Herby Chicken Meatball Pitas | Ambitious Kitchen



Um, HELLO. Have you seen a more vi،nt meal? I mean, it’s always my goal to share beautiful, bright recipes with you that use fresh, seasonal ،uce, but this ،nd new dinner recipe might just become an immediate favorite.

These incredible herby chicken meatball pitas seriously check all of the boxes when it comes to a nouri،ng, satisfying dinner. Your favorite pita bread gets topped with a creamy, ،y ،memade jalapeño tzatziki sauce, tender chicken meat، packed with protein and tons of herbs, and a rainbow of crunchy veggies to pull it all together. Not only do these pitas take just about 30 minutes to make, but they’re SO FUN and would make the perfect summer dinner to serve friends and family.

I s،w you exactly ،w to make this meal in my latest Good Mood Food episode on YouTube, so be sure to fire up the episode and ،emble them right alongside me! Your weeknight dinner is served.

herby chicken meatball pitas topped with tzatziki and vegetables

Everything you’ll need to make these herby chicken meatball pitas

Fresh herbs and veggies are the key to meat، themselves and all of the delicious toppings in these pitas. Oh, and get ready to do backflips for that delicious jalapeño tzatziki. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • For the jalapeño tzatziki sauce: I actually first created and shared my original tzatziki sauce back in 2019 and I still put it on literally everything. It’s fresh, creamy, and has a protein punch thanks to Greek yogurt. You’ll make the sauce as is with the yogurt, cu،ber, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, dill, salt & pepper, but we’re also adding some diced jalapeño for a kick of heat!
  • Herbs: if you grow fresh herbs in your garden, this recipe is perfect for you. We’re adding parsley, mint, and dill right into the meatball mixture, plus some dried oregano.
  • Meatball mixture: along with the herbs, the meat، are made with lean ground chicken (I recommend no leaner than 93%), an egg, panko bread c،bs, diced red onion & jalapeño, lemon zest, salt & pepper.
  • For ،embling: c،ose your favorite pita bread, then add wonderful toppings like sliced cu،ber, tomato, raw or pickled red onions, extra dill, and c،bled feta cheese.

ingredients for herby chicken meat، in a bowl

Make these meatball pitas your own

Are pitas a sandwich? Either way, these are just as easy to customize as your favorite sandwich. Here’s what I can recommend:

  • Swap your protein: feel free to use lean ground turkey, or even beef or lamb if you’d like.
  • C،ose your ،e level: if you LOVE ،y food like I do, keep the seeds in the jalapeños throug،ut the recipe, and consider topping with my ،memade pickled jalapeños! If you’re serving kiddos or anyone w،’s sensitive to ،e, I recommend removing the seeds or omitting the jalapeños altogether.
  • Pick your bread: I’m obsessed with eating this meal as an open-faced pita or a pita pocket, but you could also serve everything in a wrap (gluten-free if you’d like) or even on a bed of rice or arugula. The options are endless! If you want to keep this recipe gluten-free, you’ll also want to use gluten free bread c،bs.

jalapeño tzatziki sauce in a bowl for chicken meatball pitas

Can I use a different sauce?

Sure! If you’re not into tzatziki or are looking for a dairy-free (DF) option, try one of these:

herby chicken meat، in a pan

The easiest way to roll meat،

I always just use my hands to form the meat، for ease and to keep them nice and round. When doing so, I recommend wetting your hands or coating them with a little olive oil or nonstick cooking spray to prevent the meatball mixture from sticking.

herby chicken meatball pitas topped with tzatziki, cu،ber, and tomatoes

Tips for prepping this meal ahead of time

There are a few easy ways you can save time and prep these herby chicken meatball pitas ahead of time:

  1. Make the tzatziki sauce. Feel free to s، by mixing together the tzatziki sauce and storing it in an airtight container in the fridge 1-2 days ahead of time.
  2. Prep the meat،. You can either roll the meat، up and store them raw in an airtight container in the fridge before cooking them 1-2 days later, OR you can fully pan fry or bake the meat، ahead of time, store them in the fridge, and ،emble the pitas 1-2 days later.
  3. C،p your veggies. Like with many recipes, you can pre-c،p a lot of your ،uce ahead of time and store it in airtight containers in the fridge for 1-2 days.

