Arayes

30 Minute Meals

Arayes (Middle Eastern Meat-Stuffed Pita)

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Prep

10 minutes

Cook

25 minutes

Yield

6 pita halves

Arayes are a typical street food in the Middle East that are stuffed with minced meat. They are kid-friendly and delicious.

Arayes are a meat-stuffed pita that is popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. They are usually stuffed with minced meat like beef or lamb, along with a combination of aromatic seasonings and spices. Think of them as a better, Middle Eastern version of a pizza pocket. These are so tasty and your whole family will love them (even the picky eaters).

❤️ Why You’ll Love Arayes

  • Easy: With a few simple ingredients you’ll have this recipe whipped up in only 35 minutes
  • Kid-Friendly: Arayes are kid-friendly and the perfect grab-and-go option for an after-school snack or quick lunch
  • Versatile: You can stuff these pitas with whatever your fav minced meat is. Add veggies, spices, herbs, whatever you want
Arayes on a plate

🧄 Ingredients

Beef – For this recipe, I used ground beef, however, you can use your favorite minced meat. Use lean ground beef for a less-fatty or greasy protein

Mint – One of the fresh herbs in this recipe is mint and I find it gives this unique, delicious freshness to this recipe. However, you can easily swap mint for something like basil or another herb you have on hand. It’ll just give a different flavor

👩‍🍳 How to Make Arayes

  1. Make the meat filling: combine the beef, grated onion, grated garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, fresh mint and chili flakes in a bowl and mix well with your hands or a spatula to combine.
  2. Divide the meat filling into 6 portions. Shape each portion into a semi-circle that’s just a bit smaller than half of a pita. Carefully open each pita half and put a flattened portion of meat into each. Close the pita and gently press to make the pita flat, the meat filling should be a half-inch thick.*Note: depending on the size of pita you use, you may have more or less portions. Simply use up the beef filling between as many pita halves as needed.
  3. Cook the pitas: Place a pan on medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When the pan is hot add 2 pita halves and cook for 4-5 minutes per side until golden and crispy, pressing down slightly on each side as the pita halves cook. Repeat until all pita halves have been cooked, adding more olive oil to the pan as needed.
  4. Serve pita halves with lemon wedges for squeezing lemon juice over top, a pinch of fresh minced parsley and tzatziki sauce for dipping.
Arayes being dipped in tzatziki

🗒 Tips and Tricks

  • Depending on the size of the pita you use, you may have more or fewer portions. Simply use up the beef filling between as many pita halves as needed
  • This recipe is great for sharing! Cut the cooked pita halves in half once more and serve on a platter as an appetizer with tzatziki for dipping

🗒 Variations

  • Veggies: This can be a great recipe to hide some veggies in the minced meat stuffing and have your picky eaters gobble them up. Cut them up small or blitz them in your food processor. Things like carrots, celery, or even cauliflower can all go great into these
  • Meat: Swap the ground beef for a leaner protein like ground turkey or chicken. Lamb is also fantastic in these


🗒 Best served with

👝 How to Store Leftovers

These are best fresh but you can store leftovers in the fridge and reheat in the oven or toaster. You can also freeze these for a quick and easy lunch. Just thaw them, re-heat them, and voila!

🤔 Common Questions

What are arayes?

A classic Middle Eastern street food consisting of pita bread stuffed with spiced, minced meat and grilled or baked so they are crisp and golden on the outside.

Do I need to use fresh mint?

Fresh mint gives a unique and delicious flavor to the meat in this recipe. I’d opt for fresh vs. dried for the best flavor.

Arayes (Middle Eastern Meat-Stuffed Pita)

5 from 11 votes
Arayes are a typical street food in the Middle East that are stuffed with minced meat. They are kid-friendly and delicious.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Inspired
Servings 6 pita halves
Calories 256 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3 pitas (5-6 inches in diameter), halved

For the beef filling

For serving

Instructions
 

Video

Notes

  • Depending on the size of pita you use, you may have more or less portions. Simply use up the beef filling between as many pita halves as needed.
  • This recipe is great for sharing! Cut the cooked pita halves in half once more and serve on a platter as an appetizer with tzatziki for dipping.
  • If you love the flavours of this recipe you’re sure to love our Greek Meatball Recipe (Keftedes)

Nutrition

Calories: 256kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.2g | Protein: 21.7g | Fat: 8.4g | Saturated Fat: 2.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4.5g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 46.4mg | Sodium: 1036.1mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 1.9g
Review This Recipe Let us know how it was!
Asta W

5 stars
MARIA- holy moly, I made these with lamb and just about fell out of my seat after dinking them into my own tzatziki- so ridiculously delicious, that I just shared with my foodie brother who also enjoys learning about and cooking world flavors. I just cannot get over how many gustatory boxes this ticked for me with lamb as spiced& seasoned. We will enjoy this again and again, as I know my 23 year old twins will when they are back for a weekend visit. Thank you so very much- just delightful!

Maria Koutsogiannis

This makes me soooo happy!!!!! Thank you so much for the love. Please let me know if you try any other of my recipes!!!!

Jenna L.

5 stars
This was amazing. Much easier than I thought! I was worried the beef wouldn’t cook and I would burn the pitas but it turned out wicked good. I used parsley and basil instead of mint and added a little cardamom. Very quick and easy!!!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Love this for you so much, thank you Jenna!!

Jasmine

5 stars
Easy to make and delicious

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Jasmine!

Kristen S.

5 stars
Made these last night for dinner and they are a new fave around our house. Absolutely delish! Leftovers made for a lovely Sunday lunch after being reheated in the air fryer. Thanks for the newest addition to our go-to meals!

Maria Koutsogiannis

This makes me so happy, thank you hun!

Ethan R

What kind of pan are you using?

Maria Koutsogiannis

Cast-Iron, Stainless Steel or anything non stick will work 🙂

Bill A

5 stars
Wonderful recipe and Sunday afternoon meal! This was easy to make and the taste of fresh mint was perfect!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you so much, Bill!

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you my love!

Umair Amjad

5 stars
These turned out amazing! Everyone I fed these to loved them! The recipe is easy and simple to follow! Thank you Maria for sharing!

Maria Koutsogiannis

You are so welcome, my friend!

Rini Hoffman

5 stars
I made these for my family last night and they were a huge hit. My boys are fairly picky but they both agree that these should go in the regular rotation. Absolutely delicious!

Maria Koutsogiannis

YESS RINI!! I love this so much!

Stephanie Jenke

5 stars
looks delicious

Maria Koutsogiannis

Thank you Stephanie!!!

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