I have so many ideas rushing through my head, but what to have for lunch is never one of them. I’d just finished up my animation for “Make It March” when I could hear my husband standing in front of the fridge asking what’s for lunch. He’d already given the leftover chicken fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant to our son who’s four. Our little man chows down on takeout more than any kid I’ve ever seen. I came into the kitchen to assess the situation. We’re out of a few basic foodstuffs since I haven’t gone grocery shopping in a couple of weeks but our fridge is not barren. I spotted wraps, corn, black beans and brown rice so I suggested he could make his own burrito. I also mention we’ve got leftover turkey meatballs in pasta sauce but just a small amount of spaghetti. I remembered we have one lonely pita round and imagined we could stuff each half with some meatballs. Creativity on the fly is one of my strong suits so I told him I could whip up “meatball sandwiches” which he said sounded good. I found some fancy shaved parmesan and an almost empty package of smoke flavored provolone slices in our cheese drawer. Yep I can make this work!
I cut the pita in half to form two pockets with a knife and put them on a light setting in the toaster oven. Then I put the container of meatballs with sauce in the microwave on high for about 90 seconds. I folded a provolone slice in half to separate into two half-moon shaped pieces. After the pitas were done toasting I propped them open to start stuffing.
I added the half slice of provolone first, followed by four meatballs with a little bit of residual sauce. I wanted to add the parmesan on top but was thinking the cheese was just going to split out. Luckily I had the idea to get one of our taco holder plates and pretend these were “meatball tacos”. So now I know these plates work well for holding pita pockets too. If you don’t have a taco plate, a medium microwave safe bowl is a good option to try to hold the pitas.
So after placing them in the plate which kept them upright I was able to add the shaved parmesan and place the plate in the microwave. I removed the metal shelf first because those pitas are tall. I choose 30 seconds on high to melt the cheeses and rewarm the pita. I had my hubs give it a taste test to see if it was warm enough. He gave me the thumbs up. I added 21 grams of veggie straws (3/4 of a serving) and 53 grams of washed red table grapes to round out this lunch meal. I’ve gained the Corona 5 and trying to get back on my fitness journey so these were nice and light sides to balance out the hearty pita sandwich.
So here is my first ever recipe I’m sharing with the world:
Meatball Stuffed Pita Pockets aka Meatball Tacos
1 pita round loaf, cut in half to form 2 pockets (I used Toufayan Bakeries Hearth Baked Whole Wheat Pita)
8 leftover meatballs in red pasta sauce (I used Meijer Flame Broiled Turkey Meatballs and Prego+ Traditional Hidden Super Veggies – don’t tell the kids LOL)
1 smoke flavor provolone natural cheese slice, folded to break into 2 half-moon shaped pieces (I used Meijer brand)
14 grams / half an ounce shaved parmesan cheese (I used Stella Aged 10 Months)
- Toast pita pockets in toaster or toaster oven on a light setting to crisp them up.
- Reheat your leftover meatballs and sauce in microwave 1.5 to 2 minutes.
- Prop open toasted pockets and add half slice of provolone inside.
- Add 4 sauced meatballs (if your brand has bigger meatballs use less) to each pocket and place in taco holder plate or medium microwave save bowl.
- Put 7 grams (a quarter of an ounce) of shaved parmesan on top of the meatballs in each pocket.
- Heat on high about 30 seconds to melt cheeses and rewarm pita pockets.
- Serve immediately with your chosen sides (We had red table grapes and veggie straws).
Calories per serving (based on brands mentioned above and estimating 12 grams of sauce for each pita): 255
*Neither did I get paid to write this recipe nor receive any free product from any company. All ingredients used I purchased myself from grocery stores.
If we had hoagie buns I probably would have used them to make meatball subs but I’m very pleased with this experimental lunch. The whole wheat pita is less calories and healthier so it’s a good alternative. Please let me know what you think if you try it!