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lamb patties over cabbage & creamy tapenade

Lamb Patties with Roasted Cabbage & Creamy Tapenade

  • Author: Megan B-L
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree


Juicy and flavorful (yet simple!) lamb patties served on top of roasty cabbage and a bright, creamy tapenade sauce to tie it all together. These flavors just work so well together, you’re going to love it!

Inspired by Molly Baz’s Minty Lamb Meatballs with Crispy Cabbage & Tahini Sauce from Cook This Book


Units Scale


  • 1 medium head of cabbage
  • a couple glugs of olive oil
  • salt, pepper, & garlic powder (measure with your heart)

Lamb Patties

  • 1.5 lbs ground lamb (or beef, or a mix of lamb and beef)
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • several grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp mayo
  • olive/avocado oil (for cooking patties)
  • salt—at the end!

Creamy Tapenade (you can absolutely skip this and buy store-bought—see Notes!)

  • 1 cup olives (I like to use a mix of Castelvetrano & Kalamata—see Notes)
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • juice from half of a lemon
  • several grinds of fresh pepper
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp mayo (optional—if omitting, add more olive oil to make it saucier)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°
  2. Cut cabbage into quarters lengthwise, then cut out the thick root part of each piece and discard. Slice quarters into ~1/2 inch ribbons and put on a baking sheet, separating any pieces that are stuck tight together. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway, until thickest pieces are soft (to your liking).
  3. Meanwhile, mix lamb ingredients together gently (No salting yet! Mix until JUST combined—careful not to overmix!) and form into 4–6 patties, depending on how large you want them to be. Heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Cook patties on one side for 5 min, then 3–5 min on the other side until patties measure 135 degrees inside for medium doneness (add another minute or 2 if you are making 4 large patties). Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate, salt generously, and let rest for 5 minutes. 
  4. If you’re making the creamy tapenade, add garlic to food processor and mince. (You can definitely manually chop/mince all ingredients and mix in a bowl.) Then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse a few times until you have a chunky sauce. Taste and see if it needs more lemon or pepper or anything else you wish. 
  5. Assemble your servings with cabbage as the base, a big spoonful of creamy tapenade, and a lamb patty. Enjoy! 


  • For store-bought tapenade, you can absolutely use it as-is. Some are a bit dry though and if you’d like it to be more saucy/creamy, add the 3 tbsp mayo and/or olive oil to get it to a consistency you prefer. 
  • If you’re making your own tapenade, let’s talk olives. Castelvetrano are my FAVORITE—they are mild and super delicious and they’ve become much easier to find lately. Kalamata have a stronger, brinier flavor. That’s why I like to mix the two to get the best of both worlds. You could totally use all of one type of olive too, and regular green or black olives can work as well. 
  • You can omit the mayo if you’re a mayo hater or just don’t like the idea of creamy tapenade. I agree that its appearance is not great, but it is delicious. You are in control of the texture of your tapenade, so add more olive oil instead, or not, depending on what you want it to be like! 

Keywords: burgers, patties, lamb, cabbage, mediterranean, olives, tapenade, roasted