These Turkish lamb burgers are flavorful, filling, and just a little bit messy, so keep plenty of napkins handy. It’s worth the mess though. The burgers are rich from lamb, slightly salty from the feta and spicy/warm from cumin and garlic. Adding mint to both the burgers and the yogurt cucumber sauce adds a fresh, cool flavor to balance out the spices.
I adapted this recipe from one I found online so long ago I can’t remember where I found it. It does require a bit of pre-planning, since the meat mixture has to sit for a while for the flavors to blend. So, it’s probably best for a weekend, rather than a Tuesday dinner. However, once that’s done, the rest of the recipe comes together pretty quickly. And, it’s practically a meal all by itself.
Make the meat mixture for the burgers first, let it sit overnight or a few hours in the fridge, and then make the cucumber yogurt sauce while the burgers are cooking.
I did make this for two servings, rather than one, because half an egg isn’t so bad, but a quarter of an egg is ridiculous, even for me.
How to get half an egg, you ask? What you do is break the egg, beat it lightly, and then pour half of it out into a separate container. You should end up with about 3 1/4 T of egg total. Use half that for the burgers, or approximately 1 2/3 T (5 teaspoons). Save the rest of the egg to make a cherry tomato basil frittata or a spinach and feta omelette in a day or two. Don’t worry if it’s not exact, we’re not baking!
I broiled the burgers in my toaster oven, and put the pita on top for a minute or so to warm it up. If you have a grill, you could use that instead.
Serve the burgers in pita bread topped with the yogurt dill sauce, then add garnishes to suit your taste.
Turkish Lamb Burgers Substitutions and Variations
- Garnish with some extra crumbled feta cheese
- Top with thinly sliced red onions
- Add sliced tomatoes and extra chopped cucumber on top of your lamb burger
- Make the burgers with half lamb and half ground turkey (use dark meat if you can find it); or if you don’t like lamb, just use the turkey
More Lamb and Yogurt Recipes
Familiar with shepherd’s pie? Think that, but gone to Pakistan and picked up a whole new set of spices, like curry, cumin, ginger, and turmeric.
No heavy sauce to make, fewer steps, but still delicious. This Turkish version is easier to make, only requires one pan, but still piles on plenty of flavor from spicy/warm cinnamon and nutmeg, the bite of garlic and onion, tender eggplant, ground lamb, and tomatoes.
Flavored with toasted nuts, sweet/minty cardamom and earthy lamb. This dish is a feast for your eyes as well as your taste buds. It’s also eggless and bread-free.
Rich with lamb, tangy vinegar, and earthy spinach. Red wine vinegar stands up to the lamb’s bold flavor, while cumin lends a warm, slightly spicy bite. The spinach adds color, and those all important vitamins and iron too.