Minted lamb burgers make for a fresh twist on a summer grilling classic! Served with a cooling tzatziki sauce and your favorite toppings, these perfectly seasoned lamb burgers are stuffed with fresh mint and feta that give every bite a burst of flavor, and they come together in under 30 minutes. These Mediterranean-inspired lamb burgers will be your new go-to recipe for all your summer parties.
Why You Need to Make This Recipe
Step aside, beef burgers. It's time to give lamb burgers their turn in the spotlight.
Of course, that's not to say beef burgers aren't always a delicious option, but there's something special about offering friends and family a more elevated, gourmet burger. It feels just a touch fancy with that homey vibe, which always makes for a welcoming party.
Think casual enough for a random summer backyard gathering but special enough for Father’s Day.
But even though these are gourmet lamb burgers, they’re still simple to make. We gently add our mix-ins to the ground lamb, form into patties and grill. Does it get any easier than that?
And as if that’s not enough, you can make these patties or lamb meat mixture ahead of time. A good make-ahead meal is always convenient, especially during the summer when you just want to kick back with a refreshing margarita and enjoy good company. So let's get to it.
Pictured are all the ingredients you need for these Greek burgers and tzatziki sauce, but you’ll also need your favorite toppings. After all, what’s a good burger without toppings?
You can keep it classic with lettuce, tomato and onion or feel free to get creative. Roasted red bell peppers and pickled red onions are delicious. Or try different spreads like a tapenade or hummus. I've also added other fresh herbs directly on top of the burger, such as basil and tarragon, and they were delicious.
Or maybe you like a spicy kick. My Mediterranean cucumber pico de gallo is the perfect touch for a little added jalapeno flavor.
OK, let's chat about everything you need to successfully make these easy lamb patties.
Step 1: First, let's make our tzatziki sauce. We start by grating some cucumber and then squeezing out the excessive moisture in a paper towel (photo 1). This keeps our tzatziki sauce from being too watery.
Now we add our grated cucumber to Greek yogurt along with fresh dill, garlic and some lemon juice (photo 2). We give it a stir, and just like that, we have our super simple tzatziki sauce (photo 3).
Step 2: To make our burgers, we add our lamb to a large mixing bowl along with freshly chopped mint, garlic, feta and spices (photo 4) and gently mixed until combined (photo 5).
Step 3: Now we form the ground lamb mixture into patties. To do this, we first break off our lamb into evenly sized balls (photo 6) and then pat into patties (photo 7).
Step 4: With our Greek lamb burgers formed, we're ready to grill. Whether using a propane or charcoal grill, we want to use high, direct heat. The burgers won't be on the grill for long, so this helps us get that nice outside caramelization on the meat.
We cook the minted lamb burgers for a few minutes on one side (photo 8) and then flip and finish cooking on the other side (photo 9). The length of cooking depends on how you like your burgers.
I'm a rare to medium-rare lady -- yes, even for ground meat -- but you can certainly cook your burgers up to well done if you prefer. It might make your rare-loving friends cringe, but you do you.
Now we remove our minted lamb burgers from the grill, allow them to set for a few minutes, assemble and devour. Lucky us.
To start our meal, you'll love this whipped ricotta dip with crunchy crostini. This ricotta dip features fresh basil and lemon that pair nicely with the mint. You'll also love this kafta kabob for a nice light appetizer.
On the side, you can go wrong with a big helping of this pesto tortellini salad and some herby air fryer fingerling potatoes. Of course, this Greek orzo salad would also complement the Mediterranean flavors nicely.
Absolutely and we have two options for make-ahead lamb burgers. This makes for easy entertaining when you want to spend the bulk of your time on the patio rather than stuck in the kitchen.
One option is to make the lamb meat mixture without salt and store covered in a mixing bowl in the refrigerator for one to two days. Remove the meat mixture 30 minutes before cooking time, and right before grilling, sprinkle evenly with salt and form into lamb patties.
You can also make the mixture as is with the salt, form into patties and freeze these minted lamb burgers uncooked, so you always have dinner on hand for those impromptu nights with friends. I recommend stacking the patties in a freezer-safe bag and either cover each patty individually with plastic wrap or place a piece of parchment paper in between each burger to prevent sticking.
While I prefer grilling thawed burgers, I get it. Sometimes you forget to thaw your burger patties. In that case, you can throw the frozen burgers on the grill just like you would with fresh burger patties. Make sure you plan to increase cooking time by about 50 percent.
If you decide to thaw the burgers, I recommend placing them covered on a plate in the refrigerator overnight. Another option is to add the patties in a leak-proof zip bag and place the bag in cold water until thawed -- just make sure water doesn't leak onto the burgers. Many microwaves also have defrosting settings, but this is my least favorite option.
