This burger is an obvious nod to my Greek heritage. What really makes this burger pop, in my opinion, is the crunchy cucumber topping with a nice squeeze of lemon.–Michael Symon

Three lamb burgers with arugula and feta on a wooden surface with two jars of beer beside them.

Lamb Burger with Arugula, Feta & Cucumbers

5 / 2 votes
These lamb burgers with arugula, feta, and cucumbers are Greek salad-inspired burgers made with spiced ground lamb patties topped with feta cheese, arugula, and cucumber.
David Leite
Servings10 servings
Calories828 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


  • 5 pounds ground lamb, (ideally, you’d ask your butcher for a mix of 2/3 shoulder and 1/3 belly)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
  • Finely grated zest 2 of lemons, preferably organic, lemons cut into wedges and reserved
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbled feta
  • 10 hamburger buns, split
  • 1 English cucumber, scrubbed but not peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups arugula


  • In a medium bowl, combine the lamb, ground coriander, mint, and lemon zest, preferably with your fingers. Form the meat into 10 patties, each about 3/4 inch thick, making sure not to compress the patties too much. Try to make the patties slightly wider than the buns as they’ll shrink a bit during cooking.
  • Heat a charcoal or gas grill or a grill pan to medium-high.
  • Season the patties liberally on both sides with salt and place on the grill or grill pan, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding them. Cook the patties 4 to 5 minutes per side, depending on your desired degree of doneness.
  • When the burgers are almost but not quite done, crumble some feta on each so it can melt. Also place the buns on the grill or grill pan to toast.
  • Place a burger on each of the bottom buns and top with some cucumber and arugula. Squeeze a reserved lemon wedge over each burger and sandwich with the tops of the buns.
Michael Symon's Carnivore

Adapted From

Michael Symon’s Carnivore

Buy On Amazon


Serving: 1 burgerCalories: 828 kcalCarbohydrates: 25 gProtein: 45 gFat: 60 gSaturated Fat: 26 gMonounsaturated Fat: 23 gCholesterol: 186 mgSodium: 600 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 4 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2012 Michael Symon. Photo © 2012 Jennifer May. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

I often make lamb burgers and was excited to try a slightly different approach. These absolutely didn’t disappoint. These were juicy, flavorful, and easy to throw together (says the person who didn’t have to actually grill them).

The recipe halves nicely but also makes great leftovers. We used creamy French feta that melted beautifully. The cucumber adds a nice crunch. And thank you, recipe, for having your cooks directly salt and pepper the meat right before grilling! It makes for a much juicier and more flavorful patty. Grilling the buns is a MUST!

Oh, the joy this recipe brought my family! We grilled the burgers, loaded them with the toppings, and wrapped them in wax paper for a quick outdoor picnic. The meat, cheese, cucumber, arugula, salt, lemon, and mint combine to create a delicious flavor explosion. I cut the recipe in half and then used 1/2 lamb and 1/2 ground veal. Instead of hamburger rolls, I used grilled flatbread.

I purchased the lamb today at 5:00 p.m., freshly ground, and cooked it this evening two ways—one for my teens and one for hubby and me. For the teens, I topped the lamb burgers with Havarti cheese (a cheese they favor) and served them on a ciabatta roll with a side salad of cucumbers and carrots. Our kids RAVED about the recipe.

For hubby and me, I cooked the burgers as written but augmented the topping to be more of a Greek salad, as described below. We chose to eat the burger sans bread, with a fork and knife, and truly enjoyed it.

For the salad, I used 3 tablespoons of diced red bell pepper, a 1/4 cup of diced English cucumber, 2 tablespoons of diced red onion, 2 tablespoons of diced green onion, 3 tablespoons of sliced Kalamata olives, 3 tablespoons of grape tomatoes cut in half, and a 1/4 cup of feta cheese, crumbled. Place ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside.

For the dressing I used a 1/4 cup of EVOO, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the salad with the dressing and serve it atop the lamb burger.

Is there anything more spring-like than a juicy bit of lamb, especially if it’s wrapped up in a little soft pillow of bun and set off by a bunch of feta? For me this screams spring—bring it on! I love a good lamb burger, and I love all the extras this one has on top: the salty feta, the peppery arugula, and the crispy cucumber finished off with the squeeze of lemon. It’s delicious.

I like my burgers medium-rare, which suits this recipe perfectly. I also think English cucumbers are important here as they’re not nearly as watery as the other kind. If you don’t have a butcher who’ll give you just about anything your little heart desires, most stores now sell ground lamb just like ground beef. It’s quite good and would work well in this recipe. The advantage of having it freshly ground is the ratio of fat to meat, which can really make a difference. I used Greek feta, the kind that comes in a block, so I could slice it on my burgers. It stays on a little better than the crumbled kind they suggest.

I must say this really is a great burger and such a nice change from beef burgers, especially in the spring when lamb is at its best.

This was a very good burger. It was easy and quick to make, even with us grinding our own lamb. All of the flavors are distinct on their own, yet meld together very nicely. The creaminess of the feta, the peppery arugula, and the crisp slices of cucumber would work well for people who find lamb a bit gamey on its own. I also really enjoyed the lemon juice squeezed over the top.

I divided the recipe in fourths, which was more than enough for 2 people. Our patties were about 3/4 of an inch thick. We cooked them in a cast-iron grill pan. They didn’t need more than 3 minutes per side to be medium-rare. It’d be helpful for the recipe to have some sort of guideline for the thickness of the patties for folks who haven’t cooked lamb burgers. We’ll be cooking these lamb burgers again.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

Hungry For More?

Fried Shrimp Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls

These easy shrimp sliders are fried to crispy perfection, then topped with a spicy creamy slaw and toasted bun. Bet you can’t eat just one.

1 hr 40 mins

Grilled Pork Burgers

Smoky grilled pork burgers, crunchy coleslaw, and creamy yum yum sauce, all in one unbelievably good handheld package. You’re welcome.

1 hr 15 mins

Shrimp Burgers

Know that bag of forgotten shrimp you bought on sale that’s languishing in your freezer? Start defrosting it. Here’s the ideal use for it.

40 mins

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I wanted to share this funny story – I originally tested this recipe over six years ago. I’ve since moved states and lost touch with many of the people I lived near. However, I received a call today from an old neighbor and the conversation started like this, “Hey, do you remember those lamb burgers you made … ?” That’s how good these are – they’re literally unforgettable!

    1. Loooooove this, Kristen! Yes, truly unforgettable. All the best foods and moments in life are, yes? And they’re so intermingled. Impossible to disentangle. Clearly you shared some good memories with that neighbor.

  2. These were very good lamburgers. The squeeze of lemon really brought out a brightness and we enjoyed them. We also liked a slice of red onion on these and served it with a Greek style salad.