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Exotic-tasting spices and chopped prunes give Middle-Eastern flair to this succulent, healthy burger recipe. Serve the burgers with the cool, savory yogurt sauce and slices of ripe tomato, lettuce and sharp red onion.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, Summer 2004


Recipe Summary

40 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth and set over a bowl, leaving at least 1/2-inch clearance from the bottom. (Alternatively, use a coffee filter lined with filter paper.) Spoon in yogurt, cover and let drain in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour, while you prepare the burgers.

  • 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.

  • Meanwhile, preheat grill.

  • Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until it softens, about 4 minutes. Add 2 cloves minced 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 the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook until it is absorbed, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

  • Combine beef, egg, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, the onion-prune mixture and the bulgur in a mixing bowl; mix thoroughly. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties.

  • 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.

  • To prepare sauce, whisk the drained yogurt, the remaining 1 clove minced garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and olive oil in a small bowl. (Discard the whey.) Serve the burgers with the pitas and sauce.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the sauce (Steps 1 & 7) for up to 1 day. Stir before using.

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.

Nutrition Facts

1 burger & 2 Tbsp. sauce
376 calories; protein 26.1g; carbohydrates 39.9g; dietary fiber 5.2g; sugars 10.1g; fat 13.2g; saturated fat 4.2g; cholesterol 102.7mg; vitamin a iu 197.4IU; vitamin c 2.7mg; folate 33.9mcg; calcium 137.3mg; iron 3.6mg; magnesium 74.8mg; potassium 648.4mg; sodium 456.7mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

2 1/2 starch, 3 lean meat