Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

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Hello, dear readers! Today, I’m thrilled to share with you a recipe that has become a staple in my household: Chicken Shawarma. This delightful dish brings back memories of a family trip we took to the Mediterranean a few years ago. One evening, after a long day of exploring ancient ruins and bustling markets, we stumbled upon a small, cozy eatery. The aroma wafting from the kitchen was irresistible, and soon we were savoring the most delicious chicken shawarma we had ever tasted.

Back home, I was determined to recreate that unforgettable experience. After some experimentation, I found the perfect balance of spices and techniques to make a version that’s both simple and flavorful. One of the best things about this recipe is its versatility. Whether you prefer baking or air frying, the chicken turns out crispy and tender every time. You can also customize it to your liking—add some pickled onions for a tangy kick, or swap the garlic yogurt sauce for a dollop of tzatziki or hummus.

This Chicken Shawarma is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner or a fun gathering with friends. Serve it with warm pita bread, fresh veggies, and the creamy garlic yogurt sauce, and you’ll have a meal that’s sure to impress. I can’t wait for you to try it and bring a little taste of the Mediterranean into your home!

Chicken Shawarma

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into strips half an inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 6 small pitas
  • 2 cups of chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 diced medium tomato
  • 2 diced mini or Persian cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

For the Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Place the chicken strips in a large resealable bag with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, coriander, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper. Remove the air, seal the bag, and massage the seasoning into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results. Alternatively, use a covered bowl.
  2. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Arrange the marinated chicken strips on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked and crispy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  3. For air frying, place the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at 375°F for 10-12 minutes until crispy and golden, shaking the basket halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  4. Serve the cooked chicken in pita bread, along with chopped lettuce, diced tomato, cucumber, and parsley.
  5. In a medium bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Dijon mustard (if using), minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper until smooth. Drizzle the sauce over the assembled shawarma, or use tzatziki or hummus if desired.

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

FAQs:

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs for this shawarma recipe?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of thighs. However, chicken thighs tend to be more flavorful and juicy. If you opt for chicken breasts, make sure not to overcook them to avoid dryness.

What is the best way to marinate the chicken for shawarma?

Marinating the chicken in a Ziploc bag helps the seasoning penetrate the meat evenly. Massage the bag to coat the chicken thoroughly. For the best flavor, marinate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight in the refrigerator.

Can I grill the chicken instead of baking it?

Absolutely! Grilling the chicken is a great alternative. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and cook the chicken strips for about 5-7 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked and nicely charred.

How can I make the shawarma spicier?

To make the shawarma spicier, increase the amount of cayenne pepper. Additionally, you can add a bit of chili powder or serve with a spicy sauce like harissa or sriracha.

What can I serve with chicken shawarma besides pita bread?

Chicken shawarma pairs well with a variety of sides. Consider serving it with rice, quinoa, tabbouleh, or a simple salad. You can also wrap it in flatbread or serve it in a bowl with extra vegetables.

How long does the garlic yogurt sauce last in the fridge?

The garlic yogurt sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Stir well before using as it may separate slightly over time.

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

Easy and flavorful Chicken Shawarma recipe with baked or air-fried chicken, served with pita and fresh veggies.
Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Sandwich
Cuisine Libanon
Servings 6
...

Ingredients
  

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds of chicken breasts or thighs boneless and skinless, sliced into half-inch strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper adjust to preference
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 small pitas
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 medium tomato diced
  • 2 mini or Persian cucumbers diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped

For the Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a large resealable bag, combine the chicken strips, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ground cumin, ground paprika, garlic powder, ground cayenne pepper, ground coriander, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper. Remove the air from the bag, seal it, and massage the spices into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight. Alternatively, use a covered bowl.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the marinated chicken strips in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked and crispy. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  • For air frying, arrange the chicken in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Cook at 375°F for 10-12 minutes until golden and crispy, shaking the basket halfway through for even cooking.
  • Serve the cooked chicken in pita bread with chopped romaine lettuce, diced tomato, cucumber, and parsley.
  • In a medium bowl, mix the Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, Dijon mustard (if using), minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper until smooth. Drizzle the sauce over the assembled shawarma, or use tzatziki or hummus if preferred.
Keyword Chicken

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