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?
It tastes great on white fish or drizzled over roasted potatoes.
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.
69 thoughts on “Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce”
Thank you for posting this recipe! I lived in Bermuda and got totally addicted to this and the fact that you have made it healthy is awesome-particularly for those of use trying to manage a heart health diet.
Oh my gosh that’s so awesome!
Thank you :-)
What is the substitute for allspice powder? Can I prepare it at home ? If so what is the recipe ?
If you don’t have allspice I like to use a little cloves.
Hi! I love your recipes. I grew up in Michigan and started eating middle eastern food when I had a Chaldean roommate in college. My question for you is where do you buy the kind of pita that you show in your picture (i.e. Pita that you can roll instead of stuff). I live in Atlanta now and never see this at my local grocery store. Do I need to go to a specialty grocery store?
Hi Nikki!! So glad you said hi!! Yes I get them at a specialty store – usually any international grocery store or Middle Eastern grocery store has it. Sometimes they keep it in the freezer. I hope you can find it!
Forgive me if this comes off as rude, it truly is not my intent, however i feel misled. After finding your website that is advertised and marketed as “Healthy”, I was so excited. I started pinning items and planning out my next shopping trip. It was easy to scroll down and see 250 calories, 20+ G of Protein and then it hits you !!! 1000+ MG of SODIUM !!! per wrap. Thats not in any way healthy. And with the growing crisis of heart disease your dish is 200 mg shy of the Doctor recommended daily intake of 1200 MG for a healthy person. While it may be low calorie and low fat, it certainly is not healthy if you have that much sodium. I think your recipes should reflect such, especially for those who are health conscious. Sodium is the least talked about factor that contributes to heart disease. Even the Marine Corps and the Department of the Navy are finally started addressing this publicly to spread awareness to all persons about the negative effects of sodium. If you are like me, and trying to find healthy alternatives to foods that you love, to save the life of someone you love, then I’m sure you can imagine the shock value your nutrition label offers. Good luck to you, and I hope you are able to offer suggestions to recipes that truly are Healthy.
Hi CD – Thank you very much for taking time to write candid feedback. I completely understand where you’re coming from and respect your opinion. To lower the sodium content of this recipe and others, I recommend looking for chicken with low sodium (most store bought chicken has high content so I reflect those numbers since that’s what most people are purchasing). Also, you can lower the sodium content further by reducing or eliminating the salt. Please let me know if I can help you reduce the sodium in any other recipes! Thanks again and have a great weekend.
This looks delicious! I feel like I’ve been in chicken slump lately (so bored of it); I’m excited to try something new!
I made your recipe for my girlfriend and I tonight as we have been craving Shawarma, I marinated the chicken over night and it was delicious, the tahini sauce worked perfect on it, thanks!
Isn’t that tahini sauce the best? So glad to hear!!
I’m excited to try this recipe! I stumbled across ur website off of Pinterest. Do you have a recipe for kafta bil saniyeh (beef with potatoes in red sauce)? Thanks! :)
I’m glad you found me!! No I don’t but that sounds AMAZING!!!!!
Another incredibly tasty chicken recipe! I can’t believe I love cooking chicken again, thanks to your recipes!
Thank you so much Carlee!! That means so much to me!
two things…I’ve never had shawarma or tahini sauce – it’s killing me because I know I would totally love both!!! This whole dish, it’s totally perfect.
I want to visit dearborn and hit up that restaurant with you!! Those grape leaves and hummus are calling my name!!!
Dude you would totally love them both!! I so wish we could enjoy this together!!! Maybe virtually one day. :)
My kids love chicken Shawarma – whenever I make it I barely get a taste.
I can’t believe how much I have to hide food from my son if I want to eat anything – haha. :-) I’m so glad your kids like shawarma!!
two words Yumma LUmma!
I love your words.. :)
I am now craving hummus and that delicious looking shawarma! Love this recipe.
So funny – I want hummus all the time lately!!!! Almost made it yesterday but my food processor was dirty from making baked kibbee!! A good problem I suppose. :)
Love the addition of tahini! Can’t wait to make this; thanks!
I just bought a giant jar because I’ve been using it so much lately!! :)
Sooooo good! I have been making these yummy Shawarma salads all summer and now I am craving another after seeing this!
I have been on such a Lebanese food kick lately!!
Another great lunch box option! Adding it to our back to school menu board : )
You will love this Paula!! So easy and so flavorful. :)