Add a little exotic flare to your summer grilling with these za’atar flavored grilled lamb sliders with little bits of pine nuts (optional). Served on romaine salad with a yogurt tahini sauce for dipping. Perfect as an appetizer, party food or a fun meal! Paleo, gluten free, and a dairy free option.
I love these Grilled Lamb Sliders because they are juicy, deliciously spiced, savory little bundles of flavor. There are only a few ingredients and are incredibly easy to make. The za’atar pairs nicely with the lamb enhancing its unique flavor.
What Is Za’atar
Za’atar is an ancient herbal spice blend with a bright, earthy, herby and toasty flavor.
Za’atar has been eaten in the Middle East for centuries. Just what’s in your za’atar depends on your family and community. The blend involves some combination of ground dried oregano, thyme or marjoram, ground sumac, toasted sesame seeds and often, salt. It often contains the wild herb za’atar (also called hyssop which is the mixture’s namesake).
Za’atar’s reputation as a healing food goes way back to the 12th century. The great Spanish Jewish philosopher Maimonides is said to have prescribed it to his patients to treat a variety of ailments.
How to use Za’atar
Za’atar’s wide range of flavors is perfect for enlivening sliced tomatoes. It’s a wonderful spice to put on a refreshing cucumber and can be used as replacement for lemon and herbs on a roast chicken. Consider adding it when you’re looking for a spice mix that’s earthy, savory, and tangy, all in one. It can be found in most health food stores and quality supermarkets or buy online here.
The ingredient list is short (4 ingredients) but the flavor is bright, herby and exotic. Toasted pine nuts give these little burgers a nice sweet crunch but are optional.
Serve them on a simple romaine salad with cucumbers, radishes and red onion.
Here are the ingredients for the Lamb Sliders:
- Grass Fed Ground Lamb – Lamb is rich in all of the essential amino acids and is particularly rich in tryptophan. It’s a higher quality protein than beef. Lamb has 200% more heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than beef. Lamb also has 30% more selenium than beef, which is good for immunity and cognitive functions. Grass fed lamb can be bought in most health food stores and online here.
- Pine Nuts – The pine nuts give the lamb soft sweet flavor but the recipe is delicious without them. I only add pine nuts on special occasions. Pine nuts are actually seeds produced by certain pine trees. They provide a mix of nutrients that benefit your eyes, heart, brain and skin and have been a dietary staple for thousands of years. We toast the pine nuts for this recipe. The pine nuts
- Garlic – grate on a microplane or finely chop.
- Za’atar – explained above.
- Celtic sea salt and black pepper
Yogurt Tahini Sauce Ingredients
The Yogurt Tahini Sauce is simple and can be made with coconut yogurt for dairy free or Greek yogurt. It has only 5 ingredients:
How to Make Grilled Lamb Sliders
Toast the pine nuts: Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the nuts can easily burn! Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.
Make the Sliders: Place lamb in a large bowl. Add pine nuts, za’atar, salt, garlic and pepper. Mix with your hands until well combined. Divide mixture into 6 even portions and shape into patties. To ensure that the meat cooks evenly, make a thumbprint indentation into each patty before it goes on the grill. The indentation helps the patty hold its shape—rather than swelling—as it shrinks during cooking.
Arrange the little burgers on oiled grates, grill covered until well marked, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer cooked patties to a plate.
Make the Salad: In a medium bowl, mix romaine, cucumber, radishes, and onion. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Place salad on a platter and top with lamb sliders. Serve the Yogurt Tahini Sauce on the side.
Serve individual sliders on a romaine leaf topped with tomato, onion, Yogurt Tahini Sauce and sprouts.
Tips and FAQs
Can I make these as full-sized lamb burgers? Yes, make 4 burgers instead of 6 sliders.
Can I use ground beef instead of lamb? Certainly. While I love lamb and it’s healthier, it is more expensive and harder to come by–and some people don’t like the taste. So beef is a fine substitute. You can also go with ground turkey or chicken if that better suits your dietary needs or preferences. They all go well with the za’atar spices.
What is the easiest way to mince garlic? Peel first, then use a microplane to grate it.
I hope these delicious exotic Grilled Lamb Sliders add a little flare to your summer menu! They’re tender and juicy, super flavorful, bright, herby and easy to make. They make great appetizers for a party or serve as an easy summer dinner.
If you like this recipe, try these other delicious burgers:
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Yogurt Tahini Sauce
- ½ cup plain coconut yogurt or Greek-style yogurt*
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated (about 1/2 teaspoon)
- ¼ teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pine nuts*
- 1 1/2 tablespoons za’atar
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic salt
- 1 large garlic clove, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups romaine lettuce, whole leaves and chopped leaves
- 1 cup seedless English or Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- 2 radishes, thinly sliced (optional)
- 1 ½ Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tomato sliced, for serving
- micro sprouts, for serving (optional)
Yogurt Tahini Sauce
- Whisk together yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and salt in a medium bowl until combined.
- Set aside.
- Place the nuts in a dry skillet (no oil) over medium heat. Heat, shaking the pan and stirring until the nuts are fragrant and golden brown, about 3 minutes. Stay at the stove because the nuts can easily burn! Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop.
- Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F).
- Place lamb in a large bowl. Add pine nuts, za’atar, salt, garlic, and pepper; mix with your hands until well combined.
- Divide mixture evenly into 6 portions; shape each portion into a 1/2-inch-thick mini burger and make a thumbprint indentation into each burger before it goes on the grill. (see photo above)
- Arrange burgers on oiled grates; grill, covered, for 2-3 minutes until well marked. Turn over, grill covered 2-4 minutes more until and a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of meat registers 125°F, another 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer cooked mini burgers to a plate.
- In a medium bowl, mix romaine, cucumber, radishes, and onion. Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Place salad on a platter and top with lamb sliders. Serve the Yogurt Tahini Sauce on the side.
- Serve individual sliders on a romaine leaf topped with tomato, onion, Yogurt Tahini Sauce and sprouts.
The pine nuts make this recipe very special but I often make it without them since it’s easier.
If using coconut yogurt strain to thicken. It makes the sauce thicker but it’s optional. Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth, a coffee filter, or a plain white paper towel over a bowl and spoon coconut yogurt into the sieve. Refrigerate and allow the liquid to drain off for two hours.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 5 minutes
- Category: Main Dish, Appetizer
- Method: Grill
- Cuisine: Paleo, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Keto, Whole30
Keywords: lamb sliders, za'atar, grilled lamb, grilled sliders, burgers