Pan-Fried Beef-Filled Pita

4-6 Servings

40 minutes

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Pita bread stuffed with spiced ground beef or lamb and grilled, pan-fried, griddled or baked until the meat is juicy and the bread is toasty-crisp is a Levantine favorite called arayes. For our version, we mash some torn-up pita with juices from the grated onion and tomato; the resulting paste, called panade, is mixed into the meat, as if making meatballs, to ensure the filling cooks up tender. Thick, fluffy pita bread works best to make these sandwiches—they have more structure than thin pita, which quickly turn soggy after cooking. Look for pita rounds that are about ½ inch thick and be sure they’re fresh and supple, not dry and brittle. We like the sandwiches served with a simple yogurt sauce to brighten up the flavors.




Don’t cook the stuffed pita halves over too high a heat or the bread will scorch before the filling is cooked through.

40 minutes


  • 1

    small yellow onion, grated on the large holes of a box grater

  • 1

    ripe but firm medium tomato, halved, pulp grated on the large holes of a box grater, skin discarded


maureen s.

Can these be grilled?

Lynn C.

Hi Maureen -

Since we want to griddle the whole flat surface of the pita, we recommend using a hot skillet rather than the grill.

The Milk Street Team

Erin M.

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