Spiced Lamb Burger is a mouthwatering recipe that is heavily seasoned with all your favorite Mediterranean spices. Accompanied by a fennel, cucumber and celery slaw, this burger is easy to make with four main components. I created this gourmet, spiced lamb burger as part of Burger Month 2020, which includes incredible giveaways hosted by Girl Carnivore. This year, Spoonabilities is proud to be one of the sponsors, donating an incredible collection of Greek Gourmet Products to 4 weekly winners.
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Hello my friends. As part of the burger month celebration, today I’m sharing this spiced lamb burger that is heavily seasoned with warm and aromatic spices like coriander, cumin, oregano, and smoked chili flakes. The buns have a delicious spread of tangy Greek yogurt combined with sweet red pepper & graviera cheese spread. This spread combination helps to balance the rich flavor of the lamb. As for the topping, we’re going to make a crunchy slaw made out of celery, fennel, fennel frond, shallots, and cucumbers which is lightly seasoned with Eleia Kosher-certified premium extra virgin olive oil, and Greek sea salt with oregano and sesame. This slaw gives an incredible bright freshness to this spiced lamb burger while also providing a lovely crunch.
Last year for this annual burger month celebration, I made a Gourmet Dominican Chimichurri Hamburger. I recommend you check out this other recipe of deliciousness too!
Four Key Elements are Essential to a Delicious Spiced Lamb Burger
These four elements are essential to create a flavorful and tasty spiced lamb burger:
- The Lamb Patties: The ground lamb is heavily seasoned with a lot of oregano, coriander, crushed smoked chili flakes, cumin, and the zest of one lemon for a citrusy touch. Plus, sea salt & pepper. All this seasoning will shine through in every bite.
- The Bun: Use a French-style burger bun around 4” round because it holds up well supporting not only the meat, but the sauce and slaw as well. A softer bun will break apart. You also can use a kaiser roll or ciabatta roll. The bun shown here is the same bread used for my Dominican Burger recipe, which is called a “Baguette Style Burger Bun.”
- The Sauce: The sauce is the star element of this burger recipe that will bind all the flavors together. More about that and how to make it later.
- The Slaw: This slaw is made with very thinly sliced fennel, cucumber, celery, shallots, and fennel fronds, lightly seasoned with lemon juice, Eleia Greek Olive Oil, and Greek Sea Salt with Oregano and Sesame, also available in our online shop. This slaw gives such an exceptional brightness to the spiced lamb burger along with a crunchy bite. You really will love our seasoned finishing salts. But if you aren’t able to order this right now, at home you can make your own mix of sea salt, oregano, and sesame seeds.
These four elements are essential to create this flavorful and tasty spiced lamb burger. We ended up making this recipe twice in the same week, so in seven days, we ate this spiced lamb burger for four lunches. Not a bad week indeed.
Let’s Talk Fennel and the Slaw’s Versatility
Let’s talk about fennel. I tried fennel before but it didn’t catch my attention enough to want to try it again. The licorice taste was too much for me back then. So when I was developing this recipe, I tried roasting the fennel and that was the trick that made me fall in love with the fennel flavor. After developing this slaw recipe, I have been eating this slaw as a salad all week long, and plan to put it on the menu again. A quick pickle with lemon juice, Greek sea salt with oregano and sesame, and olive oil, mellow down the licorice flavor. I think this slaw should have its own recipe blog post alone as a salad or side dish. The versatility of how you can use it is endless. I used it as a topping for skirt steak tacos, picadillo tacos, and as a side salad with a crispy skin snapper recipe I made last year instead of the original caper salsa.
How to Make the Fennel, Cucumber, & Celery Slaw
You can make this slaw before you make the lamb patties or while the patties are resting after grilling. I honestly prefer to make it while the patties are resting because the vegetables will have more of a crunch when you bite into them. It will depend on your taste. I tried both ways, and I like both. When you make the slaw early, the vegetables will soften a bit and the flavor will be a bit more like a pickle style but still with a crunch. If you make it right before serving, it will give the burger a fresh, crispy bite. I use this slaw as a topping, and as a side salad with the lamb burger along with sweet potato fries.
