As a kid, I was fortunate enough to have waited tables at a local Lebanese restaurant where they’d let me try whatever I wanted at the end of my shifts. At an early age, I fell in love with food from the Levantine region. Garlicky hummus, flatbread, tabbouleh salad and – most of all – chicken shawarma. This Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Yogurt Sauce is the closest thing to how I remember it all those years ago.
What is shawarma?
The literal translation of the word shawarma is “turning”. Traditionally, lamb or mutton was turned slowly on a spit or rotisserie over a hot grill to make shawarma. Pieces of meat were then shaved off the spit and served with pita, yogurt sauce and various other accompaniments. Today, shawarma is made with any kind of meat including chicken, beef and veal.
What is in this Chicken Shawarma?
A simple spice blend on the chicken is the secret to all of the bold flavor in this dish. Here is what you’ll need for the spice blend:
- cayenne pepper
- smoked paprika
Simply slice the chicken into small pieces, toss it in the spice blend and skewer it. No need for a rotisserie or spit. And no real need to marinate it either, unless you want to.
You’re going to seriously love this spice blend. It’s simple, clean and contains no dairy or gluten. And because we are grilling it, this Chicken Shawarma can fit into a healthy, low fat diet.
How to make the Tahini Yogurt Sauce
The tahini yogurt sauce is just as easy to make as the chicken. It’s creamy, tangy and full of fresh herbs. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Greek yogurt
- lemon juice
- fresh mint
- fresh parsley
Mix it all together in a bowl and it’s ready to serve along with the chicken shawarma. Dip it, drizzle it or just take a swan dive into it. It’s so good!
What to serve with Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
The options for what to serve with chicken shawarma are endless! Here are some of my favorites:
- pita bread
- grilled vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, red peppers or onions
- tabbouleh salad
But my tippy top most favorite way to serve chicken shawarma is over a bed of homemade labneh. Just smear the creamy, tangy yogurt cheese onto a serving dish and place the skewered chicken shawarma over top. Bonus – labneh adds an extra punch of protein without packing on the carbs! Find the easy recipe here.
You’re going to love this easy and flavorful Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Yogurt Sauce. And when you make it, I’d love to hear about it! Drop a rating or leave a comment below. Enjoy!
For more chicken dinner ideas, try these:
For more gluten free meal ideas, try these:
Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 2 tsp. salt
The Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- 1 cup Greek yogurt regular or low fat
- 2 Tbsp. tahini
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. fresh mint finely chopped
- 1 tsp. fresh parsley finely chopped
- Combine all of the marinade ingredients for the chicken together in a large bowl.
- Slice the chicken into thin, bite-sized pieces. Place chicken into the marinade and toss to coat well. Thread the chicken onto the skewers.
- Heat the grill to 350 degrees. (You can also do this in the oven)
- Grill the chicken skewers, turning occasionally, until thoroughly cooked, 20-25 minutes.
- Combine all of the yogurt sauce ingredients together in small bowl. Use it as a dip for the chicken or drizzle it over top.
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