Photo: Annabelle Breakey Styling: Jeffrey Larsen 
Total Time
40 Mins
Serves 4 to 6

Middle Eastern kofta kebabs (spiced ground lamb or beef shaped around skewers) are delicious, but a bit of a project. Here, a similar spice blend flavors a weeknight-friendly burger.


How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (400°), or heat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat.

Step 2

Mince garlic with salt, then smash with the flat side of the knife into a paste. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in ginger, onion, cayenne, coriander, cumin, allspice, pepper, and parsley until thoroughly combined.

Step 3

Add ground beef. With your hands, gently mix.

Step 4

Shape mixture into 6 oblong patties that will each fit in a pita half, making patties about 3/4 in. thick. Oil cooking grate, using tongs and a wad of oiled paper towels. Grill patties until well browned and just pink inside, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

Step 5

Cut pita breads in half crosswise. Gently loosen the halves to form pockets. Brush each with oil and add to grill. Toast pita until pale golden and crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Spread inside of each pocket with 1 to 2 tbsp. tzatziki. Tuck burger inside, followed by cucumber, tomato, lettuce, and mint leaves.

Chef's Notes

Wine pairing: Lasseter Family 2012 "Chemin de Fer" (Sonoma Valley; $56).

Ratings & Reviews


July 18, 2016
Wow were these good (albeit a bit messy).  I used Trader Joe's Cilantro chive yogurt dip instead of tzatziki.  I would make the burgers a bit thinner next time so they fit into the pita without breaking them. The flavor is wonderful!  I also sliced some thin red onions.  This can also be made in advance and shaped so it's super easy for a backyard dinner with company. Have lots of napkins on hand they are bit messy but worth it!I served a couple of TJ's Middle Eastern salads on the side for a quick week night dinner (Tabbouli and Balela chick pea salad).  I'll be making this again!