I love lamb burgers and I've been daydreaming recently about a lamb burger based on the famous Greek casserole, Moussaka. For those of you who don't know, moussaka is a stunning blend of spiced ground lamb, tomato, and eggplant, topped with a creamy, cheesy white sauce. I decided to integrate the eggplant right into the burger itself, instead of topping the burger with cooked slices.

Recipe Summary

prep:
40 mins
cook:
25 mins
additional:
15 mins
total:
1 hr 20 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 burgers
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Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir diced onion with 1 teaspoon salt until onion is slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant, reduce heat to medium, and cook and stir until eggplant is opaque and softened, 3 to 5 minutes more.

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  • Stir garlic, 1 teaspoon black pepper, cumin, cinnamon, and oregano into eggplant mixture; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste; cook and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Transfer mixture to a plate and cool completely. Cover plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 15 minutes.

  • Whisk 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil and flour together in a saucepan over medium-high heat until golden and bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour milk into butter-flour mixture, whisking constantly as it simmers and forms a smooth, thick sauce, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with nutmeg, a pinch black pepper, and a pinch cayenne pepper. Remove from heat and stir Parmesan cheese into milk mixture until melted.

  • Combine lamb, chilled eggplant mixture, and a pinch of salt together in a bowl. Form into four patties and place on a plate. Cover the plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate until just before cooking.

  • Place tomato slices in a shallow bowl. Season tomatoes with chopped mint, a pinch of salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Pour rice vinegar over the top and toss to coat.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook burgers until slightly pink in the center, about 4 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read 140 degrees F (60 degrees C) for medium.

  • Spread desired amount of cheese sauce onto both sides of each hamburger bun. Place burger on bottom bun, place 2 tomato slices atop the burger, and place top half of the bun over the tomatoes.

Nutrition Facts

620 calories; protein 31.2g; carbohydrates 39.9g; fat 37.3g; cholesterol 89.6mg; sodium 1132.5mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (10)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2017
Ok, I didn't do the cheese sauce because I was craving Tzatziki sauce and feta cheese. I used Chef John's recipe for the tzatziki sauce. I'm not a big fan of restaurant lamb burgers because they always come out so dry, with an overpowering dried lamb flavor. I used about half of the onion/eggplant mix to season and moisten a twelve ounce package of lamb. My patties did fall apart a little, so next time I'll form the patties and refrigerate for an hour. These were so moist and delicious, that I will never again order a lamb burger in a restaurant. Read More
(2)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
03/24/2014
I'm making this tonight. I'm scared. lot of things going on. Hopefully I can edit this afterwards to let you guys know how it went. Okay it went well. Everyone enjoyed them. I'm going to scale them back a little next time tho. Too many flavors going on to appreciate. Read More
14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 13
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
05/04/2017
Ok, I didn't do the cheese sauce because I was craving Tzatziki sauce and feta cheese. I used Chef John's recipe for the tzatziki sauce. I'm not a big fan of restaurant lamb burgers because they always come out so dry, with an overpowering dried lamb flavor. I used about half of the onion/eggplant mix to season and moisten a twelve ounce package of lamb. My patties did fall apart a little, so next time I'll form the patties and refrigerate for an hour. These were so moist and delicious, that I will never again order a lamb burger in a restaurant. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
06/15/2014
This recipe requires a bit of step by step action but trust my taste buds... Well worth the effort! Melt in your mouth burst of flavors makes this one of the best burgers I have ever encountered. *next time i will just do them in sub buns so it won't be a big deal that they do fall apart when cooking. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
04/21/2016
loved the recipe- thank you for the inspired variation on a much higher calorie dish. no grill so cooked in oven. made my white sauce with butter instead of olive oil and fresh parmesan. the simple tomatoes in rice vinegar with mint were delightful! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
11/11/2015
Really Good! I was hungry for Lamb and I love Moussaka so this fit the bill perfectly. I made to the T according to recipe and served with Chef John's Tzatziki from this site. Wonderful! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/04/2017
I made this in lieu of moussaka since I had some eggplant from my garden that needed to be used up and wanted to try something new. I served them for a large dinner party and everyone raved about these burgers! They were absolutely divine!! Thanks for the recipe. I believe that this will take the place of my traditional moussaka recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
07/13/2014
This is a delicious burger! I have made it several times. It is delicious using beef too. I have not changed any of the meat seasonings. I like it just the way it is. Sometimes I will substitute Goat or Feta or Kefalotyri cheese for the Parmesan cheese in the Bechamel Sauce. I like to serve it in homemade Pita Bread. Thank you Chef John. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
02/07/2020
These were fantastic. I made the recipe exactly as written and it was gret. My guest had 2 burgers each they were so good! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/17/2017
Wonderful flavor. When I made it I had to add breadcrumbs to absorb extra moisture otherwise made per recipe. Instead of the cheese topping tomatoes and bun I put the patty on a bed of chopped kale salad with avocado and topped it with a spicy hummus in keeping with the Mediterranean flavors. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
03/24/2014
I'm making this tonight. I'm scared. lot of things going on. Hopefully I can edit this afterwards to let you guys know how it went. Okay it went well. Everyone enjoyed them. I'm going to scale them back a little next time tho. Too many flavors going on to appreciate. Read More
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