Cheese-Stuffed Lamb Burgers with Pistachio Pesto

lamb burger
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins

These flavorful burgers by Olga Esquivel-Holman of Wichita, Kan., are stuffed with cheese and topped with a pistachio pesto. The pesto also makes a great spread for turkey sandwiches or as a sauce for pasta. Esquivel-Holman was a 2005 regional finalist in Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger Contest.


Pistachio Pesto
1cup shelled pistachios, divide
1clove garlic
1-- shallot
1teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2teaspoon capers
1/2cup fresh basil leaves
1tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4cup water
2tablespoons Dijon mustard
2cloves garlic, crushed
1/4cup dry red wine
1 1/2teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2cup chopped pistachios (from above)
2pounds ground lamb
1/2cup Boursin or other soft garlic herb cheese
6-- ciabatta rolls, split and toasted
2-- avocados, peeled, seeded and sliced into wedges


  1. Place pistachios in a food processor and pulse until chopped finely; be careful not to grind into a paste. Remove 1/2 cup and set aside for patties. Add garlic clove and shallot to food processor while it is running to chop finely. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add mustard, capers, basil and lime juice; process well. While running, add oil and water; process until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. To make patties, combine mustard, garlic, wine, salt and reserved chopped pistachios. Add lamb; mix gently. Form 12 thin patties. Divide cheese among 6 patties; press gently into center. Place remaining patties on top, press, and seal edges to enclose cheese filling, forming 6 patties.
  3. Brush grill rack with oil. Place patties on rack and cook 6 to 9 minutes on each side or desired degree of doneness.
  4. Place burgers on roll bottoms; top with avocado, pesto and bun tops.

Recipe courtesy of Sutter Home's Build a Better Burger Contest,

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 860
  • Glycemic Load 12.42
  • Fat 58g
  • Saturated Fat 16g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 30g
  • Cholesterol 150mg
  • Sodium 660mg
  • Potassium 1510mg
  • Carbohydrate 35g
  • Fiber 6g
  • Sugars 5g
  • Protein 50g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Vitamin A 8%
  • Vitamin C 10%
  • Calcium 15%
  • Iron 30%