Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

Indian-Spiced Chicken Pitas

23 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2009

Make a perfect summer supper: grill spice-rubbed chicken breasts and tuck them into whole-wheat pitas along with fresh vegetables and a tangy yogurt sauce. Serve with: Grilled vegetables and a pilsner.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala , (see Tip), divided
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1 cup thinly sliced seeded cucumber
  • ¾ cup nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro , or mint
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly ground pepper , to taste
  • 4 6-inch whole-wheat pitas, warmed
  • 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 2 small or 1 large tomato, sliced
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high or position rack in upper third of oven and preheat broiler. If grilling, oil the grill rack (see Tip). If broiling, coat a broiler pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon garam masala and ½ teaspoon salt. Place the chicken on the grill rack or prepared pan and cook until no longer pink in the center and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165°F, 4 to 8 minutes per side, depending on the size of the breast. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine cucumber, yogurt, cilantro (or mint), lemon juice, the remaining ½ teaspoon garam masala and ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl. Thinly slice the chicken. Split open the warm pitas and fill with the chicken, yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Refrigerate the chicken in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Tips: Garam masala is a blend of spices used in Indian cooking. It is available in the spice section of most supermarkets.
  • To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 340 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 6 g fiber; 44 g carbohydrates; 33 g protein; 58 mcg folate; 64 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,371 IU vitamin A; 15 mg vitamin C; 126 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 591 mg sodium; 603 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (27% daily value), Vitamin C (25% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat

Reviews 23

June 15, 2014
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By: Ann Marie Natal
Very interesting and refreshing flavors are included in this recipe. I had a no fuss approach to cooking my chicken (seasoned and cooked it in a skillet before dicing.) The sauce was a nice cool addition and paired well with the garam masala.
January 30, 2014
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By: EatingWell User
Easy recipe, tasty dish!! Loved this dish. Quickly done and it can be adjusted to your taste. I used quite a bit of garam masala, so it had a nice kick to it. Instead of the fresh cilantro, I used the Cilnatro Paste from Gourmet Garden, this worked extremely well, and made the raita better. I use the English cucumbers, which have more bite than the regular ones. Great yield. I used chicken tenders instead of breasts. The tender size fits the pita pocket exactly. Grilled it on the Foreman, which made this a quick dinner effort, without having to heat up the broiler. Pros: Easy to make, great yield
June 18, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
A new favorite My whole family loved these! I've made them several times and even without the garam masala they are awesome! (But do use mint in the yoghurt mixture then!) Pros: Easy, tasty, healthy Cons: Very addictive! (So none)
February 27, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Really Easy + Tasty After reading the comments about this recipe being bland and having flavors that did not blend I was really hesitant to throw this dish together but after making it I am extremely curious to find out what everyone here is doing wrong. I found the Garam Masala to be extremely flavorful and fragrant. All of the ingredients complimented one another well and my yogurt sauce held together well and never got too thin. I would highly recommend this dish Pros: Flavorful, Tangy, Spicy, Quick
January 28, 2013
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By: klewis7884
Fantastic I loved this recipe! It is like an Indian-styled version of the middle eastern gyros. You may see some people complaining about the combination of flavors, but really they blend well together, but they are more fragrant than many American's are used to. In my house, we have some sort of middle eastern/Indian foods at least once a month from scratch... it's my kids favorite style of food. This will definitely be added to the repertoire.
October 16, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Loved this dish! I used tikka masala instead though. I was kinda scared that the yogurt mixture wouldn't go well with this masala but all was good! Pros: Very easy to make
July 15, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Good idea, garam masala seemed to be a poor fit for seasoning. After assembling I realized all it truly is is a oddly seasoned chicken gyro. Next time will substitute garam masala for something different. Would also suggest smaller cucumber pieces.
January 16, 2012
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By: amandabrienza
Yummy! This recipe is super simple and my boyfriend and I both really enjoyed it. Store-bought Garam Masalas can be somewhat bland, but I cook with Indian flavors a lot, so I make my own to keep on hand. Use Greek Yogurt and your sauce won't be runny. Sauce recipe makes A LOT, so next time I'll cut that in half.
September 08, 2011
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By: megan.maclean
Good, but could be great with a couple of changes The garam masala adds really great flavour to this dish! The problem was with the sauce. It was watery and, like others have said, it made the sandwich pretty soggy. Next time, I'd made the sauce more like a traditional tzatziki (grate the cucumber, put it in cheesecloth and squeeze all of the liquid out before adding it to the yogurt). Marinating the chicken for a couple of hours and preparing the sauce ahead of time to allow all of the flavours to blend together would be a big help too.
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