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18 Creative Ways To Use Pita Bread

creative ways to use pita
creative ways to use pita - Static Media / Shutterstock / Getty

Pita has a long and fascinating history and is a staple in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. Pita bread's little round loaves were initially formed with powdered grain and water, and then eventually made with grain, salt, water, and yeast. The yeast-leavened flatbread is often enjoyed alongside a meal or used to scoop up meats, rice, and vegetables. But if you're looking to switch it up, here are a few creative ways to use pita bread that you'll want to try.

Perhaps you're in the mood for dessert and want something along the lines of s'mores or bread pudding. Keep pita savory by making it into tahdig to pair with rice or frying it into a tostada. From transforming them into bowls or chips for salads, you won't run out of ideas on sweet and savory methods to use up any pita you have at home. Add garlic, za'atar, or herbs to revamp it into a savory companion, or peanut butter, chocolate, or fruit to give it a sweet twist. Its neutrality allows a lot of room for creativity in flavorings and pairings. You'll want to stock up on this delightful round bread for snacks and meals to come.

Read more: 21 Delicious Ways To Use Up Leftover Rice

Crisp It Up For A Bread Version Of Tahdig

a plate of tadig
a plate of tadig - The Image Party/Shutterstock

Many cultures have their variations of crispy rice. In the Persian culture, there is often crispy rice or bread placed at the bottom of the rice, which is called tahdig. It's crunchy, golden, and delicious. You can do normal white rice, or add saffron or herbs to provide additional color, fragrance, and taste. Par-cook your rice, then strain any additional liquid and place your pita on the bottom of the dish.

Drizzle oil or butter to allow the pita to fry and enhance the crispness layer, then cook until the rice is ready. The rice is often flipped, so the tahdig side is up. Tahdig is usually made with rice but bread, particularly pita, is often used. Pair tahdig with Persian dishes like kuku sabzi or fesenjoon, which is a walnut and pomegranate stew. The crunchy pita tahdig will soak up the juices of the fesenjoon perfectly.

Put A Spin On Tostadas

seafood dish ceviche tostada
seafood dish ceviche tostada - Carlos Escamilla Molina/Shutterstock

You can add nearly anything to a tostada, whether that's beans, veggies, meat, or fish. Mimic a fried tostada by brushing the pita with olive oil and then frying it in a pan. For a lower-fat version, toast the pita or bake it in the oven and exclude any oils. This will be the base of your tostada. Now load it up with your favorite foods. Make a pinto bean tostada with a generous heap of beans, salsa, and avocado.

For meat protein, scoop on meat like carne asada or juicy chicken tinga. The pita version of a tostada makes a fantastic alternative when you want a thicker base, which is particularly good for moist or liquid items such as ceviche or tinga.

Make A Pita Bowl For Salads

rustic pita bread
rustic pita bread - A_namenko/Getty Images

Forget about a sourdough bread bowl, try a pita version instead. Turning pita into an edible container certainly qualifies as one of the top creative ways to use pita bread. While it wouldn't make a good bowl for soup, use it as a vessel to eat salads or your next meal. Transform the pita into a bowl for a unique dining experience by first coating it in cooking spray or brushing it with olive oil.

Once fully coated on both sides, press it into an oven-safe bowl. Bake the bread and bowl in the oven until firm and crisp. This is a whimsical and novel way to eat pita, and it would make a great conversation starter at an intimate gathering. Fill it with salad, rice, lentils, whatever you want. The reshaped pita is not only a meal but a fun interactive experience since you can break off pieces as you eat it.

Use It Base For Pizza

pizza on pita bread
pizza on pita bread - ARTEDUARD/Shutterstock

Much like a tortilla pizza, pita pizza offers a classic meal in a new format. Pita bread makes an excellent base for personal pizzas, and you can always pop another one in the oven if you want more. You can fit a few in the oven at a time, so you can prepare dinner for friends and family with ease. Thanks to the size, they will crisp up in the oven, even tomato sauce or liquidy toppings like bell peppers. Just keep them in the oven until the crust firms up.

