I’ve been on a Greek kick lately. A few days ago it was my Greek-Marinated Salmon and now it’s these Whole30 Greek Burgers. I wasn’t kidding when I said that Greek food ranks very high in our home! I love the combination of fresh herbs, garlic and citrus. It’s refreshing, clean, bright, citrusy, and great for the warm weather. These burgers are no exception!
I think just about everyone and their grandmother has a Greek burger recipe. This Whole30 version is a bit special for a couple of reasons. Sure, it includes the usual suspects – namely, garlic, onion, oregano and parsley. It also omits unnecessary fillers like bread and gets wrapped up in a lettuce bun. Where things get interesting, though, is the use of dried mint, toasted pine nuts and green pepper. The mint adds a delicious, herbaceous flavour. The bell pepper lends a bit of sweetness and juiciness to the meat. And the pine nuts bring an unexpected crunch to the table. If you are allergic to nuts or seeds then by all means please omit the pine nuts. If not, I strongly recommend you give them a try. You’ll love the texture and slightly nutty flavour.
When it comes to the ‘bun’ I don’t think you can beat some good ol’ iceberg lettuce. Rather than peel the leaves off individually, try cutting the head of lettuce into wedges. They will be far more ‘structurally sound’ this way. You may also want to poke a couple of toothpicks and wrap them in some parchment paper to hold everything in place while eating. Just make sure you don’t chomp down on one of the toothpicks. I speak from experience!
Grilled vs. Cast-Iron Burgers
Ahhh, the age-old debate. Personally, I’ll take a griddled burger over a grilled one any day of the week. You just can’t beat the crust that forms when searing a burger in a cast-iron skillet or flat-top. However, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna spend my summer indoors slaving over a hot skillet. Especially if I’ve got friends over and wanna hang out with them on the deck. Of course, this leads to the second debate: Charcoal vs. Gas! Again, the winner is an easy one to declare – charcoal, obviously!
If you don’t have a grill and want to make some serious burgers, I recommend getting a cast-iron skillet. Don’t try to cook burgers in a non-stick pan. You need to crank the heat up really high to get a crust on the meat and most non-stick skillets are not safe for high-heat cooking. I recommend this Lodge Cast-Iron model (link to purchase). If you want to achieve perfect grill marks, you’ll need to purchase this model here. Lodge makes some of the best cast-iron products I’ve ever had the pleasure of using and for 15 bucks you can’t go wrong. As with other cast-iron products, you will have to maintain and season it regularly. The trade-off is a high-quality, non-stick pan that will likely outlast you. (*Disclaimer: the links above are Amazon Affiliate links and I receive a very small commission if you choose to purchase. This is one of the ways you can help support my blogging activities.)
I hope you like this recipe and be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!
Whole30 Greek Burgers
INGREDIENTS: (makes 8, 1/4lbs burgers)
2 lbs ground lamb (substitute beef, chicken or turkey)
1/2 cup fresh parsley – finely chopped
1/2 cup red onion – finely diced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 green bell pepper – finely diced
1 tsp dry mint
1 tsp dry oregano
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper to taste
avocado oil – to drizzle overtop of each burger
whole30-compliant mayo or aioli (see my recipe here)
diced red onion
whole30 compliant pickles
pitted kalamata olives
- Add everything except for the avocado oil, salt and pepper to a large bowl and mix well. Tip: use your hands – it’s easier.
- Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts – approximately 1/4lbs each. Form into patties, drizzle both sides with a bit of avocado oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat a grill to med-high heat. Grill burgers approximately 5-6 minutes per side or until cooked to your preference.
- Transfer burgers to a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Cut the iceberg lettuce into wedges. Arrange each burger individually or serve everything as a buffet so that guests can build their own burgers.