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Pita stuffed with ground beef and grilled, stacked in a pile of three

Arayes (Middle Eastern Stuffed Pita)

Arayes are a classic middle eastern street food. Pita bread, stuffed with spiced ground beef and grilled (or baked) to perfection. Enjoy them with a yogurt or tahini dipping sauce as a lunch or light dinner! They are quick and perfect for using up some ground beef.
Course Main
Cuisine middle eastern
Keyword Arayes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 pieces
Calories 156kcal


  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (500g)
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ½ onion
  • ½ cup parsley packed
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon seven spice or substitute with allspice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses see notes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil for the meat
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil for the pitas
  • 4 round pitas smaller 4 inch pitas


  • Start by preheating your oven to 400F
  • Peel the garlic cloves and onions and wash then dry the parsley
  • Finely chop the onions, garlic and parsley or throw them in a food processor and process until fine
  • Mix the ground beef with the onion, garlic and parsley mixture, along with all the spices and the olive oil. Mix well using your hands, ensuring all the spices are well incorporated. If possible, allow the meat to marinate in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  • Cut pitas in half and open them to form pockets. Stuff them with about 1.5 to 2 tbsp of the meat mixture, ensuring the pita is full but not overfilling it. Press them down to flatten and ensure the filling comes all the way to the edge (check photos in post)
  • Brush the outside of the pitas with olive oil on all sides
  • Brush a cast iron gril with oil, then sear the pitas for 1 minute on each side, on medium high heat. Flip onto the exposed meat side and sear as well.
  • Place on a baking sheet (don't use parchment paper) and bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, turning them half way through. If you have an oven rack, place them on the rack, on top of the oven sheet. This allows them to get more crispy and avoids sogginess.
  • Ensure the pita is crispy by broiling for a few minutes if necessary. Watch them closely so they don't burn.
  • Serve immediately with some yogurt, tahini sauce or ketchup and some fries. Enjoy!


  • Serving suggestions: Ketchup or Yogurt tahini sauce
  • If you don't have pomegranate molasses, you can skip it
  • You can also use the large 8" pita bread and cut it into 4 quarters for stuffing (but I prefer the smaller ones because they make a perfectly sized pocket)
  • If you don't have an oven rakc, bake directly on a baking sheet without parchment paper to ensure the Arayes crisp up evenly


Serving: 1g | Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 323mg | Potassium: 183mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg