Looking for a new take on classic burgers? Try these Greek-inspired grilled lamb burgers with sautéed mushrooms and vegan tzatziki sauce. Made with fresh ground lamb and seasoned with salt and pepper, these burgers are juicy and delicious. Perfect for grilling!
Handling Ground Lamb
While you can use ground lamb found at the store, grinding your own lamb shoulder is best for the freshest, most flavorful meat. For pre-packaged meat found at the store, look for ground lamb that is loosely packed and almost fluffy in appearance. I recommend keeping the seasoning simple with only salt and pepper. However, herbs de Provence, paprika, Aleppo pepper, or ground coriander are great for added flavor.
Gently form the burger patties, working quickly and avoiding compacting or fussing with the meat too much. It's important not to overwork the meat when forming the patties, as this can cause the burgers to turn out tough and dry. Make a shallow indent in each patty with a thumb to help prevent shrinkage while cooking.
It is essential to measure and divide the meat correctly. You can divide the meat roughly by eye or use a kitchen scale to be more precise. A pound of ground meat makes about four patties, approximately a quarter pound each, which is a good size for standard buns, like Martin's potato buns.
What to serve with lamb burgers
I usually serve grilled lamb burgers on Martin's potato buns. They are a good size, widely available, and safe for my peanut allergy kid. Try brioche buns for a gourmet feel, but you might need to adjust the size of the patties and make them larger since brioche buns are typically bigger. For gluten-free options, look for gluten-free buns. Alternatively, skip the bun altogether and wrap the patties in lettuce leaves, like romaine, butterhead lettuce, or collard greens.
Lamb burgers are great served with rice pilaf or a simple, fresh salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and onion. They would also pair well with a simple fennel salad, kale caesar salad or a side of mango cucumber salsa.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
✔️ This recipe is easily customized to suit different preferences and dietary needs.
✔️The burgers are quick and easy to prepare with minimal ingredients.
✔️ Grilled lamb burgers are delicious year-round, regardless of the weather!
- Ground Lamb: Ground lamb is bold, flavorful, and an excellent alternative to traditional beef burgers. Use it in dishes such as Greek lamb burgers, meatballs, and lamb kafta kabobs. Grind your own meat for the best flavor.
- Mushrooms: Sauteed mushrooms are a great addition to the lamb burger. It pairs extra well with arugula and tzatziki sauce. Baby bella or shitake mushrooms are a good choice.
- Herbs De Provence: Lamb is flavourful and doesn't need much seasoning; salt and pepper are all you need. However, for extra flavor, try Herb de Provence, a blend of dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, marjoram, savory, and oregano. These earthy herbs are a great compliment to lamb. Depending on the recipe, lavender, fennel, or other herbs may be included.
- Aleppo Pepper: A type of red pepper from the Aleppo region of Syria. When dried and ground, it tends to have a fruity, slightly salty taste, and a mild-to-moderate level of heat.
- Avocado Oil: This is the oil extracted from the pulp of avocados. It has a mild flavor and a high smoke point which is excellent for cooking at high temperatures. Use to sautee mushrooms in this recipe and if you need to coat the burgers for the grill.
- Arugula: A leafy green from the mustard family. It has a slightly bitter, peppery taste.
- Tzatziki: A Greek sauce made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and fresh herbs such as dill, mint, or parsley.
- Burger Buns: Martin's potato buns are the most basic and easy to find and also work very well with the size of the quarter-pound patties. Don't forget to toast the buns before putting the burgers together.
How To Make Grilled Lamb Burgers - Step by Step
1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground lamb with salt, pepper, and spices.
2. Gently mix everything with your hands. Don't overwork the meat!
3. Divide the meat into equal portions, shaping each into a patty. Alternatively, use a kitchen scale to measure the portions. Keep in mind a pound of ground meat makes about four patties, a quarter pound in size. Adjust as needed for the amount of meat you are using.
4. Make a dent in the center of each patty with your thumb.
5. Clean the mushrooms with a dry paper towel, removing all the dirt. Slice them thinly, then sauté them in a hot skillet until browned. Set aside.
6. Sear the lamb burgers on a preheated grill over medium-high temperature for about 4 minutes. Keep the grill closed.
7. Flip the burgers over and sear for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the internal temperature is 135 degrees F for medium-well doneness. Transfer to a plate to rest.
8. While the burgers are resting on the plate, grill the buns. Place halved buns on the grill for about 1 minute or until lightly toasted.
9. To serve, spread tzatziki on the toasted bottom buns. Top with some of the sautéed mushrooms, a burger patty, and a small handful of arugula. Add more tzatziki to the top bun if you like, and enjoy!
