Greek-Style Lamb Burgers

Tested & Perfected Recipes

If you like Greek food, you’ll love these flavorful lamb burgers topped with tzatziki, feta, tomatoes and red onions.

lamb burgers

If you like Greek food, you’ll love these flavorful lamb burgers topped with Tzatziki, feta, tomatoes, red onions and shredded lettuce.  They’re perfect for entertaining, especially if you’re looking for a fun and sophisticated alternative to your standard cookout fare.

Lamb burger 8

The secret to these burgers is a panade – a bread and milk paste that’s sometimes mixed into ground meat. You can’t taste it but it guarantees tender and juicy burgers every time, especially if you like your meat a little more well-done or if you accidentally overcook them. A little insurance never hurts, especially if you’re entertaining 🙂

Lamb burger 11

Combine the bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until a paste forms. Then add the shallots, garlic, mint, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well.

Lamb burger 5lamb-burgers

Place the burgers on a tray and cover with foil while you warm pita rounds on the grill. Assemble the burgers and pass the toppings and Tzatziki sauce alongside.

Greek-Style Lamb Burgers

If you like Greek food, you’ll love these flavorful lamb burgers topped with tzatziki, feta, tomatoes and red onions.

Servings: Makes 6 burgers (enough for 4 people)
Total Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

For Lamb Burgers

  • 1 slice white bread, crust removed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots, from 1-2 shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground lamb (not lean)
  • 6 pita bread rounds*

For Toppings

  • 1 small head iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • Tzatziki sauce

Instructions

  1. Be sure grill is clean and preheat to high.
  2. Combine bread pieces and milk in a medium bowl. Mash with a fork until paste forms. Add shallots, garlic, mint, oregano, salt, pepper and mix well. Add lamb, then use your hand to mix ingredients together until well combined. Do not over mix. Form mixture into 6 oval-shaped patties about ½-inch thick.
  3. Grease grill (dip a wad of paper towels in vegetable oil and holding wad with tongs, carefully wipe cooking grate several times). Grill patties, covered, for 4 minutes. Turn, cover again, and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes more. Place burgers on a tray and cover with foil while you warm pita rounds on the grill. Assemble burgers and pass toppings and Tzatziki sauce alongside.
  4. Note: There are two types of pita bread - pita pockets and pocketless pitas. You can use either for this recipe. For pita pockets, be sure they are at least 6 inches wide. Trim off the top ¼ of each round and stuff the burgers and toppings inside. For pocketless pitas, serve burgers open-faced or, if pitas are large enough, wrap them around burgers.
  5. Note: If you're entertaining, the lamb patties can be made a day ahead of time. Place them on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and cover tightly with saran wrap. The tzatziki sauce can be made two days ahead of time.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The uncooked burgers can be frozen for up to three months. (Freeze the burgers on a baking sheet or plate so their shape sets, then transfer them to a sealable plastic bag for easy storage.) Defrost the burgers overnight in the refrigerator prior to serving and then cook as directed.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 burger
  • Calories: 514
  • Fat: 29 g
  • Saturated fat: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Sugar: 2 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Protein: 26 g
  • Sodium: 456 mg
  • Cholesterol: 83 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Made these tonight. So, so yummy!!! I followed the recipe ingredients exactly, but since I’m lazy and want to minimize prep time, I put the cubed bread, coarsly chopped garlic and onions, and home grown mint (and also home grown Italian parsley), into a Bullet chopper and gave it a swirl a few times. The water from the onions made a moist paste and then I added the two tablespoons of milk to the mixture. Followed the rest of the directions adding the oregano, etc. I cooked it in a cast iron frying pan (soaking up the excess fat with paper towels).
    Absolute heaven in the mouth!!! Even my picky eater husband loved it! Thank you Jenn Segal…I am a fan!!!

    • — Renee Guzzardo on July 17, 2019
    • Reply
  • Any reason I couldn’t make meatballs from this same recipe?

    • — Shirley on May 27, 2019
    • Reply
    • Nope – that will work, Shirley. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 27, 2019
      • Reply
  • Oh my, these were delicious! Juicy from the panade and tasty from the mint. I used dried mint from last summer’s garden instead of fresh, and scallions instead of shallots. The panade must have been the secret. Burgers were well done, but soft and juicy, yet they held together well. yum yum yum.

    • — Katie MTH on May 18, 2019
    • Reply
  • I love these Greek lamb burgers! They are delicious and always a hit at my house.
    I have made them over and over and honestly have not changed anything when following the recipe (except for substituting for lack of ingredients). Once in awhile I will combine ground beef (95% lean) with the lamb if I don’t have enough ground lamb on hand, and they are almost as good as the original ones. I also substitute green onions for the shallots because shallots are hard to find in my area. So delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • — Cynthia Kuri on April 11, 2019
    • Reply
  • Another fabulous recipe! Thank you for sharing your gift with the rest of the world.

    • — JustJenSews on July 25, 2018
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, My husband does care for mint, can I substitute Italian parsley? Also, would a white dinner roll sub for the slice of bread? Love your recipes. Eagerly awaiting for the arrival of your cookbook.

