Chicken Shawarma Night!

Ever since a family trip to Israel a few years ago, we’ve loved the version of a Chicken Shawarma sandwich we came up with when we got home. Everyone can build their own creation depending on the ingredients they like best. Really, whatever you have on hand will work. You can marinate the chicken and prepare the yogurt sauce ahead of time so all you have to do before serving is cook the chicken and slice the vegetables.

It’s great to bring everyone together for a family dinner, and great fun for a crowd. Just make sure everyone has a napkin…or two 🙂

The recipe servers between 4 to 8 people depending on appetites. Total time: 30-40 minutes active time, plus at least 30 minutes marinating time.



1 tsp each cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, cumin, salt, and black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts


Yogurt Sauce

1 cup Greek yogurt

3 cloves garlic, grated or finely diced

1 teaspoon cumin

Juice and zest of 1/2 lemon


The Bread

6 or 8 naan breads, 9” (or pita bread, tortilla, or flatbread)


For Serving

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

8 slices kosher pickle spears, sliced lengthwise (can substitute sliced Persian cucumbers)

1 cup pickled purple onion (can substitute raw sliced purple onions)*

1 cup lettuce leaves

2 avocados, sliced, or 1 cup guacamole

Tahini sauce (or tahini or hummus)

* Try this Quick Pickled Red Onions recipe from Gimme Some Oven



1. Marinate the chicken. Combine cinnamon, coriander, turmeric, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and set aside.  Rinse and pat dry chicken breasts and place in a large bowl or container.  Toss with olive oil.  Add spice mixture and toss to combine.  Cover, and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
2. Make the yogurt sauce. Combine yogurt, garlic, cumin, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a bowl, cover, and allow flavors to combine in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
3. Cook the chicken. Place the top oven rack about 6” below the broiler and set the oven to broil.  Allow oven to heat for about 5 minutes then place chicken on a foil-lined baking sheet and set on the top rack of the oven under the broiler.  Cook 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken flipping every 5 minutes. Cutting into a breast should reveal white color with no pink (internal temperature 165 degrees F with an instant-read thermometer).  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting each breast into 1/4” slices.
4. Prepare the bread. Turn off the broiler after removing the chicken. While chicken is resting, lay out the naan (or bread of choice) on a middle oven rack and allow the bread to heat.
4. Serve. Lay the bread flat and spread with yogurt sauce. Top with lettuce, tomato, chicken, avocado, pickle, and onions finishing with tahini sauce (or tahini or hummus) on top. Fold or roll bread up, and enjoy!

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