Greek Burgers with Homemade Tzatziki

17 Jun

Today’s recipe is for Greek burgers with homemade tzatziki and pickled red onions.  Tzatziki is a yogurt-cucumber sauce that is tangy, crunchy and refreshing – the perfect compliment for the flavorful, spiced burgers.  I make my Greek burgers using a combination of turkey and lamb.  I like this because the lamb lends lots of flavor (truly giving it the “Greek” taste), whereas the turkey is leaner.  Turkey without lamb = lack of flavor; lamb without turkey = too fatty for my liking.  Of course, this is easily customizable and feel free to mix it up with any combination or turkey or lamb or even beef.

I served my burgers on homemade pita bread buns.  Yes, I was ambitious and made my own pita bread, but I wasn’t completely thrilled with the outcome.  They were delicious homemade rolls, but they weren’t particularly pita-ish… I still have yet to figure out the secret to making great homemade pita (and should maybe try a different recipe next time) – if anyone has any recommendations, I’d definitely love to hear them in the comments section!  While I made my own pita bread, I definitely think that store bought pita pockets would work perfectly as a carrier for these burgers, so don’t feel any pressure to make them from scratch!

Hopefully everyone is also noticing the lovely platter I served my burgers on.  The platter is a homemade pottery creation of my talented aunt, Donna Finney, owner of D.F.K. DESIGN.  From her Etsy site: “D.F.K. DESIGN offers hand-crafted pottery & bags imbued with the heart and soul of one who loves to create special pieces for everyday use. Each piece that I create is a unique item, whether thrown on the wheel, hand-built, sewn or hand-painted….each piece is one of kind. Surrounding yourself with items made with creativity, warmth and a bit of soul can have the power to change your home, your meals and your routine activities into something special.”

I definitely would encourage you to check out her Etsy site to see all the great things posted for sale there.  My favorite thing about these pottery pieces is that they are 1) beautiful (duh), 2) microwave safe, 3) dishwasher safe!! and 4) customizable.   They are as easy to use as my normal serveware in terms of care, but are extra special and beautiful.  If you have a special pattern or color or design in mind, she can customize to that (the platter below was custom).  These herb garden markers are so cute and would make a great gift.  I also love the size and color of these small appetizer plates.   Check back often as the stock changes periodically; and to keep up with new updates, check out her Facebook page.

Greek Burgers on Pita Bread with Homemade Tzatziki

Yield: 4 large burgers


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 2 ounces feta
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper

Cucumber Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh mint, chopped (about 10 leaves)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (1 container)

Pickled Red Onions:

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To Serve:

  • Pita bread
  • Sliced black olives, lettuce, tomato or extra mint leaves, all optional

Combine ingredients for cucumber tzatziki.  In a separate bowl, combine ingredients for pickled red onions.  The longer these two topping dishes can sit to “marinate”, the better.

Meanwhile, gently combine all ingredients for the burgers and form 4 patties.  The secret to extra tender and juicy burgers is just barely mixing the meat – be gentle and don’t over combine.

Grill until a meat thermometer registers 165ºF internal temperature or until cooked through.

To serve, place burgers on halved pita bread and top with cucumber sauce, pickled red onions, and any other toppings you want!

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