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How do you fill a pita pocket?

Pita pockets are a versatile and delicious option for sandwiches, wraps, and more. Filling a pita pocket correctly ensures the contents stay put until you’re ready to eat. There are a few key steps to filling a pita pocket perfectly.

What is a pita pocket?

A pita pocket refers to a round flatbread that has been cut open to form a pocket. Pita dough is made from flour, water, yeast, and salt. It is rolled thin and baked until it puffs up into a hollow round shape. Once cooled, the pita is cut open along the edge to access the pocket inside.

The pocket shape allows you to stuff or fill the pita bread with various ingredients to create a portable meal or sandwich. Common pita pocket fillings include sliced deli meats, grilled vegetables, hummus, chicken salad, tuna salad, falafel, french fries, and more. The filling options are endless!

How to choose the right size pita

Pita breads come in various sizes. For a sandwich, you’ll want to select a medium or large pita pocket. Mini pitas work better for appetizer-sized portions. Standard pita sizes include:

  • Mini – 3-4 inches diameter
  • Small – 5-6 inches
  • Medium – 7-8 inches
  • Large – 9-10 inches
  • Extra large – 11-12 inches

A medium or large pita will give you plenty of room for sandwich fillings. Make sure to get pitas that are fresh and flexible. Stale or brittle pitas are more likely to split or crack when filled.

How to open and prepare the pita

Start by taking your medium or large pita bread and gently separating along the outer edge to open up the pocket. You can use a knife to cut into the edge if needed. Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Open the pocket up as wide as possible without tearing it. You may need to stretch it a bit to expand the opening.

If your pita pocket is very thick, you can use a rolling pin to gently roll it flatter. This will make the pocket open wider for easier filling.

You can also warm the pita briefly before filling it. 10-20 seconds in the microwave makes the bread more pliable and less likely to split. Just don’t overheat it.

How to fill the pita pocket

With your pita pocket opened up, you’re ready to add tasty fillings. Here are some tips for getting it packed perfectly:

  • Add a layer of dressing or sauce to the pocket first. Options like hummus, tahini, Greek yogurt sauce, or vinaigrette will help flavors permeate into the bread.
  • Layer firmer ingredients near the bottom, such as falafel, meat, or vegetables. Softer ingredients like greens, tomatoes, and cheese go towards the top.
  • Don’t overstuff the pocket. Leave a little room at the top to fold it over. Overfilled pitas are messy to eat.
  • Use a spoon or spatula to gently press ingredients into the pocket. Spread them evenly from end to end.
  • Top with additional sauces, spices, or garnishes like diced onion or sesame seeds.

Arranging the fillings properly helps prevent ingredients from falling out when eating your stuffed pita.

How to fold and seal the filled pita

Once your pita pocket is loaded up with delicious fillings, there are two ways to close it:

  1. Foldover method: After filling the pocket, fold the top down over itself and press gently. The pita will enclose the ingredients inside.
  2. Wrap method: For a more secure wrap, fold one side of the pita over the fillings, then roll or wrap it like a burrito. Secure with toothpicks if needed.

The foldover keeps the pita pocket shape intact, while wrapping makes it more compact for eating by hand. Either way works! Just be careful not to rupture the bread.

Tips for the best pita pocket fills

Here are some final tips for fabulous pita pocket sandwiches:

  • Include flavorful sauces and dressings to add moisture and prevent a dry sandwich.
  • Chill assembled pitas for at least 15 minutes before eating so the bread softens.
  • If making ahead of time, wrap tightly in plastic wrap or foil until ready to eat.
  • Preheat pitas before serving to make the bread warm and soft again.
  • Cut larger pita pockets in half crosswise if needed for smaller appetites.
  • Store leftover unfilled pitas in a sealed bag at room temperature up to 4 days.

Sample pita pocket filling combinations

Here are just a few delicious ideas for pita pocket fillings:

Fillings Flavor Options
Chicken Shredded rotisserie chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado, Greek yogurt sauce
Steak Sliced steak, caramelized onion, blue cheese, arugula, balsamic glaze
Veggie Hummus, cucumber, tomato, sprouts, red onion, tahini sauce
Falafel Falafel, parsley, pickled turnips, tahini sauce
Tuna Tuna salad, lettuce, tomato, Swiss cheese
Greek Grilled chicken, feta, tomato, red onion, tzatziki sauce

Get creative with global flavor combinations in your pita pockets! They make for a quick, healthy meal or sandwich on-the-go.


Stuffing a pita pocket is easy with the right techniques. Choose a fresh medium or large-sized pita. Gently open and spread the pocket without tearing it. Layer the ingredients from bottom to top, leaving a little room at the top to fold over. Add flavorful sauces and dressings, then close the pita with a foldover or wrap method. Chill assembled pitas before eating and reheat as needed for warm fresh flavor. With so many possible tasty fillings, pita pockets make the perfect hearty sandwich.