- Cut the fennel, cucumber, celery, and shallot using a mandolin. By using a mandolin, you will cut your vegetables faster and all the same size. I use this mandolin from Paderno.
How to cut fennel:
- Remove the fennel fronds from the stalks. Now, cut the stalks from the bulb and cut the very bottom part of the fennel where the roots were.
- It doesn’t matter from which side you slice the fennel. You can hold it from the top and cut along the bottom, or hold it on the side and cut sideways. As long as it’s thin and all the same size.
- In a large mixing bowl, add all the sliced veggies, the mint leaves, and the fennel fronds. Add the lemon juice
- Followed by the Greek sea salt with oregano and sesame, and the extra virgin olive oil.
- Mix with your hands gently until the veggies are well coated.
- Your fennel, cucumber, celery, shallots, and fennel fronds slaw is ready to eat as a salad and for the burger as a topping.
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Grilling This Easy Spiced Lamb Burger
Ok, you’ve waited long enough (if you’ve read this far). Let’s make this easy spiced lamb burger.
Here are the steps:
- First, make the Mediterranean seasoning mix of crushed smoked red chile flakes, oregano, cumin, sea salt, ground coriander, lemon zest, and black pepper.
- Now, dump the Mediterranean seasoning mix into a large bowl with the ground lamb, and mix gently until it’s well combined.
- Then form 4 patties. Some Patty Tips:
- One pound of ground lamb will give you four 4oz patties that are around 3/4” thick and 3-1/2” round. I recommend making them thinner and a bit larger. After you put them on the grill, they will shrink about half an inch. You don’t want to end up with little patties on a huge bun (like I did on the first try).
- Press your thumb in the center of the patties to create a dimple. Doing this will prevent the lamb patties from creating a bump in the center while they are cooking.
- Keep the patties in the refrigerator for about 15-30 minutes before grilling.
- To grill them, I use an electric grill and I set the temperature to 400F degrees, and after the first side is cooked, I reduce the heat to 350F degrees. Some Grilling Tips:
- Lamb is a leaner meat than beef, so the cooking time is approximately 4-5 minutes per side for medium to medium-rare. My patties came out as medium after 5 minutes.
- Use a thermometer and confirm that the lamb patties reach internal temperature of 160F degrees.
- In the recipe card, I provide instructions on how to cook the lamb patties on a gas grill, electric grill, and a cast-iron pan.
- Transfer the patties to a plate and let them rest. Cover the lamb patties with tin foil to keep it warm.
Yogurt, Red Pepper, Cheese Spread for the Spiced Lamb Burger
Now, let’s make the delicious spread for the buns of the spiced lamb burger. This sauce is a mixture (equal amounts, about 1/3 of a cup each) of plain Greek yogurt, and Sweet Red Pepper & Graviera Cheese Spread. This flavorful Greek spread is a blend of roasted sweet red peppers, P.D.O. Cretan graviera cheese, capers, herbs, and spices blended in Greek extra virgin olive oil. Graviera cheese is made with a combination of sheep and goat’s milk. You don’t want to substitute this spread, and if you are not sure where to find it, you can buy some here in our online shop.
Alternatively, here is a similar spread that you can make at home, but the flavor won’t be the same. In a food processor, mix jarred roasted red pepper, plain Greek yogurt, olive oil, gruyere cheese, and salt & pepper to taste.
Once your spread is ready, set it next to the other elements to assemble the burgers.
Let’s Assemble the Spiced Lamb Burger
- First, collect on a table your lightly toasted buns, spread, patties, and the slaw
- Spread the red pepper graviera cheese mixture on both sides of the buns and add the spiced lamb patties to the bottom bun.
- Top the lamb patties with as much slaw and you can fit or want. When grabbing the slaw, give it a shake above the bowl so you release any extra dressing to reduce the amount of liquid you bring to the burger.
