This Spanish-themed burger is boldly flavored with sautéed onions (which keep it moist), paprika, garlic and green olives. The creamy mayonnaise spread is tangy with lemon and a hint of earthy saffron.

Bruce Aidells
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2008


Recipe Summary

55 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Set aside half the onion for topping; finely chop the other half.

  • Preheat grill to medium.

  • Place the chopped onion in a large bowl; add pork, olives, garlic, paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, about 1/2 inch thick.

  • Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice and saffron in a small bowl.

  • Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165 degrees F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Top with cheese and cook until it is melted, about 1 minute more.

  • Assemble the burgers on toasted buns with the lemon-saffron mayonnaise, some of the reserved onions and a half a Piquillo (or pimiento) pepper.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the lemon-saffron mayonnaise (Step 4) for up to 5 days.

Shopping Tip: Spain is known for its superb paprika called Pimentón de la Vera, which has a smoky flavor, and for intensely flavored peppers called Piquillos. Look for these specialty ingredients in well-stocked supermarkets, gourmet-food shops or online at or

Ingredient Note: Literally the dried stigma from Crocus sativus, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Each crocus produces only 3 stigma, requiring over 75,000 flowers for each pound of saffron. Fortunately, a little goes a long way. It's used sparingly to add golden yellow color and flavor to a wide variety of Middle Eastern, African and European-inspired foods. Find it in the specialty-herb section of large supermarkets, gourmet-food shops and Wrapped in foil and placed in a container with a tight-fitting lid, it will keep in a cool, dry place for several years.

Tip: To oil the grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.) When grilling delicate foods like tofu and fish, it is helpful to spray the food with cooking spray.

Nutrition Facts

406 calories; protein 31.5g 63% DV; carbohydrates 39.5g 13% DV; exchange other carbs 2.5; dietary fiber 6.1g 24% DV; sugars 9.6g; fat 15.2g 23% DV; saturated fat 4.2g 21% DV; cholesterol 75.7mg 25% DV; vitamin a iu 604IU 12% DV; vitamin c 12.1mg 20% DV; folate 40.4mcg 10% DV; calcium 101mg 10% DV; iron 2.6mg 15% DV; magnesium 74mg 26% DV; potassium 690.7mg 19% DV; sodium 652.8mg 26% DV; thiamin 0.6mg 64% DV.

Reviews (5)

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5 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 0
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I agree with two of the other comments make the sauce first as it makes a huge difference and make the patties thinner. I purchase meat from my long time butcher so I can ask for 1/4lb of whatever I need same with bakery items. I used Diaya smoked gouda as I can not tolerate dairy. It was delish!! Happy Fall!raf Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Wonderful Burger! I've been making these for a couple years now and my partner and I both just love them. He doesn't like the sauce but I do. So easy to mix up the burgers and 5 minutes on the George Foreman at 350 and you're done. Pros: Very tasty easy to make Cons: None Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This one's a keeper! An excellent and unique taste. Next time I'm going to make mine a bit thinner (at least in the middle) because they plumped up in the middle and ended up quite a bit smaller than the bun but since the bun was toasted it was still all yummy! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Making this for the first time this summer - although it became a staple two summers ago. One suggestion - make the mayo mix first so flavors can meld. I am not a burger fan at all but this one is light and delicious and I love the grilled onions. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Great flavors and a nice change from turkey burgers. I will definitely make this again!! Read More