I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m part Greek…and proud of it. While I’m only a quarter, as a kid we focused mostly on our Greek culture (generally the food) since the other three-quarters of my heritage is quite the hodgepodge of nationalities. So from an early age I was stuffing my face with dolmades, patsitsio, moussaka, Greek salads and spanakopita – which was hands down my favorite.
To this day I still can’t resist crispy layers of buttery phyllo dough encased around spinach and tangy feta cheese. Throughout the years I’ve managed to contort every possible dish into a variation on my beloved Greek side. Since I have a slight obsession with chicken burgers this summer, I thought it only appropriate to carry the spanikopita contortion into burger form.
Ground chicken breast is combined with red onion, pimentos, grated yellow onion, and lots of garlic. The “spanakopita” aspect comes in the form of a thick spinach and feta cheese sauce slathered on the cooked burger patty. I top it off with thinly sliced red onion and perch the patties on top of charred pita bread.
All of the things I love about spanakopita in a burger.
- 1 pound ground chicken breast
- ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon red onion, minced
- ¼ small onion, grated
- 2 large garlic cloves, grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 2 ounce jar chopped pimentos
- 4 cups fresh chopped spinach (about a full 6 ounce bag spinach)
- 8 ounces feta, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Generous pinch cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Thinly sliced red onion
- 6 pita pockets
- In a bowl, combine chicken, red onion, grated onion, garlic, pimentos, salt and pepper. Form into six patties. In a large non-stick skillet, heat one tablespoon olive oil over a medium-high heat. Cook until golden brown and cooked through, about four minutes per side.
- While the burgers are cooking, make sauce. In a medium saucepan, combine spinach, cheese and milk. Turn the heat on medium and begin to heat the mixture, stirring occasionally. When the cheese begins to melt and a sauce consistency starts to form add cornstarch. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook another two to three minutes until the cheese is completely melted and sauce has thickened.
- Cut pita pockets in half lengthwise.
- Char pita rounds over a gas flame or under the broiler in the oven. Place patty on bottom half of pita, then top with sauce and red onion.