Crispy Pitas Filled with Ground Lamb, Chicken and Spice - Arayes
These crispy lamby spicy pitas make a great weeknight or weekend meal! You can choose your favorite ground meat, but a combination of lamb and ground chicken is very tasty mixed with cinnamon, za'atar, and extra lemony sumac if you have it! Plus, using half ground chicken reduces the fat a bit. Serve these up alongside some hummus, Greek yogurt, and cucumbers and you have yourself a meal!(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
½lbGround chickenOr turkey (If you really love lamb, just use all lamb!) *for a lower fat version, you could use all ground chicken, I have not tried it, but you may want to reduce the amount of spices.
¼cupTomatoOptional, finely diced, seeds removed
1Garlic cloveFinely chopped
¼cupChopped cilantroOptional, but very tasty! - or use parsley. You could also add 1/4 cup diced seeded tomato
½tspMintOr add a couple tbsp fresh chopped mint
1tbspSumacOptional - Sumac has a bright lemony flavor!
1¼tbspZa’atarZa'atar or garam masala would work fine. Use some to sprinkle over the top as delicious garnish! TIP: Taste your za'atar for salt and hot pepper/cayenne, if it's salty, don't add any salt to the recipe.
⅛tsCayenne pepperOptional, use more or less depending on what you like! If your za'atar is hot, you may not want to add any cayenne.
⅛tsSalt*Taste your Za'atar, if it's not salty, add a little more salt
½tsCinnamonI adore cinnamon in lamb so I use a heaping spoonful
To Prepare the Arayas
4Medium pita bread loaves
1LemonCut in wedges
Greek Yogurt or HummusOptional
Combine all ingredients for filling until mixed well. It should not be too wet. If it seems wet, you could add 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs to the mixture.
Preheat oven or grill to 450°
Brush the tops and bottoms of the pita bread with olive oil. (If the pita is stiff microwave it for 5-10 seconds until it's pliable so that you can open it up.)
Cut the pitas in half, and then in thirds to make six triangles. If you have small pitas, you may only want four triangles.
Open each piece of pita and stuff with about a tablespoon of filling and spread it from edge to edge. For crispier pitas, use a thin layer. Press firmly to seal them closed.
Sprinkle a little za'atar over the top, or cayenne if you like.
Bake in a 450° oven until crispy on top, about 5-10 minutes. Flip and bake another 5-7 minutes or until crispy and the meat is cooked through. If you are cooking on a grill over direct heat, check them after five minutes per side, or more frequently.
Serve with lemon, hummus or Greek yogurt.
If you are using thawed ground meat and it looks wet, place it in a colander for a few minutes to drain.Sumac has a lemony taste and I like to add to that flavor by squeezing fresh lemon over the tops of the arayes when serving.Some recipes call for filling the pita's whole, then cutting into wedges before cooking. I find these are more crispy when I fill the triangles separately. Resist the urge to overfill these or they may get soggy.Non-stick aluminum foil - optional, but works great with this recipe! It's a little pricy but it's an amazing product. I've seen these cooked directly on the grill, but I prefer a baking sheet.These are great dipped in hummus, Greek yogurt, tzatziki, or baba ghanoush! If you really think about it, these are sort of like eating skinny, spicy lamb burgers!If you haven't made Arayes, give these a try, and don't be afraid to adjust the seasonings to your taste preference. I like extra cayenne pepper! If you enjoyed this recipe, please support my blog by rating the recipe.