Spread pizza sauce, marinara, hummus, or Alfredo as your pizza sauce. Cover pita bread in pizza toppings like cheese, meat, veggies, or whatever you're in the mood for. Leave a little bit of room on the outside edge to serve as a crust. Bake until the cheese and toppings start to look cooked. Use a spatula to see if the pita is still a bit floppy. If so, leave them in the oven a couple of minutes longer.

Spread On The Sweetness

sweetened cocoa paste in bowl
sweetened cocoa paste in bowl - Alena_Kos/Shutterstock

While pita is often used to accompany savory dishes and meals, it isn't inherently savory. It makes a neutral base for when you want to create a quick dessert. Raid your pantry for ideas if you're not sure what to make. Sprinkle on some butter and cinnamon sugar and eat it as is. We've probably all had some iteration of cinnamon sugar toast; this is the same idea. Add Nutella, jam, or maple syrup to lightly toasted pita for a pop of sweetness. Add a spoonful of peanut butter, finely sliced apples, and a pinch of cinnamon as a tasty snack.

For something with protein, scoop a bit of yogurt into your pita. Don't keep it plain, add more flavor to yogurt with something like caramel or pumpkin pie spices.  Chop up fresh fruit for a boost of color or drizzle on jam as a snack or even breakfast. There are plenty of ways to sweeten your pita to alter it into a dessert. Take a look in your fridge and pantry for ideas.

Turn It Into Garlic Bread

pita with garlic and herbs
pita with garlic and herbs - Rocky89/Getty Images

Garlic bread goes with many foods, whether you're having pizza, pasta, soup, or salad. The fragrant garlic and comforting bread always enhance a meal with minimal effort. Instead of serving traditional garlic bread, turn leftover pita into tasty garlic toast to pair with a dish. For the simplest way to make it, spread on a dab of butter, sprinkle a bit of garlic powder and salt, then put it in the oven to heat up.

For a slightly elevated version, chop up fresh garlic and mash it into your butter for a garlic butter. When using salted butter you don't necessarily have to salt it, but include a dash of salt if you're using the unsalted variety. Add a bit of grated Parmesan or chopped parsley for more flavor. You'll know the pita garlic bread is done when the butter fully melts. It's up to you if you want the bread to be crispy or if you just want it to be warmed.

Boost Your Salad With Homemade Pita Chips

pita bread and colorful salad
pita bread and colorful salad - hadasit/Shutterstock

You don't have to drive to the store for pita chips when you can bake a batch at home. The process is similar to making homemade tortilla chips. Cut them into pieces or triangles, coat them in olive oil and your seasonings, then fry or bake them. Add sea salt, za'atar, sumac, or garlic to have fun with the seasoning. Line them on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until they are crisp but not burned.

Give them a turn and then keep an eye on them so they don't get charred. Simply add them to fattoush or make a crunchy salad with arugula, tomatoes, red onion, and homemade pita chips. You can include the chips on any salad, even if it's a bagged salad, Caesar, or Cobb salad. The crispness of the pita chips is a welcome delight in a refreshing salad.

Mix Up Your S'mores

roasting marshmallows over campfire
roasting marshmallows over campfire - Mundusimages/Getty Images

S'mores are entertaining and nostalgic. They're one of those treats that you actively make right then and there. If there's ever a moment when you don't have graham crackers or you want to change direction, use pita, instead. Gather your pita and toast it so it becomes firm like a graham cracker. Once it's toasted, coat it with butter and cinnamon for a cinnamon graham cracker vibe.

Toast the marshmallows as usual, add your chocolate, and enjoy the crispy bite of your homemade pita s'mores. Upgrade your s'mores by using a diverse range of chocolates try white chocolate, milk chocolate, or dark chocolate, or substitute marshmallows with flavored homemade whipped cream. The pita makes the perfect pocket for your s'mores to hold your dessert in place.

Add Your Favorite Ingredients For A Sandwich

grilled vegetable sandwich
grilled vegetable sandwich - Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

There's a never-ending list of ideas on how to make a sandwich from pita. You can keep it uncomplicated or add as many fillings as you want. Plop in a few pieces of sliced ham or turkey, your cheese of choice, a squirt of mustard, and you're set. Try it with gyro, tzatziki, tomatoes, and onion. Grill your pita sandwich, press it for a panini-inspired sandwich, or roll it up into a wrap.

For a scrumptious grilled version, brush the outside of the bread with olive oil for an extra level of flavor. You can place meats, vegetables, cheese, or condiments to make any kind of sandwich. The endless possibilities make this a great lunch or weeknight dinner since it doesn't take much time to assemble. Each person in the family can have it the way they want. No muss, no fuss.

Place Them On Your Charcuterie Board

charcuterie board with pita bread
charcuterie board with pita bread - Fawn McClintock/Shutterstock

Charcuterie boards allow a lot of wiggle room. You get to arrange everything uniquely, pairing items together and creating a visually appealing platter. Baguette slices and crackers are staples in a charcuterie board, but pita is no stranger to the game either. Cut them into triangles, strips, or quarters. Pita gives dimension to the board, not only because of its ability to hold items on it, but you can open it up to create a micro sandwich.

Leave the pita soft, or toast them so they have a bite to them but not completely hard. Do a bit of both for some variety. Brush toasted pita with olive oil and fresh rosemary or thyme to give it both color and flavor. Pita is the perfect vehicle for your dips, spreads, roasted vegetables, meats, and cheeses, especially if you want to provide different textures to the mix of crackers and baguettes.

Whip Up A Batch Of Bread Pudding

bread pudding dessert
bread pudding dessert - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Get some use out of your not-so-fresh pita by making a scrumptious baked bread pudding. This dessert is certainly a creative way to use pita bread and it's delightfully convenient because the whole idea is to use old bread. Apply the same technique with a pita bread pudding when your pita isn't as fresh. Chop it up into large pieces or simply rip it and add it to your mixture of milk, cream, egg, sugar, and melted butter. Spread it around to ensure all the pita pieces are soaked.

Cinnamon and vanilla are always welcome additions to baked goods, but you could opt for vanilla bean paste to get those lovely little flecks. Cocoa powder, orange zest, dried cherries, and even whiskey can make delicious add-ins to elevate your bread pudding. Chopped spiced roasted almonds can give it a touch of texture too. Go the savory way by omitting the sugar and including cheese and freshly chopped herbs, instead.

Stuff With Cheese To Make Quesadillas

quesadilla with tomatoes
quesadilla with tomatoes - MARGARITA FIRSOVA/Shutterstock

Bread and cheese are a satisfactory combination that you'll find in many dishes and cuisines across the world. If you're out of tortillas or want a thicker quesadilla, easily make them with a pita. It's flat and thin enough to resemble a quesadilla, but thicker if you want a more substantial meal. Cut a slit in your pita bread or separate the two pieces so it resembles two tortillas. Stuff it with cheese such as mozzarella, pepper jack, or cheddar, or make a fun cheese blend.

Add it to your pan or grill to heat up. Leave it until the cheese melts or leave it a little extra longer, so the pita bread starts to toast. Some love a soft quesadilla and others love to see the grill marks. You may include meats or veggies, but a tip to make great quesadillas is not to overstuff them. Serve with a side of guacamole, salsa, or sour cream. This is a quick and easy meal idea that works if you're out of tortillas.

Serve It With Bruschetta

tomato bruschetta
tomato bruschetta - Kajakiki/Getty Images

Bruschetta is a beautiful balance of tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. The bold green of basil and the bright red of tomatoes make it a colorful appetizer that's easy on the eyes. Rather than using a crusty baguette, try toasted pita as an alternative. The soft, juicy bruschetta paired with a crisp pita provides a similar effect to using a baguette.

The pita's mild flavor allows the bruschetta to shine through. If you want to truly mix things up, try different colored heirloom tomatoes, so you have a rainbow compared to the standard red bruschetta. Toast or grill the pita with a hint of olive oil so it won't get soggy and floppy upon being loaded with bruschetta. Grill it whole and then break it up into rustic pieces to mimic a crusty loaf of baguette.

