Arayes are delicious Lebanese meat-stuffed pitas. Learn how to make this roadside favorite, including the secret ingredient to getting them nice and crispy.
- 1lb lean ground beef
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 white onion, minced
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped fine
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
- 1 teaspoon 7 spice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin, ground
- 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for the meat)
- 2–3 tablespoons olive oil, for cooking
- 12 pita pockets (Six 4-inch round pita breads, cut in half)
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, mix the beef, minced garlic, onion, and parsley. Once the meat is broken down, add the remaining spices (7-spice, salt, black pepper, coriander, cumin), pomegranate molasses, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly (ideally, use your hands). Set aside (ideally, in the fridge for at least 30 minutes).
- Stuff about 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of the beef mixture into each pita pocket (don’t overfill them!). Lay the pita pocket on a flat surface, and gently press down to flatten, so that the meat filling comes up to the edges of the pita bread.
- Lightly brush the exterior of the stuffed pita pockets with olive oil. (BUTTER?)
- Grill the stuffed pita pockets on a grill pan until each side turns golden-brown, about 1 minute per side. Take a moment to sear the opening of the pita pocket where the beef is exposed too.
- Place your pitas on a baking tray (ideally, a wire rack or grill over a tray), cook for 18-20 minutes (turning halfway), until your meat is entirely cooked through. Serve warm, with a smile!
- It’s better to use lean or extra lean ground beef for this recipe. While medium fat beef is tasty, it will result in the melted fat seeping out of the beef to create soggy sandwiches, and possibly a messy oven too (if you happened to pop them directly on your oven rack).
- If you want to skip the oven step, I know a few people who cook their pitas longer on the grill. However, I find that the beef cooks more evenly in the oven. Whichever you choose, make sure your meat is properly cooked!
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: areyas, middle eastern stuffed pita, lebanese stuffed pita, lebanese meat-stuffed pita,