Spiced Lamb Patties with Apricot Couscous. No Bun Necessary.

When I blogged on this Spiced Lamb Patties with Apricot Couscous recipe well over a year ago, I paired the meal with Green Beans with Tahini, which was a perfect accompaniment at the time. If you’ve followed our blog in the past, you may know that Russ and I are avid lamb fans, and so making this Middle Eastern-style meal again—this time with tri-colored pearl couscous and a side of spiced carrots and cauliflower—was not a hard choice to make.

IMG_6886The steamed cauliflower and carrots were seasoned with pinches of the same spices used in the lamb with a drizzle of honey.

Keep in mind, if you do use the pearl couscous variety, it does take longer to cook, so follow the package directions. Another change I made was forming only six patties as opposed to eight. This way we each enjoyed two for dinner, and one per person leftover with couscous for lunch the next day.

As I mentioned the first time around, a touch of plain yogurt in these lamb patties helps keep them wonderfully succulent, and a dollop of mint-flavored yogurt on the side balances their richness. But what I didn’t mention in the first blog, it’s not necessary to add as much oil to the pan as indicated because there’s enough fat in ground lamb to render most of what’s needed, although do include a small amount.

I adapted this from a recipe by Nadia Arumugam found on the Fine Cooking “Make It Tonight” series, and we like the meal enough to keep it in our weeknight repertoire. You might want to consider doubling the side of mint and yogurt as we did…


Spiced Lamb Patties with Apricot Couscous

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 3-1/2 oz. dried apricots, cut into medium dice (about 1/2 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1-1/3 cups couscous, or pearl variety
  • 1-1/4 lb. ground lamb
  • 5 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 large cloves garlic, mashed to a paste with a pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint; more for garnish


  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, combine the chicken broth, apricots, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. of the cumin; bring to a boil over high heat.
  2. Stir in the couscous, remove from the heat, and cover. Let sit until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the lamb, 1 Tbs. of the yogurt, the garlic, coriander, the remaining 3/4 tsp. of the cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Mix by hand, taking care not to overwork the mixture.
  4. Shape into eight 1/2-inch-thick patties.
  5. Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the patties and cook, flipping once, until browned on the outside and barely light pink in the center, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the patties to a paper towel lined plate to suck up some of the oil.
  6. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the remaining 4 Tbs. yogurt and the mint.
  7. Fluff the couscous with a fork. Mix in the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and season with salt and pepper. Divide the couscous and patties among 4 plates. Add a dollop of the minted yogurt on the side and garnish with additional mint.

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