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Mini Greek Lamb Burgers

If you don't see ground lamb in the meat case, ask your butcher to grind some for you. Allow three to four of these tiny burgers for each adult. For kids, you can tuck one little burger into a miniature pita, and serve with ketchup.

  • prep: 20 mins
    total time: 35 mins
  • servings: 4

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Ingredients

For Tzatziki

  • 1/2 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole milk yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper

For Lamb Burgers

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1/2 small onion, minced (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 pieces pita bread (6 inches each)
  • Iceberg lettuce, for serving
  • 2 medium beefsteak tomatoes, sliced, for serving

Cook's Note

TZATZIKI This traditional Greek dressing, made from cucumber, yogurt, and mint is a cool complement to the burgers.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Heat grill or grill pan to high. Make tzatziki: In a medium bowl, combine cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, mint and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

  2. Step 2

    Make burgers: In a medium bowl, use a fork to gently combine lamb, onion, parsley, and oregano; season with salt and pepper. Gently form mixture into 16 small patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Grill until medium-rare, 2 to 3 minutes per side.

  3. Step 3

    To serve, warm pitas on the grill or directly over a gas burner, turning occasionally. Halve pitas, and fill with lettuce, burgers, tomato, and tzatziki.

Source
Everyday Food, July/August 2003

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Reviews (15)

  • 12 Aug, 2012

    This is my new "go to" recipe for when I eat meat specifically a hamburger. Sorry, cows, but you got nothin' on this lamb. Btw- this little Greek girl put dill in the tzaziki vs./ mint.

  • 30 Jul, 2009

    Oops. I mean grate the firm flesh!

  • 30 Jul, 2009

    Cut the pulpy flesh from the cucumbers and grate, then squeeze in a towel. No salt needed! Add more garlic. I would double or triple the recipe. My guests love tsadziki! Also, add a little olive oil (1or 2 tsps. to the recipe as listed), and serve with Kalamata olives. Opah!

  • 30 Jul, 2009

    Cut the pulpy flesh from the cucumbers and grate, then squeeze in a towel. No salt needed! Add more garlic. I would double or triple the recipe. My guests love tsadziki! Also, add a little olive oil (1or 2 tsps. to the recipe as listed), and serve with Kalamata olives. Opah!

  • 24 Aug, 2008

    It took me 1 hr and 40 mins to make these burgers (I did use around 2 pounds of ground lamb, but even so!) as opposed to 35 mins! There were many things to wash up afterwards, and my kitchen was a mess with oil splattered everywhere! Not something I am prepared to make during the week when I am working, but the ingredients were not too expensive and the burgers did taste good.

  • 22 Aug, 2008

    This was fantastic!
    I salted the grated cucumber and let it sit for about 10 minutes, then pressed the liquid out. This helped to keep the tzatziki from being too watery. I upped the garlic in the tzatziki, and added a bit to the lamb as well. Wonderful alternative to boring burgers!

  • 28 Jun, 2008

    I made with ground turkey. Added 1 tsp garlic powder to meat. Eliminated mint from sauce; added finely minced white onion and 1 tsp sugar. Excellent!

  • 20 Jun, 2008

    These are delicious when you have a hankering for gyros, they taste the same! I used greek yogurt (it's thicker and more like sour cream) instead of regular yogurt and added a little bit of onion to the tzatziki - yum!

  • 17 Jun, 2008

    I made these with turkey instead of lamb and the result was really delicious. I'm not normally a fan of ground turkey, but it worked really well in this recipe.

  • 15 Jun, 2008

    this lamb burgers are great

  • 11 Jun, 2008

    Take the extra steps if you have time and remove the excess moisture from the cucumbers and yogurt. Use real yogurt if you can and not the big store brands. Also, add some fresh dill to the Tzatziki Sauce. Thanks to JerseyCook for the meat additions and overnight marination. Great tip.

  • 10 Jun, 2008

    Add garlic, cumin and coriander to the meat ingredients and you will have a winner. Its especially good if you mix the meat the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight for the flavors to marry. My Dad is Greek and we grew up eating this long before it was popular. It also works REALLY well with ground pork. Both come out phenomenal on the grill! This always makes my sons want to make Baklava!! Opa!!!

  • 10 Jun, 2008

    I have also done this with adding 1/4- 1/2 cup of pesto to the raw lamb. Very yummy and a real crowd pleaser! It's the burger my husband always loves to rave about!

  • 10 Jun, 2008

    Sounds YUM! Ground lamb's in my freezer ... will get other ingredients ... can just tell it's going to be great. wonder about just browning the meat and herbs and filling the pitas that way, adding the tzatziki. In rereading alyssa's; that's exactly what she did. I loved learning how to spell halve. Tnx. grammababy

  • 4 May, 2008

    I have also made this recipe "loose" meat style with a combo of lamb and chuck. I works great, and makes stuffing the pitas so simple. I add cumin and coriander to the meat mix too. SOOOO tasty