Grass-Fed Lamb Burgers with Yassa Onions

This lamb burger is made with caramelized onions, our grass-fed lamb, and garnished with a special yassa sauce that has a sweet and acidic taste, so there is no need for pickles, although a spicy mustard is a great addition. If you want the burger even spicier, use Chef Thiam’s fiery Tamarind Kani Sauce-a great spicy condiment that can be served with pretty much anything, just like ketchup.

Yassa onion lamb burger with egg
These Senegal-inspired lamb burgers with caramelized onions, a fried egg and hot mustard are a great alternative to regular burgers.

In many West African countries burgers are served topped with a fried egg which is a fun way to serve this one. Eggs are nearly nature’s perfect food and a great addition not only for breakfast. Looks delicious? It is nutritious and delicious!

This recipe is used with permission from Chef Pierre Thiam. Find more of his recipes in his book Senegal: Modern Senegalese Recipes from the Source to the Bowl and on his website.

Chef Pierre Thiam
Chef Pierre Thiam

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.


More Ground Lamb Recipes

Braised Spicy Lamb Meatballs

Lamb Italian Sausage

Sichuan Sausage

Yassa lamb burger with egg
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Yassa Lamb Burgers

Yassa lamb burgers from Chef Pierre Thiam
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: African
Keyword: Lamb Burger, Yassa Onion
Servings: 6



  • 2 lb  Ground Lamb or Ground Goat
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1 lime grated zest
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for brushing

Yassa Onions

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 lime juice
  • 8 buns

Optional Toppings

  • Fried eggs
  • Dijon mustard
  • Tamarind Kani Sauce see recipe below



  • Place ground lamb in a large bowl and add all ingredients.
  • Using your hands, mix until well-combined.
  • Shape into 6 to 8 burgers. Place on a platter, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or longer.


  • Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the onions and bay leaf and stir well to coat.
  • Season lamb burgers with salt and pepper.
  • Cover and cook undisturbed for 10 to 15 minutes, until soft.
  • Add lime juice and stir well.
  • Adjust the seasoning and raise the heat to medium-high.
  • Cook the onions uncovered for another 10 minutes or more, stirring from time to time to avoid scorching, until the onions are golden brown.
  • Remove the bay leaf and adjust the seasoning.

Grill and Serve

  • Preheat the grill or grill pan.
  • Brush the burgers with a little oil to avoid sticking.
  • Cook the burgers to desired temperature.
  • Set aside to rest for a few minutes before serving.
  • Top with the yassa onions, optional mustard or kani sauce

Tamarind Kani Sauce

1 Tablespoon peanut oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 Scotch bonnet pepper, coarsely chopped
1 dried bay leaf
2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
1 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoons Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Cook the onion and garlic, stirring frequently, until soft and fragrant. Add the tomatoes, Scotch bonnet, and bay leaf. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until thick like a chutney, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and adding a little water if necessary.
  • Add the tamarind, sugar and fish sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the bay leaf and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
  • Makes about 1 cup.