Marcela's Spicy Oregano Burgers

This is one of my favorite Sunday Dinner/Monday Lunch recipes. These burgers are great as a standalone dinner making 6 Spicy Oregano Burgers[. If you want to plan for Monday's lunch, make only 4 burgers for Sunday's dinner and set aside 1 cup of the mixture to make my Mini Meatball-Stuffed Pitas the next day.]

Total Time:
45 min
30 min
15 min

6 servings

  • 1 1/3 pounds ground beef
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried crumbled Mexican oregano
  • Chipotle Aioli, recipe follows
  • Six 6-inch soft sub rolls, split
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce, for topping
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • Pickled jalapenos, for topping
  • Chipotle Aioli:
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, drained
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • Squeeze of fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mini Meatball-Stuffed Pitas:
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup Marcela's Spicy Oregano Burgers mixture, recipe above
  • 4 mini (3-inch) pita pockets
  • Iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 8 very thin cucumbers, sliced into half-moons
  • 1/4 cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Put the beef into a medium mixing bowl and generously season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat; add the shallot and garlic and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool.

  • Meanwhile, mix together the egg, panko, Worcestershire and oregano in a medium bowl, and stir until combined. Add the breadcrumb mixture to the beef, along with the cooled shallots and garlic, and mix until the ingredients are well combined. Using a 1/2-cup measure, divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and form them into long ovals, about 1/2-inch thick. (If using the mixture to make Mini Meatball-Stuffed Pitas, recipe below, reserve 1 cup of the seasoned meat and make only 4 burgers.)

  • Preheat the broiler and position a rack 8 to 10 inches below it. Heat a heavy grill pan or griddle over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

  • Meanwhile, spread a thin layer of Chipotle Aioli on the cut sides of the rolls and put them on a baking sheet, cut-sides up. Broil until the aioli browns slightly and the rolls are toasted on the edges.

  • To assemble the burgers, place a burger on each roll and top with lettuce, avocado, jalapeno and more aioli, if desired. Serve immediately.

Chipotle Aioli:
  • Put the garlic and chipotle in a food processor and puree until very smooth. Add the mayonnaise and lime juice and blend until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Mini Meatball-Stuffed Pitas:
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll the meat mixture into16 mini meatballs, about 1 inch in diameter and place them on the baking sheet. Bake until completely cooked through, about 12 minutes. Cool briefly.

  • To assemble, cut the top third off of each pita. Divide the meatballs among the pitas, top with lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes and drizzle with the sour cream. Yield: 4 pitas

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