Shawarma is a meat dish cooked on a rotating spit, and sliced into thin strips served with a sauce, tomato, pickles, cabbage, onion and hot peppers in a pita. Other times you will find it served on a plate with rice, potatoes, salad and hummus. In Greek this dish is called Gyro, in Turkish it’s Donair. Shawarma is Middle Eastern although we call it simply delicious.

We’ve joined the AMA Backyard BBQ to help support local farmers, ranchers, and businesses encouraging Albertans to shop local all summer long. These Beef Shawarma Burgers are the first of three recipes we will be featuring for the AMA Backyard BBQ using Alberta Beef.

To make these burgers, we’ve added spices, and fresh garlic to the burger, gently mixed to combine before forming patties. They are grilled and served in pitas or on fresh buns, with a dollop of our homemade tahini-garlic yogurt sauce and a few of our favourite toppings. Check out our other recipes in this series: Grilled Lemongrass Beef Satay with Rice Noodles and Steak Al Carbon.

Looking for more burger inspiration, head over to Bakersbeans for recipes like the Alberta Burger served with or without a bun!

Shawarma Beef Burger

Shawarma spiced grilled Alberta beef burgers are served with a tahini-garlic yogurt sauce and an assortment of veggies. Enjoy in a pita or burger bun.
Servings 8
Author Wanda Baker



  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp paprika smoked is fine
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • pinch good pinch salt and black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef

Tahini-Garlic Sauce

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch salt

Burger toppings

  • 8 leaves butter lettuce
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • pickles or hot peppers



  • Mix together sumac through salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl mix together the burger, two tablespoons of the spice mix you just made and garlic.
  • Form 8 burger patties. Salt and pepper each side of the burger patties before grilling.
  • Grill over high heat for approximately 3-5 minutes per side. Set aside to rest before serving.

Make Sauce

  • Mix together tahini through salt. Taste and adjust seasonigs as needed.


  • On your bun or pita slather on some sauce, add your burger, sprinkle on some parsley and your favourite toppings.