One of my favorite Thanksgivings ever was not spent at home gathered around the family dinner table.
There was no turkey. I wasn’t surrounded by all my family members. No mashed potatoes, no stuffing, and no gravy graced my taste buds.
Instead, I was walking the streets of Athens with a few close friends.
It was a semester of study abroad, and I had been living in Rome since August. Of course, there was no way for me to go home affordably, and my mom had already come out to set me up at the beginning of my stay.
Therefore, I was on my own for Thanksgiving. That year, I was so grateful to have friends nearby in Spain who wanted to travel for the holiday instead of sitting around with roommates we didn’t know too well.
Off to Athens we went. We arrived on that Thursday in November that means so much at home, and promptly started walking, hoping to find the perfect dinner.
Somehow we were all on the same page that night, and we all wanted chicken pitas. Some sort of poultry with a touch of local flair seemed appropriate, you know?
We stumbled upon a small shop where the stuffed pitas were only 2 dollars a piece, and the glasses of wine were about a dollar each.
That night, we dined like queens with ample amounts of food and wine, followed by wandering the main shopping drag for a few hours until our feet were too tired to take us any further than our hotel.
I will always have a place in my heart for that meal. Making these at home has been something that I’ve embraced lately, not just a fond memory but a tangible meal that I’m able to make from scratch.
Whenever I take a bite of these super easy Greek chicken pitas, I am brought back to that table in Athens, giggling with my friends as we went around the table saying what we were grateful for.
This is the ideal meal for a weeknight dinner with friends or family. The chicken is marinated for hours to let the flavors infuse into the poultry.
I like to leave my chicken in the marinade for the maximum amount of time – ideally overnight instead of for just 3 hours – because it makes the chicken even more juicy after you cook it.
All you have to do after that is cook it up in a skillet. Then you stuff it into those fluffy, tasty pitas that just melt in your mouth. If you really want to up the ante, try making your own homemade pita with either our soured barley or einkorn flour recipes.
After that, selecting the toppings is all up to the diner. I highly recommend making the traditional tzatziki sauce from scratch versus trying to buy it premade. When it’s premade, it’s just not as flavorful because you don’t get that hit of the herbaceous freshness.
Finally, a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley can enrich those herbaceous tones that come through in the marinade.
All together, it’s a rich and creamy bite that might not cure your homesickness, but it will certainly satisfy your hunger pangs, especially when shared with friends.Print
If you want to enjoy the flavors of Greece in a handheld pocket, our super easy chicken pitas are just the thing to tickle your taste buds.
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2–3 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped into 1-inch cubes (1–2 lbs)
- 4 large white or whole wheat pitas, cut in half
- Tzatziki sauce
- Shredded lettuce
- Chopped tomato
- Chopped parsley leaves
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Pickled vegetables
- Combine Greek yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, mint, dill, and garlic in a bowl. Whisk together until combined and add to a large resealable bag or an airtight container with a lid. Add chicken cubes and mix well.
- Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 hours, or overnight.
- Pour the chicken and 1/3 cup marinade into a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken thoroughly, about 8-10 minutes total.
- Serve chicken in pita halves with the suggested toppings as desired.
Nutritional information does not include options toppings.
- Category: Sandwiches
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Greek
Keywords: chicken pita, Greek, Mediterranean, feta
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients
Chop enough oregano leaves to have 2 teaspoons total. Chop enough mint leaves to have 1 teaspoon total. Chop enough dill to have 1/2 teaspoon total.
Peel two garlic cloves and mince, or push through your garlic press.
Trim any fat, and cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch cubes.
Measure out all of the remaining ingredients as listed in the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Marinate
Add the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, mint, dill, and garlic, to a medium-sized bowl.
Whisk to combine and pour into a large resealable bag or airtight container with a lid.
Add chicken to the marinade and mix well to coat.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, up to overnight. I recommend marinating for as long as possible for best results!
Step 3 – Cook
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour chicken with about 1/3 cup of the marinade into the pan once it’s hot. Discard the rest.
Cook completely, until the internal temperature reaches 165˚F as indicated on a meat thermometer. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
Step 5 – Serve
Using a serrated bread knife, cut the pitas in half. Fill each pita half with chicken, distributing it evenly among all eight pieces.
Divide between four plates. Serve with tzatziki sauce, shredded lettuce, diced tomato, chopped parsley, and crumbled feta cheese, or your choice of toppings.
Take It with You for Lunch
One of the best aspects of this recipe is that it is easy to make and take for lunches throughout the week. I like to add it to my Sunday meal prep simply by making the chicken marinade on Saturday night, and cooking it up on Sunday.
All you have to do is make sure that you package things up separately. You don’t want the tzatziki soaking through the bread while it sits in the refrigerator all morning. I like to stuff the pitas, then package up the toppings and sauces in a separate container so you can top them when you are ready to eat.
For more marinated chicken meals, try these recipes:
- Honey Lime Chicken Skewers
- Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Thighs
- Spicy Jalapeno Chicken
- Spicy Peanut Chicken Satay with Cucumber Salad
Will you eat these pita sandwiches for lunch, or a casual holiday meal? Tell us in the comments below. Once you try the recipe, be sure to come back to rate it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on January 25, 2010. Last updated: December 28, 2020 at 17:24 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.