Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma Pitas with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce are so healthy and easy to make, you will be making this chicken dinner recipe again and again!
Although I use my slow cooker all year round, I have been using it almost 3-4 nights a week this winter with our grill completely covered in snow.
Of course, just like all of you, I am always looking for more fast and easy slow cooker chicken recipes. Since my family loves eating Beef Shawarma with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce in the summer months I decided to find a way to enjoy shawarma without the help of my trusty grill.
We happened to have a pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts on hand but you could certainly swap it out with chicken thighs, pork shoulder or even a beef chuck roast. The real star of the dish is the fragrant yogurt marinade filled with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and all-spice.
These slow cooker chicken shawarma pitas are topped with a cool and creamy cucumber yogurt sauce, tomato slices and red onions. Make an extra batch and use leftover shredded chicken for salads, soups, pastas, tacos and more. The options are truly endless.
Your fork is waiting.
Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma Pitas
- 1 cup whole milk plain yogurt
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- whole wheat pita pockets
- Cucumber Laban (sliced tomatoes and sliced red onion – to serve, Lebanese Yogurt Sauce)
- Place the yogurt, chicken broth, spices and lemon juice in the slow cooker insert and whisk well.
- Add chicken to the slow cooker and toss to coat with the spiced yogurt mixture.
- Heat on low for four hours or high for two hours. Shred chicken and and stuff inside pita pockets. Serve with Cucumber Laban , tomato and onion slices
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36 thoughts on “Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma Pitas”
Can you please tell me if the chicken recipe American recipes use as I am in the UK, do you make it of is it from a tin.
I use whole chicken breasts that are either packaged in the refrigerator section or freezer section at the grocery store. In the US, canned chicken tends to already be cooked/chunked/shredded.
Let me preface by saying as a fellow American with Lebanese heritage, I have SO many recipes of yours pinned to try! I tried this in the crockpot and the results were a bit disappointing. I used Greek yogurt, so I’m not sure if that made a difference, and the 2 tbsp of cinnamon seemed a bit high compared to your grilled shawarma recipe, but I decided to try it as written. The yogurt curdled and made it all rather unappetizing, and the cinnamon was just too much. I’m going to try the marinated version instead and see how that goes! My husband loves shawarma so I’m always on the hunt for the best recipe!
Hi Emily – Greek yogurt is the culprit I’m afraid. You’ll notice I never use it in Lebanese recipes as it’s not really an ingredient in Middle Eastern cooking. Greek yogurt is delicious but I prefer it with granola or in smoothies. You’ll want to use Plain yogurt (ideally whole milk) – NOT Greek yogurt. The issue with greek yogurt is that it’s a completely different texture and 100x more acidic. The cinnamon helps balance the acid and chicken broth but you do need a good amount of cinnamon as plain chicken breasts are quite bland. Of course though you’re welcome to make this recipe your own – for example, i like to add a bit more cayenne for a kick of heat!! Have you tried any of mny other recipes yet?? I highly recommend the Lebanese Green Beans and Beef! https://thelemonbowl.com/slow-cooked-lebanese-green-beans-and-beef/
So I followed the recipe to the Tee however I tripled it using 5lbs of chicken instead. The first day it came out it tasted amazing all with that tangy taste shawerma has. The next day, I don’t know what happened, but the dish became so spicy it was overbearing and impossible to eat. Maybe my rating is undeserved and I’m sorry. Maybe it’s a dish I have to eat right away. I’m not sure.
Hi Nika, I’m a little confused – you said the flavor turned from mild to spicy as it sat in your fridge? I’ve never experienced this. I make it all the time and it’s great as it sits. Did you add anything spicy? Cayenne?
This was wonderful! I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to like the spice blend – it smelled to me like pumpkin pie cooking, which is nice, but not what I want when I’m thinking about chicken. But OMG it was so incredibly good with the yogurt sauce, red onion, and fresh tomatoes from the farmers market! I almost never want seconds of anything – but I wanted another helping of this!
As an aside, I used unsweetened coconut yogurt in this recipe, and in the yogurt sauce, to make this non-dairy, and it came out great! No weird taste or anything! Definitely recommend if you have any dairy concerns in your household!
Yet another awesome recipe from The Lemon Bowl – haven’t had a single one I didn’t like yet! Thank you for the inspiration!
I’m so happy to hear this!!!
Is the chicken already cooked before it goes in the slow cooker?
Nope you want raw boneless skinless breasts. :)
I’ve just volunteered to do this for a school fair! :) And two baked items as well! :O So I am going to need to spread things out over the week. How far in advance can I cook this, and how long will it keep? I’m thinking four days in a fridge won’t dry it out.
Oh I’m so glad to hear it!! You can cook it 1 day ahead of time and it will keep up to 3 days!
This sounds so good, I’m trying it this weekend! I live alone, can the leftover cooked chicken go in the freezer?
You know this type of chicken I don’t typically freeze because I don’t believe it will have enough moisture to protect it. That said, I could be wrong so if you try it and it works please let me know! Otherwise I would use leftovers during the week for lunches or repurposed in tacos, salads, soups, pastas etc.
Hi Liz. How do I improvise as I don’t have a slow cooker.
Love your recipes and stunning photos.
You really are my inspiration as I’m just about to pop with my 2nd baby and can’t wait to get back into shape.
Hi Natasha –
Oh my goodness you must invest in a slow cooker, especially if you’re about to have your 2nd baby!! I’m not sure how to do it without one but I’ve heard you can use your oven on a low temp. Try googling it a bit but in the meantime I would highly recommend you get a slow cooker before your 2nd baby. I love this one and use it 3-4 nights a week! http://amzn.to/1KcoUqI
Thank you so much for your reply Liz. I certainly will have a look online and in local stores for any deals on them!
Love your recipes and your page!
Aww thank you so much Natasha!! Appreciate it!
Oh, this was SO GOOD and incredibly easy. I can’t wait to make it again — definitely a dish that is even better as leftovers! We had ours over rice and eggplant, and it was such a great, filling meal. Awesome work, Liz!
Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!!!!!
I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS! Your photos are gorgeous, and now all I can think about is eating a delicious pita sandwich :)
Aww thank you so much!!! I hope you try it and love it!!
I love the look of these little stuffed pitas. Please deliver one to me? :)
Yes!! We can make Knorr minute sides to eat on the side!! PS: Not kidding.
I love to use my slow cooker all year too but I use it even more when it’s cold. Can’t wait to make that Cucumber Yogurt Sauce to go with these pitas!
I do too Angie!! I hope you like this!
I so love shawarma and lucky to have an awesome Lebanese place right by my house to eat it all the time :)
You are so lucky to have one nearby!!
What a great use for leftover chicken! Looks delicious. :)
Thank you lady!!
Thank you Liz. Love this recipe.
So glad you do Liz!! Enjoy!
I ADORE shawarma!! We always have it in pitas with cucumber sauce too. SO crazy good!
Sometimes I just come up with recipes that allow me to make cucumber sauce – haha!
What would happen if I used nonfat yogurt?
Not a thing at all!