Lamb Burgers with Spicy Cucumbers

With all the talk lately of seasonal produce and fresh vegetables, I nearly forgot it’s also Burger Season!!!  Am I right?! My favorite way to make a burger at home is to use ground lamb instead of ground beef. After all, plenty of restaurants around town make great beef burgers, but rarely do I see lamb burgers on offer. And yet, to me, ground lamb has so much more flavor. Plus, it’s an affordable way to cook lamb without all those fancy racks and chops, if you know what I mean?! Today, I’m kickin’ things up a bit by topping my lamb burgers with spicy cucumbers and a creamy goat cheese mayo, all served on my current obsession – Pretzilla pretzel buns. Yum!

Side view of a seared lamb burger topped with layers of spicy cucumber and cherry peppers, arugula and a goat cheese mayo.

There is a little prep work involved, but it’s pretty straightforward stuff. I start by using a mandoline to shave my cucumbers into very thin strips. Then, I mix them together with sliced cherry peppers, crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt, pepper, olive oil and a splash of vinegar to make a kind of quick little marinade.

You can leave out the crushed red pepper if you prefer not to make them spicy, although the heat level here is still fairly mild. Or, go big and add double. Whatever your preference, really! FYI – I snag a few cherry peppers off the olive bar in my store so I only have to buy what I need.

Bowl of cucumbers marinating with crushed red pepper and sliced hot peppers.

To make the burgers, I shape the meat into balls and season generously with cumin, salt and pepper. That’s it! I like the flavor of the meat to shine through. And yes, I believe in starting with a ball of meat and pressing it flat once I add it to the pan. Many people will gasp at this, saying I squeeze out all the juice by pressing on the meat, but I say that’s crazy talk!

Ball of ground lamb seasoned with salt and cumin, ready for cooking into a burger.

For that year round approach, I’m cooking these inside, so the same remains true as with most protein cooking – hot pan, hot oil and a serious-sounding-sizzle all leads to a nice crust on the outside with a juicy center. Mouthwatering already!?!

Seared lamb burger in a pan, with a golden brown crust.

From there it’s as easy as piling everything all together into a delicious tower of meaty-goodness. I am obsessed with these pretzel buns, as stated previously, so I opt to use these for my burger, but use your favorite kind. I prefer to toast mine, but that’s also up to you.

After toasting, I slather a goat cheese-mayo mixture on the bottom bun, set a burger on top, finished with a handful of arugula and a mound of those spicy cucumbers and peppers. Doesn’t this look delish? And certainly not your run-of-the-mill burger flavor, which makes it delicious and exciting! Win, win!

Side view of a seared lamb burger topped with layers of spicy cucumber and cherry peppers, arugula and a goat cheese mayo.

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Side view of a seared lamb burger topped with layers of spicy cucumber and cherry peppers, arugula and a goat cheese mayo.

Lamb Burgers with Spicy Cucumbers and Goat Cheese Mayo

  • Author: Emily Wilson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Burgers
  • Cuisine: American


Lamb burgers are as easy as beef burgers, but pack in so much flavor, especially with creamy goat cheese mayo and spicy cucumbers on top!



For the burgers:

  • 20 ounces ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2+2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Buns of choice, photo shows pretzel buns
  • 1 cup baby arugula

For the spicy cucumbers:

  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup spicy (or sweet) cherry peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 splashes white wine vinegar, (white balsamic or rice wine would also work well)

For the mayo:

  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise


  1. For the mayo, set the goat cheese in a mixing bowl and leave out at room temperature to soften.
  2. To make the spicy cucumbers, use a mandolin to shave the cucumber very thin, so they wrinkle up easily. Set them in a bowl, then add the sliced hot cherry peppers. Mix in the crushed red pepper, garlic powder, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar. Let them rest at room temp while you cook the burgers. Give them a stir every so often.
  3. To start on the burgers, combine combine the cumin, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Divide the ground lamb into 4 equal portions, about 5 ounces each. Shape into balls, then season each burger generously with the cumin and salt mixture.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a sauté pan large enough to hold all 4 burgers at one time. Set over medium-high heat and warm. Once oil is hot, add the burgers. You want to hear that searing sounds as you set the meat in the pan. Press the burgers to 3/4-1” thickness, then lower heat to medium. Cook about 4 minutes, then flip and finish for another 3-4 minutes on the second side. Transfer to a plate.
  5. While burgers cook, finish the mayo by mixing mayo into the bowl of goat cheese until well blended.
  6. I like a toasted bun, so after transferring the burgers to a plate to rest, I set the pan back over medium-high heat and add a little more olive oil. Set the buns cut-side down in the pan and cook until golden and toasty, about 1-2 minutes. You may have to work in batches, but as the buns come off the heat you can begin building your burgers.
  7. To build your burgers, spread a thick layer of goat cheese mayo on the bottom half bun. Set one patty on top, then add a pile of arugula and a pile of spicy cucumbers. Be sure to squeeze out or drain off the liquid from the cucumbers before setting on the burger. Finish by topping off with the top bun and enjoy!

Keywords: lamb, ground lamb, lamb burgers, burger recipes

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