This healthy Mediterranean pita sandwich features soy curls seasoned with lemon, thyme, oregano, and olive oil, plus a quick dairy-free yogurt sauce. These light-yet-hearty plant-based sandwiches are perfect for lunch or dinner, and ready in 30 minutes!
About the Recipe
This plant-based take on Mediterranean Chicken Pita couldn't be easier and makes such a satisfying meal.
As a vegan recipe creator and food blogger, I'm in a lot of Facebook recipe groups. That's not usually where I get my recipe ideas, though.
There's a Facebook group called Soy Curl Creations, and since I'm a huge fan of soy curls, naturally I'm a member. Recently someone posted about a pita sandwich they made, where they replaced the chicken with soy curls. I think the original recipe was intended to be diet-friendly, as in low-fat and low-calorie.
Even so, it sounded delicious, light, simple, and like the kind of flavors I love. So I decided to make my own version!
I think you'll love this Mediterranean-inspired sandwich, too. It's:
- easy and requires no special equipment
- vegan and high in protein and fiber thanks to wholesome soy curls
- creamy and irresistible thanks to tangy yogurt sauce
- fresh thanks to cucumber and tomato
- and versatile - use any type of bread or wrap, add lettuce or other veggies, or ditch the bread and make a Mediterranean soy curl bowl!
What are soy curls?
In case you're not familiar with this unique plant-based product, I have an entire post dedicated to Butler soy curls. So be sure to check that out for more in depth info. Here's the quick answer...
Soy curls are a unique meat substitute made from just one ingredient, whole, non-GMO soybeans. They're produced by Butler Foods, a family-owned company based in Oregon.
The soybeans are cooked, textured, and shaped into strands of varying sizes. The strands are then dehydrated, which gives soy curls a fairly long shelf life and makes them great at soaking up flavors!
Soy curls are a natural, whole food, unlike most meat replacement products, and are high in fiber and protein.
They're versatile, too! Soy curls can be cooked on the stovetop, like today's recipe, or baked in the oven (try these crispy vegan bacon bits)!
They're also amazing in the air fryer and added to curries, soups, and grains.
We also love to pulse them in the food processor for vegan ground "beef" and taco meat.
- soy curls - as mentioned above, soy curls are made from one ingredient, whole, non-GMO soybeans. Ordering online is the easiest way to purchase them, since they're not widely distributed.
- bread - any white or whole wheat pita or Greek pita (flatbread) that works for your dietary needs. Or use large tortillas to create a wrap.
- seasonings - to flavor and hydrate the soy curls, you'll need nutritional yeast, onion powder, poultry seasoning, and salt.
- lemon juice
- olive oil - in keeping with the Mediterranean theme, I used olive oil in the marinade. If you avoid oil, feel free to omit it and add an extra squeeze of lemon.
- yogurt sauce - I used plain cashew yogurt. Coconut, soy, and almond yogurt are also great.
- other ingredients - cucumber, tomato and parsley
See recipe card below for quantities and the full recipe.
- Place dry soy curls in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Add the chicken-flavor seasonings (nutritional yeast, poultry seasoning, salt, and onion powder). Stir well and let soak for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, whisk together the vegan yogurt sauce. I used a microplane to grate the cucumber, which is why it looks pureed - but dicing it by hand is fine, too. Set aside.
- Once the soy curls are rehydrated, use your hands to squeeze out some of the excess liquid. Preheat a large, non-stick saute pan over medium heat, and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Move the soy curls to the side, and add the olive oil to the pan. Add the dried herbs directly in the oil and let it sizzle for a few seconds, then stir to incorporate. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Assemble the Sandwiches
Spread a layer of yogurt sauce over the bread. Top with plant-based "chick-un," cucumber and tomato, and yogurt sauce.
If desired, sprinkle with fresh, chopped parsley and more lemon juice. Enjoy!
Is pita bread vegan?
Yes, pita bread is usually vegan, but it's always a good idea to check the ingredients. Pita is a yeast-leavened bread made with flour, water, salt, and oil.
