Arayes (Pita Bread Stuffed With Meat)

Arayes is a barbecue dish in the Levant countries. Its basically pita bread stuffed with spiced meat. The spiced meat used in the stuffing is similar to that of Sfihabut the sumac in this case is optional. Some people even stuff the arayes with Kofta, but I personally think it completely changes the flavor.

Ideally the Arayes are supposed to be grilled but it can also be made at home in the oven. You can even prepare it ahead of time and freeze it. When you are ready to use it, simply take it out of the freezer and straight into a medium heat oven. Then bake until the meat is cooked and the bread is golden.

Arayes is perfect for entertaining. You can make it using the whole loaf of pita bread or cut it into smaller sizes like I did.

You will need:

  • Pita bread, 12 small pita bread *
  • 1 tablespoon ground meat, beef or lamb, which ever you prefer
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sumac, optional
  • Olive oil

*  I quartered the pita bread to make it bite-size. You can also leave it whole if you choose.


Arayes - Meat,tomatoes,onion,spices

Refer to the Sfiha recipe, for details about removing all the liquids from the tomatoes and onions. This is necessary or the bread will turn out soggy.

Once the tomatoes and onions are well strained. In a bowl add the ground meat, onions, tomatoes, tomato paste, all spice, salt, pepper, and sumac (if using).


Arayes - Mix meat

Mix everything well together and set it aside. The filling is ready to be used.

Arayes - Oil pitta

Now take the pita bread and open it. Then oil the inside of the bread with olive oil.

Arayes - oil bread from outside

Also oil the outside of the bread. Repeat the process with all the pita bread.

Arayes - Stuff bread with meat

Then stuff each pita bread with about 1 tablespoon of the ground meat mixture.

Arayes - Place on baking sheet & bake

Once you filled all the pita bread, you can choose to either use the barbecue or the oven.

In my case, I placed them all on a baking sheet and baked them on medium to high heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Until the meat is cooked through and the pita bread is golden.

While baking, turn them over twice. This will help the arayes brown equally on both sides .

Arayes - Baked

Serve the Arayes hot or warm with any side salad. My choice this time was Tabbouleh

Happy Baking, and as we say in Arabic “Sahha Wi Afia”

31 thoughts on “Arayes (Pita Bread Stuffed With Meat)

  1. These look delicious! I don’t cook with meat that often so I don’t know if i’ll try it, but if anything you made me think about it, haha!


    1. lol … Well good enough for now Aubree… There is at least an option of trying it yet 😀 … let me know if u do … stay in touch 🙂

    1. Never really got to try it … but i think it will turn out nice too … if u ever get to try it .. let me know how it turns out 🙂

    1. Thanx Medena … Yea you are right .. even a simple cheese like feta would be great … let me know if u try it .. stay in touch 🙂

  2. oh wow! that looks so goood….
    i absolutely love pita bread. your pictures and recipes all look and sound delicious! i’m a big fan of mediterranean and middle-eastern cuisine

    will try this one day when i’m feeling adventerous!

    p.s. thanks for stopping by my blog

  3. Laila, great finger food. I like the idea that it can be served hot or cold. My wife’s work always has special lunches where everyone bring something to share. But, they don’t have a way to heat food, other than a microwave. So, it’s nice to have something that doesn’t need to be heated but tastes great. Thanks

    1. Thanx Leicalady… Im really glad you like it … let me know how it turns out when u get to try it … stay in touch 🙂

    1. Thanx Becky .. its been a really long time … i just checked your new blog ..looks really nice …
      About the kibbe … yea i know how to make it … will try to post it soon .. and will post hummus recipe too … it might take me a while to be able to post it .. but i will try posting it as soon as i can … stay in touch 🙂

  4. Limeandlemon, where do you find sumac???!!! I live in New Jersey and can’t find it anywhere! I’ve been dying to make my own Za’atar (can’t find that around here, either), but can’t bring myself to order online…. 🙂

    1. Engineer + Cooking = Cuisine*Adventure.. All i know is that its sold in specialty stores around in the US … but i googled it and i got few places … just check for grocery stores that sells middle eastern grocery … and its supposed to be found in the spices section … if that doesnt work im afraid u will have to get it online 😀

  5. another great recipe from you..i actually tried it last nite
    and made some ammendmends.i ran out of pita i baked the meat and placed thin slices of eggplant and potatoes over the meat and cover it.we ate it with light sour cream and bread.the taste was divine…thankyou so much for sharing your recipes 🙂 my husband simply loves it 🙂

    1. Thank you Huda … You made a completely new recipe out of it … it sounds very interesting … gonna give it a try soon …. keep giving me your feedback …. and stay in touch 🙂

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