Recipe Corner: Garbanzo Bean and Pepper Pies with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce

By Christine Vartanian Datian



4 pocket-less pitas, any variety

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained, rinsed, and cooked

1 small white onion, minced

1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped

1/2 each medium green and red bell pepper, seeded and minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon each paprika, sea or Kosher salt, and black pepper

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Aleppo pepper

1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

Olive oil

Lemon wedges, sliced red onions

Crumbled Feta cheese


Yogurt Cucumber Sauce

2 cups plain yogurt

3 medium Persian cucumbers, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, mashed

Juice of one large lemon and the zest

Salt, black pepper and dried dill to taste

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint



Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine all ingredients for the Yogurt Cucumber Sauce in a medium glass bowl, cover, and chill before serving.

In a food processor or bowl, mash the cooked garbanzo beans until soft; add the onion, tomato, bell pepper, tomato paste, garlic, lemon juice, and olive oil, and mix to combine.  Add the parsley, and season to taste.

Place the pitas on a prepared baking sheet and spread about 1/4 cup each of the bean and vegetable mixture to cover each pita; drizzle lightly with olive oil.

Bake pitas for 10-12 minutes or until crisp and golden brown, and remove from oven.

Top pitas with crumbled Feta cheese, if desired, and serve with Yogurt Cucumber Sauce, sliced red onions, roasted red peppers, and fresh lemon wedges on the side.


Serves 4.

*Christine’s recipes have been published in the Fresno Bee Newspaper, Sunset Magazine, Cooking Light Magazine, and at