Lamb Burger With Caramelized Fennel & Onion

April  7, 2022
6 Ratings
Photo by Photo by Bobbi Lin, Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog, Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • makes 4
Author Notes

There's a lot going on in this burger, but be sure to make a batch of Carla Lalli Music's Salsa Very Verde to drizzle over the top. You won't regret it. —Rick Martinez

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Lamb Burger With Caramelized Fennel & Onion
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb, preferably grass-fed
  • Kosher Salt
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 fennel bulb, thinly sliced; plus 2 tablespoons chopped fennel fronds (optional)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces chevre
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chives, or common chives
  • 3 ounces watercress
  • 4 brioche rolls, toasted
  • Salsa Very Verde (, for topping
  1. Shape lamb into 4 patties about 1" thick, season with salt, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, ideally cast iron, over medium. Cook lamb patties, working in batches if needed, until browned (they won’t take on as much color as a beef burger), 5–7 minutes. Turn and cook until browned on the second side, about 5 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer patties to a plate and let rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Add remaining 4 tablespoons oil into same skillet over medium heat and add sliced fennel, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 cup water (or white wine) and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring occasionally, until all the liquid has evaporated and the vegetables are tender and caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and let sit until ready to serve.
  4. Mix chevre, chives, fennel fronds, heavy cream and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl until completely combined. Season with salt if necessary.
  5. Generously spread herbed chevre on cut sides of buns and build each burger with a lamb patty, a mound of greens and a generous pour of salsa verde.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Northender
  • clairelouisa17
  • E E Faris
    E E Faris
  • Jessica
Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

5 Reviews

Northender May 27, 2023
Jeesuss murphy people, I am 70 and don't have the time to watch these two audition for a food network show. Just get to it folks, so that I may actually live long enough for me to try and make this. You're just not that funny or clever.
Debby March 26, 2024
I agree…silly & unnecessary. And I don’t think it needs the salsa verde. Let the lamb, onion, fennel, cheese do the work.
clairelouisa17 May 7, 2023
Incredible flavours! Absolutely loved these burgers. Such a great taste for relatively little effort. My fiancé can’t eat onion so I used a whole fennel bulb and he loved getting the texture of caramelised onion again. The herbed chèvre is to die for! I’ll make these again
E E. February 7, 2023
I made this recipe for some of my family. First, there was silence. (Don't they like i?) And then my nephew said, "This is good." Followed by "I think I like lamb burgers more than hamburgers" and "We should eat a lot more lamb."
Everyone ate every bit. It was delicious.
Don't take shortcuts, it's totally worth making your own salsa verde, mixing up your chevre, cooking the fennel and onion in lamb fat.
Nothing is hard to do and it's a winner.
Jessica May 16, 2022
Loved this! I made the salsa verde ahead and set aside. A few *very* minor changes I made: I had to go with ground beef because no lamb was available when I was at the store. I used the whole onion/whole fennel and caramelized them ahead of time for probably 30-40 minutes in the cast iron pan because I can never get anything to to caramelize in 10 minutes. I then made the herb chevre and put in the fridge until needed. When I was ready for dinner, I cooked the burgers in the cast iron and while they were resting, threw the already caramelized onions/fennel back in the still hot pan to warm. Don't skip the cheese or the salsa verde. I really think you need all the toppings to balance all the flavors. This will be my go-to burger recipe for the summer.