Lamb and Feta Burger With Saffron Yogurt Sauce

Add more sizzle to your summer with this nutritionally stacked burger.

Lamb and Feta Burger
Hannah Whitaker

Would you like a side of sex with that? Then get ready to flip your next barbecue on its head. According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
 the amount of sodium in a typical meal can significantly reduce blood flow—and we mean all blood flow—within as few as 30 minutes of taking your last bite. With less sodium than ground beef, ground lamb keeps the wind in your sails.

Lamb also contains niacin, which helps your body convert food to energy. More important, it further boosts circulation and ramps up the production of sex hormones. Your sailboat just turned into a speedboat, and, as any speedboat salesman will tell you, that’s not all!

Niacin supports the absorption of calcium, like the calcium in Feta cheese—which the women at your speedboat barbecue soiree will love about this burger because it contains fewer calories than the Swiss and cheddar cheese you had at your last barbecue, and less fat, too. Little do they know that in 2007 a group of Belgian researchers published a study in the journal Headache, in which they discovered that riboflavin, a B vitamin found in feta cheese, can reduce both the frequency and duration of headaches. So much for that excuse. You’re welcome.

Let it marinate

Marinades with a vinegar or lemon base may prevent potentially carcinogenic chemicals associated with grilling from sticking to the meat. Sugary marinades, which encourage charring, have the opposite effect and should be used only in the last minute or two of grilling.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 483; protein: 28g; carbs: 39g; fat: 25g; fiber: 6g

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Prep time

10 min.

Cook time

10 min.

  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp fresh mint leaves, minced
  • Pinch saffron
  • 6 oz plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 oz low-fat feta
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 whole-wheat mini pitas

Heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine lamb, paprika, salt, and 2tsp mint. Divide into four equal portions, and form into patties. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine saffron with 1tsp hot water, and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Break up the saffron threads with your fingers, and mix with the water. Add the yogurt and oregano, and mix to combine. Set aside.

In another small bowl, combine the tomato, feta, olive oil, and remaining 2tsp mint; set aside.

Grill the burgers for 3 minutes per side (for medium) or until desired doneness. Add the pitas to the grill, and heat for 1 minute per side to soften. Top four of the pitas with a burger, 1Tbsp of the saffron yogurt sauce, and a heaping spoonful of the tomato salad. Finish off with remaining pitas, and serve immediately with additional sauce on the side if desired.