- Put on the top bun and your spiced lamb burger is ready to eat. Eat the burger with some additional slaw on the side or some sweet potato fries.
Start the summer season early by heating up the grill to cook this flavorful, juicy, and easy to make spiced lamb burger with your family. We would love to know if you make this recipe, and do take some photos! Share your creation with us by leaving a comment below and remember to rate this recipe. Share your photos on social media and tag @spoonabilities using the hashtag #nojarsleftbehind. I can’t wait to see what you created.
Happy Burger Month!
Your Recipe conciergePrint
This Spiced Lamb Burger is mouthwatering and heavily seasoned with all your favorite Mediterranean spices. It is accompanied by a fennel, cucumber and celery slaw. For the condiment, instead of ketchup or mayonnaise, use a combination of Greek yogurt and sweet red pepper & graviera cheese spread.
- 1 lb. ground lamb
- 1/2 teaSpoon smoked chili flakes, crushed with pestle
- 2 teaSpoons oregano
- 1 teaSpoon cumin
- 1+1/2 teaSpoons Pure Sea Salt which you can find in our online shop
- 1 teaSpoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaSpoon black pepper
- Lemon zest from one lemon
- 4 hamburger buns (kaiser rolls, ciabatta rolls, or Baguette Style Burger Buns), lightly toasted
Celery, Cucumber & Fennel Slaw:
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced; plus, 1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 3 TableSpoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 TableSpoons fresh mint
- 2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced or 1/2 of a large cucumber
- 2 TableSpoons Eleia Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil which you can find in our online shop
- 1/2 teaSpoon Oregano & Sesame Sea Salt which you can find in our online shop
- 1/2 teaSpoon freshly ground black pepper
The Bun Spread
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup Sweet Red Pepper & Graviera Cheese Spread which you can find in our online shop
Making the slaw:
- Toss the celery, fennel, cucumber, fennel fronds, shallots, lemon juice, fresh mint, and 2 TableSpoons EVOO in a medium bowl. Season with 1/2 teaSpoon each of salt and pepper.
Making the Spread:
- Mix together equal parts plain Greek yogurt, and Sweet Red Pepper & Graviera Cheese Spread. See notes for alternative sauce.
Making the Burger Patties:
- In a small bowl, combine the spices: cumin, oregano, ground coriander, crushed smoked chili flakes, lemon zest, pepper, and salt.
- In a large bowl, add the ground lamb and the Mediterranean spice mix. Gently combine.
- Form four 4oz patties each around 3/4” thick and 4” round. Press a dimple in the center to prevent the patties from getting taller. Put the patties uncovered in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Heat the electric grill at medium-high heat (400F) then reduce to 350F. You can use the flat or grill side. I prefer to use the flat surface.
- Cook lamb patties until browned, 5 minutes per side for medium. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 160F degrees.
- Transfer patties to a plate and let rest 10 minutes.
- Generously spread the graviera cheese spread mixture on both buns and build each burger first with the lamb patty, followed by the slaw and top with the other bun.
- Leaving the patties uncovered in the refrigerator will help to dry the outside and will create a better seal.
- The meat will push up in the center as the patties cooks. Making a little dimple in the middle of each patty helps the burgers hold their flat shape and cook evenly.
- Lamb is better to eat medium-rare. Don’t overcook.
- Alternative sauce: Roasted red pepper + gruyere cheese + olive oil. Taste and add salt and pepper if need it. Add all the ingredients in the food processor for a chunky but smooth texture. Gruyere cheese and Graviera have similar flavor profiles.
- If you use a mandolin, you will cut your vegetables faster and the same size.
- Cut all your vegetables before you make the lamb patties and keep them in a bowl without adding the seasoning. Season after your patties are ready.
- Nutritional information below is for the burger only (uncooked). You will have left over slaw and sauce.
- Category: Lunch, burger
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: Summer recipe, burger, Mediterranean food, Greek Food, Lamb Recipe
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