Mediterranean Chicken Pita Tacos with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

Sink your teeth into these refreshing Mediterranean Chicken Pita Tacos with a creamy tzatziki sauce…all summer long.  Perfect for using up leftover grilled chicken or make a simple greek chicken marinade just like previously used in my Greek lentil salad.
Mediterranean chicken Pita Tacos

A few weeks ago I emptied the dirt from my compost bin one heavy bucket at a time and mixed it with the existing soil in my raised garden beds until it looked nice and fluffy! Dirt can be fluffy too, ya know.  You better believe I’ll be planting cucumbers again, this time alongside some beans!  They’re both so fun to grow and the kids love to pick them.

These mediterranean chicken pita tacos wouldn’t be the same without cucumbers!  They’re the main star, chopped along with the grilled chicken, tomatoes, and red onion as well as grated in the tzatziki sauce.
greek chicken tacos with tzatziki sauce

Let’s talk about tzatziki pronounced “ZA-ZEE-KEE”, or how most people commonly pronounce it “TA-ZEE-KEE”

Either way…

It’s a simple blend of plain greek yogurt, finely grated cucumber, garlic, salt, a dash of red wine vinegar, dill and a bit of olive oil.  Now if you look around the web you’ll see the ingredients are all fairly the same, but the methods can vary greatly.  From straining the yogurt overnight to adding lemon or parsley to the mix, or even the method of grating the cucumber…I’ve found the best combo and from what I understand kept it pretty authentic as well!  (See recipe instructions for details.)

mediterranean chicken pita tacos

Can we be honest here today?  Pictured above is not the freshly baked, fluffy, melt in your mouth homemade pocket-less pita bread.  NOPE.  It’s just store bought pita bread (cue the sad music).  Not paying a bit of attention to time, I forgot to make the pita bread dough and had to grab store-bought on the way home.  The chicken however, was not forgotten about and was happily marinating just waiting to be tossed on the grill.  You win, you lose.  You press on.

Please Please Please don’t be like me!  Make the pita bread (even if it’s a day later and all the chicken and tzatziki sauce is gone but you really really have to fill the void AND show your readers how easy it is to make!)

No prior bread making experience required!

This recipe will yield 6-8 pitas rolled out to about hand size.  I’m sure they teach that measurement in culinary school.

homemade pita bread

We’re going to be 1 pita short!  Lincoln loves playing in dough with his various construction vehicles! I.just.can’t.resist.
making pita bread

Each section of rolled out dough gets tossed into a skillet drizzled with a bit of olive oil and cooked for just 30 seconds or until bubbles start to form on top.  (If you have trouble with your dough sticking to the counter when lifting it, try rolling it on parchment paper instead.)

Flip the pita to the other side and cook for about a minute. Similar to making a pancake, easy peasy. (I may or may not have eaten half a pita fresh off the griddle…)  I tried several pita recipes that were all very similar to one another, but felt the flavor was lacking.  This one uses milk and I think it makes all the difference!

cooking fresh pita bread

Now if you decide to use store-bought pitas find ones that are not pre-sliced for pocket sandwiches.  Wrap a stack in aluminum foil and heat for 10-15 minutes in a 350 degree oven until they are warm and softened.

Spoon some tzatziki sauce in the bottom of a pita bread and stuff with chicken, tomato, cucumber and red onion.  Serve with additional tzatziki for dipping or drizzling over the top as desired.

chicken pita tacos

Goes perfectly with my BJ’s Brewhouse Copycat Bistro Grains Side Dish!

