Eating healthy or being on a diet does not necessarily mean that you should eat boring food.  I have been watching my diet and loosing weight just by eating a little bit healthier.    Maybe I have not lost many kilos but I am satisfied loosing 2 kilos a month, without being hungry.

I have a lot of posts with healthy diet food but as I will be taking a break during August, I will try in each post to give more than one recipes.

Mpiftekia are the Greek burgers and although the word mpif (tekia) is derived from the word beef (steak), the French then called it bifteque and we translated it into mpifteki, now the Greek word generally means burgers.  Mpiftekia may be made with beef, pork or chicken or even veggies.

Now that  it’s summer, we go to the beach most of the mornings and going to a decent beach near Athens, is about 40 – 45 km far, so it’s an hour to go and and an hour to come back, so I don’t want to spend much time cooking.   When I make burgers, I usually make a large quantity.  I form them into patties and then deep freeze them.  They are so easy to cook and make a very light meal if they are accompanied by a salad.  I just thaw them in the morning before going to the beach and when we come back, while I am preparing a salad or an other side dish, I grill them in a robot grill and they are ready in just fifteen minutes, without having to turn them, as they are cooked with air which circulates under the meat as well.     If you grill them in the oven it will take more time, depending on your oven.

I have made them many times this past month and I served them with Vlita (amaranthus viridis) and potatoes and carrots wrapped in parchment paper.


Vlita with gavros

Vlita (βλήτα) is one of the varieties of “horta” or greens known in Greek cuisine which are boiled and served with olive oil, vinegar, salt and garlic or olive oil, salt and lemon juice.  I prefer the second dressing and have added some boiled potatoes and courgettes and served them with some grated feta on top.

Each burger I have made weighs 200 grams (uncooked), but it’s up to you to make them bigger or smaller, but this size is quite satisfying even for the men in the family.   I also made a batch for the others with feta inside and for the stuffed ones I used the Tupperware Hamburger press.  I put half the amount of the meat, pressed it, then added a thin slice of feta, added the remaining meat and pressed it again.  It’s easier to enclose the feta inside but you can also do this by making the ground meat flat in your hand palm, putting the feta on top and then covering it on top, then shaping it into a patty.

Mpiftekia (Hamburgers) – Recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time:20 minutes





Ground pork mixed with veal



Red onions, grated



Garlic, minced



Olive oil





Bread, with or without the crust, soaked in milk



Greek dried oregano



baking soda

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For Vlita:

Salad for 4 – 6



Amaranth leaves



Water with Salt

For dressing:



Extra virgin Olive oil

3 Tbsp

Red Wine Vinegar




Salt and freshly ground pepper

Roasted potatoes with carrots:  Side dish for 4


Potatoes, peeled and cut into thin wedges


Carrots, cut into slices



Olive oil




Juice of 1 lemon

Salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano, at will

Directions for the burgers:


Soak the bread in the milk until soft.


Add the onion, garlic and olive oil in a food processor and puree.


Add the ground meat, eggs and all the other ingredients and form into patties.  (If you wish to freeze them, you can wrap them with cling film),


Grill on both sides.

Directions for Vlita:


Wash vlita and leave only the most tender of the stems.


Bring water to boil and add the greens.Do not add salt, as the greens loose their vibrant green colour with the addition of salt.


Boil for fifteen minutes and then put in a colander to drain all the excess water.


Prepare the salad dressing in a food processor and dress the salad.

(Note: For those on diet, a tablespoon per portion).

Directions for potatoes and carrots:


Wash and peel the potatoes and carrots.Cut into thin wedges.


Put the potatoes on an aluminum foil, lined with parchment paper and sprinkle with all the ingredients.


Wrap the parchment paper and then the foil so that the steam will not escape, and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for 1 hour.

I served the mpiftekia with a  Garlicky Cucumber Yoghurt salad.  I saw this recipe at Choosy Beggars and I knew I would love it as Cypriot cuisine has an influence from Lebanese cuisine as well.  This salad is just like like the Greek Tzatziki or Cypriot talatouri, the only difference is that the cucumber is not grated.

Garlicky Cucumber Salad with Yoghurt and Mint – Recipe Choosy Beggars

Preparation time: 10 minutes







Greek Yoghurt 2%









Olive oil



Dried Mint



Peel the cucumbers. These small ones are so tender you can leave some skin on which gives an extra flavour.