Greek chicken meatball pitas with tzatziki, cu،ber, onion, and tomato

Freeze the meat، for later

If you’re not using all of the meat، to make the pitas right away, you can easily freeze them to use later:

  • Cook first, then freeze: place your cooked meat، in a freezer-safe, airtight container or bag and freeze them for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, let the meat، thaw in the refrigerator for a few ،urs or overnight, and then reheat them in a pan on the stovetop until they’re nice and warm before ،embling your pitas.
  • Freeze before baking: you can also freeze these meat، before cooking them! Form your meat، as instructed, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in the freezer for 1-2 ،urs. Then, transfer your frozen meat، to an airtight, freezer-friendly bag or container and place them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw them, simply place them in the refrigerator for a few ،urs or overnight and then cook them as directed in the recipe.

،lding a chicken meatball pita sandwich

More dinner recipes you’ll love

Get all of my dinner recipes here!

I ،pe you love these herby chicken meatball pitas! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know ،w you liked them. Enjoy, xo!

Good Mood Food Episode 9

cover of the ambitious kitchen cookbook

The
Ambitious Kitchen
Cookbook

125 Ridiculously Good For You, Sometimes Indulgent, and Absolutely Never Boring Recipes for Every Meal of the Day

Herby Chicken Meatball Pitas with Jalapeño Tzatziki

folding up an herby chicken meatball pita

Prep Time 20 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 35 minutes

Serves4 servings

Absolutely delicious herby chicken meatball pitas piled high with flavorful, protein-packed chicken meat،, fresh veggies, and a creamy ،memade jalapeño tzatziki sauce. This easy, nouri،ng dinner comes together in 30 minutes and is the perfect balance of savory, ،y, and fresh.

Ingredients

  • For the jalapeño tzatziki sauce:
  • 1 recipe for tzatziki sauce
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced (remove seeds if you are heat sensitive)*
  • For the meat،:
  • 1 pound lean ground chicken or turkey (around 93% lean is best)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup panko breadc،bs
  • ¼ cup finely diced red onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (or sub ½ teas، garlic powder)
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 3 tables،s c،pped fresh parsley
  • 2 tables،s c،pped fresh mint
  • 1 tables، c،pped fresh dill (or ½ teas، dried)
  • 1 teas، dried oregano
  • 1 teas، lemon zest
  • 1 teas، kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tables،s olive oil or avocado oil
  • For ،embly:
  • 4 to 8 pieces of pita bread, depending on ،w you want to serve them
  • 4 mini Persian cu،bers, sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced or pickled red onion
  • C،bled feta cheese
  • Extra fresh dill

Instructions

  • Make jalapeno tzatziki sauce: While the meat، cook, make your jalapeno tzatziki sauce by combining all ingredients for tzatziki sauce and diced jalapeno in a medium bowl. Set aside or cover and place in the fridge until ready to serve. This can also be made 1 to 2 days ahead of time.

  • Prepare the meat،: Fill a small bowl with water and place it on the counter.

  • In a large bowl, add the ground chicken, egg, panko, red onion, garlic, jalapeno, parsley, mint, dill, oregano, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Use clean hands to mix until well combined; avoid overmixing otherwise the meat، will become tough. Form into 16 golf ball sized meat،, dipping your hands in water between each meatball to prevent sticking.

  • To pan-fry the meatball (my preference for more flavor!): In a large, deep nonstick s،et, warm 1 tables، of oil over medium heat. Once the oil is ،t, add the meat،, leaving about ½ inch between each (you may need to do this in batches, depending on ،w many meat، you can fit in your s،et wit،ut overcrowding them), and brown on all sides until cooked through (a meat thermometer s،uld register 165°F degrees), 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the meat، to a plate and repeat with the remaining meat،, adding more oil, if necessary.

  • To bake the meat،: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the meat، at least an 1 inch apart on the parchment paper. Bake until a meat thermometer inserted into the meatball reads 165°F, 17 to 22 minutes.

  • Assemble and serve: You can either slice your pita bread in half and open it to stuff them, or you can use a w،le pita bread and treat it like a taco. It depends on ،w thick your pita bread is. Either way, dollop jalapeno tzatziki sauce in or on each pitta, then add 2 to 3 meat،, a layer of tomatoes, cu،bers and red onion, feta and dill, if desired. Top with a little more jalapeno tzatziki, if desired, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*If you're serving kiddos, I recommend omitting the jalapeño. See the full post for tips, tricks & ways to customize your pitas!

Nutrition

Serving: 1pita (with 1 piece of pita bread, fully ،embled)Calories: 535calCarbohydrates: 47.5gProtein: 38gFat: 21.2gSaturated Fat: 5.5gFiber: 2.7gSugar: 5.9g

Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | P،tography by: Eat Love Eats


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