Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce

4.48 from 17 votes

A quick and easy chicken marinade - lemon and yogurt tenderize the lean chicken breasts while fresh garlic, parsley, and spices add tons of flavor.

Chicken Shawarma Pitas

Whenever I travel I try to make time to sample the local cuisine. As I've mentioned before, I grew up eating dim sum in San Francisco, tacos in Tucson, and Greek food in Chicago. With that said, Lebanese food was first on our agenda during a recent trip to Dearborn, Michigan - home to the most concentrated Arab-American population in the nation.

Hummus Platter - The Lemon Bowl

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.

Grape Leaves - The Lemon Bowl

While I love my local spots, the hummus and meat-stuffed grape leaves we enjoyed in Dearborn blew them all out of the water. I felt like I was eating a meal prepared by my Great Aunt Vieve or Aunt Paula and that is not a compliment I give lightly.

If you're looking for quick and easy chicken breast recipes for the busy school year, this Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce does not disappoint. I almost always have lemons, garlic, and plain yogurt in the house and I'm pretty sure I've never run out of allspice, cayenne, or cinnamon in my life. 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.

How do you tenderize lean chicken breasts?

Plain yogurt is a healthy way to tenderize lean chicken breasts while also adding an addictive tanginess. Plan yogurt is packed with protein as well as magnesium and potassium - two powerful minerals that when combined with calcium have been shown to help maintain low blood pressure.

Your fork is waiting.

Chicken Shawarma Pitas

Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce

4.48 from 17 votes
A quick and easy chicken marinade - lemon and yogurt tenderize the lean chicken breasts while fresh garlic, parsley, and spices add tons of flavor.
PREP: 30 mins
COOK: 10 mins
TOTAL: 40 mins
Servings: 4


Chicken Shawarma

  • 1 lb boneless (skinless chicken breasts - cut in 2 in cubes)
  • 1 juice of lemon
  • ½ cup plain low fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley (minced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • teaspoon cayenne

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.


Remove chicken from the refrigerator 10-15 minutes before you plan to grill or broil to help remove the chill.


Calories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 27.7gFat: 5.4gSaturated Fat: 0.6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4.8gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 1008mgFiber: 1.8gSugar: 3g
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE? Mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl! I would LOVE to see!

69 thoughts on “Chicken Shawarma Pita with Tahini Garlic Sauce”

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

    1. 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!

  3. 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.

    1. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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! :)

  6. 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!!!

    1. 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!!

    1. 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. :)

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