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Grilled Lamb and Bulgur Patties With Herb Sauce

Grilled Lamb and Bulgur Patties With Herb Sauce 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post

Nourish Jun 14, 2018

Here, whole-grain bulgur wheat, plus cumin, garlic and herbs, are mixed with lean ground lamb to form flavor-packed, Middle-Eastern-style meat patties, which are served with a lemony three-herb sauce.

Besides adding a wonderful texture and earthy, nutty taste to the rich lamb, the bulgur also provides whole-grain nutrition and volume, so the sensible portion of meat has a healthfully satisfying presence on the plate.

You could cook these in a grill pan on the stovetop as well.

To read the accompanying story, see: Bulgur + lamb = good stuff on the grill.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings; makes 8 patties

  • 1/3 cup bulgur wheat (medium-coarse grind)
  • 2 medium cloves garlic
  • 1 large shallot (2 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups lightly packed fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 12 ounces lean ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest and 1 1/2 tablespoons juice (from 1 lemon)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water


Cook the bulgur according to the directions on the package and allow to cool slightly.

Prepare the grill for direct heat: If using a charcoal grill, light the charcoal or briquettes; when the briquettes are ready, distribute them on the grill. For a medium-hot fire, you should be able to hold your hand 6 inches above the coals for 6 or 7 seconds. Close the lid and open the vents about a quarter of the way. Have ready a spray water bottle for taming any flames.

Pulse the garlic in a mini food processor. Add the shallot; pulse until they are chopped as well. Add the parsley, cilantro and basil; pulse 10 to 15 times, until they are chopped yet still have some texture.

Transfer half the herb mixture to a mixing bowl (leaving the other half in the food processor). Add the ground lamb, cooked bulgur, cumin, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the mixing bowl. Use your clean hands to blend well and then form eight oblong patties of equal size.

Add the lemon zest and juice and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper to the herb mixture in the food processor; pulse to incorporate, then, with the motor running, drizzle in the oil and as much of the water as you need, depending on how thick you want the sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Place the patties on the grill; close the lid and cook for about 3 minutes per side (for medium), until grill marks have formed.

To serve, spoon some sauce onto each plate then top with the lamb patties. Garnish with parsley.

Recipe Source

Adapted from food nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.

Tested by Andy Sikkenga.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving: 270

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 16g 25%

Saturated Fat: 4g 20%

Cholesterol: 55mg 18%

Sodium: 380mg 16%

Total Carbohydrates: 14g 5%

Dietary Fiber: 4g 16%

Sugar: 1g

Protein: 20g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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