For these sandwiches, instead of pita bread you can obviously use any type of bread or wrap/tortilla. The bread you see in the photos is actually a vegan Greek flatbread I picked up at a local store. The softer, fluffier bread made the sandwiches even more comforting!
- gluten-free - soy curls are naturally gluten-free, as are all of the seasonings. So all you need to do is pair them with your favorite gluten-free wraps or bread.
- oil-free - the only added oil in this recipe is 1 tablespoon of olive oil. It enhances the flavors of the dried herbs in the saute. If you avoid oil for health reasons, feel free to omit it. As needed, add a splash of vegetable broth, water, or extra lemon juice to the pan.
- Mediterranean bowl - not in the mood for a pita sandwich? Pair the cooked vegan "chicken," fresh veggies, and yogurt sauce with pasta, rice, potatoes, or roasted root vegetables.
- stuffed baked potatoes - roughly chop the sauteed soy curls and pile them on top of a freshly baked russet potato. Drizzle with yogurt sauce and dig in!
Meal Prep and Storage
This is a great recipe to add to your weekly meal prep rotation. After cooking the soy curls, let them cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The cucumber sauce will also keep for a few days in the fridge.
When you're ready to eat, just chop some tomato and cucumber, reheat the Mediterranean soy curls, and assemble your pita sandwich. Or if you're taking the sandwich to-go, simply use the soy curls cold - no need to reheat.
I hope you enjoy these easy and healthy Mediterranean pita sandwiches. If you try the recipe be sure to leave a comment below to let us know!
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Mediterranean Soy Curl Pita Sandwich
Soy curls and seasonings:
- 4 ounces dry soy curls - half of a standard package
- approx. 1 cup water
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning - this is a blend of dried herbs that includes sage, thyme, rosemary
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- salt and pepper
- ½ cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy yogurt - see Notes
- about ⅓ cup finely diced peeled cucumber
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of salt
Pita bread and garnish:
- 3 or 4 pita bread rounds - or any bread/wrap you like
- 1 medium roma tomato, chopped - or other variety
- cucumber, chopped or sliced - as much as you like; no need to peel if using English cucumber
- fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Place dry soy curls in a large bowl. Add just enough boiling water. to barely cover (about 1 cup) Add the nutritional yeast, salt, onion powder, and poultry seasoning, and stir well. Let soak for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Preheat a large non-stick saute pan over medium heat. Pick up handfuls of the hydrated soy curls and squeeze out excess liquid. Cook the soy curls for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Slide soy curls to one side of the pan. On the other side, add olive oil directly to pan. Add oregano and thyme to the oil, and let sizzle for 10 to 15 seconds. Stir to incorporate with the soy curls. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the soy curls are golden brown.
- To assemble the sandwiches, spread a layer of yogurt sauce on (or in) the pita, followed by soy curls, cucumber, tomato, and more sauce. If desired, add fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon.
- gluten-free - soy curls are naturally GF, as are all of the seasonings. Pair them with your favorite gluten-free wrap or bread.
- oil-free - the only added oil in this recipe is 1 tablespoon of olive oil. It enhances the flavors of the dried herbs in the saute. If you strictly avoid oil, feel free to omit. As needed, add a splash of vegetable broth, water, or extra lemon juice to the saute pan.
- Mediterranean bowl - pair the cooked vegan "chicken," veggies, and yogurt sauce with pasta, rice, potatoes, or roasted root vegetables.
- stuffed potatoes - roughly chop the sauteed soy curls and pile on top of a baked potato. Drizzle with yogurt sauce and dig in!
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
Just made and devoured this and it's delicious!!! Just home from a two week trek to the Holy Land, not much in the fridge to work with so improvised on the sauce with avocado and jalapeños in place of cucumber. Will definitely make this again!! Thank you!!
Love, love, love this recipe! The soy curls just in the marinade was delicious, but then the added herbs and lemon juice...amazing. I used Cashew yogurt for the sauce and we added a few sliced marinated olives on top. I don't miss meat, but any non vegan/vegetarian would easily be convinced this was a gyros or chicken. One of the most enjoyable meals I've had in a while. Can't wait to make it again💗
Thank you for this recipe. It’s so delicious!! Definitely going to make this again and again!