Cheese-Stuffed Lamb Burgers with Pistachio Pesto

Kitchen Tested
  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 25 mins
  • Cook 15 mins

A burger with garlic herb cheese inside and pistachio, basil, and capers on top.

lamb burger
Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn

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
1 cup shelled pistachios, divide
1 clove garlic
1 shallot
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon capers
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1/2 cup chopped pistachios (from above)
2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 cup 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,



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