That Spicy Chick

Spicy Meat Stuffed Pitas (Arayes)

These Spicy Meat Stuffed Pitas are a made with a beautifully spiced lamb and chicken filling and pan-grilled before being baked to crispy golden brown perfection! They’re easy to make, great for lunch, dinner, or as a party appetizer, and taste so delicious with garlic sauce, tahini, and a light side salad!

Chicken and lamb arayes dipped in garlic sauce and stacked on a plate.

Friends, have you ever tried arayes? These Spicy Meat Stuffed Pitas are easy and low-effort to make and SO delicious with a side of garlic sauce and a fresh salad!

I first tried lamb arayes at a Middle Eastern restaurant here in Hong Kong and fell in LOVE. I just knew I’d have to make them at home and share it with you all!

What are Arayes?

They are grilled pita bread sandwiches that are stuffed with seasoned ground meat (kofta) and are popular in Lebanon, Israel, Egypt (known as hawawshi there) and other places in the Middle East. Traditionally, ground lamb or beef is seasoned and marinated and then stuffed into pita halves before being grilled. However, these days you’ll even find arayes with fish, chicken, and other types of meat fillings.

Although you can simply use a grill pan or skillet to cook them completely, I like to grill them briefly on the grill pan to get the lovely grill marks and then bake and briefly broil in the oven to make the pita bread extra crispy and crunchy!

These spicy meat stuffed pitas are great for an easy lunch, dinner, or fun party appetizer. I think you’re going to love them!

Chicken and lamb arayes on plate with arugula salad and garlic sauce in a bowl.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy to make. All you have to do is marinate the meat, stuff the pitas, grill on the grill pan and then pop them in the oven to make them extra crispy!
  • Customizable. You can use chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, or a combination of two types of meat for the filling.
  • Adjustable spice level. Make them as spicy or mild by using more or less of the spicy ingredients based on your heat level preference.
  • Great for any occasion! Enjoy them for an easy lunch or dinner with some garlic sauce or tahini for dipping and a refreshing side salad. Or cut the pitas into quarters and serve them up with garlic sauce as a party appetizer or snack!
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