Important note: Do not thaw the burgers at room temperature. That's inviting harmful bacteria.
The USDA recommends cooking ground meat to 160 degrees. However, if you prefer your meat at a different temperature like I do, here's a handy guide.
Rare burgers, cook for four to five minutes total to 120-125 degrees F.
Medium-rare burgers, cook for five to six minutes total to 130-135 degrees F.
Medium burgers, cook for six to seven minutes total to 140-145 degrees F.
Medium-well burgers, cook for seven to eight minutes total to 150-155 degrees F.
Well-done burgers, cook for eight to nine minutes total to 160 degrees F.
Keep in mind, this is just a guide. Cooking time can vary depending on the heat of the grill and thickness of the patty.
You bet. These lamb burgers cook nicely in the skillet. Simply add about a tablespoon of oil to a large skillet and heat to medium-high. When the oil is nice and hot, cook in the skillet just as you would the grill, flipping once.
Ensure moist burgers: Don’t press down on the lamb patty while grilling. This squeezes out the juice that keeps our burgers moist.
Avoid tough burgers: When combining the mix-ins with the lamb, use a gentle touch. Excessively handling our meat can leave us with tough burgers. While you could fold the ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon, I find using clean, washed hands works best.
Also, pack the patties so that they're just tight enough to stay together. Similar to the above tip, excessive packing can result in a tough burger.
Get consistent results for each burger: To ensure the patties are the same size for even cooking, I like to measure my ground lamb balls using a kitchen scale before shaping into patties.
Make a better lamb burger patty: For perfectly formed patties, you can place the ground lamb ball into a 4-inch cookie cutter and gently pat out until it fills the cookie cutter.
Simplify entertaining: If you'd like to make the tzatziki sauce ahead of time, it will keep for three days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
When pairing beer with a lamb burger, I like a stout here. Lamb calls for a robust, big-bodied beer, and I love how the roasted malt plays with the caramelization from the grill. Stouts also often come with chocolatey notes that work with our fresh mint.
Want to pair wine with this lamb burger instead? A pinot noir here is a good bet. With a pinot noir, we get a nice earthy profile that matches with our gamey lamb along with bright berry notes to beautifully complement the mint.
If you're interested in a cocktail, I love a cucumber refresher to go with the tzatziki sauce. In that case, try my jalapeño-cucumber margarita, cucumber-lavender gin fizz or blackberry-cucumber vodka spritzer.
For a gourmet twist on your standard burger, I hope you try these mint lamb burgers with tzatziki sauce. You'll love every succulent bite.
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Minted Lamb Burgers
- Box grater
- Mixing bowl
- ½ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove minced or grated
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons grated cucumber (see note)
- 1 teaspoon fresh dill
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Minted Lamb Burgers
- 1 pound ground lamb let sit in room temperature for 15-30 minutes
- 3 garlic cloves minced or grated
- ½ cup feta
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 burger buns
- Desired toppings, such as arugula, roasted red peppers, red onion, etc.
For Tzatziki Sauce
- In a small bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, grated cucumber, dill and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
For Minted Lamb Burgers
- Heat grill over high heat. In a large mixing bowl, gently fold the ground lamb, garlic, feta, mint, oregano, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes just until combined. Do not overmix.
- Evenly divide ground lamb mixture into four balls and form into 4-inch patties. Place burgers on hot grill. Cook for two to three and a half minutes on one side, depending on desired doneness, and then flip and cook for the same amount of time.
- Let the burgers rest for five minutes. Spread the tzatziki sauce on the bun and assemble the burgers with desired toppings. Enjoy!
- Rare burgers, cook four to five minutes total to 120-125 degrees F.
- Medium-rare burgers, cook five to six minutes total to 130-135 degrees F.
- Medium burgers, cook six to seven minutes total to 140-145 degrees F.
- Medium-well burgers, cook seven to eight minutes total to 150-155 degrees F.
- Well-done burgers, cook eight to nine minutes total to 160 degrees F.
- After grating the cucumber, squeeze out excessive moisture with a paper towel to prevent the sauce from being too watery.
- Don’t press down on the lamb patty while grilling. This squeezes out the juice that keeps our burgers moist.
- When combining the mix-ins with the lamb, use a gentle touch. Excessively handling our meat can leave us with tough burgers. While you could fold the ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon, I find using clean, washed hands works best.
- Pack the patties so that they're just tight enough to stay together. Similar to the above tip, excessive packing can result in a tough burger.
- To ensure the patties are the same size for even cooking, I like to measure my ground lamb balls before shaping into patties.
- For perfectly formed patties, you can place the ground lamb ball into a 4-inch cookie cutter and gently pat out until it fills the cookie cutter.
- If you'd like to make the tzatziki sauce ahead of time, it will keep for three days if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.