Monday, March 7, 2011

Chicken Shawarma (Chicken Gyro)

  • 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 large (or 4-5 small) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 
  • 2 tablespoons tahini *I found this in the Kosher section of the supermarket
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Remaining ingredients:

  • 6 (6-inch) pitas
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 18 (1/4-inch-thick) tomato slices (large tomatoes, more if using smaller tomatoes)
  • 1 cucumber quartered and sliced thin 
  • 1/4 red onion sliced thin 
  1. Combine chicken marinade ingredients and chicken breasts and let marinate for 20 minutes at room temperature.  Then transfer chicken breasts and marinade to deep skillet to cook through.
  2. Remove breasts from marinade and slice thinly.
  3. In another bowl, combine sauce ingredients and mix well with a whisk.
  4. Serving options:
  • Grill or broil pitas and top with veggies, chicken, and dollop of sauce (as shown in picture).
  • Open pita and stuff with veggies, chicken, and dollop of sauce
  • Make a mixed "chopped salad" with veggies, chicken, and sauce.  Broil pitas and either tear chunks off to scoop salad with or cut up pita into "chips" and broil to eat as a side along with salad.

Shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish of garlicky meat or poultry served on pitas. This chicken version is flavored with a savory yogurt sauce, really similar to the gyro.  This dish is very light and healthy.  After making it, I wasn't feeling really confident that my family would go for it.  But to my pleasant surprise, hubby had seconds and Emma's plate was clean (she didn't try the sauce, and no onions for her).  We had some difficulty eating it the "tostada" way which is in the picture I took.  We found it much easier to go the chopped salad route, mixing all the veggies, chicken, and sauce together, and then using the pita shell like a scoop.  This also mixed the sauce in really nicely.  I made some modifications to this recipe that I originally found in Cooking Light.  If you're into light and healthy or a fan of the flavors of the middle east, I think you'll really enjoy this recipe.


  1. Eric and I loved this! We opened up our pitas and put all the ingredients inside Pita Pit style. Delicious!

  2. This was such a unique blend of flavors and made a fun and yummy experience for dinner! The first time we ate it, we grilled the pita on our panini maker, cut it into wedges, shoveled all the fixings onto the pita wedge and shoved it in our mouths! Second time, we ate the ingredients sorta "salad" style in a wrap. Both ways = fabulous!