Let me first say that this recipe for Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Harissa Yogurt Sauce is not as complicated as it sounds. It is actually quite simple—and easy enough to whip up on a weeknight. These Salmon Burgers or Chili Lime Black Bean Burgers are also good options for a quick and easy burger craving.
But back to this recipe. What is harissa anyway? The North African condiment is made up of roasted red peppers, chili peppers, garlic, and other spices like coriander. You can make your own, but for the sake of a quick and easy dinner, I opted to buy the paste and mix it in with some plain Greek yogurt. The chili peppers make harissa spicy. No surprise, but I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spice. But if you like spicy food, feel free to swirl in more harissa with your yogurt.
Since the yogurt sauce has some kick to it, I didn’t add too much heat to the lamb burgers. But if you are brave, you can amp up the spice with some cayenne pepper. This recipe was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Moroccan lamb burgers. He chose to make a dry rub and grill the burgers. Instead, I combined spices with herbs like mint and mixed them throughout the ground lamb. I also didn’t grill my burgers—I’ve been living in a non-stop blizzard on the east coast.
When forming the patties together, you don’t want to squeeze them into a tight ball. Instead, gently form the lamb mixture into four 1/2-inch thick patties and make a dimple in the center. The indent in the middle will help the burger cook evenly and will help keep its shape while cooking. For more burger-making advice, see my top 7 Tips for Making the Perfect Burger.