This is a guest post by The Gracious Pantry.
Pita pizzas are delicious, cheesy, and topped with all your favorite pizza toppings. They are an easy solution for breakfast, lunch, or dinner on a busy weeknight. They are great for kids and adults and are an underrated staple.
Pita Pizza Basics
Pita bread is a delicious flatbread sturdy enough to handle all your pizza toppings and light enough not to sit in your tummy like a brick. They come in regular, gluten-free, and whole-grain versions. They can be cut open for pita pocket sandwiches, baked for pita chips, or used as a quick and easy pizza crust.
Plus, the serving size is perfect for one person. So if you have multiple people to make a quick pizza for, everyone will be happy because they can all have their favorite toppings. It’s a fun way to get the kids in the kitchen with you.
Pita Pizza Toppings
Need some topping combinations you can try? Here are some ideas:
- Classic Margherita Pita Pizza – Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil
- Mediterranean Pita Pizza – Olives, feta cheese, and roasted vegetables
- Greek Pita Pizza – Tzatziki sauce, grilled chicken, red onions, Kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese
- Caprese Pita Pizza – Fresh mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaf, and balsamic glaze
- BBQ Chicken Pita Pizza – BBQ sauce, shredded chicken, red onions, corn kernels, and cilantro or parsley
- Pesto Margherita Pita Pizza – Pesto sauce, sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, and optional prosciutto
- Veggie Lover’s Pita Pizza – Marinara sauce, bell peppers, mushrooms, spinach, red onions, and grated parmesan cheese
- Hawaiian Pita Pizza – Tomato sauce or pizza sauce, ham or Canadian bacon, pineapple chunks, and shredded mozzarella cheese
- Spicy Mexican Pita Pizza – Spicy tomato salsa, ground beef, seasoned black beans, jalapenos, diced tomatoes, and shredded cheddar cheese
Tips and Tricks for The Perfect Pita Pizza
Choose Your Pita Bread Carefully – Not all pita bread is created equal. Make sure you choose a pita bread that is on the thicker side. Very thin pitas won’t hold up well under all those toppings, especially once it gets warmed up in the oven.
Set Your Oven Correctly – You should always preheat your oven. But do so between 425-450°F (220-230°C). Your oven must be hot enough for everything to cook evenly. You are trying to melt cheese, not cook raw dough. So, the higher temperature will quickly get those pita pizzas in and out of the oven without burning the bottoms. Keep an eye on them as they cook. You may even want to use parchment paper to lift them onto a cutting board without burning your fingers.
Don’t Overload Toppings – It’s tempting to load up your pita with a ton of toppings. But you’ll enjoy your pizza much more if it’s not overloaded. It’s easier to eat and easier to hold the individual slices.
Let The Pizza Rest – I know it’s tempting to dive into a just-out-of-the-oven pizza, but let it sit for about ten to fifteen minutes if you can stand it. Doing this will let your toppings settle and cool, keeping them from sliding off your pita.
Baking or Grilling Your Pita Pizza
Baking a pita pizza in an oven is the typical way to make one of these types of pizza. And if you do, preheat your oven to 450°F, and set your pita pizza on a baking sheet (never directly on the oven grates). Bake for about 10 minutes. The timing can vary from oven to oven, so watch them.
If you are concerned about the pita bottom burning, make sure your baking pan is thicker on the bottom (you can stack two pans to create more thickness) and lay down some parchment for easy cleanup.
Grilling a pita pizza tends to be a more delicate operation. Watch the temperature on your grill very carefully, and ensure you have a thick pan between your pita pizza and your grill. While the cheese will certainly melt, the concern with grilling pita pizzas is burning the bottom.
If you have a shelf inside your grill, use it if you can. The idea is to get the pita up and off the grates as much as possible. You can lay down a muffin pan and then set your baking pan on top if needed. A cast iron skillet will work, too, if you get it up off the grill by placing it on something.
The main benefit of grilling your pita pizza is all that smoky flavor from the grill will get into your pizza, creating some amazing flavors.
Consider Your Cheese – It’s best to use cheese that melts quickly on a pita pizza. The faster your cheese melts, the less chance you have of burning the pita bottom. Opt for melty cheeses like mozzarella, Colby, Havarti, and Swiss cheese.
Consider Your Sauce – The sauce is arguably the most important part because it is the foundation of flavor in your pizza. It’s okay to think outside the box regarding pizza sauce. You can stick to a standard pizza sauce, try different pasta sauces such as marinara, branch out into other sauces like pesto sauce, or get creative and use some salad dressing.
Cook Your Veggies – If you add vegetables to your pita pizza, it’s best to sauté them first. A pita pizza is not baked in the oven long enough to cook raw vegetables. You can cook them any way you wish, but don’t put them on your pita pizza raw unless you enjoy raw veggies on your pizza.
Healthy Benefits of Pita Pizzas
It seems strange to mention pizza and health benefits in the same sentence, but there are some benefits.
The first is portion control. It’s hard to overeat when your pizza is naturally small. You can also control calorie intake much easier with such a small crust.
The second is more control over your crust. You can easily opt for whole-grain pitas for a good dose of whole grains and fiber.
The third is the opportunity to add healthy toppings because you are making the pizza at home.
Healthy Pita Toppings
Adding veggies (or fruits) to your pita pizza will be healthy. Look for sauces that don’t have added sugar, and avoid processed meats like pepperoni. Instead, try shredded chicken or no meat at all.
Pita Pocket Pizzas
You can easily slice open a pita, stuff it with your favorite toppings, and bake it in the oven. If you go this route, I highly recommend wrapping the whole thing in foil to keep the already-cooked pita from burning.
Vegan and Vegetarian Pita Pizzas
Vegetarian pizzas are super easy because you only have to leave meat off your pizza. But vegans have to take things a bit further. Ensure no animal products are in your pita bread, and opt for vegan cheese.
That said, vegan cheese does not melt like regular cheese melts, so you must watch your pita pizza much closer to keep the bottoms from burning. In this case, you only want to soften the cheese instead of having it melt. Vegan cheese is not the meltiest stuff. So you will know your pizza is done when the bottoms are golden brown. See the suggestions above for slowing down the possibility of burning your pita bottoms.
Pita Pizza Pairings
Not sure what else to serve alongside a pita pizza? Here are some ideas:
- green salads
- pasta salads
- cold drinks
Pita Pizza for Breakfast or Dessert?
You bet! You can easily top a pita with sauce and scrambled eggs for a delicious breakfast pita, or pile it high with fresh berries and pour some sweetened yogurt over the top for sauce.
Cover it in a chocolate spread and top it with fruit for a dessert pizza. Pita pizzas are truly versatile and can be enjoyed at any meal, any time of day.
Pita Pizza Party Ideas
Kids and adults alike will enjoy a pita pizza party. All you have to do is have an oven or toaster oven heated and ready. Everything else can be set out on a buffet table for easy assembly. Ensure any meat and cheese are kept over ice to keep them cool and avoid food-borne illnesses.
Set out individual bowls filled with different toppings, a big basket of pita bread, and a stack of baking pans. People can use pans instead of plates, build their pizzas as they go down the assembly line, and pop the pizza in the oven.
Once done, you’ll need to supply potholders, pizza cutters or knives, some plates, and a spot to leave the hot pans.
Pita pizzas are delicious, adjustable, quick, and super easy. You can enjoy them any time of day, get a great dose of healthy toppings and fiber, and even get friends or family involved in a pita pizza night. The pita-bilities are truly endless!
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.