Turkish Beef Patties with Eggplant, Pepper & Tomato


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.

Cook Time:
1 hr
Total Time:
1 hr
4 servings


  • 1/2 cup fresh whole-wheat breadcrumbs (see Tip)

  • ½ cup finely chopped onion

  • ¼ cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 pound ground beef, 85% lean or leaner

  • 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

  • ½ 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

  • ¼ 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 degrees 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.


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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

399 Calories
21g Fat
29g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 2 patties & 1 1/4 cups sauce
Calories 399
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 8g 28%
Total Sugars 11g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Protein 31g 62%
Total Fat 21g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 31%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Vitamin A 1387IU 28%
Vitamin C 57mg 63%
Folate 62mcg 16%
Sodium 601mg 26%
Calcium 133mg 10%
Iron 5mg 27%
Magnesium 53mg 13%
Potassium 666mg 14%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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