Smoky Harissa Burgers on Homemade Pretzel Buns


How could we have gotten through most of the outside Summer backyard grilling time without me mentioning one single burger recipe? I guess I have been focused quite a bit on Meatless recipes this summer, and well a burger is usually chock full of meat of some type. At long last, carnivore’s take note, here is a recipe for a juicy, spicy, flavour filled Smoky Harissa Burger. The meat patty itself is quite tasty, but there are also a delightful array of toppers which put this burger way over the top and make your taste buds sing. First of all there is that Harissa Aoili. Harissa is spicy North African and Middle Eastern hot pepper chili paste which contains red peppers, Serrano peppers as well as some other peppers thrown in for good measure, and spices and herbs such as garlic and coriander. I bought some which was freshly prepared at my local Whole Foods market, but I have also purchased a tin of Harissa paste at a local Lebanese market. If you like spicy, as you know the husband and I do, you are going to LOVE Harissa Aoili. Kicked up burgers to the extreme! Next this burger is topped with Lime Pickled Red Onion, which adds a delightful tangy bite to the sandwich. Of course there is some wonderfully creamy gooey melted cheese, peppery arugula for a bit more crunch and finally….bacon! Oh yes bacon! I know you carnivores are dancing the happy bacon dance. Yup….the happy bacon dance does exist. Instructional video to follow…or if you’d like to submit your own, I would love to see it! All that adds up to one MONSTER of a burger.


It is so good, there is just not enough summer time left. I bet you’ll be standing out in your snowy backyards during this winter’s blizzards (the weather has been nutty huh?) and grilling them up. (I would love to receive those pics too…) AND…I served these gems up on those ever so trendy (deservedly so…they are TAAAE-STEEE) Pretzel Sandwich Buns which I just told you about in my last blog. Yup. You thought this burger couldn’t get any better and lookie what I did! So what are you waiting for? Get grilling! Time’s a wasting!


Smoky Harissa Burgers

  • Servings: 4 burgers
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Feasting At Home


  • 1 lb ground beef – makes Four – 4 ounce burgers
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ Cup finely diced onion, shallot or scallion
  • ½ -¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish Smoked Paprika

For Serving:

  • 3-4 Tablespoons Harissa Aioli -see recipe below
  • ¼ Cup lime pickled red onions-see recipe below
  • 8 slices crispy bacon -2 slices per burger
  • 4 Pretzel buns- or store-bought buns of your choice
  • 1 Cup baby arugula
  • 4 oz. cheese sliced ( any melty cheese- jack, provolone, cheddar, Edam, gouda)


Make Pretzel Buns or Purchase Buns of your choice.

Pre heat grill to medium high.

Make lime pickled onions, refrigerate. ( see recipe below)

In a medium bowl, using your hands, combine ground beef with onion, garlic, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and smoked paprika just to combine, being careful to not over mix. Form patties. I use a kitchen scale to ensure uniform sizes. I made 4 ounce burgers with this recipe. Shape burgers into a ball and then flatten to form a disc. Push your thumb down into the center of each patty to form a small depression. This will help the burgers to cook evenly and hold their shape. Set aside.

Fry bacon slices, set on paper towel to drain.

In a small bowl, whisk mayo with harissa paste. Set aside.

When grill is hot, grill patties to medium rare or medium. Toast buns at the same time.

Top burger patties with cheese and close grill lid turning heat off , allowing cheese to melt- (or place in a warm oven, topping with cheese, to allow it to melt).

Assemble. Once cheese has melted, assemble. Spread aioli on the buns, place burgers, bacon, more aioli, arugula and pickled onions and then the bun top. Serve immediately. 

Lime Pickled Red Onions


  • 4 Tablespoons (60 ml) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
  • table salt


Mix the lime juice, onion and a pinch or two of salt in a small dish or mason jar. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Harissa Aioli


  • ½ Cup mayo
  • 1-2 Tablespoons harissa paste 

Stir the harissa paste  into the mayo in a small bowl, set aside. 


Recipe brought to you by: Runcible Eats ( )

6 Responses to Smoky Harissa Burgers on Homemade Pretzel Buns

  1. David says:

    That pretzel bun is beautiful! Love the look of those pickled onions as well!!

  2. Brian says:

    Wow. This looks and sounds crazy good.

  3. This seems to me one of the tastiest burgers I have ever seen. I love the use of harissa and the pretzel bun. And with a well described recipe as well.

  4. These burgers look so incredibly delicious.. definitely could devour one right now. Loving the idea of a pretzel bun especially!

  5. Kim says:

    Hi I just found your blog, hope you don’t mind me following along :O)
    I can’t wait to try some of the yummy looking recipes!! I like good food, and also good photos so I enjoyed finding your blog!!

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