Easy Lamb Burgers

Getting bored of your usual dinners? Here's a quick and easy way to make yummy lamb burgers.

With lamb burgers, you want to taste the lamb, so ketchup just won't do. Mayo works great, with a little garlic salt and cumin that complement the lamb beautifully.

I'm crazy about lamb. I eat lamb loin chops, spring baby lamb chops, leg of lamb, lamb shoulder chops, and have even tried fried lamb testicle (my daughter made me!). So I naturally have been eating lamb burgers as well, for the last few years. However, our favorite recipe involved a lot of work. I set out to find something with comparable taste that was a lot easier to make.

This article by J. Kenji López-Alt, "The Burger Lab: In Search Of The Best Lamb Burgers", was incredibly well-written and helpful. Using his advice and guidelines, I came up with a very simple variation that suits my taste buds well. 

Here's what makes this recipe easy:

  • Just use dried spices. Fresh herbs are always delicious, but they're a lot more work. These burgers are yummy just the way they are. 
  • Don't bother working the spices into the ground lamb. You taste the lamb flavor just as well or better by spicing only the outside.
  • You really don't need to grill the onions, or chop them and work them into the meat. Just slice some raw and you're done.

Goes great with a greek salad!

Make the burgers flat, with a dimple in the middle.

TOTAL TIME: 45 min

  • Prep:      15 min
  • Cook:     30 min

YIELD:   2 - 3 servings

LEVEL:  Easy


Form the ground lamb into 2 or 3 burgers that are slightly larger in diameter than your (hamburger) buns. They will shrink to fit. Make them flat on both sides, then put a dimple in the middle of one side with your thumb.

Season the burgers with oregano and garlic salt. Just sprinkle oregano on both sides fairly heavy, then add some garlic salt over the oregano. I also use garlic salt on the buns, so don't go TOO heavy on it here.

Grill or smoke the burgers to 130F using a reverse sear technique. If grilling, set one of the zones to low but the other(s) higher to achieve a grill temp of 350 - 450. Cook the burgers on the low grill, to avoid flare-ups, until they reach about 100F. Then move them to the hot grill to sear the outside, flipping frequently. Try to avoid major flareups that can blacken the burgers. Pull them off when they reach 130F for a pink inside that is not bloody, or cook them longer (e.g. 140F) if you prefer medium. Less than 130 is too red/soft for my tastes.

Smoking them works great, if you have a smoker. Similarly, smoke them until about 100F, then sear them on a hot grill until they reach 130.

If you don't have a food thermometer, I suggest getting the best: a Thermoworks Thermapen MK4.

Grill the inside of the buns. Coat them with olive oil or butter, then place them on the hot grill for about a minute until they have char lines. Then rotate them 90 degrees for another minute, to get criss-crossed char lines.

Add mayonnaise to the buns, then sprinkle it with garlic salt and (optionally) cumin. Hellmans original is my favorite.

Serve with sliced onions, either raw or grilled, white or red. It's personal preference here, and it's all good. To grill, apply olive oil to both sides. You can stick a toothpick or skewer through them to hold the rings to together, or use a high temperature non-stick grill pan like I do.


  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • Oregano (dried flakes)
  • Garlic salt
  • Cumin (ground, optional)
  • Mayonnaise
  • 1 Onion (white or red)
  • 2 - 3 hamburger buns

More Photos

A high temp non-stick roasting pan is a great way to grill vegetables.