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  • Writer's pictureitsjdieb

Chicken Shawarma

I think this is the recipe everyone has been waiting for. I think I might as well quit being the Average Arab Girl because this will be the best recipe I give you all. This is the classic Middle Eastern meal, Chicken Shawarma. The word "shawarma" actually comes from the Turkish word "turning" because authentic shawarma involves chicken or red meat cooking on a revolving spit.

However, since none of us casually have a revolving spit in our homes, I am here to show you how to make a simplified version of chicken shawarma. Not only is it simplified, but it's nutritious and a great dinner to make for yourself, friends, and family. When it's chicken shawarma night at my house, I know to invite everyone I know.

To create this meal you're going to need lots of ingredients, BUT, none that you wouldn't have in your fridge or pantry... besides the delicious garlic sauce that I buy from the Middle Eastern market. You're going to need chicken breast, pita, tomato, red onion, lettuce, lemon, garlic sauce, tahini, Greek yogurt, and many seasonings.

Give yourself an hour or more to create this meal and take this advice... I know this recipe yields for 2 people and it's because I want you to enjoy chicken shawarma leftovers. Have one sandwich for dinner and the next day prep another sandwich to bring into the office or school.

So, let me show you how to make an easy and simplified version of chicken shawarma.

Yields: 2

Prep time: 40 minutes (overnight to allow the chicken to marinate, but not necessary)

Total time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

This recipe can be nut free without the addition of tahini. It can also be dairy free if you opt out of the Greek yogurt in the chicken marinade.



1. 4 chicken breasts, butterflied and sliced into thin, small strips

2. Pita or naan (it's more custom to use pita)

3. ½ tomato, thinly sliced

4. 1/4 red onion, sliced into thin strips

5. Lettuce

6. Garlic sauce (store bought is alright since I want to save you time with this recipe)

7. Tahini

8. Extra virgin olive oil

9. ⅓ cup Greek yogurt

10. Salt

11. 4 cloves fresh garlic, grated

12. ½ lemon

13. Black pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, Aleppo pepper



1. First, have the chicken breast defrosted and butterflied. Slice the chicken breasts into thin, small strips. It's going to look like the pieces shown in the picture above.

2. Place the chicken into a small bowl to create the marinade. Add in 1 ½ TBSPs of olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon, the 4 cloves of grated garlic, ⅓ cup Greek yogurt, 1 TSP salt, (seasonings)

3. You can either allow the chicken to marinate over night in the fridge or just for 30 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients for the shawarma. (Some people create the marinade in a Ziplock bag, so that is also an option)

4. While the chicken marinates, have the tomato, red onion, and lettuce prepared.

5. Once you're ready to cook the chicken, grab a large frying pan and place it onto the stove top on high heat. Pour in 2 TBSPs of olive oil and once the olive oil simmers, add the chicken in.

6. Allow the chicken to fully brown for approximately 4-6 minutes. Make sure to flip each chicken piece to have the sides evenly cook.

7. Once the chicken is ready, you can create your shawarma sandwich. Grab a pita bread and spread on your desired amount of garlic sauce. Next, add lettuce, tomato, and red onion to your liking. Add on chicken. Pour on your desired amount of tahini sauce. Salt to taste. Feel free to garnish with fresh parsley.

8. Wrap the pita up well and enjoy! (I want to mention that lots of Arabs enjoy chicken shawarma with french fries inside the sandwich. So, if you want to make some and add them in the sandwich please be my guest! You can buy frozen french fries and bake them or make them yourself.)


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