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Arayes Kafta is a popular Middle Eastern kafta stuffed pita sandwiches- that makes for a quick, delicious and flavorful lunch or dinner.
Arayes Kafta is a great way to use uncooked Leftover Kafta- but even if you don’t have any leftover, making kafta takes less than 10 minutes! I call these Kafta sandwiches a win in my kitchen, I’m able to quickly whip them up and my whole family enjoys.
What is Arayes Kafta?
Arayes Kafta is kafta meat in pita bread, spread and cooked to perfection. Kafta is made with a very simple mix of ground meat, — usually beef, lamb, or a combination of both — Middle Eastern spices, finely chopped onions and parsley. If you own a food processor, now is a good time to use it.
Ingredients for Meat Stuffed Pitas (Arayes)
Ground Beef: You’ll need one pound ground beef. I prefer to use 80-85% lean ground beef for this recipe.
Onion: pulsed in the food processor for a smooth kafta texture.
Parsley: We’ll add a handful of fresh parsely, pulsed in the food processor as well.
Middle Eastern spices & salt: including, cinnamon, all spice and black pepper.
Bread: Fresh flatbread or thin pita bread are used traditionally in this recipe, but i’ve tried it before with tortilla bread, and the final result was just as good!
These Arayes kafta can be baked in the oven, cooked on skillet on stove top or on an electric griddler (is what I used in this recipe). I’ve included baking and cooking on stove top tips below.
How to Make Arayes:
(Scroll all the way down to recipe card for exact measurements and a printable option)
Start by preparing your Kafta mixture:
In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment, add parsley, onion, salt and pulse until finely minced. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add the beef and spices and mix well by hand until incorporated.
Assemble the Arayes Kafta:
- Open up the pita bread into two halves.
- Add about 3-4 tablespoons of the kafta mixture and spread it out evenly on one half of the pita bread.
- Place the other pita half on top, covering the kafta spread.
- Cut in half and repeat for the rest of the kafta mixture.
Cook the Kafta Arayes:
*If using a griddler: Cook for 5-7 minutes on high heat.
*If baking: Preheat oven to 375 F, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and generously grease with baking spray. Arrange the arayes in a single layer and spray the top of the pita bread with cooking spray or brush with olive oil. Bake for 10 minutes or until kafta meat is cooked through.
*If cooking on stove top: Pre heat a non stick grill skillet or cast iron skillet on medium high heat, place the pita kafta on the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until beef is cooked through.
Tips for Making Kafta Arayes
- Use ground beef with some fat in it. I like to 80% or 85% fat-free ground beef which helps the pita pockets become juicy rather than dried out.
- Spread a thin layer on the beef mixture on top of the pitas. This will help the meat cook fast without over cooking the bread. You want to make sure that the pita is crisp and golden on the outside.
- Use thin pita bread if possible. Traditionally these beef stuffed pitas are made with thin flatbread. The thin pita bread helps the beef mixture cook faster on the inside and the bread becomes crispy and nice on the outside.