Do you know what I don't have enough of? Lamb. I like to eat a variety of dishes and cuisines but for some reason, I rarely eat lamb. It might partly be because it's difficult to find top quality lamb that doesn't taste overly-gamey. Well, I decided to search high and low and make a lamb dish because well, dammit, I wanted lamb. I had these spiced lamb pita wraps on my mind for weeks and I wasn't going to stop until I made them. Folks, I am happy to report that I found some great ground lamb and successfully made this lunch. And you know what? It was well worth the wait.
Spiced Lamb Pita Wraps
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup boiling water
- ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
- ½ tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
Sizzled herb yogurt sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil divided
- 2 lemon slices
- ¼ cup parsley fresh
- 2 tbsp mint fresh
- 2 tbsp dill fresh
- 1 tbsp oregano fresh
- ½ cup Greek yogurt plain
- 1 garlic clove grated
- salt and pepper
- 1 lb ground lamb
- ¼ cup grated onion
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp coriander
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 pita bread
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- ¼ cup cucumber thinly sliced
- Pickle the red onions. Combine ¼ cup boiling water with ¼ cup vinegar, ½ tbsp sugar, and ½ tsp salt. Add the red onions and let sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Make the sizzled herb yogurt sauce. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the 2 lemon slices and cook until caramelized and the rind is softened, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the lemon and chop into small pieces.
- Chop ¼ cup parsley, 2 tbsp mint, 2 tbsp dill, and 1 tbsp oregano. Add 2 tbsp olive oil in the same pan and heat until the oil is shimmering. Turn off the flames and add the herbs. Let cool slightly. Combine the sizzled herbs and oil, caramelized lemon, grated garlic, and ½ cup Greek yogurt. Season the yogurt sauce with salt and pepper.
- Season 1 lb ground lamb with ¼ cup grated onion, 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 tbsp coriander, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne, a pinch of cinnamon, 1 tsp salt, and ½ tsp black pepper. Shape the lamb into small patties, about ¼ cup each.
- Preheat broiler to high.
- Lay the lamb patties on a baking sheet and cook in the broiler for 7-8 minutes or until the juices run clear. Remove from heat.
- Assemble the spiced lamb pita wraps. Split open the pita bread and fill with the spiced lamb, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, pickled onions, and sizzled herb yogurt sauce. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
For me, pita wraps are one of the best lunches. It combines two of my favorites into one: Mediterranean food and sandwiches. It's more like a real fancy sandwich with spiced lamb patties, pickled onions, and a sizzled herb yogurt sauce, but I'm not complaining!
Okay so for the lamb. Since top-quality ground lamb can be difficult to find, you can easily substitute it for ground beef, turkey, or even chicken. There are so many spices in the patty including coriander, paprika, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon that it might actually fool you into thinking you're eating lamb.
Season the meat with the spices and shape them into small patties, about ¼ cup each. You don't want them too big or it will be difficult to eat in a pita wrap. I chose to broil the patties but you can also cook them on the stovetop or griddle, bake them in the oven, or grill them. Since the patties are small, they won't take long to cook.
For the sauce, we have a sizzled herb yogurt sauce that's kind of tzatziki...but not. It's yogurt-based like tzatziki but we're adding a ton of herbs and caramelized lemons to cool down the spices from the lamb. Caramelize the lemons until slightly charred and chop it into small pieces, including the rind. Caramelizing the lemon will soften the rind and remove some of that bitterness, making it actually quite delightful.
Heat some olive oil until it starts to shimmer, remove from heat, and add the fresh herbs. Watch out for the oil because it will pop once you add the herbs (hence the name sizzled herbs!). Add the herbs along with the oil to the caramelized lemon, yogurt, and garlic grated. Season with salt and pepper and there you have the sauce.
Quick pickle some red onion in boiling water, vinegar, sugar, and salt, and prepare the cherry tomatoes and cucumber. Feel free to make the sizzled herb yogurt sauce the day before as well as the pickled onions.
Homemade pita bread is awesome for these spiced lamb pita wraps but store-bought ones will also do just fine. Split open the pita and stuff it to the brim with the lamb patties, sizzled herb yogurt sauce, pickled onions, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers.
So I made these pita wraps with both lamb and ground beef and I've gotta say, I loved both variations. All the spices are what make this meal a killer dish. From the spiced meat to the yogurt sauce, to the pickled onions, this is the pita wrap of my dreams.
For more wrap inspiration check out these Greek chicken pita wraps!