    • — Sharon on April 18, 2018
    • Reply
    • Yes and yes – hope you enjoy! (And thanks so much for your support with the cookbook!)

      • — Jenn on April 18, 2018
      • Reply
  • I used panko instead of the bread & milk. I also mixed the feta cheese into the meat mixture. Delicious!

    • — Amy K on March 2, 2018
    • Reply
  • I made this the other night for some friends, I didn’t have lamb but ground turkey!

    • — Rachel on March 1, 2018
    • Reply
  • This recipe was delicious! We just topped off all that goodness with thin Claussen pickle slices to add a layer of crunch and bite. Incredible!

    • — sue on September 16, 2017
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE your website!! Delicious recipes!!! Can you substitute turkey for the lamb in this recipe?

    Thank you!!

    • — Kim on August 30, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Kim, so glad you like the recipes! I think these are best with lamb, but you could use turkey here. (Avoid the extra lean variety– they’ll be too dry with that.) LMK how they turn out!

      • — Jenn on August 30, 2017
      • Reply
      • I will stick with the lamb. I meant to tell you Jenn, I feel like I stumbled upon a gift finding your website. I was searching for a recipe for Peruvian Chicken when I found it. Delicious!! I’m so happy to be in your circle! :o))

        • — Kim on September 7, 2017
        • Reply
        • That is so sweet, Kim! Glad to have you 😊!

          • — Jenn on September 7, 2017
          • Reply
          • Made these over the weekend and they are absolutely delicious! Another winner from you Jenn!!

            • — KIM on September 18, 2017
  • Is there nutritional information for these burgers?

    • — Wendy Sejour on August 23, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Wendy, I just added it. Enjoy the burgers!

      • — Jenn on August 23, 2017
      • Reply
  • We can’t have bread (wheat) or milk (dairy), what would you suggest substituting? Or could this just be omitted? Or could you add egg instead?

    • — Minnie on July 22, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Minnie, Could you use wheat/gluten-free bread and dairy-free milk (like almond or soy milk)?

      • — Jenn on July 23, 2017
      • Reply
  • Excellent burgers! Great flavor and very juicy. I made the recipe as written with a couple of minor changes. I added a pinch of cinnamon to the meat mix, and used sour cream instead of Greek yogurt for the tzatziki. To draw the moisture from the English cucumber, I sprinkled the grated cuke with a pinch of salt and let it drain for about 30 minutes in a sieve before pressing it dry. I couldn’t use an outdoor grill for the patties so pan-seared them on medium in a lightly oiled cast-iron skillet for about 4 minutes on each side. I didn’t disturb them while they were cooking and they got well caramelized on both sides. Great recipe!

  • Can you substitute type of bread? French bread, wheat bread, etc… I can’t see purchasing a whole loaf of white bread for one slice. Thank you in advance.

    • Yep, any bread would really work here. Hope you enjoy!

  • These lamb burgers are delicious and even people who say they don’t care for lamb end up loving these!

  • This is a great recipe.I made these following the directions just as written,and the burgers were flavorful,juicy,and delicious.I make them often and enjoy them very much.

  • Delicious! I cheated this time and used Trader Joe’s Tzatziki (not as good as yours but I was feeling lazy) but the lamb burgers were still super yummy. My family only has lamb once or twice a year but this recipe never disappoints.

  • Loved the burgers. I going to try them next time with a feta dressing for the sauce.

  • OMG! These are delicious! Everyone raved about these burgers. They were tastier than the lamb burgers that we’ve had out at restaurants. Thank you for yet another amazing recipe!

  • My family loved them! Absolutely delicious!

  • if i don’t have grill is it better to sauté or bake and if bake at what temp and how long please? thank you!

    • Hi Lesley, You can use the broiler in your oven. I’d place them on a broiler pan so the juices can drip down, broil them for about the same amount of time that the recipe specifies, and flip them over halfway through.

  • SO good! The stated times the grill were a little long for me though, so the patties were a bit overdone. They were still fantastic! I used all recommended toppings and cut the patties into strips to fit into the pitas. For the tzatziki, I use dill instead of mint.

  • Lamb burger accompanies?

  • Delicious!

  • LoVe your recipes! I would love to make this for a big party. Is there any possibility of grilling these ahead of time or making them into meatballs and making them in the oven? Thank you!!

    • Hi Myra, While I think you could assemble the patties ahead and refrigerate, I’m not sure I’d cook them in advance. You could make these as meatballs instead if you preferred. If you want a similar recipe that’s specifically for meatballs, you may want to try these. (It’s fine to substitute lamb for the beef.) You can cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, then stick them under the broiler for a minute or two at the end.

  • Simply Awesome!!

  • We grilled these burgers outside with friends who thought they knew what a good “Greek” burger was and they were blown away! I would not change a thing about this recipe!

    Karen

  • Made these two weeks ago and they were unbelievably good and so moist. Will definitely make again. As I had no shallots, used some chopped red onion which worked fine.

  • My daughter made these lamb burgers. They were moist, tender and flavorful. Excellent recipe!! We loved them. We’ll be making them again. Thanks for sharing!!

