This spiced beef on whole-wheat flatbread is an easy weeknight dinner that tops flatbreads with cumin, paprika, and cinnamon-spiced beef, cucumber, yogurt, red onion, and cilantro.
Spiced ground beef is a staple of many Mediterranean cuisines. And it’s perhaps never tasted better than on this simple whole-wheat flatbread gussied up with cool yogurt, crisp red onion, cucumber ribbons, and a squeeze of tart lemon. Everyone who’s made this has lauded its perfect balance of warming spices and marveled at how everyday ingredients can come together so easily to make something so unexpected. Hello, Wednesday night dinner! And kindly note, it’s easy to double the recipe to serve more or to ensure leftovers.–Jenny Howard
Spiced Beef on Whole-Wheat Flatbread
For the flatbreads
- 6 ounces lean ground beef* preferably 80 to 85% lean
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 small onion (4 oz | 113 g) grated
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 whole-wheat flatbread rounds naan, or pita breads, 6 to 7 inches (15 to 18 cm) in diameter
- 1 cucumber shaved lengthwise into long ribbons with a vegetable peeler or halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro leaves
- 1/2 small red onion (2 oz | 57 g) thinly sliced
- Lemon wedges
Make the flatbreads
- Preheat the oven to 475ºF (250ºC).
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef, breaking it up with the back of a spoon or spatula, until browned, about 4 minutes. Drain off any excess fat. Add the garlic and grated onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, parsley, salt, cayenne, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.
- Arrange the flatbreads, naan, or pita on a rimmed baking sheet and spoon the ground beef on top, spreading it almost to the edges. Bake until the edges of the flatbreads are beginning to crisp and brown, 4 to 8 minutes. (For a softer flatbread, bake for just 3 to 4 minutes. For a crisper flatbread, closer to 7 to 8 minutes.) Remove the flatbreads from the oven.
- Top each flatbread with a few strips or slices of cucumber, a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of parsley or cilantro, and a few slices of red onion. Serve with a couple of lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over the top.
*CAN I SUBSTITUTE GROUND LAMB FOR GROUND BEEF?You can easily substitute an equal amount of ground lamb for the beef. You can also use this spiced ground beef mixture as a filling for soft or hard-shell tacos.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This spiced beef on whole-wheat flatbread was a hit. All in all it looked good, tasted great, and will be a keeper. Loved the spice blend. Don't be afraid of the cayenne.
I actually made the meat for this ahead of time to eat later in the week and I so looked forward to Wednesday dinner! This smelled like a beef version of chorizo from my favorite Mexican restaurant and was so refreshing with the cucumber and other garnishes. I couldn’t wait to eat this!
I doubled the recipe to allow for leftovers. The meat would also be great in a pita or tortilla for a hand-held version. Great hot weather dinner that came together fast.
Looking for an easy weekday meal? You'll love how this spiced beef on whole-wheat flatbread comes together in no time flat. Warm, spicy, and a very delicious dinner. This is a super easy recipe.
There isn't much cooking time, so get all of your ingredients prepped before browning the meat. Once the onion was grated and the garlic minced, I measured out the spices, salt, and parsley into a small bowl. I chose ground chuck with an 85/15% fat ratio. While you wait for the flatbreads to warm, use a vegetable peeler to create long ribbons from your cucumber. Go ahead and chop up your cilantro now, too.
I served the flatbread with tzatziki, (overkill maybe, I know, but I love it so!). I added a few ribbons of cucumber, cilantro, and a squeeze of lemon. Served it with a side salad of chickpeas, feta, and arugula.
Originally published April 19, 2021