Updated on 09.10.14

Dinner With My Family #26: Feta and Chickpea Pita Sandwiches

Trent Hamm

Feta Chickpea Pita Sandwich Recipe

I love pita bread. Pita bread makes it easily possible to really experiment with almost anything as a sandwich filling. Hence a sandwich made from crumbled feta cheese and chickpeas that turned out to be surprisingly delicious.

This recipe is based on one found in the Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh cookbook that has long been a part of our kitchen cookbook shelf, requisite wear and stains and all. We often use cookbooks for inspiration, but rarely follow recipes verbatim.

What You Need

You’ll need:

1 lb. eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cups cooked garbanzo beans or 1 15 or 16 oz. can cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup reserved liquid from cooking the beans (or from the can of beans)
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. lemon juice
4 tbsp. fresh mint (we got ours straight out of the garden)
5 tbsp. crumbled feta cheese (optional – we made some with and without)
3 pita breads, sliced in half
2 tbsp. vegetable oil for cooking

The Night Before (or Early That Day)

As always, prep the vegetables early. Cook the beans if you’re using dried beans (and don’t forget to reserve 1/2 cup of the liquid at the end). Chop the onion. Store all of this stuff in the refrigerator.

Preparing the Meal

Put the oil in a skillet, spread it around, then heat it over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and the onion, then saute for nine minutes or until the oinion is starting to turn brown (it’ll smell great).

Cooking 1

Mix in the beans, lemon juice, and cumin and saute for a minute, then add a few spoonfuls of the reserved liquid. Saute for another three minutes and keep adding the liquid by the spoonfuls if the mix looks dry. You want it to be very moist but not runny.

Cooking 2

Mix in the feta and the mint, then remove from heat. Cut the pita breads in half lengthwise, then stuff the halves with this mix and serve.


We ate the sandwiches with a sliced fresh peach obtained from a friend.

Optional Ingredients

This recipe works very well as-is because of how the flavors mesh, but you can use almost anything within a pita and it will turn out well. Experiment with what you have in hand and find things that work well. We’ve made lots of things in pita shells, ranging from Greek-styled food (like this) to things that are practically tacos.

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  1. valleycat1 says:

    This sounds pretty tasty. There’s no way my child would have eaten this as a preschooler, though.

    When I use canned beans (that aren’t in a sauce), I drain & rinse them, so would just use a little water or broth if needed.

  2. con says:

    I’m just curious. Do you ever fix foods with meat that your wife and children can eat? I know, due to your health, you said you were advised to eat a veggie/vegan diet,but do you think about your family who might like meat? Or do you just adjust for yourself or go meatless like twice a week?

    I know you’re not going to answer, but just asking.

  3. Amy says:

    I will definitely try this! I’m not a strict vegetarian, but I’m always in the market for new vegetarian recipe ideas. Thanks!

  4. valleycat1 says:

    #2 con – Trent has mentioned in the past that they do have meat & he has a veggie version.

  5. Emma says:

    Do children really eat it? I would “pay” mine to take a bite at it.Love the recipe for the grown ups. I cook a lot of eggplant. Has very low glycemic level. Good for people concered with about diabetes. I would add more garlic than onion.Dash of olive oil. Also pita could be warm, toasted slightly.
    @# 2 con I think Trent cooks meat for his chldren. He wrote about cutting chicken into small bites in the post about paretning.

  6. Michele says:

    #5 Emma- my kids at things like this all the time when they were little- 2 and 3 year olds. One of their favorite dishes was one that a Swiss au pair taught us- scrambled eggs with scrambled soft tofu and green onions in tortillas! We had pistou at least once a week and they loved homemade hummus on toast for breakfast:) Made for interesting conversations when they were in school! By the way, they are now 25 & 29.

  7. Emma says:

    I don’t have children of my own yet (and for that reason alone, I’m sure some people will ignore my little insight here), but when I do, I plan on raising them the exact same way I was raised. If I said, “I’m not eating this!” my mother’s response was always, “Fine, then don’t.”

  8. em says:

    @7 Emma, I’m a parent of 2 (3 soon) and I think that is a great plan ffor raising your kids as long as you are not making them something else because they won’t eat what you gave them. I tend to change up my response depending on my mood but I either say “ok don’t eat it that but your not getting anything else” or “you have to try at least 3 bites before you may eat something else” The second response is usually when its something completely new that I think they may easily not like the taste. In that case, I can’t fault them for not liking the taste so I won’t force the to eat it. But if I make it again in the future I still make them take 3 bites because it can take multiple tries for someone to get a taste for some things

  9. kristine says:

    Another great chickpea/feta combo is:
    chickpeas, cous cous, halved grape tomatoes, feta, and fresh chopped basil.
    A delicious cold summer dish!

  10. Kim says:

    Yum, another bean recipe (said sarcastically). We do not eat beans. Can we ever get a recipe that isn’t made with beans? Your family sure must have a lot of gas with eating all of these beans!

  11. Johanna says:

    Kim, you can find plenty of recipes without beans in the previous (non-vegetarian) recipe series. Not to mention on the entire rest of the internet, including sites more specifically geared toward food than this one is.

    And if you don’t eat beans, how do you know how much gas they actually produce?

  12. Georgia says:

    Kim – to prevent gas when cooking beans, add meat (usually bacon, ham, pig’s feet) and 1 oz. of caster oil with 1# package of dry beans. Just enough to prevent gas and not enough to make frequent bathroom visits. And, with the fatty pork, it is not taste discernible.

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