Mediterranean Chicken Pita Tacos with Creamy Tzatziki Sauce

Ingredients

    Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded and grated
  • 2 heaping TB plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 clove garlic, (or more depending on taste. I like leftovers to not be overly strong)
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • Homemade Pita Bread (barely adapted from Cooking Classy)
  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup warm water (not so hot you can't hold your finger in it, but not lukewarm)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp milk (warmed in the microwave about 45 seconds or until temp like water)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • Additional Taco Ingredients
  • chopped tomato
  • chopped cucumber
  • red onion, slivered
  • fat free feta

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer add yeast, sugar and warm water. Allow to sit for 5 minutes so the yeast has time to activate.
  2. Slowly add in milk, oil, and salt and mix with paddle attachment on low for 30 seconds to incorporate.
  3. Switch to dough hook attachment.
  4. Add flour 1 cup at a time and mix on low until flour is incorporated. Turn up to medium speed and mix until dough forms a ball and releases from the side of the bowl; about 2 minutes.
  5. Remove dough ball to a clean bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and allow to rise for 1 hour. (I turn my oven on set to 350 and allow it to heat up for 3 minutes then turn it off. This provides a nice warm place for the dough to rise!)
  6. *While dough is rising, prepare tzatziki sauce, recipe below!
  7. Divide dough into small sections (about 8) and press into 6-8" rough circles, like a pizza dough on a lightly flour surface.
  8. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil. Add 1 pita dough to skillet and allow to cook for 1 minute or until bubbles start to appear on top and underside is golden brown. Flip and cook an additional minute.
  9. Remove to a plate and keep covered with foil until ready to serve.
  10. Serve each pita with a generous spoonful of tzatziki sauce along the bottom, top with cooked chicken, cucumber, tomato, and red onion. Serve with additional tzatziki sauce for dipping!
  11. Tzatziki Sauce
  12. Peel cucumber and slice in half horizontally. Scrape seeds out with a spoon and carefully grate using a mix of small and large holes of a cheese grater. Place grated cucumber in a fine mesh colander and using the back of a spoon press out as much moisture as possible. Scoop cucumber into a clean kitchen towel and wring out remaining moisture.
  13. Place cucumber into food processor with remaining tzatziki ingredients and pulse until smooth.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.onestrangeherd.com/mediterranean-chicken-pita-tacos-with-creamy-tzatziki-sauce/

8 Comments

  1. Andrea Albert said:

    Made this for girlfriends lunch. Everyone loved the tacos and homemade pitas.
    I also made bistro grain side dish….not like BJ’s recipe at all. I had to get carry out from BJ’s to complete lunch for 6 friends. A few of them tasted your recipe which I had saved but did not serve and said it was a mexican dish. When compared appearances of the two side by side your recipe was browish orange and BJ’s was not brown at all and has no hint of mexican. I will definitely make tacos and pitas again but will get BJ’s carry out for side grain dish.
    Thank you!

    December 10, 2016
    Reply
    • Beth said:

      Glad to hear the tacos went over well. If you read my blog post BJ’s no longer carries this version of their “bistro grains” which is why I recreated it. It is a bit spicy and yes, more mexican like so probably not best paired with mediterranean tacos! I’ve also found that this side dish varies from restaurant to restaurant…and since they call it seasonal, it changes frequently as well. One reader noted theirs had cucumbers and cranberries.

      December 19, 2016
      Reply
  2. Kelly said:

    This is the first time I have ever made pitas myself. They turned out so yummy! My whole family was in love with this dinner. Thank you!

    January 7, 2017
    Reply
    • Beth said:

      I’m so glad to hear it! I could eat tzatziki by the spoonful 🙂

      January 11, 2017
      Reply
  3. Angela said:

    Thank you for posting this. It is the only copy cat BJ’s recipe I could find. However, I didn’t see anything about the chicken in this recipe. Do you marinate or season it at all? How did you cook it?

    March 7, 2017
    Reply
    • Beth said:

      I linked to another post with the chicken marinade I used: Greek Chicken Marinade. For this particular chicken & marinade I find it best to grill but you can also use leftover baked chicken or any pre-cooked frozen variety as I also suggested. Even rotisserie chicken would be good!

      March 7, 2017
      Reply
  4. Natalie said:

    5 stars! So delicious! I made this for my family last night, and my husband declared, “I could eat this every night and never get sick of it!” So fresh and delicious. The homemade pita bread was unreal. So amazing. Thank you!!

    June 10, 2017
    Reply
    • Beth said:

      oh I’m so glad you found a new recipe AND you rated it 5 stars :). Fresh and delicious is a great combo!

      June 19, 2017
      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *