Spiced Beef Patties with Herbed Yogurt

March 15, 2019

This healthy, spiced ground beef recipe reminds me of dinners I used to make in college: a piece of protein, two sides and a sauce to bring it all together.

It’s a wonderfully simple, straightforward way to cook and eat— a quality often overlooked in weeknight dinner recipes.

My college dinners were more basic (frozen turkey burgers and vacuum-sealed fillets of salmon), but this short ingredients list and quick cooking time would have been ideal for a busy student in a tiny kitchen.

Since we’re all busy people in tiny kitchens these days, a recipe that doesn’t call for a food processor, an hour of your time, or your first born child is an immense comfort at the end of the day.

Working through this recipe is like letting out a long, relaxed sigh.

Aaand exhale.

Up close shot of fork dipping into a ground beef burger patty on top of cooked cous cous on a white plate, topped with herbed yogurt.

All of the ingredients come together in one bowl, then you’ll just need one skillet to fry the patties and one fork to eat them.

What spices go well with ground beef?

I added fresh dill, mint, fragrant cloves of garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes to the ground beef. The spices make a typically one-noted, richly flavored protein way more fun to eat.

You could also add chopped parsley or cilantro, or whatever fresh, tender herbs you have on hand. Oregano would not be an unwelcome addition.

Three ground beef patties, shaped into hamburgers, frying on a blue skillet.

Roll scoops of beef around in your palms and smush them together to create as perfect or imperfect a patty as you’d like.

Fifteen minutes in the refrigerator allows the cumin and herbs to transform the beef into a spicier, unexpected version of itself, like Sandra-Dee putting on a black jumpsuit.

That gives you more than enough time to make the herbed yogurt. The cool, lemony sauce paired with hot, buttery juices from the beef is like the savory version of apple pie à la mode.

Overhead shot of a bowl of herbed yogurt with olive oil swirled through it with a silver spoon.

This would be fantastic with ground lamb, but that is an absolute no-no for the eaters in my house.

Serve this healthy recipe with roasted vegetables and couscous in the winter, or cucumber salad and flatbreads in the summer. Enjoy it with a cold glass of lemony white wine or a crisp, mahogany-hued IPA.

The ground beef recipe would also be wonderful as a hamburger, with the herbed yogurt slicked onto a toasted bun.

You’re not in college anymore, but dinner can still be as easy as a meat and two sides, one bowl and a skillet, 10 minutes at the stove and 20 at the table.

Spiced Beef Patties with Herbed Yogurt

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
Dinner American
By Samantha Serves: 3-4
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Cool, creamy, yogurt sauce paired with hot, spiced beef patties is an easy, delicious, straightforward weeknight dinner.


  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely grated or minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicier)
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
  • 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil



In a large bowl, mix together half the herbs (2 tablespoons each), all but ½ teaspoon of the garlic (reserve for yogurt), cumin, red pepper flakes, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the beef, then stir (using a fork or your hands) until well-combined.


Scoop out 4-5 patties, roll them in a ball, and smash them down into ½ inch-thick patties, place on a large plate and refrigerate 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, lemon, remaining herbs and garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Set aside.


In a skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add half of the patties in a single layer and cook, uncovered, until browned on both sides and cooked to desired doneness, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with remaining oil and patties.


Serve the patties with the yogurt sauce. They are also great with cous cous and roasted vegetables, or flatbread (such as naan) and cucumber salad.


  • 315 Calories


The robust, hearty beef would be great with a full, dry white wine such as a Grüner Veltliner. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc would also be delicious with the nutty, earthy flavor from the cumin. And you can't go wrong with a sparkling wine to cleanse your palate of all those intense flavors! If you'd prefer a red, a Chianti Classico would be nice.

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