Not to be dramatic, but I’m not sure there’s a worse feeling than making your way home in the dark only to realise that you still have to cook dinner.
The allure of the delivery app is almost too strong on those nights ― but I’ve recently found a TikTok recipe that calls for nothing but chickpeas, peppers, onions, mushrooms and pitta breads, and it’s swiftly becoming my bank account’s salvation.
TikTok user and registered dietitian @plantbasedRD shared a video for grilled veggie pittas earlier this year. “Dang, that looks so good,” commented one TikTok user under the video ― and I have to say, having tried it, the 10-minute recipe has quickly become my “exhausted evening” staple.
How do I make it?
The steps are simple. First, drain a can of chickpeas and mush them with a fork. They don’t all need to be smushed, but try to achieve a stuffable texture.
Then, chop your bell pepper, onion and mushrooms (if using that is – the mushrooms and pepper aren’t strictly necessary, in my opinion). Prep your garlic at this point if you use it.
Next, fry all your veggies and add some spices – @plantbasedRD used za’atar, soy sauce and chopped herbs, whereas I go for turmeric, chilli and garam masala, but it’s really open to whatever you prefer. Then season according to your taste.
Halve the pittas, stuff them with the chickpea filling, and brush the exposed filling with oil before frying the pitta filling-side down on a griddle (ideally) or frying pan.
It’s important to *properly* stuff the pittas beforehand and level the exposed edge with the back of a spoon so that the filling doesn’t fall out into the pan.
The meal is ready as soon as you notice a sear on the exposed side of the pitta (this takes about a minute or two).
You can make a quick dip with yoghurt, salt, pepper, oil, and lemon juice (with garlic powder if you have it), though I love a sriracha topping. I’ve also enjoyed it with mayo and ketchup ― again, it’s all down to taste.
Don’t be afraid to switch up your ingredients
I’ve found that while stuffed pittas don’t keep well once made because the bread gets soggy, you can definitely store your chickpea mix in a container for a night or two and then add it to the bread later.
It’s also ridiculously easy to customise, so don’t feel limited to the ingredients above. “You can swap chickpeas for canned lentils,” @plantbasedRD suggests.
Spices are completely up to you. Dips are optional. You can add mince to the stuffing too if you like ― just cook it with your onions and make sure it’s fully-browned before you grill the pittas.
I like to add a dash of tomato paste to mine to ensure the filling really, really binds together, and I’ve added a fried egg to the top in the past, too.
And there’s nothing stopping you from crumbling some feta on top of these or crisping the exposed edges with some cheddar, either.
Point is, the cheap (they cost me about £2 on average) dinner has become a weekday staple for me ― and I hope they do it for you, too.