Ranch Chicken Pita Pockets – There will be no complaints around the dinner table when these fresh, cool, and flavorful summertime pitas are served up!
My last post was one of my go-to salmon recipes. Keeping in the theme of old favorites, this week’s recipe for Ranch Chicken Pita Pockets is one that I’ve been eating since I was a kid.
The idea of stuffing pitas with grilled chicken, a little bit of bacon, and fresh, summer salad vegetables is so simple, yet incredibly good. This recipe is so easy that I almost feel silly posting it. That said, if this isn’t already a summer favorite in your home, I think you’re going to want it to be!
Growing up, us kids would invariably ask that annoying question: “What’s for dinner mom?” Sometimes her answer would be met with a less-than-appreciative reception. My poor mom… But when it came to her ranch chicken pitas… YUM! No one protested the pitas.
I usually serve this recipe with room temperature chicken and bacon. Along with the chilled veggies and a drizzle of creamy ranch dressing, these pitas are flavorful, cool, and refreshing on a hot summer night.
Like me, I have a feeling that if you make these pitas regularly for your kids or grandkids, they’ll still be making them for their kids in 20 years!
- 1 lb sliced bacon
- 2 lbs chicken tenderloins
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 2 heads romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 whole red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 4-count package multi-grain pitas
- 1 bottle of your favorite ranch dressing
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange the bacon on the sheet so that the pieces are close, but not touching. Cook the bacon for 15-20 minutes until it’s golden-brown and crispy. Due to space limitations, you may have to cook the bacon in two batches. Once the bacon is cool, break it into bite sized pieces.
- While the bacon is cooking trim any excess fat or tendons from your chicken. Coat the chicken with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Prep the vegetables. If you prefer your onion to be less pungent, you can soak the sliced onion in cool water for 5 minutes, then drain it and pat it dry. Set aside the vegetables until you are ready to assemble your pitas.
- Cook the tenderloins on the stovetop or the grill. Stovetop: Heat your skillet to medium heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes, flipping midway. The chicken is finished cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Grill: Clean the grill according to manufacture’s instructions. Preheat to medium heat (about 400ºF). Grill the chicken for about 7 minutes, flipping midway. The chicken is finished cooking when it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- To prevent drying out, allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes and then coarsely chop into bite sized pieces.
- Assemble your pitas by cutting the pitas in half and gently opening them by running you finger through the pockets. Coat the inside of each pita pocket with ranch dressing. Stuff each pocket with 1 1/2-2 tenderloins worth of chicken and about 2 pieces worth of bacon. Stuff the remaining room in the pita with lettuce, tomatoes, and red onion. Drizzle with ranch dressing and garnish with a pinch of bacon crumbles. Serve immediately.