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Lamb and Feta Burger
with arugula and watermelon salad

Active: 50 Total: 50
These unique and summery burgers were last featured in a meal plan in 2019.
Smarts: We recommend making the pesto for this meal ahead of time so that you aren’t trying to blend the pesto right before serving. If you didn’t prep ahead and are using the grill, you can roast the vegetables for the pesto right on the open flame of the grill.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the grill or stovetop. Select your preferred method.
Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Lamb and Feta Burger:
  • Basil - 4 leaves, chopped
  • Lamb, ground - 1 1/4 lbs
  • Cheese, feta - 2 oz, crumbled
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Paprika - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Hamburger buns - 4
  • Eggplant and Red Pepper Pesto (ingredients listed separately) - ~1 cup
  • Lettuce, romaine, outer leaves - 2, torn
Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Walnut Pesto:
  • Bell peppers, red - 1
  • Eggplants, Chinese or Japanese - 3/4 lbs (sub Italian eggplant)
  • Garlic - 1 clove
  • Walnuts - 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Arugula, Watermelon, and Feta Salad:
  • Watermelon - 1 cup, cubed
  • Maple syrup - 2 tsp
  • Vinegar, balsamic - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Oil, cooking - 3 Tbsp
  • Arugula - 5 oz
  • Cheese, feta - 2 oz, crumbled

Nutrition Facts

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Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Roast vegetables - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Jump down to Make Step #1 to get the grill started or turn on the oven’s broiler. Core stem out of peppers. Pierce eggplants all over with a fork. Brush peppers and eggplants with some cooking oil. Place over direct heat on the grill or broil on a sheet pan for 6 minutes each side. When peppers are charred and eggplants are soft, place them in a mixing bowl and cover with a plate to help steam off skins. When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh out of eggplants and peel skins off of red peppers. (Discard skins.) This video shows you how to roast peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make pesto - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Combine flesh of eggplants, peppers, garlic, and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined and smooth. Finish with lemon juice and season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make lamb patties - Chop basil. Mix ground lamb with basil, crumbled cheese (portion for burgers), garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Divide into 3” / 7.5 cm wide and 3/4” / 2 cm thick patties. Cover and refrigerate if not cooking within 30 minutes. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Watermelon - Cube watermelon.

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Make

  1. Heat grill to 500F / 260C degrees. Brush grill grates with some cooking oil and then place patties over direct heat. Grill on opposite sides for ~4 minutes each with cover closed. Continue cooking until lamb reaches 160F / 71C degrees.
  2. Toast hamburger buns.
  3. Transfer burger patties to a plate and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup and vinegar. Add oil while whisking. Top with arugula, crumbled cheese (portion for salad), and watermelon. Toss gently to combine.
  5. If pesto was made ahead and refrigerated, reheat it briefly in the microwave. (Remember to reserve half for Thursday.)
  6. Tear lettuce into pieces.
  7. Assemble burgers with pesto, patties, and lettuce. Enjoy with salad on the side.

Prep

  1. Roast vegetables - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Fire up the grill or turn on the oven’s broiler. Core stem out of peppers. Pierce eggplants all over with a fork. Brush peppers and eggplants with some cooking oil. Place over direct heat on the grill or broil on a sheet pan for 6 minutes each side. When peppers are charred and eggplants are soft, place them in a mixing bowl and cover with a plate to help steam off skins. When cool enough to handle, scrape flesh out of eggplants and peel skins off of red peppers. (Discard skins.) This video shows you how to roast peppers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Make pesto - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Combine flesh of eggplants, peppers, garlic, and walnuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until everything is combined and smooth. Finish with lemon juice and season to taste with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Make lamb patties - Chop basil. Mix ground lamb with basil, crumbled cheese (portion for burgers), garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Divide into 3” / 7.5 cm wide and 3/4” / 2 cm thick patties. Cover and refrigerate if not cooking within 30 minutes. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Watermelon - Cube watermelon.

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Learn More

Make

  1. Heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush pan with some oil and then place patties on heated oil. Sear on each side for ~2 minutes. Reduce heat and continue cooking until lamb reaches 160F / 71C degrees.
  2. Toast hamburger buns.
  3. Transfer burger patties to a plate and let rest, covered, for 5 minutes.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together maple syrup and vinegar. Add oil while whisking. Top with arugula, crumbled cheese (portion for salad), and watermelon. Toss gently to combine.
  5. If pesto was made ahead and refrigerated, reheat it briefly in the microwave. (Remember to reserve half for Thursday.)
  6. Tear lettuce into pieces.
  7. Assemble burgers with pesto, patties, and lettuce. Enjoy with salad on the side.

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
Just a moment...
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Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (25)
Gluten-free (1)
Paleo (1)
Vegetarian (7)

16 reviews

This was a lot of work - I had the pesto already made and frozen from a previous meal, and even with that it still took longer than the average Cooksmarts meal. But it was really tasty and really filling - the salad was a great complement to this meal. I’d probably make the burger again but with a different sauce since that’s relatively time-consuming.

By: Melissa
Posted: Aug 03, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

this was really good (vegetarian). it took awhile since there were a lot of components but worth it!!

By: Laura
Posted: Aug 01, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Every part of this meal was amazing. I’m not usually a fan of eggplant, but in this pesto, I couldn’t get enough! And there was plenty of pesto left over to add to other things (sandwiches, salads, wraps, everything!) through the week. Burger was perfectly flavored and would be great with a tzatziki too. Will definitely make again!

By: Melissa
Posted: Jul 26, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Sooooo good. I used goat cheese instead of feta and added mint to the lamb in addition to basil. Yuuuuuuum.

By: Rudee
Posted: Jul 26, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Delicious, but so much work!

By: Andrew
Posted: Jul 25, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

We love lamb burgers! We used a couple pieces of arugula rather than a leaf or two of romaine to shrink the grocery list.

By: Michelle
Posted: Jul 23, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful