These Shawarma Chicken Wraps are full of spicy marinated chicken and topped with fresh veggies, feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, and pickled onions. All of that wrapped in a warm pita to make a delicious and healthy meal!
If you are looking for a homemade meal full of flavor, spices, and healthy ingredients, these Shawarma Chicken Wraps are for you! The chicken can marinate anywhere from 4 hours to overnight to infuse all of that spicy flavor.
- Why I Love This Recipe
- What are Shawarma Chicken Wraps?
- How to Make the Marinade for Chicken Shawarma
- Different Methods to Cook the Marinated Chicken
- How to Make a Veggie and Feta Topping
- How to Make Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Make your own Pitas and Tzatziki Sauce!
- How to Cut Calories In This Recipe
- Recipe FAQs
- Shawarma Chicken Wraps
- Did You Make This Recipe?
Why I Love This Recipe
I love Shawarma Chicken Wraps for their combination of tender and flavorful chicken, aromatic spices, and a variety of fresh toppings, similar to my Greek Chicken Pita Wraps. The warm, grilled chicken, wrapped in soft and fluffy pita bread, creates a satisfying and healthy meal that everyone seems to like.
Even if you make this entire meal from scratch, you can make it in one day. Or, you can plan ahead and make some of the ingredients ahead of time like the pita bread. Any way you decide to pull this meal together, you will have a delicious and healthy meal.
What are Shawarma Chicken Wraps?
Chicken Shawarma Wraps are full of flavor and a little zest thanks to a delicious shawarma-inspired marinade. My recipe adds fresh veggies, feta cheese, tzatziki sauce, and pickled red onions wrapped in a warm pita for a flavor explosion.
According to Wikipedia, Shawarma is an Arabic rendering of Turkish 'turning', referring to the turning rotisserie. The shawarma technique is grilling a vertical stack of meat slices and cutting it off as it cooks.
This recipe doesn't require a pinning spit, thankfully, but it does have some classic flavors and spices like cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and paprika. Shawarma is commonly served as a sandwich or a wrap or in a flatbread such as a pita.
How to Make the Marinade for Chicken Shawarma
Like most marinades, a shawarma marinade is easy to make. You will need quite a few spices from the pantry, but they all work so well together it's worth it.
Measure out the extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, minced garlic clove, ground cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, curry powder, ground cinnamon, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper and mix together in a large bowl or sealable plastic bag.
Add the raw chicken to the bowl or a plastic bag and ensure it is fully coated. If you are marinating the chicken in a bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place the chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, 12 hours or overnight is ideal.
Different Methods to Cook the Marinated Chicken
If you are lucky enough to have nice weather, grilling the chicken is an excellent way to infuse even more flavor. I live in a place where grilling isn't always ideal because of the weather, so I cook the chicken in a cast-iron pan. You still get the nice char on the outside and it cooks quickly.
You could also bake the chicken in the oven. No matter how you cook the chicken, make sure the inside temperature gets to 165° F (74°C) for safe cooking.
How to Make a Veggie and Feta Topping
You can just add these vegetables to the chicken wraps but this topping has a lovely lemon dressing that adds a little extra flavor. Dice half of a medium cucumber, 2-3 tomatoes, and half of a red onion (you can omit if adding pickled onions to the wraps).
Place the diced vegetables into a medium mixing bowl along with ½ cup feta cheese and ¼ cup sliced kalamata olives. Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
Mix everything together and ensure it's all coated in the lemon dressing. Set aside or in the fridge until you are ready to serve your wraps. This topping also makes a great side dish!
How to Make Quick Pickled Red Onions
Slice a medium red onion into crescents and place them into a sealable jar. Place ½ cup water, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ tablespoon sugar, and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into the jar with the sliced onions. Cool for an hour and then place the jar in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
Make your own Pitas and Tzatziki Sauce!
Although you can buy pitas and tzatziki sauce at the store, why not make your own?!? My Pita Bread Recipe is pretty easy to make and there is nothing better than fresh pita bread.
Tzatziki sauce is surprisingly easy to make and only takes about 5 minutes. My recipe is a small batch recipe so you don't have to worry about having a ton of leftovers.
How to Cut Calories In This Recipe
If you want a lighter and even healthier meal, skip the pitas and load up on the vegetables! Pita bread has about 180 calories and 33 grams of carbs. This is an easy way to lighten the meal but still get all of those shwarma-inspired flavors!
Absolutely! While chicken is the traditional choice for Shawarma Wraps, you can experiment with other proteins like beef, lamb, or even tofu for a vegetarian option. Adjust the cooking time and seasonings accordingly to accommodate the different protein types.
Yes, you can use store-bought shawarma seasoning or marinade for convenience. However, homemade marinades or spice blends often offer a more authentic and customizable flavor profile. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of spices to suit your taste.
While it's best to assemble Shawarma Wraps fresh for optimal taste and texture, you can pre-cook the chicken and prepare the toppings in advance. Store them separately in airtight containers in the refrigerator, and when ready to serve, reheat the chicken and assemble the wraps with the toppings.
Shawarma Chicken Wraps
- 1 plastic bag for marinating optional
- 1 large cast iron pan or skillet (or you can grill the chicken)
- 1½-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
Chicken Shawarma Marinade
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 pita bread rounds (homemade or store-bought)
- tzatziki sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- pickled red onion or fresh onion slices (see notes)
- ½ medium cucumber, diced
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- ¼-½ cup kalamata olives, sliced
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
Chicken Shawarma Marinade
- Measure out the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, curry powder, ground cinnamon, red pepper flakes, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper into a bowl. Mix together in a large bowl.
- Add the raw chicken to the bowl or plastic bag with the marinade and fully coat the chicken. If you are marinating the chicken in the bowl, cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place the chicken in the fridge and allow it to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, 12 hours or overnight is ideal.
Cook the Chicken
- I like to cook the chicken in a cast-iron pan (see notes for alternative cooking methods). Heat the skillet over med-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil.
- Add enough pieces to fill the pan but ensure each piece has enough room around it to cook. Cook for about 4 minutes on one side before flipping. Cook on the other side and check the internal temperature. Continue cooking and flipping until the center is no longer pink and the chicken reaches 165° F (74°C), about 8-12 minutes.
- Once fully cooked, you can slice the chicken into smaller pieces or into strips so that they fit into the pitas.
- Take one pita bread and place some of the chicken in the middle. Top with tzatziki sauce, vegetables with feta cheese, and pickled red onions. Serve immediately.
- Cooking the Chicken: You can choose to grill the chicken or bake it in the oven if you do not want to cook it on the stove. Grilling will add extra flavor from the flame and smoke and baking the chicken will keep it nice and moist. Regardless of the method you choose, ensure the chicken gets to an internal temp of 165° F (74°C) for safe cooking.
- Vegetable and Feta Topping: Dice half of a medium cucumber, 2-3 tomatoes, and half of a red onion (you can omit if adding pickled onions to the wraps). Place the diced vegetables into a medium mixing bowl along with ½ cup feta cheese and ¼ cup kalamata olives (sliced). Add 4 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ teaspoon dried oregano, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Mix everything together and ensure it’s all coated in the lemon dressing.
- Quick Pickled Red Onions: Slice a medium red onion into crescents and place them into a sealable jar. Place ½ cup water, ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, ½ tablespoon sugar, and ¼ cup apple cider vinegar into a saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove the mixture from the heat and pour it into the jar with the sliced onions. Cool for an hour and then place the jar in the fridge for at least 2 hours before serving.
- Nutrition facts were calculated for 2 wraps with chicken, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce.
Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Did You Make This Recipe?
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