Place in a bowl and add the olive oil.


Add yoghurt and dried mint.


In a mortar and pestle crush garlic with the salt and mix in with all the other ingredients.


You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.


Other related Recipes:

Juicy Turkey Burgers

Mpiftekia (Greek Beefburgers)

Sheftalia in Cyprus Pita

Tzatziki or  Talatouri


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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23 Comments on Mpiftekia (Greek Feta Burgers) with Vlita and Garlicky Cucumber Salad

  1. Peter G says:

    What a perfect combination Ivy! I love biftekia, vlita and the garlick, cucumber salad…m mouth is watering!

  2. City Girl says:

    These look great. I am fascinated by the amaranth leaves – have been wanting to find them (requires some looking here) and cook with them. THank you for the recipes :)

  3. Cynthia says:

    I’d love to have some of that food right now :)

  4. Rosa says:

    What a yummy meal! Just the kind of food I crave…

    I just wanted to let you know that we ate Kasseri cheese you gave me when we met. It was hyper delicious! I served it with homemade pita bread and a Turkish tomato salad… Thanks ever so much!



  5. Adam says:

    You really have a great idea for those long days at the beach. This is perfect summer food, and really something to sit back and enjoy. Lovely yogurt spread too. So much better than that tomato stuff :)

  6. pixen says:

    Oh myyyyyyy…Vlita is my favourite vegetable which is another type of spinach in my country which I like it raw or stir-fried. In Japanese it’s called Horenso. I managed to find them when I was in Greece 2 weeks ago (I tried to email you to ask for your contact but they bounced back. Something’s wrong somewhere 😐 ) because last time, I saw it sold at the Agora Market by an elderly lady by the entrance.

    Your hamburger reminded me I haven’t eat hamburger since last 4 years! Not even the commercial burgers or homemades.

    I’m now trying to make souvlaki for tomorrow’s lunch 😀

  7. Ivy your burgers look delightful! I’m so glad that you liked the cucumber salad! It is certainly very redolent with Greek flavors, and I love how much cuisine cross over there is between the Middle East and the Mediterranean. Which is my way of saying that I love the way you cook and I wish I could camp out and cook with you for a week :)

  8. cheffresco says:

    This looks amazing! yummmm! Congrats on the weight loss!

  9. Liz says:

    I do the same thing with burgers! When you can just get a few burgers out of the freezer it is so handy! Perfect for this time of year as you say. I’m trying to keep my freezer empty for now. But I’ll be filling it up again when we move to Nafplio!

    I haven’t added Feta to mine before but you make it look so tasty I might have to give it a try. My hubby would love that!

  10. The feta layered in the burger sounds fantastic! I want to try this with ground chicken. And, the cucumber yogurt salad on the side looks delicious.

  11. Jude says:

    Yes, I’m very hungry now!! I want to make all of that now..thank you

  12. This looks delicious, Ivy, and I so prefer your version without the bun, so you can really taste the meat! I also make that cucumber salad all the time in the summer – it’s a standard in Russian cuisine, as well.

  13. Parita says:

    Wow thats a wonderful meal!

  14. Niki says:

    meat stuffed w/ feta?? That’s a yummy slice of food heaven for me!!!

  15. Hopie says:

    I didn’t have internet for a couple weeks, but I’m finally catching up on my blog reading and I’m glad I didn’t miss this entry! Feta stuffed burgers, yum! I’m bookmarking the cucumber salad too. Sounds delicious.

  16. Peter says:

    Ivy, the biftekia look delicious…it’s still morning here and I want this whole plate. That Tupperware device looks interesting too!

  17. […] Mpiftekia (stuffed hamburgers) […]

  18. […] Drain on paper towels and serve as is, with roasted vegetables and tzatziki or Garlicky cucumber yoghurt salad. […]

  19. Feta says:

    […] Mpiftekia (stuffed hamburgers) […]

  20. […] Vlita (amaranth) for example, are usually served with olive oil, lemon (or vinegar), garlic, oregano, and pepper. […]

  21. […] Mpiftekia (stuffed hamburgers) […]

  22. […] Tzatziki or Talatouri Purslane Tzatziki and Carrot Tzatziki Garlicky Cucumber Salad […]

  23. […] but unfortunately as I am still on a diet, I avoided the fried potatoes, olives and feta!  I ate mpifteki (Greek burger) and Greek salad and D ate a pork […]

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