A quick and easy chicken shawarma marinade – lemon and yogurt tenderize the lean chicken breasts while fresh garlic, parsley, and spices add tons of flavor. Served on pita bread with a tahini garlic sauce.
My maternal grandparents emigrated from Syria and settled in West Michigan, so although I grew up eating Middle Eastern food, there are only a handful of Lebanese restaurants on this side of the state. As such, I grew up learning from my mother and grandmother how to make and perfect Lebanese recipes. This Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce is a result of my family’s culture and my childhood. We decided to wrap it into a pita with our favorite tahini garlic sauce, but it is great on its own served with rice pilaf and a green salad as well!
- For the Shawarma marinade: lemon juice, plain yogurt, parsley, garlic, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and cayenne.
- For the sauce: tahini, lemon juice, garlic, warm water, salt and pepper.
- For the wrap: pita, chicken shawarma, tahini garlic sauce, with any combo of lettuce, tomato, bell pepper, and red onion.
How to Make Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce
Start your Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce by making the shawarma marinade.
Add the plain yogurt to a medium sized bowl with the cinnamon, allspice, and cayenne.
Followed by freshly grated garlic, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a touch of salt.
Add some freshly minced parsley and stir until a creamy sauce is formed.
Add cubed chicken to the marinade and mix until evenly coated. Let marinade in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, but preferably overnight.
Then set the chicken out on a prepared baking sheet and broil in the oven for 4-5 minutes on high, or throw it on the grill (my preferred method).
While the chicken is marinating or cooking, make the tahini garlic sauce. Pour tahini into a small bowl.
Add lemon juice, grated garlic, and a touch of salt and pepper.
Slowly stir in warm water until you’ve reached desired consistency.
Now you’re ready to assemble the Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce. Start by spreading the sauce onto some pita.
Follow with the chicken shawarma, and desired toppings of lettuce, tomato, onion, or bell pepper.
Wrap it all up, and enjoy this delicious lunch or dinner!
- Make it vegetarian. Instead of chicken, use chickpeas! Or tofu, or vegan “chicken.”
- No dairy? No problem. Luckily this meal already has very little dairy, but you can replace the yogurt with coconut yogurt, or a bit less conventional, apple sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you tenderize lean chicken breasts?
Plain yogurt is a healthy way to tenderize lean chicken breasts while also adding an addictive tanginess. Plain yogurt is also packed with protein as well as magnesium and potassium.
What else can I use the Tahini Garlic sauce with?
How do I store leftover chicken shawarma?
Kept in an airtight container, it’ll keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
More Lebanese Delights
- Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup
- Lebanese Rice Salad
- Za’atar Roasted Carrots and Green Beans
- Vegan Tomato Kibbeh
- Lebanese Stuffed Kousa Squash
Did you try this Lebanese dish and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.
This Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce is not only easy and delicious, but brings with it a sense of home and comfort (at least for me). I love it, my husband loves it, my kids love it, and I know you will, too.
No fork required.
Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce
Tahini Garlic Sauce
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 clove garlic (grated)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 pitas
- slices lettuce (tomato and red onion to serve)
- In a small bowl whisk together chicken marinade: lemon juice, yogurt, minced parsley, grated garlic, salt, allspice, cinnamon, and cayenne.
- Pour marinade over chicken breast cubes in a resealable plastic bag or glass dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to overnight.
- While chicken is marinating, whisk together tahini garlic sauce in a small bowl. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
- To cook chicken, pre-heat grill or broiler to high heat. Spray grill or foil-lined broiler pan with non-stick spray. Grill or broil for 4-5 minutes per set or until chicken is cooked through.
- To serve, spread a quarter of the tahini garlic sauce down the center of each pita. Top with cooked chicken pieces, lettuce, tomato, and red onion slices. Wrap tightly and slice in half before serving.