A classic Greek handheld and an all around favorite of many, chicken pitas are so easy to make you'll never need to order them for carryout. Juicy grilled chicken, crispy Greek fries, a lemon dill yogurt sauce, loads of briny feta and fresh veggies all stuffed into warm pitas, it is a weeknight winning dinner for sure!
These are a huge hit in our house with everyone. These are incredibly tasty, and a fun way to serve chicken which can get boring after a while. And while we love a nice sit down dinner like my vinegar braised chicken, there isn't always time for leisurely dinner.
On weekdays when kids have sports, everyone is eating at different times and life is generally busy and crazy, something that can be made ahead and assembled by everyone when they are ready is a life saver. Wrap them in parchment and you've got a perfect handheld that can be eaten on the go...also a life saver.
Why you'll love this recipe
There is so much to love about chicken pitas:
- They are packed with bold flavors. Marinating the chicken really brings a lot of flavor, while the combination of the greek fries, feta and creamy yogurt sauce makes for even bolder flavors.
- They are quick to make. Chicken pitas require minimal prep work and cooking time, making this recipe perfect for hectic evenings when you want a quick meal without spending hours in the kitchen.
- The ingredients are pretty healthy. Outside of the fries, chicken pitas are made with mostly healthy ingredients. Pita bread is a healthier alternative to traditional wraps, and the chicken breasts are grilled, not fried. Lettuce and fresh tomatoes give you some veggies with this also.
- It is adaptable. One of the best things about chicken pitas is how adaptable and versatile a meal they are. Add extra veggies, use any leftover veggies you have in your fridge. Make your favorite sauce (a tzatziki would be great and traditional on chicken pitas). You can skip the fries and grill some peppers too for extra veggies.
What you need to make this
Chicken breasts gets a simple marinade made with yogurt, garlic, lemon and Mediterranean herbs and then grilled to juicy perfection. Here's what you need for the marinade:
- Yogurt. I use Greek yogurt.
- Dried herbs. Oregano, dill, garlic powder, onion powder, sumac (this is optional and you can use paprika instead if you don't have sumac)
- Fresh garlic
- Lemon. The juice and the zest
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs. Me and my husband prefer thighs, but kids don't always like them (including my own kids), so I most of the tim emake these with breasts.
Traditional Greek chicken pitas are stuffed not only with juicy chicken, but also fries. And my absolutely to-die-for Greek fries are the perfect match for chicken pitas. Throw in some feta cheese, raw red onion for a nice sharp bite, lettuce, tomato and a good slather of a simple yogurt dill sauce and you have an entire meal in one sandwich.
The marinade comes together in no time, and then it is just a matter of grilling the chicken, making the fries and building your perfect chicken pitas with your favorite veggies and toppings.
Stir the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.
Toss the chicken in the marinade, covering well. Marinade at least 30 mins or up to overnight.
Grill chicken right out of the marinade. or you can roast in the oven.
Slice chicken into thin strips for the pitas.
Make a quick yogurt dill sauce
So I don't love tzatziki, mostly because I hate cucumbers, so I like to whip together a quick yogurt sauce with garlic, lemon and fresh dill. It couldn't be simpler and is a perfect creamy addition to chicken pitas. You can totally make a tzatziki if you prefer.
Ingredient swaps and variations
Here's a few tricks to change up your chicken pitas:
- Throw in any raw or cooked veggies. Lettuce and tomato are certainly not the only vegetables you can include in chicken pitas. Shredded carrots, cabbage, leftover cooked veggies would all be great additions to your pita.
- Make these vegetarian but marinating and grilling mushrooms in place of the chicken.
- Toast up some chickpeas and add them as a topping fo rgreat texture and extra nutrition.
- Make these without the pita and as a 'bowl' instead. This is also a great way to enjoy these gluten free.
Tips for success
- Grill the chicken with the marinade on it. This sounds obvious, but I have had someone ask me if the chicken should be rinsed before grilling. You want all that flavor grilled right into the chicken.
- Any vegetables you include in your chicken pitas should be finely chopped or shredded for easy eating and less mess.
Grilling the chicken is really best for this recipe. This will give the chicken some good color and char flavor on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and delicious.
What to serve with chicken pitas
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
For the chicken
- ¾ cup plain yogurt Greek yogurt is preferred
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoon dried dill
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon sumac or use smoked paprika or lemon pepper
- 2 teaspoon fresh garlic finely minced
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
Suggested toppings for the pita (optional and be creative)
- 8 Pitas
- Shredded lettuce
- Sliced tomato
- Yogurt dill sauce
- Greek fries
- Feta cheese
- Whisk together the first seven ingredients for the chicken marinade. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover and marinate for at least an hour, up to overnight.
- Prep your toppings and heat your grill (or your oven to 425). If making the Greek fries, begin preparing them now according to the recipe.
- Grill the chicken until fully cooked. Remove from grill and rest for about five minutes. Thinly slice the chicken.
- Gently warm the pitas either on the grill or in the oven.
- Fill the warm pitas with the chicken and your choice of toppings, including a few of the Greek fries.
- Serve warm.
The chicken pitas should be eaten immediately; however the chicken itself can be stored leftover in the fridge for up to five days.