Fire up the grill for mint, dill and oregano-laced Greek Lamb Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki and all the toppings. So juicy and such incredible flavor in this gluten-free burger. A deliciously perfect way to up your backyard barbecue game!
A few years ago Epicurious published a blog post titled, “America, What’s your Beef with Lamb?” It’s easy to see how they came up with that title considering Americans consume only about 1 pound of lamb per year compared to 60 pounds of beef. A pretty staggering difference. Compared to Australia and New Zealand, according to Sheep101.info, the annual per capita consumption of lamb is 25 pounds!
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What are the Benefits of Lamb?
- Lamb has great flavor! Its’ mild and tender, and easily gussied up with garlic, lemon, and fresh herbs.
- It’s good for you! Lamb is a nutrient-dense source of high-quality protein complete with all eight essential amino acids with less saturated fat than beef.
- It is high in B vitamins, zinc, and iron.
- Lamb has omega-3’s! Because it’s mostly grass-fed, lamb is one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids like alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a potent antioxidant.
- According to the American Lamb Board, a 3-ounce serving of lamb has almost five times as much omega-3’s as an equivalent piece of beef.
How to Make Greek Lamb Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki
In full disclosure, Kevin and I didn’t have lamb growing up. It wasn’t something our moms ever made. But since trying it as adults, we absolutely love it and our kids do as well. In addition to these Greek Lamb Burgers, my Irish Pub Shepherd’s Pie and Lamb Tacos w/ Mediterranean Salsa are regularly requested.
While Kevin and Bryce love both lamb and beef burgers, Elise and I will take lamb over beef any day. We find them much more tender and flavorful. They’re loaded with minced garlic, fresh herbs, a bit of lemon zest, and moistened with a little olive oil, water and a splash of Worcestershire. There’s an intentional overlap of ingredients with the tzatziki for a consistent flavor profile.
Tips for Cooking Greek Lamb Burgers
- Whenever I make any type of meat burger, I leave a slight indentation in the center so they don’t bulge up too much in the middle when cooking.
- You can either grill, pan sear or broil these burgers. Cooking time will be similar for all methods.
- When grilling, chill the patties in the fridge at least 20 minutes so they can firm up a bit. Soft burgers of any kind risk falling apart on your grill.
- We like these burgers cooked medium, which is an internal temperature of around 140°F. Cook to 160°F if you prefer them more well done.
- Let the burgers rest 5 minutes before taking that first bite to let all those juices settle in. A burned mouth is no fun.
Making Avocado Tzatziki
Like hamburgers & ketchup, and hot dogs & mustard, lamb & tzatziki (pronounced tsäˈtsēkē) go hand in hand. And it’s so fun to say! Like other classic recipes, everyone who is into tzatziki has their own spin on the Greek sauce. The traditional base is yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. Variations then include vinegar or lemon juice, and some combination of fresh herbs.
This recipe was generously adapted from Anne Burrell. You know, the Food Network chef with blond, spiky hair and huge personality. Compared to her version, I added avocado, lemon juice and zest. Grated garlic, fresh dill, mint and oregano add some zing and brightness. You can make it a few days in advance and add the avocado just before serving so it doesn’t have time to oxidize. It’s also great on fish, chicken, sandwiches and an awesome dip!
How to Serve Greek Lamb Burgers
Once your lamb patties are cooked to perfection, set up a burger bar with:
- Toasted pitas or rolls
- Fresh baby spinach or romaine
- Red onion
- Fresh herbs for tasty garnish
- Avocado Tzatziki
- Some cold brews or beverages of choice?
What Sides Go with Greek Lamb Burgers
Fries immediately come to mind whenever a burger is mentioned so I simply roasted some potato wedges (deets are in the recipe card). Some other side dish ideas are:
- Roasted Chickpea Salad
- Grilled Corn w/ Manchego and Lime
- Baby Potato & Green Bean Salad
- Pearl Couscous Salad (by Dawn at girlheartfood.com)
- Grilled Zucchini & Pepper Salad (by Helen and Billie at miakouppa.com)
Here’s to summer and grilling season! Cheers, friends!!?
- Cast iron reversible griddle (if not using outdoor grill)
- Extra-large rimmed sheet pan
- 7-inch Santoku knife
- BPA-free cutting boards
Greek Lamb Burgers with Avocado Tzatziki
- 2 pounds ground lamb
- 3 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 ½ tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons each fresh mint, dill, and oregano, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Zest of 1 lemon
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 6 pitas or high-quality burger rolls, toasted
- Toppings: fresh lettuce, baby spinach, thinly sliced cucumber, tomato and red onion
- ⅓ of an English cucumber, peeled, seeded and coarsely grated (about ½ cup)
- 1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup crumbled feta
- Zest of 1 lemon, juice of ½ lemon
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon each fresh mint, dill and oregano, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- ½ of a large or 1 small ripe avocado, mashed
- Roasted Potatoes
- 5 medium butter potatoes, cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Squeeze of lemon
- Lamb Burgers
- In a large bowl, use your hands to combine the lamb, garlic, fresh herbs, Worcestershire, olive oil, lemon zest, water, salt and pepper.
- Form lamb mixture into 6 equal patties (6-7 ounces each), about 4-inches diameter and 1-inch thick. Sprinkle patties with a little more kosher salt and pepper.
- Chill the burgers uncovered 20-30 minutes before grilling. (Can be prepped 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.)*
- Prepare grill over medium-high heat. Grill burgers 5-6 minutes per side with the lid closed for medium doneness and an internal temperature of 140-145°Adjust more or less time to your liking.
- Let burgers rest 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve burgers with Avocado Tzatziki, pitas or rolls, and suggested toppings. Enjoy!
- Avocado Tzatziki
- Place cucumber in a medium bowl and squeeze in paper towels or a dishtowel to remove as much water as possible.
- Whisk in yogurt, feta, lemon juice and zest, garlic, mint, and dill. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to use. (Can be made 2 days ahead.)
- Add mashed avocado just before serving.
- Roasted Potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place potato wedges on a large, rimmed sheet pan.
- Drizzle olive oil over potatoes. Sprinkle with oregano, salt and pepper, and a little lemon juice.
- Toss to coat.
- Roast potatoes about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until they’re fork tender.
- Serve hot.
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