Pita is one of the most popular flatbreads in the world. Also called Arabic bread, Syrian bread and Lebanese bread, this simple bread forms part of the food culture of Middle Eastern, Balkan and Mediterranean countries. In the Middle East it is seen in almost every meal, alongside dips, rich sauces and meat dishes.
In some parts of the Middle East, pita bread is still made in brick ovens that can reach up to 900F/480C where it swells up and cooks in less than a minute. The high heat releases the steam in the dough and creates the pocket inside the bread which then flattens out as it cools.
This pocket can easily be cut open when it is cool and is what makes pita bread the perfect vessel for delicious fillings of meat and vegetables. You can use pita bread to make a sandwich, but even better, cut it up and serve it along side your favourite dips, or use it like a soft taco and fold it with the fillings.
Chicken Pita Recipe
Our chicken pita recipe uses a chicken breast marinated in spices such as cumin, paprika and cayenne, which pairs perfectly with fresh vegetables. Prepare the chicken breasts ahead of time - up to 24 hours - so that they have time to absorb as much of the marinade as possible.
We want you to grill the chicken so that it gets the added flavour from the charred grill, but if you prefer to cook the chicken breasts on the skillet that is fine too. Just make sure the skillet is hot on a medium high heat, add a drizzle of oil, add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink inside.
The optional toppings can be dressed in a simple vinaigrette but you may replace the vinegar with lemon juice if you like. Have a little more time and patience? Try out a tzatziki sauce that will complement the grilled chicken perfectly.
How to Make Pita Bread at Home
Pita bread is one of the simplest breads that you can make, requiring minimal kneading and proofing time. It takes just a handful of basic ingredients such as flour, water, salt and bakers yeast to get puffy pita pockets at home.
There are two methods for making pita bread at home: on the stovetop or in the oven. Each has its pros on cons. Baking in the oven results in a puffier pita bread that is easier to split and fill, but will have a pale, soft finish on the outside.
The benefit of cooking pita bread on the stovetop in a hot skillet is that it will get a nicely browned with crunchy charred bits over the surface. However, it will be flatter and won’t come out as light as pita bread cooked in the oven.
One way of overcoming this is by first baking the pita in the oven and then finishing it off for just a couple of minutes in a hot skillet on the stovetop for a crispier pita bread.
How to Cut Pita Bread
Lay the pita bread flat against a cutting board and split it using a sharp serrated knife. If the pita bread didn’t quite puff up or if you find it difficult to cut it evenly, just cut it into triangles like a pizza, toast it, and use it for dipping!
Dip Recipes for Pita Bread
Pita is a food that can pull a thousand tricks. Whether you accidentally tore a pita whilst slicing it open, or have some day-old pita bread on your countertop, don’t let it ever go to waste. Cut them up into bite-size pieces and toast them either in the oven or in a pan on the stovetop. They make the perfect vessels for scooping up delicious sauces and dips such as hummus, baba ganoush, anchoïade, and ktipiti. Find out how to make these with our brilliant recipes:
Also known as tirokafteri, this is a Greek specialty made from feta cheese and red peppers. All you need are red peppers, feta, garlic, olive oil and paprika. And it all comes together in just a few minutes. Simple, yet so satisfying.
Everyone should know how to make baba ghanoush. It’s the eggplant dip that can convert any non-veggie lover.
It doesn’t get any simpler than this. No broken pitas will be lost when there is this refreshing, savoury yoghurt dip nearby. Tzatziki is a breeze to make, and comes in handy for any party or group meal situation. Add it to your regular kitchen repertoire.
All the Pita Recipes, From Breakfast, Appetiser, Main to Dessert
A classic Greek pita with a twist, made with a spicy beef and vegetable filling.
Use mince lamb to make these fragrant lamb burgers that go perfectly with a smooth hummus dressing. Find it ready-made, or do it yourself with our hummus recipe.
The cool yoghurt dip is delicious alongside the warming spices of cinnamon, cumin and nutmeg of the lamb kebabs. Lamb pieces also cook in less than five minutes - perfect for an express lunch.
Hard boil the eggs and mix it with mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar for that tangy, creamy egg salad that reminds you of afternoon teas and picnics in the park. Easy to make and portable, this is a great idea for lunch or brunch.
Felafel is the vegetarian ‘meatball’ from the Middle East that nobody can resist. Learn how to make these crunchy, baked chickpea fritters that are perfect in pita bread.
More Flatbreads From Around the World
Interested in easy breads that don’t take the time and effort of traditional bread? Deep dive into the universe of flatbread. Check out our collection of nine different flatbreads from all around the world: