Middle Eastern Burgers

Middle Eastern BurgersExotic-tasting spices and chopped prunes give a Middle Eastern flair to these truly succulent Middle Eastern Burgers. Serve with Yogurt-Garlic Sauce, slices of ripe tomato, lettuce, and sharp red onion.

4 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1/3 cup bulgur, (see Ingredient note)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion, (1 small)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup pitted prunes, finely chopped (2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 12 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 small whole-wheat pita bread


  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Combine bulgur with 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl; let soak until the bulgur is tender and most of the water has been absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until the onion softens, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and prunes; cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Don’t let the garlic burn. Stir in cumin, coriander, and allspice; cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
  4. Combine beef, egg, salt, pepper, the onion-prune mixture, and the bulgur in a mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.
  5. Lightly oil the grill rack (hold a piece of oil-soaked paper towel with tongs and rub it over the grate). Grill the burgers over medium heat, turning once, until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Warm pitas on the grill, if desired. Serve the burgers with the pitas.
Tips & Notes

Ingredient Note: Fiber-rich bulgur is made from whole-wheat kernels that are precooked, dried, and cracked. You can find it in natural-foods stores and large markets.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (with 90%-lean beef): 339 calories; 12 g fat ( 4 g sat, 5 g mono ); 108 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein; 6 g fiber; 373 mg sodium; 527 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (30% daily value), Fiber (24% dv), Iron (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings