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.

Bruce Aidells


Recipe Summary

1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

399 calories; protein 30.9g 62% DV; carbohydrates 29.4g 10% DV; dietary fiber 7.8g 31% DV; sugars 10.9g; fat 20.6g 32% DV; saturated fat 6.1g 30% DV; cholesterol 127.7mg 43% DV; vitamin a iu 1387.1IU 28% DV; vitamin c 56.6mg 94% DV; folate 62mcg 16% DV; calcium 133.4mg 13% DV; iron 4.8mg 26% DV; magnesium 52.9mg 19% DV; potassium 666.2mg 19% DV; sodium 601.3mg 24% DV; thiamin 1.1mg 107% DV; added sugar 1g.

Reviews (4)

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4 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 1 stars
I was not impressed with this recipe. It was very time consuming and expensive with fresh herbs. The taste was not great. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I loved this recipe. Lots of flavor with the poblano pepper and herbs. I had fresh oregano that I substituted for the marjoram. I will make this again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Work but really extraordinary! Having visited Turkey I have wanted to duplicate the fabulous food. This dish does so and more! I used ground lamb in place of the beef and it was remarkably wonderful. I also think you can double the garnish amounts; the dollop of yogurt makes a great dish even better! Pros: Fabulous flavor Cons: A lot of work (my first time was more than an hour and a half) Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Hubby says it's a keeper! This dish does require a fair bit of time and effort (though I did simplify several steps) but it's absolutely well worth it when you taste the final; product. Yummo! Hubby even came out with his comment absolutely unprompted - most unusual. I didn't individually brown sauce ingredients & remove; just kept adding everything in. Didn't serve with bulgur/rice not needed really. Pros: Very tasty moreish dish; Cons: Quite a bit of work but not difficult Read More