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Arayes Pita Bread Stuffed with Lamb Meat

Arayes is a Middle Eastern appetizer! Pita bread stuffed with seasoned ground lamb meat, baked and then grilled for extra crispy texture. Ready within 30 minutes. Juicy and tender meat covered with crispy, flavorful pita bread. It is on every Middle Eastern restaurant menu, and its great party food. You can make my homemade pita bread on the stovetop and use it in making this recipe. Don’t forget to watch the video below to learn how to make this delight.

Close up image of Arayes.

What is Arayes?

In Egypt, it is known as Hawawshi; and in Lebanon it is known as Arayes, and it’s more like burgers but are flat and have so much flavor. An appetizer that’s quick to prepare, classic, popular, and economical.

You can use homemade or store-bought pita bread in this recipe, but thick pita bread makes better tasting Arayes because it absorbs the flavors coming from the meat and olive oil without getting soggy.

I thought it’s a good idea to share this recipe after sharing my Beef Burger Pizza Recipe to give my audience more ground meat quick recipes. But as I have mentioned before, the flavor of the stuffed meat in Arayes is more delicious than a burger. You don’t need toppings or sauce with Arayes, but if you must, then you should pair it with Hummus!   

Two slices of Arayes served on a plate.

Arayes

To make a great tasting Arayes use ground meat with a high amount of fat. The fat brings out more flavor and keeps the meat tender.

Finely chop the onion the juices from the onion spreads in the stuffing, adding moisture to the meat and it cooks quickly, leaving a hint of sweetness.

Warm earthy spices – Not many spices are used, but the combination of spices chosen for this recipe work great with lamb meat. Do not make the mistake of adding more spices; the amount used gives a balanced flavor.

Tomato – remove the seeds to reduce the acidity but adding it tenderize the meat, hence I promised you a juicy and tender stuffing in this Arayes recipe.

Freshly cooked arayes.

Ingredients to make Arayes

Ground lamb meat. (you can use beef or a combination of both).

Onion.

Tomato.

Parsley.

Cumin, paprika, black pepper, salt, coriander powder, cumin powder.

Garlic.

Olive oil.

Pita bread.

How to make Arayes

There are five simple steps to make Arayes! It’s almost unbelievable how such a simple recipe can easily win everyone’s heart.

  • Preheat the oven.
  • Mix all ingredients except pita bread.
  • Stuff the pita bread. Cut the pita bread in half and stuff each pocket or open the pita bread and spread the stuffing on one side and then place the plain side of the bread over it.
  • Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Grill for few seconds for extra crunch.

That’s it! This amazing appetizer is ready to be served in a few minutes.

Slices of Arayes in a white paper bag.

Tips and FAQ for the best Arayes

What meat to use?

You can use lamb; it cooks faster than beef, but you can still use beef or mix half beef with half lamb. Make sure that the meat has a good amount of fat.

Can I grill the Arayes and skip the oven?

If you are using thin pita bread, then it might burn because the meat needs time to cook, and to be on the safe side, it’s best to bake the Arayes in the oven and then grill it.

Can I place the stuffed pita bread on a baking sheet and cover it with aluminum foil?

No, doing so will make the juices from the stuffing come out and dry, besides the nightmare of washing the baking sheet. Wrapping each pita bread in aluminum foil helps in capturing the moisture within the pita bread and prevents it from burning while the meat slowly cooks.

Shall I use thin or thick pita bread?

You can use both, but I prefer to use thick pita bread. It’s the pita bread made mostly in Egypt, and I have the recipe on my blog too.

What to serve with Arayes?

You will enjoy Arayes with creamy Hummus, but you can also have it with salad.

Arayes ready to be served.

How to store Arayes?

When the Arayes are cool, place them in an airtight container and refrigerate for two days.

 Watch me make Arayes. If you like this video, please, consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel!

Arayes is stuffed pita bread with seasoned ground lamb meat. In Egypt, it is known as Hawawshi; Arayes are more like burgers but are flat and have so much flavor. #arayes #stuffedpitabread #pitabread #appetizer
Arayes is stuffed pita bread with seasoned ground lamb meat. In Egypt, it is known as Hawawshi; Arayes are more like burgers but are flat and have so much flavor. #arayes #stuffedpitabread #pitabread #appetizer

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