Spanish Pork Burgers

Spanish Pork Burgers

5 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2008

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups thinly sliced Spanish onion
  • ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped Spanish green olives, such as Manzanilla
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Pimentón de la Vera, (see Shopping Tip) or Hungarian paprika
  • ¼ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pinch of saffron, (see Ingredient Note)
  • ¼ cup shredded Manchego or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 2 whole jarred Piquillo peppers, (see Shopping Tip) or jarred pimientos, halved lengthwise


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, ¼ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ 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.
  2. Preheat grill to medium.
  3. Place the chopped onion in a large bowl; add pork, olives, garlic, paprika, the remaining ½ teaspoon pepper and ⅛ teaspoon salt. Gently combine, without overmixing, until evenly incorporated. Form into 4 equal patties, about ½ inch thick.
  4. Combine mayonnaise, lemon zest, lemon juice and saffron in a small bowl.
  5. Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the burgers, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 165°F, 10 to 12 minutes total. Top with cheese and cook until it is melted, about 1 minute more.
  6. 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 information

  • Per serving: 406 calories; 15 g fat(4 g sat); 6 g fiber; 39 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 40 mcg folate; 76 mg cholesterol; 10 g sugars; 604 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 101 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 653 mg sodium; 691 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings:
  • Exchanges: 2 starch, 3½ lean meat, 1 fat

Reviews 5

September 27, 2018
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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
September 27, 2012
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By: rickm28inil
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
June 22, 2010
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By: Lish
Great flavors and a nice change from turkey burgers. I will definitely make this again!!
June 01, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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.
May 11, 2010
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By: EatingWell User
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!
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