RECIPES: Recipe Details

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Fiesta Pita Burger

It was time to give the burger an extreme make-over. Every fast-food and family-style restaurant we ate at served the hamburger the same way, a meat patty in a bun. The toppings would be the only difference. Eating a burger in a pita, seasoned and dressed like a taco made it not only delicious but fun to eat. Everyone who tried this burger was very surprised at how great it was.


1 cup sour cream
1 (1.25 oz) package Ole El Paso Original Taco Seasoning mix
1/2 cup cilantro roughly chopped
2 pounds 80 percent lean ground chuck
2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tablespoon Lea & Perrins’ Original Worcestershire Sauce
1 large scallion finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 or 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, for oiling grill grates
6 Pita Pockets Bread, regular size
1/4 cup Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for brushing on pita bread
1 bag ready to eat shredded lettuce
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup sliced black olives
1 (8 oz) bag shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese


Taco Sauce: Combine sour cream, taco seasoning and cilantro in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and set aside.

Preparing the Patties: In a large bowl combine ground chuck, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, scallion, chili powder, salt and pepper. Mix well but lightly. Try not to handle the mixture too much. Over mixing can change the texture of the meat.

Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions. Shape into 6 flat burgers. These burgers should be flat enough to fit in the pita pockets. Make a slight depression in center of the burgers. This will help maintain the uniform flatness of the burger during the cooking process.

Grilling the Burgers: Oil the grill grates using several folded paper towels. Temperature for charcoal grill should be medium-hot. (You should not be able to hold your hand a few inches above the grate for more than 3 seconds when ready.) Temperature for gas grill should be medium high.
When grill is ready, place burgers on grill. After 3 minutes, check burgers. If burgers slide easily on grates flip and cook the other side until it slides easily across grates. Continue cooking the burgers until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees on an instant-read food thermometer. Flip the burgers at least one more time on each side during this time.

A few minutes before the burgers are done, cut one-third off each pita, brush both sides with olive oil. Place on grill and toast lightly.

Assembling the Burger: Carefully open pita pocket. Steam can build up when heated. Add lettuce, burger, prepared taco sauce, tomatoes, olives and cheese. Repeat for remaining pitas.


Prepared taco sauce, tomatoes, olives and cheese should be room temperature.

TIP:I usually wear disposable food handling gloves when preparing the patties. The meat does not stick to your hands and shaping the patties is much easier.