Shawarma Burgers

Shawarma Burgers

I grew up in Dearborn, Michigan. The home of Ford Motor Company, Greenfield Village, the Henry Ford Estates, and the Henry Ford Museum. Dearborn also just so happens to have the largest population of Arab Americans in the United States. You know what this means?? The food here is AMAZING!

I feel that I am  very lucky to have grown up in a diverse family. My mom is German and Norwegian and my dad is Palestinian. My Sito (grandma on my dad’s side) and aunts make the most amazing food! My mom also is a great cook…I have already shared her lasagna recipe with you and there are more to come!


Cooking Burger

Being able to get a good shawarma sandwich pretty much any time of day in Dearborn is something you take for granted until you leave. I came up with this recipe while we were still living in Dearborn. This is something anyone can whip together in no time at all. I was trying to make this a “30 minute meal” as Rachel Ray does. If you don’t count all the clean up time I guess you could make a lot of meals in 30 minutes but really, I have to clean up and that is the part of cooking that is really annoying. 

Anyway, you could use ground beef, lamb, chicken, or turkey for these burgers. I was planning on using ground beef but I left it in the fridge for one too many days and when I opened it the funk scared me. I had to toss that out…so sad. The only other option I had was ground turkey. They still turned out good. Last time I made them with ground beef and personally I think they were better. That is probably just because I overcook the ground turkey because I am nervous about under cooking it. So they were a bit on the dry side. Use whatever ground meat you like. My personal choice is ground beef.


Teta Foods

Teta Foods makes an excellent Shawarma Marinade and Cooking Sauce that I use for this recipe. They sell this at Kroger around here or you could get it on Amazon here. Unfortunately Amazon only sells it by the case right now. If you do not have access to this sauce you could make it yourself. I have never personally done this so I cannot recommend a sauce recipe but I am sure you could find quite a few if you google it.

So there are two different types of shwarma sandwiches, meat or chicken. Meat shawarma is generally rolled in pita bread with onions and tomatoes and I beleive a tahini based sauce. Chicken shawarma is rolled in pita and served with garlic sauce and pickles. Both are very tasty! This burger recipe is my own spin on it.

Start with a pound of ground meat and add about 1/2 cup of marinade. You could mix this together really well, form into patties and then let set in the fridge overnight. Or you could just throw them right on the grill or flat top. Cook them how you like them and then let them rest (if you are using ground poultry please cook until they reach 165 degrees in the center).


While your burgers are cooking mix up this tasty yogurt based garlic sauce. About 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 2 tsp grated cucumber, 1 grated clove of garlic, salt to taste, and a pinch of lemon juice. Set this aside while you slice up some dill pickles. I also like to put some of my homemade purple sauerkraut on these burgers…it is very tasty. Any of your favorite pickled products would work.


To assemble the burger, take a toasty bun and place the patty on. Sauce it up and then put your pickles on. Squish it all down together and enjoy! I made some crispy oven fries on the side. I simply sliced up 4 potatoes, drizzled them with a couple tablespoons avocado oil, sprinkled some granulated garlic and salt on them and tossed it all together. Put them in a 425 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes tossing half way through. Do this first and they should be ready just as you are plating up your burgers. Hope you guys like these as much as we do! This is one of the recipes my kids actually eat. Yay!


1 LB ground meat of your choice

1/2 cup Shawarma Marinade

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 clove garlic (grated)

2 teaspoons cucumber (grated)

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Himalayan Salt to taste

4 russet potatoes (sliced thin)

2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high heat cooking oil)

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

hamburger buns

sliced pickles

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Slice up your potatoes into french fries (a little on the thin side). Lay aluminum foil over a cookie sheet and toss the potatoes with avocado oil, granulated garlic, and salt. Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes, tossing about halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile mix your ground meat and marinade well and make into patties. Grill or cook on a flat top until done to your preference (165 degrees internal temp for chicken or turkey). Let the burgers rest. In a small bowl mix together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic clove, salt, and lemon juice. Slice your pickles.

Place a burger patty on the bottom of a burger bun, top with yogurt sauce, and pickles. Enjoy!


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I'm a working mom with two adorable (and completely menacing) children. I do my best to make healthy foods and chemical free self care items for my family. Here I share with you, what works for us!

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