Whole30 Greek Eggplant Burgers
My husband really loves burgers. I eat them, but they’re not on my list of must-have food when it’s time to indulge every now and then. But I have to admit, I really outdid myself with these Whole30 “burgers” I made the other night.
Someone gifted us some meat for Christmas (amazing gift, right??!), and along with that came some pre-formed 100% beef patties. Now, I had been planning on just cooking them and eating them as a piece of meat along with some veggies, not really thinking of using them to actually make burgers.
But then I looked in my fridge and noticed I had a lonely eggplant sitting in there. Light bulb moment! I decided to use eggplant slices as a burger “bun” for my beef patties.
I had no idea how this would come out, but I decided to give it a try. And of course, I had to add some sort of seasoning. I had purchased some bulk seasoning and have been dying to try the Greek Seasoning blend. Wowzers. It was really amazing. With a sprinkle of Greek seasoning and a squirt of lemon, I had just created some seriously delicious Whole30 burgers.
They’re also seriously simple and fast. You need these in your Whole30 or Paleo weeknight dinner rotation.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.
Form two patties using the ground meat of your choice. Just remember, the higher the fat content, the juicier the patties will be! Alternatively, you can use pre-formed patties like I did (just make sure they don’t have any additives).
Season the meat with salt and pepper on both sides. Apply a liberal amount of Greek seasoning blend to both sides of the patties. If you don’t have any Greek seasoning (I highly recommend you purchase or make some ASAP), you can make some using the following blend of dried herbs…
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp mint
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp basil
- ½ tsp marjoram
- ½ tsp minced onion or onion powder
- ¼ tsp minced garlic or garlic powder
Once your meat patties have been seasoned, set them aside.
Wash your eggplant and slice 4 – 1/2″ rounds (cutting across, not lengthwise). You will have some leftover eggplant afterwards that you can use to make a small batch of Baba Ganoush, Baked Eggplant Medallions, or a simple eggplant salad.
Cover the cut end of the eggplant tightly with plastic wrap and place it back in the fridge. You will need to use it no later than two days after cutting. Some browning or discoloration may occur but it should still taste fine as long as you use it up quickly.
Brush both sides of each eggplant “medallion” with avocado oil or melted ghee or coconut oil. Then sprinkle with salt, pepper, and a little bit more Greek seasoning.
Place the eggplant slices on a pan lined with parchment paper. You can use foil, but the eggplant tends to stick (even with the oil), so you might want to brush some more oil onto the foil if using.
Place the pan in the oven and set a timer to check them in 10 minutes. You want them to be slightly browned, but still slightly firm and holding their shape. Since every oven is different, it make take somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes. Don’t worry, it’s not an exact science! 🙂
In the meantime, heat up your skillet (use cast-iron if you have it!!) to medium high. You can use a little oil or ghee in the pan if your meat is lean to keep it from sticking.
Cook the meat patties until they’ve reached your desired done-ness. I usually do about 5-6 minutes each side. The USDA recommends cooking your ground beef to 160ºF. If in doubt, use a digital thermometer to check the temperature.
When your eggplant “buns” and meat patties are done, allow them to rest and cool for 5-10 minutes before building your burgers.
I ate mine plain with a generous squirt of lemon (yum!!), but be creative with your burgers. If you’re going with the Greek theme, and add some red onion slices, olives, and cucumber, garnishing with fresh parsley.
Or, you can do a more traditional burger–seasoning the meat with salt and pepper, and adding lettuce, onion, mustard, and Whole30 Mayo to the burger.