  • Just made your Greek-style lamb burgers last night and they were fantastic! Even my non-lamb loving husband thought they were outstanding. Will be making these again for sure.

  • Made these burgers for our Moroccan friends who eat a lot of lamb and they were impressed. Best lamb I have ever had. So moist and tasty. The combination of spices were perfect.

  • I loved these! I only had 1 lb of lamb on hand so I mixed beef into the mix and these still turned out to be delightful. The seasoning is spot on without being too overpowering. I took you cue and also made your tzatziki recipe as well and the two work beautifully together, especially since I like to throw my burgers on a bed of greens and needed no other type of dressing.

  • This is a go to Lamb mix for any thing – burgers, meatloaf, meatbals. I’be made stuffed bugers feta centers.

  • These lamb burgers are fabulous! Like them better than beef burgers.

  • I love to cook with ground lamb ~ infiniftely more flavorful than ground beef! I can’t wait to try this recipe but I do have my own favorite:

    I never actually measure anything when I’m cooking (baking is the exception!) but the just is pretty much along the lines of your recipe here except that add chopped Kalamata olive and crumbled Feta to the meat mixture itself ~ then I cut back on the fresh mint (and salt!) and add a good dose of dried (ground) fennel (one of these days I’ll have to try chopping up some fresh fennel/anise and either adding it raw or after sauteing it a little.)

    Thanks for all of your delicious recipes ~ and all of them ARE delicious… Best wishes with your new adventure at Serious Eating!

    • — Jesselyn Andersyn
    • Reply
  • My family absolutely loves these lamb burgers. I double the recipe and freeze the leftovers. Yum!

  • These burgers are soooo good. We have made them several times and people are so surprised they are made from lamb. They are yummy with the tzatsiki sauce.

  • These were fabulous. It was my first attempt at making lamb burgers and they came out great. I followed the exact recipe; I was surprised by the amount of chopped mint it called for but it turned out to be the right amount. Recipe with photos was very easy to follow. It didn’t need the tzatziki, or ketchup and mustard for that matter.

  • These are delicious. Another of our family favorites.

  • For those who don’t have white bread in the house, my husband made these with whole wheat bread and they still turned out great. We also used a herbed feta cheese. Yummy! Husband raved about them the whole time he was eating.

  • These lamb burgers were fab! It’s a lot like a Gyro… Yummy!!!

  • My husband loved these greek burgers. He’s always asking me when are we going to have them again.

  • These burgers are a staple in my house. So delicious!

  • I made these last year for a get together. They were really good. Alot like an armenian lulu burger but better. YuM !!! Served it with homemade rice pilaf and a huge greek salad.

  • this looks so amazing…i cannot wait to make this!

  • These are delicious!

  • Great recipe – we make these pretty regularly in our house. Delicious with tzatziki and a nice Greek salad.

  • Made this recipe but switched up the burger shaped patty for tiny meatballs! My husband loved these and he is not a lamb lover! Thanks for the awesome idea.

  • Best Greek burgers ANYWHERE.

  • I made these last night they were great! My husband who does not love lamb like I do loved them as well and so did the kids. The tzatziki was great too. Thanks for sharing the great recipe.

  • Last night was my husband’s birthday so I wanted to make something nice but not too complicated after a long work day for both of us. I had the lamb in the fridge, so I went searching and found your site!! 🙂 I made the burgers and the sauce, and they were both amazing!!!! One of the rare times I actually went shopping to find everything I needed to follow the recipes exactly and not just wing it as usual.

    Well – funny story. The local Kroger doesn’t sell Fage, and I didn’t have time to run to the market. So I bought a different brand of Greek yogurt and raced home to get dinner going. We loved everything!! My husband asked, what is that sweetness in the sauce? I said nothing but mint, there isn’t much to it really, it’s very simple. Well, as we were cleaning up from dinner, I noticed I had bought honey yogurt, and not plain!! LOL Well – just so you know, it really wasn’t that bad! It actually did have a nice sweet balance to all the garlic and onions, but not so much it tasted like breakfast.

    Oh well – goes to show you, racing through the grocery store at the end of a long day is not always the best idea. Slow down and enjoy the dairy aisle!!!

    Thanks for a great site, you are bookmarked now! 🙂

  • I made these last weekend and they were delicious! Exactly the recipe I was searching for. Thanks so much!

  • We made this for dinner last night and oh. my. god. it was heavenly! We did cheat a bit and picked up Tzatziki sauce from trader joes, but we have a 4 month old so I figure that grants us some liberties.

  • Really delicious recipe. My husband and I enjoyed these a lot. Thanks so much!

  • This looks so good. The tzatziki looks so easy to make, I had no idea. I haven’t had lamb in so long…time for a trip to our Whole Foods…and fast!

  • These were fantastic. I made these and served them with your tzatziki (also wonderful), and my homemade pita bread. *swoon* Thanks so much!

  • Delicious! Yet another new staple from this great site (the other is the chicken meatballs).

  • It’s really quite finger-friendly to eat the pita pocket as a burger 🙂

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