Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers are a fresh take on everybody’s favorite grill grub — the lamb is mixed with Middle Eastern spices, onions, and fresh mint, then spread inside a pita and grilled — these are crisp, juicy, and fabulous!

Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers --- this fresh new take on a burger will get everybody excited --- theviewfromgreatisland.com

This is such an interesting change from a plain old burger, I think you’re going to love it.  I mixed ground lamb with fragrant coriander, cinnamon, and cumin, along with some very finely minced sweet onion, and fresh mint, then spread it inside a split pita round.  The meat cooks inside the pita, and as it grills the juices from the lamb sink into the pita and the whole thing comes out crispy and wonderful.  The yogurt mint sauce adds a cooling tangy layer to every bite.  It’s burger meets quesadilla meets panini and the result is lovely!

Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers --- Middle Eastern spiced lamb spread inside pita pockets and grilled! theviewfromgreatisland.com

These Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers definitely outshine regular burgers in texture and flavor, my husband and I both give them a big thumbs up.  I liked them so much I’m planning to try other variations…one idea that already occurs to me is to use my Turkey and Zucchini Burgers as a filling.  And after that I think a veggie version is in order…stay tuned :)

I slightly adapted this recipe from Bon Appétit

Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers

Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for grilling
  • 8 thick pita breads with pockets
    yogurt mint sauce
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the meat, onion, herbs, spices, and oil in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to blend everything thoroughly. Cover tightly, I like to place plastic wrap right onto the meat, and then cover the bowl as well so no air can get to it, and chill anywhere from an hour to overnight.
  2. Carefully slit open the pita rounds halfway along the seam and pry open the pocket. Be careful not to tear the bread. Spoon 1/8 of the meat mixture into each pita, spreading the meat to all the edges. Press the pita closed and gently pat down to seal. You'll use approximately 1/4 pound of meat for every pita.
  3. Lightly oil your grill or grill pan and heat on medium high. When it is hot, grill the pita for about 5 minutes per side, until they are charred and the meat is done through.
  4. Serve immediately with yogurt mint sauce.
  5. To make the yogurt sauce, blend the yogurt with the mint and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, and then thin with cold water until you have a dipping consistency.
http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/spiced-lamb-pita-burgers-recipe/

notes:

  • If you don’t see ground lamb at your store ask your meat manager to grind it for you, they’re usually happy to help.  You can also buy lamb shoulder and grind it yourself at home with a meat grinder, or even a food processor.
  • Make the filling up to a day in advance…the flavors get a change to develop that way.
  • This works well on a stove top grill pan,  I like Calphalon because there is no chemical non-stick coating.  Cast iron works too.
  • I love the seriously charred bread, but if you don’t, cook it longer and slower so it won’t get so dark.

Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers are a fun twist on everybody's favorite grill grub! theviewfromgreatisland.com

 

DON’T FORGET TO PIN IT!

Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers --- a wonderfully crisp, juicy take on the all American burger! theviewfromgreatisland.com

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31 Responses to Spiced Lamb Pita Burgers

  1. Susan says:

    We made these the other night and really enjoyed them. I’m going to have to find real pita bread, because what I found in my local grocery store was pitas that were intended to be split in half. I ended up making the half sandwiches, and had my husband grill them. This is definitely a fun summer recipe, and I like any excuse to use lamb.

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Susan, I’m glad you enjoyed them. I find that the puffier pitas work well, and even though they don’t seem to split, if you work at them gently with a small serrated knife they split easily. I think I used Sara Lee (of all things!) brand.

  2. Lamb burgers are so tasty. I like your version cooked inside of pitas…they look crispy and yummy. Pinning this now!

  3. Sara says:

    I actually just introduced my kids to pita pockets yesterday and they loved them with chicken, I definitely want to try these burgers next!

  4. Peggy says:

    Oh dear. My boys would love this. Good way to make them get some protein ;).

  5. These sound delightful and like they’re loaded with wonderful flavor. So perfect for a summer evening!

  6. Ohmygoodness, Sue! I don’t even like lamb, and I want to eat at least one of these right this very minute! Pinning!

  7. These look delicious and such a nice change from the usual!

    • Sue says:

      Thanks Jennifer, it is really a nice change, and I for one love a thin burger, so these are perfect for me.

  8. Love that char on the pita, Sue. It will give me a chance to use my new culinary torch again. The first time I set off all the smoke detectors, lol.
    This is fantastic and love the spices you have used. I’m so darn hungry now and I’ve got nothing in the house! Sharing :)

  9. Now this is the perfect summer meal, just in time for the weekend!

  10. cheri says:

    Hi Sue, my husband would go crazy for this, love the char on the pita, looks delicious!

  11. Denise says:

    These look really yummy. I find that ground lamb is quite fatty. My first thought was that the pita would suck up all the fat, which I find unappealing. How did you deal with that?

    • Sue says:

      Good question Denise…my lamb was not fatty, and I guess it depends on your store and what cut is ground. Some fat is good, it adds flavor, etc. But to answer your question, there wasn’t a lot of fat in this, so I didn’t have the problem.

  12. My husband will enjoy this!

  13. Catherine says:

    These lamb pitas look absolutely delicious!!
    Have a wonderful week. xo

  14. I know I will love this! I made something kind of similar – a lamb pita pizza and used hummus. This recipe is so adaptable and it gets the creative juices flowing. With our kitchen the way it is – grilling outside is my go to method lately – going to give this a try!

    • Sue says:

      It would be so great for a busy outdoor party, just throw them on the grill and they’re ready to eat once they come off, no messing with buns or anything!

  15. Lamb might be my favorite red meat. And it’s so good when ground and grilled! Love the spicing — reminds me of North Africa. Cinnamon and red meat is a killer combo, isn’t it? Anyway, good stuff — thanks.

    • Sue says:

      I LOVE cinnamon and meat together, in fact I’m starting a rather good collection of different cinnamons, there are lots of varieties, and some are quite spicy!

  16. Ben G says:

    There is nothing about this I don’t like! The pictures are as mouthwatering as the recipe!

  17. Oh yum! I love the idea of using lamb and a grill this way. I’ve never grilled stuffed pita bread before–it looks AMAZING!!

    • Sue says:

      I’d never done this before either Tracy, and it’s a winning idea — definitely will be repeated here :)

  18. Megan says:

    These look absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to try these!

  19. Tracy says:

    Oh I LOVE lamb and those grill marks on the pita! My husband would love these too – pinning!

  20. Mary says:

    I’m so glad the weather is finally right for grilling! These look a great variation on a classic!

    • Sue says:

      The great thing about these, Mary, is that they work just as well on the stove in a grill pan, so if the weather gets funky, it’s no problem ;)

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