Homemade Grilled Chicken Shawarma Wrap

$7.98 recipe / $2.00 each
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.80 from 48 votes
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The marinade for this Chicken Shawarma has to be the very best marinade that I’ve ever made. Ever. The marinade was so good that I might even use it as a sauce in the future (spoiler, I did). The flavor of this shawarma marinade is an interesting mix of savory garlic, sweet spices like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg, and tangy yogurt and lemon. It’s pure magic

Chicken Shawarma wrap sandwich (wrapped in tin foil) on a plate with beans and sliced lemon

How to Serve This Grilled Chicken Shawarma

I made this grilled chicken shawarma with the intention of making these sandwich wraps, but then I started topping salads with it and eventually just snacked on the chicken plain. It’s just that good. You could really use this flavorful chicken for anything.

I divided the ingredient list to show just the chicken & marinade in case you want to use it for something other than the sandwich, because even if you don’t want the sandwich, you NEED to at least try the chicken.

Rotisserie vs. Grilled Chicken Shawarma

If you’ve had chicken shawarma in a restaurant, this is a bit different. Chicken shawarma from restaurants is cooked slowly on a rotisserie with fattier bits of chicken. The result of the slow roasting is an uber-moist, somewhat greasy delight. But hey, on a busy night, this grilled chicken shawarma does just fine!

What Kind of Chicken is Best for Chicken Shawarma?

I used two chicken breasts in the recipe below, but this marinade also works wonders with chicken thighs. Chicken thighs will also give you some fattier bits, which will make it a little more like the rotisserie-style chicken shawarma you get at restaurants. This amount of marinade will also work for about 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

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Chicken Shawarma

4.80 from 48 votes
A magical blend of yogurt, lemon, and mediterranean spices makes this homemade chicken shawarma mouthwateringly delicious. 
Author: Beth - Budget Bytes
Servings 4
Prep 4 hrs
Cook 15 mins
Total 4 hrs 15 mins

Ingredients

CHICKEN & MARINADE

  • 2 large chicken breasts (1.25 lbs) ($2.48)
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt ($0.25)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced ($0.36)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice ($0.32)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano ($0.03)
  • 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves ($0.03)

YOGURT SAUCE

  • 7 oz cup plain greek yogurt ($1.59)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic, minced ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp dried dill ($0.03)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)

SANDWICH

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the marinade (yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, salt, nutmeg, and clove). Add chicken to the marinade, coat well, cover and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. If desired, slice the chicken into strips before marinating to maximize the flavor.
  • Prepare the yogurt sauce for the sandwiches. Open a 7 oz. container of plain greek yogurt and stir in the garlic, dill, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • After marinating the chicken, grill until cooked through (I use a George Foreman, cooked for about 7 minutes).
  • Prepare the vegetables for the sandwich. Chop, rinse, and drain the lettuce in a colander. Wash and slice the cucumber and tomato.
  • Build the chicken shawarma sandwiches. Spread the yogurt sauce on your flat bread, top with the chicken and vegetables. Roll the sandwich closed. You can wrap the sandwich in foil to help it stay closed as you eat.

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Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 894.98kcalCarbohydrates: 98.63gProtein: 64.18gFat: 27.65gSodium: 1009.68mgFiber: 11.03g
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Scroll down for the step by step photos.

Front view of a chicken shawarma wrap on a plate with beans.

Pictured with Marinated White Beans

How to Make Chicken Shawarma – Step By Step Photos

shawarma marinade ingredients in a glass mixing bowl
shawarma marinade mixed
To make the marinade, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cinnamon, oregano, salt, nutmeg, and clove. This is a seriously magical mix of herbs and spices. I can’t explain it, you just have to try it.

chicken marinating in yogurt shawarma marinate, in zip top bag
Combine the chicken and marinate, cover (or seal) tightly, and refrigerate for 4-24 hours. My chicken breasts were frozen so I just added the marinade to the freezer bag (after they were thawed, of course) and marinated them in there.

marinated chicken breast on a George Foreman grill
Grill the chicken until cooked through. It may be time for me to upgrade my 10 year old, single-serving sized George Foreman! I need more grilling capacity!

sliced grilled shawarma chicken breast
After it’s grilled, let it sit for a few minutes to let the juices redistribute and then slice it into strips. Like I said, next time I’ll probably slice it *before* marinating to let more of that glorious flavor get in.

dill yogurt sauce ingredients
To make the yogurt sauce for the sandwich, I just stir some dried dill, minced garlic, and salt into a container of plain greek yogurt.

dill yogurt sauce mixed in yogurt container
Honestly, I don’t even measure them, I just sprinkle some in, taste it, and add more if needed. I like to let the sauce refrigerate for a while to allow the flavor to soak into the yogurt.

slice veggies for chicken shawarma wraps
Prepare the veggies for the sandwich. Wash and slice up the cucumber and tomato (and maybe red onion, if you’re so inclined). Chop and wash the lettuce, then let it drain in a colander until mostly dry.

chicken shawarma wrap open on plate
Then, just build your sandwich on top of a piece of naan! I have the yogurt sauce on top in the photo but you’ll probably want to spread it right on the naan. It will add more moisture there plus it will be easier to eat without getting white yogurt sauce all over your face!

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Comments

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  1. Made this tonight and had to come back and leave a comment–it was delicious! I didn’t have naan or pita in the house (and didn’t want to make it), so I sliced some focaccia we had, drizzled w/ a little olive oil, and grilled them after I finished the chicken. It made for a very messy but delicious open-faced sandwich. Thanks, Beth, for the solid recipes time after time.

  2. Has anyone tried making this with bone in thighs? I supposed I could de-bone them, but it seems like too much extra work for a busy mom… 

    I have made this before with boneless thighs and it was such a hit. Love it! Many thanks! 

    1. You’d need to remove the bone before adding it to the wrap anyway, so I think your best bet is to just debone them before cooking.

    1. I would probably do it in a hot skillet instead of the broiler. You’ll have more control over the browning.

  3. This recipe is in my regular rotation of BB recipes. I always chop up the chicken so it gets more marinade up the garlic in the sauce. This time I didn’t have cucumber so I subbed spinach for both that and the lettuce. So good!

  4. This is one of my favorite recipes of yours! I’m about to pop out a baby and trying to do some freezer prep– think this would freeze okay or would the yogurt do something weird? I can’t decide.

    Thanks!

    1. Hmm, I’m actually not sure how the yogurt would react to freezing and thawing, but the vegetables will definitely be a problem. The water in the plant cells will freeze and burst the cell walls, so they’ll get limp and watery upon thawing.

  5. Honestly I am floored by how good and authentic this tastes. I’m trying to save money by not eating out so much, and now I won’t have to worry when I crave some chicken shawarma! Couple things to try if you’re looking for variation — instead of the yogurt sauce, try mixing fresh minced garlic with mayo and using that instead, and topping a naan bread with the chicken, sauce, and thinish sliced baby dill pickles. Not as healthy, but a family favorite!

  6. My thirteen year old loved it and ensured there were no leftovers of your naan bread or this chicken recipe.