Turkish Beef Patties with Eggplant, Pepper & Tomato

March/April 2014

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In this healthy ground beef recipe, ground beef patties seasoned with Turkish spices are cooked with eggplant, pepper, tomatoes and herbs to create a delectable stew. Serve the beef patties and vegetables over bulgur or brown rice to soak up all of the sauce.

Turkish Beef Patties with Eggplant, Pepper & Tomato

Makes: 4 servings

Serving Size: 2 patties & 1 1/4 cups sauce

Active Time:

Total Time:


Beef Patties

  • 1/2 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pound ground beef, 85% lean or leaner

Eggplant Sauce

  • 1 eggplant (about 1 pound), unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 1/2-3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 large poblano pepper, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley


  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint


  1. To prepare patties: Combine breadcrumbs, 1/2 cup onion, yogurt, egg, 1/4 cup parsley, 1 tablespoon mint, cumin, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt and allspice in a large bowl. Add beef and, using clean hands, knead and squeeze the mixture until well combined (avoid overmixing). Using about 1/3 cup each, form into 8 oval patties, 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. To prepare sauce: Toss eggplant in a bowl with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes. Turn the pieces over with a spatula and continue baking until the eggplant is soft when pressed, 6 to 8 minutes more. Set aside.
  4. Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the patties (it will be a tight fit) and cook until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pan; if the pan is dry, add 1 tablespoon oil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium, add poblano strips and cook, stirring, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add 1 cup onion to the pan, cover and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and water; scrape up any browned bits. Return the poblanos to the pan; add the reserved eggplant, tomatoes, marjoram and 1 teaspoon mint. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon parsley along with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Nestle the patties into the sauce, and cook, uncovered, until they are heated through and the sauce is slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Serve garnished with dollops of yogurt and sprinkled with mint.

Tips & Notes

  • To make your own fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from whole-wheat bread. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. To make fine breadcrumbs, process until very fine. To make dry breadcrumbs, spread coarse or fine breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake at 250°F until dry, about 10 to 15 minutes. One slice of bread makes about 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or about 1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs. For store-bought coarse dry breadcrumbs we like Ian’s brand, labeled “Panko breadcrumbs.” Find them at well-stocked supermarkets.


Per serving: 400 calories; 20 g fat (6 g sat, 7 g mono); 128 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrates; 1 g added sugars; 12 g total sugars; 31 g protein; 7 g fiber; 594 mg sodium; 661 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (86% daily value), Iron (30% dv), Potassium (19% dv), Vitamin A (18% dv), Folate (16% dv)

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 4 1/2 vegetable, 3 1/2 lean meat, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1 1/2 fat

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Recipe Categories

Total Time
1 hour or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

Type of Dish
Main dish, meat
Ease of Preparation
March/April 2014
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