Dishing Up the Dirt

Lamb & Walnut Patties with Sumac Yogurt Sauce

We are lucky that we have access to high quality lamb from some awesome farmers down the road from us. I love a good lamb roast or a simple lamb chop night, but I do try and keep ground lamb on hand often for simple meals like this one.  And let me just get this out of the way first– These patties are DELICIOUS! They are one of my new favorite ways to serve lamb to my family. They pair well with an arugula salad and a side of rice for a complete meal. And in all honestly, they could not be easier to whip up. I was inspired to try this recipe from Yotam Ottolenghi’s cookbook SimpleHe shares a recipe for lamb and pistachio patties that caught my eye and I really wanted to make a version for myself using local ingredients only. So I swapped out the pistachios for Oregon walnuts and I added herbs that we have local to us at this time. The only ingredient from afar is the sumac (though it was purchased from a local spice shop) But what I’m getting at is that this is an easy recipe adapt and make local to you wherever you live. If walnuts aren’t available try hazelnuts, peanuts, almonds or even sunflower seeds. And if sourcing local isn’t practical for you, you can definitely find all the ingredients at your neighborhood grocery store.

Anyhow, I hope this recipe finds its way to your family dinner table soon. You can find the Sumac at any speciality spice shop or you can order it online as well. It’s a lovely spice to have on hand to add some “tang” to your cooking. Think of a lemon kind of flavor but more interesting.

Enjoy everyone!

Lamb & Walnut Patties with Sumac Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes    Cook Time: 25 minutes    Serves: 4-6 people

Sumac Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup whole milk Greek Style yogurt
  • 1 Tablespoon sumac
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar (or lemon juice)
Lamb Patties
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup firmly packed chopped parsley
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cooking fat (oil, lard, or ghee)


  1. Preheat the oven to 200F.
  2. Mix together all the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Taste for seasonings and set aside.
  3. Add the walnuts to the bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds to roughly chop them.  Add the chopped walnuts to a medium sized bowl. Add the parsley to the processor and pulse again for a few seconds to roughly chop. Add the parsley to the bowl with the walnuts. Continue with the garlic and onion to form a smooth paste, and add to the bowl. Add the the lamb and season with salt and pepper. Mix well and with wet hands shape them patties into about 15-18 patties (about 2 inches in diameter and about 3/4 inch thick.
  4. Put about 1 tablespoon of cooking fat into a large cast iron pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the patties, as many as you can fit without crowding. Cook for 3 1/2 minutes and then flip the patties. Continue to cook for about 3 1/2 minutes longer on the other side. Keep the patties warm on a baking sheet in the preheated oven while you continue to cook the rest, adding more cooking fat to the pan as needed.
  5. When the patties are all done cooking serve them along with the sumac yogurt and enjoy.


Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary.

Leave a Reply

6 thoughts on “Lamb & Walnut Patties with Sumac Yogurt Sauce

  1. Candace R. says:

    this looks fab and can’t wait to try!

    1. Andrea says:

      Awesome! Let me know how they turn out for you. We love them!

  2. Salil Manji says:

    Hi Andrea! Love the recipe! Do you think these could freeze and reheat on the pan well? Thanks!

    1. Andrea says:

      Yes I think they’d freeze well!

  3. Andrea says:

    Andrea, thanks for sharing this recipe.
    Had to try this immediately. We used pistachio nuts instead of walnuts, melted some Austrian Mountain Cheese on the patties and built a fabulous burger on brioche buns, with the sumach yoghurt , romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber. I bought the lamb at a local Turkish butchery and had it ground there. Probably the lamb wasn’t that young any more and for my husband’s taste it was a bit too much – I loved it and will surely do it again, possibly with some less flavour-intensive lamb.
    Stay safe and confident,

    1. Andrea says:

      so happy to hear! love the burger idea with these. Yummy!!

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