Have you ever had shawarma before? It’s a Middle Eastern dish that usually consists of meat that is slow cooked on a rotisserie. But, did you know that you can make an air fryer chicken shawarma at home that tastes just as good? Plus, the lemon tahini sauce is to die for!
What is Chicken Shawarma?
Chicken Shawarma is a style of chicken that originates from the Middle East. The chicken is marinated in a blend of spices, then grilled or roasted on a spit. Chicken Shawarma can be served on its own, or as part of a dish such as Chicken Shawarma Rice.
It is typically made with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but dark meat can also be used. The chicken is usually flavored with a blend of spices such as garlic, cumin, and paprika.
Chicken Shawarma is a popular dish in many Middle Eastern restaurants, and it is also gaining popularity in other parts of the world. If you’re looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy chicken, give Chicken Shawarma a try!
Chicken Shawarma Ingredients
For this recipe, you’ll need lots of spices and seasonings. Here’s what you’ll need.
- Chicken– You want boneless skinless chicken for this recipe. I use chicken breasts, but you could also use chicken thighs.
- Olive oil– You will need olive oil for both the chicken and the salad.
- Naan bread– Naan bread is kind of like a pita bread. You’ll need them to put all your ingredients on.
- Chicken seasonings– You will season the chicken with minced garlic, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, ground cloves, turmeric, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
- Tahini paste– Made from toasted ground hulled sesame, tahini paste is a middle Eastern condiment. However, you can find it at most any grocery store.
- Lemon juice– You will need lemon juice for the chicken, the tahini sauce, and the salad. Fresh is best, but you can use bottled as well.
- Minced garlic– Minced garlic is used to season the chicken as well as for the tahini sauce. I buy jarred minced garlic to make it easier.
- Tahini seasonings– In addition to the above ingredients, you’ll also need cumin, salt, and parsley for the tahini sauce.
- Veggies– For the salad, you will need diced tomatoes, cucumbers, a minced red onion and fresh chopped parsley.
- White wine vinegar– If you don’t have white wine vinegar, you could also use red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar.
- Salt and pepper– a Little salt and pepper is used to season the salad and chicken.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
Made with protein, veggies and a delicious tahini sauce, this air fryer chicken shawarma is packed with flavor! Follow the easy steps below for a truly satisfying dish.
Step 1: Preheat and Prep
First, preheat your air fryer to 400°F for 5-minutes. Then, mix all the chicken seasoning ingredients in a medium sized bowl.
Step 2: Cut and Season the Chicken
Cut your chicken into thin slices. Then, add the chicken slices to the seasoning mix, coating the chicken well.
Pro Tip: You can cook the chicken right away, or you can all it to marinate in the seasoning. It’s best to marinate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Step 3: Create a Tray
When ready to cook the chicken, line your air fryer with aluminum foil creating a tray with raised edges to keep in the marinade.
Step 4: Air Fry the Chicken
Air fry the chicken at 400°F for 8-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
Step 5: Make the Salad
While your chicken is cooking, add all the salad ingredients (diced tomatoes, cucumbers, a minced red onion and fresh chopped parsley, white wine vinegar, salt, and pepper) to a small bowl, and mix well. Set aside.
Step 6: Make the Tahini Sauce
In a small mixing bowl, mix ½ cup tahini paste, 1/3 cup warm water, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp minced garlic, ¼ tsp cumin, ¼ tsp salt, and 2 1/2 tsp parsley, dried until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Step 7: Assemble Your Shawarma
Once your chicken is done cooking, add to your naan bread or pita bread the lemon tahini sauce, chicken slices, and top with your salad. Fold and bring the edges together.
Serve and Enjoy!
Why Make Chicken Shawarma in an Air Fryer?
Chicken shawarma made in an air fryer is a healthy and delicious alternative to the traditional dish. Air fryers cook food using little to no oil, which can help to reduce the fat content of the dish. In addition, air fryers cook food quickly and evenly, meaning that there is less chance of the chicken becoming dry or overcooked.
What Does Tahini Sauce Taste Like?
If you’ve never had tahini sauce before, you’re in for a treat. It’s made from ground sesame seeds, and it has a rich, nutty flavor that pairs perfectly with the spices in chicken shawarma. It’s also relatively thick, so it helps to bind the ingredients together and give the dish a creamy texture. Tahini sauce is definitely an acquired taste, but if you like hummus or peanut butter, you’ll probably enjoy it.
What Kind of Chicken Should I Use?
Chicken breast is the best type of chicken to use for shawarma. However, you can also use thigh meat if you prefer. Just be sure to remove the skin before cooking.
Side Dish Recommendations
How to Store Leftover Chicken Shawarma
The best way to store leftover chicken shawarma is in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to four days. Be sure to store the chicken, salad, and sauce in separate containers so it doesn’t get soggy. If you need to store it for longer than that, you can freeze it. Chicken shawarma can be frozen for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat it, just reheat it in the air fryer or in the oven.
- 1½ lbs boneless chicken breast (about 3 breasts)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 slices naan bread
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup tahini paste
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 1/2 tsp parsley, dried
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 cup cucumber, diced
- 2 tbsp minced red onion
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- When you are ready to cook, preheat your air fryer to 400° for 5 minutes.
- In a medium-size bowl, add all your ingredients for the chicken seasoning. Mix.
- Cut your chicken into slices.
- Add your chicken slices to your chicken seasoning mix. You can cook right away, or you can allow them to marinate. Best to marinate for at least six hours or overnight.
- When ready to cook, line your air fryer with aluminum foil creating a tray with raised edges to keep in the marinade.
- Cook at 400°F for 8-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- While your chicken is cooking, add all the salad ingredients to a small bowl stir, and mix well. Set aside.
- Add all the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a small mixing bowl and mix until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Once your chicken is done cooking, you’re ready to assemble your Shawarma.
- Add to your pita bread or flatbread your lemon tahini sauce, chicken slices, and top with your salad.
- Fold and bring the edges together. Enjoy!