Cool Off With An Ice Cream Sandwich

bowl of ice cream
bowl of ice cream - New Africa/Shutterstock

Literal bread might not be the first thing you think of when making an ice cream sandwich, but it's a good choice to try something different. It's not the option you'll find at your grocery store — usually, it's cookies or some sort of sweet exterior — but you can easily make an ice cream sandwich using sliced bread or pita. Pita, in particular, acts as a mild base for your sandwich.

You can quickly revamp it into a sweet alternative by adding butter, cinnamon, and sugar. Honey or maple syrup would work too, but it might be too messy unless you have a lot of napkins handy or want to eat it with a fork and knife. Lightly toast the pita, spread on butter, and sprinkle on cinnamon sugar so it's fully coated in the sugary mix. Now you can scoop in your desired ice cream, such as vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry, and dig in. However, since many types of ice cream sandwiches are soft, you can keep it untoasted for a similar feel.

Swap Tortilla Chips For Nachos

nachos with loaded toppings
nachos with loaded toppings - Gmvozd/Getty Images

While there are many alluring qualities of nachos, their range and flexibility are particularly wonderful. Each eatery has its particular version and look, none are the exactly same. Pita nachos have the bonus factor of added thickness to endure all the toppings. Cut your pita into triangles or slice them into squares. Bake them in the oven or fry them for good measure and extra flavor. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and they're ready for dressing.

Compile cheesy carne asada nachos with marinated steak, avocado, cilantro, jalapeños, and other goodies. Make pita nachos into a fun family or party activity. You can place chips onto the side and then have a toppings bar, so each person can load up their plate as they desire. Some people just want to load up on the cheese while others want a little bit of everything. Each person can customize it to their liking.

Blitz Them Into Bread Crumbs

bread crumbs in wooden spoon
bread crumbs in wooden spoon - Savany/Getty Images

When you have a few pitas that start to get stale, make bread crumbs. Put the stale bread in the food processor to get your desired crumb consistency. If you don't have stale pita, put them in the oven until they're dry and crisp, then throw them in the food processor. Course and larger options are great for adding to meatballs or meatloaf to act as a binder, but you can keep the processor going until they turn into a fine powder.

Alternatively, you can place the pita in a bag and crush them by hand or with something like a plate or pan. Use bread crumbs to place atop a casserole or add texture to chicken tenders or fish. Chop fresh herbs or sprinkle in powdered garlic to give a jump in flavor.

Throw It Into Soup

lentil soup with pita bread
lentil soup with pita bread - Anna_Pustynnikova/Shutterstock

Soup and pita make a comforting, hearty duo. The combination offers a mix of textures that evoke warmth and cheerfulness. Add untoasted pita to a soup to soak up liquid or absorb broth. Bake pita and crumble it into large chunks to give it a crunchy topping, kind of like what the tortilla strips do for a tortilla soup.

Pita would be delightful in roasted eggplant soup, lentil soup, Persian ash reshteh, or any vegetable-heavy soup. Serve a warmed whole pita on the side, or tear it into pieces and place them directly in the soup. No matter what soup you partner it with, it will absorb some of the flavor. It's up to you if you want the bread to be soft, toasted, or heated. Pita is a superb addition when you want to give soup texture or make it more filling.

Dip In Cheese Fondue

cheese fondue with bread and wine
cheese fondue with bread and wine - Margouillatphotos/Getty Images

Spend an evening at home dunking away with a cheese fondue. Fondue is a delightful date night idea and the perfect way to spend an evening in when you don't feel like going out. Make a classic cheese fondue and compile all your items for dipping. Swapping white bread for pita can give a different taste and visual component. Don't add any seasoning to the pita unless you want the fondue itself to absorb the flavor.

Cut the pita into larger wedges or strips so that they won't fall apart; a larger strip also allows for a better grip if you're holding it by hand. A very light toast can give them additional sturdiness without making them so crunchy that you can't use the fondue fork to dip them. You could also choose to keep them uncooked to give a slightly chewy, soft bite. Fondue night can change a dull dinner into an eventful one.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.