Chicken Shawarma Sandwich

Shawarma is a lot like a gyro. It is similarly cooked on a vertical spit and thinly shaved into strips. It is popular at fast-food restaurants across the Mediterranean, including Morocco where I have had the most amazing shawarma sandwiches.

I haven’t had shawarma ever since I made it for my book about two years ago. I’m constantly concerned with coming up with new recipes that I forget to revisit old favorites. I have finally made it again. I have almost forgotten how good it is.

This recipe doesn’t require an exorbitant list of ingredients, which is really nice. It requires some planning ahead, though. It needs to marinate and the longer it does, the better it will taste. The sesame tahini is so garlicky and lemony and complements this sandwich so beautifully.

Serve shawarma in a pita or naan pocket topped with tomato and onion slices. Drizzle with loads of tahini sauce and you have yourself an out of this world chicken sandwich.

Shawarma Sandwich Recipe

4 servings


For the chicken

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 3 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon allspice or shawarma spice (I used allspice)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 whole-grain pita or naan pockets

For the tahini sauce

  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 4 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

For Garnish

  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1 small onion, cut into thin strips


In a large bowl, combine the chicken, vinegar, garlic, shawarma spice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours, preferably overnight.

Cook the chicken in a medium sauté pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes.

Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a medium bowl. Serve the chicken in the pita bread pockets, garnished with onion and tomato and drizzled with the tahini sauce.

Note: I personally like to spray my pita or naan with cooking spray and grill it in a panini press to get rid of the cardboard feel it sometimes has. Doing so really makes a difference in the taste and restores elasticity to the bread. You may heat the pita on a skillet instead of a panini press if you wish.

Jennifer Dumas

My name is Jennifer! Welcome to Dinners and Dreams. My goal here is to encourage you to try out recipes you never thought you could make at home. Furthermore, I also review products that I have used in the past or currently using to make every day buying decisions easier and to ensure you get the best value for your money.

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