespoon mild oil I used grapeseed when I made it with extra lean ground lamb
- ½ cup plain yogurt
- ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons thinly chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4-6 hamburger buns
- 1 whole beefsteak tomato sliced
- 1 whole cucumber sliced
- Heat up grill or grill pan. To make the lamb patties, add 1 lb lamb, 1 heaping tsp each cumin and coriander, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp ground pepper, ¼ cup bread crumbs, & 1 tbsp minced shallot to a large mixing bowl. (note: if using extra lean ground lamb, add ½ tbsp oil to mixture). Mix everything together well until combined. Divide into 4 portions for 4 oz patties or 6 for 3 oz patties. Form patties, making them slightly bigger than bun size.
- Place each patty onto grill or grill pan. Cook first side for 4 minutes, flip patty and cook for 4-6 minutes on second side, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees and let it rest for a few minutes before serving.
- While patties are cooking, prepare tzatziki sauce. Pour ½ cup plain yogurt into small mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves, 1 tsp lemon juice, & ½ tsp garlic salt to yogurt. Mix together. Refrigerate until serving.
- Assemble burgers by layering cucumbers, tomato, a lamb patty, and 1-2 tbsp tzatziki sauce on hamburger buns. Include other toppings if desired.
- The tzatziki is pretty thin, so if you'd like a thicker sauce, use Greek yogurt instead.
- If using extra lean ground lamb, add ½ tablespoon of oil to patties.
- Make patties slightly larger than the size of the bun you plan on using so they don't shrink too small for your buns.