Cumin-Spiced Burgers with Harissa Mayo

The Moroccan flavors in these burgers—shaped into ovals instead of the usual rounds—include cumin, harissa and garlic. The sauce: a delectable mix of mayonnaise, caraway seeds and more harissa. More Great Burgers

Cumin-Spiced Burgers with Harissa Mayo
Photo: © Con Poulos
Total Time:
35 mins


  • 3 pounds ground chuck

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons harissa

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 large red onion, sliced 1/4 inch thick

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • Eight 6-inch oval rolls, split

  • 1 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • Tomato and cucumber slices


  1. In a large bowl, gently mix the ground chuck with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of the harissa, the cumin, garlic powder and thyme. Form the meat into eight 3/4-inch-thick oval patties. In a medium bowl, toss the onion slices with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat a grill pan. Cook the onions over moderate heat, turning once, until tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm. Grill the burgers over moderately high heat, turning once, until medium, about 8 minutes. Grill the rolls until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise with the caraway and the remaining 2 tablespoons of harissa; season with salt and pepper.

  4. Spread the mayo on the rolls. Top with the patties, onions, tomato and cucumber; close the sandwiches and serve.

Suggested Pairing

Serve with a spicy Washington Syrah.

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