- If the burgers are stuck to the grill, don't force them. Instead, give them another minute to cook. They should turn over easily!
- When shaping the patties, consider the size of the buns. Since the meat will contract when cooked, shape your patty slightly larger. Adjust the size/weight of the patties if using a much larger bun. Lastly, don't forget to make a small indent in the patty.
- To make grilled lamb burgers indoors, use a cast iron skillet. Get the cast iron skillet hot on the stovetop before adding the meat. Over medium-high heat, cook for about 4 minutes on one side, flip with a spatula, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side. Similar in time to the grilling method.
- If you are grinding your own meat, lamb shoulder is the best choice. Because it has lots of connective tissue and marbling, it has more flavor than other cuts.
- For even cooking, use a scale to weigh the ground meat before forming the patties.
- Clean the mushrooms by lightly dusting away any dirt with a paper towel or tea towel.
- Don't skip making thumb indents in the patties! A simple technique that helps the burgers cook more evenly and maintain their shape.
- Make a quick pickled red onions mixture and put it on top of everything from burgers to avocado toast. Thinly slice some red onion, place it in a small bowl or jar, and add the juice of half a lemon. Let the onions stand and marinate while the burgers cook, then use them as a topping!
Lamb burgers have a distinctively rich and slightly gamey flavor that some describe as earthy. The taste of lamb can vary depending on factors such as the age of the animal, the diet it was fed, the cut, and the cooking method used.
Lamb has a distinctive flavor, which may not appeal to all tastes, and it is also typically more expensive than beef. Grinding whole cuts of lamb, such as lamb shoulder, yourself is an affordable, budget-conscious way to enjoy lamb at home.
Choose the best meat you can afford, season it simply with salt and pepper, form the meat into patties, and make a slight indentation with your thumb in the center of each. Grill or pan-fry the burgers, then let them rest for a few minutes before eating.
Lamb burgers go really well with sauteed mushrooms, greens like mint and arugula, and fresh feta. Fresh and tart yogurt sauce, like tzatziki, balances out the earthy flavors of lamb. Additionally, red onion, quickly marinated in lemon juice, is an excellent addition.
USDA recommends cooking ground lamb to 160 degrees F, which results in a well-done burger. Even though this is the USDA official safety guidelines, we prefer our burgers cooked at around 135 degrees F, resulting in medium doneness. The burger is not too pink, yet still very juicy.
Best thermometer to use
I highly recommend the Thermapen One. It gives an incredibly fast reading in just 2 to 3 seconds and is extremely precise. In addition, it features an easy-to-read display, long battery life, and a waterproof design, making it a go-to choice for professional chefs and home cooks alike.
Easy and delicious summer recipes to try
Lastly, if you try this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! And if you snapped some photos, tag and share them with me on Instagram.
Grilled Lamb Burgers
For Sauteed Mushrooms
- 6 small baby bella or shitake mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
- ½ tablespoon avocado oil or ghee
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ground lamb with salt, pepper, and spices. Gently mix all with your hands, don't overwork the meat!
- Divide the meat into six equal portions. Shape into patties and press a dent in the center with your thumb. A shallow indent will help the patties retain shape and not contract when cooking.
- On a hot grill, over medium-high heat, sear the burgers for about 4 min on one side and 3 minutes on the other. The internal temperature should be about 135 degrees F for medium doneness. Keep the lid closed while the burgers are cooking. If the burgers are stuck to the grill, don't force it; give it another minute to cook. They should turn over easily. Remove to a plate and let them rest for a few minutes.
- While the burgers are grilling, toast the buns by placing the halved buns on the grill for about a minute or until lightly toasted.
For Sauteeing Mushrooms
- Clean the mushrooms by patting them dry and removing the dirt with a paper towel or a kitchen towel. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
- In a hot skillet, over medium-high flame, add a drizzle of avocado oil, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add mushrooms, sprinkle some salt, and saute until browned, about 5 min.
- To serve, spread tzatziki on the toasted buns and top with sauteed mushrooms, a burger patty, and a small handful of arugula. Add more tzatziki to the top bun if you like, and enjoy!
- For more accurate and consistent cooking, use a kitchen scale to measure the ground meat before forming the patties. Just bear in mind 1 pound of ground meat will yield about four patties that measure ¼ pound or 4 ounces each.
- When shaping the meat into patties, consider the size of the buns. Since the meat will shrink during cooking, shape the patty slightly larger. If you're using a significantly larger bun, you may need to modify the size or weight of the patties accordingly.