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Homemade chicken shawarma (donair) with juicy tender chicken marinated in Middle Eastern spices and wrapped in pita bread is easy to make at home. |

Chicken Shawarma

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Homemade chicken shawarma (donair) with juicy tender chicken marinated in Middle Eastern spices and wrapped in pita bread is easy to make at home.


For the chicken:

  • 1 + 1/2 lb. chicken thighs or breasts, skinless and boneless, sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the shawarma wraps:

  • 6 small pita bread
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 Persian or mini cucumbers, diced
  • 1/4 fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the garlic yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


  1. In a large Ziploc bag, combine chicken strips with 1 tablespoon oil and all seasoning. Press air out of the bag and seal tightly. Press the seasoning around the chicken strips to coat. Let it marinate for 1 hour, up to overnight in the fridge. You can also marinate the chicken in a large mixing bowl and cover.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Add and spread chicken evenly on a large parchment-lined half sheet baking pan in a single layer. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until fully cooked through and crispy. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
    • Air Fryer Instructions: To air fry the chicken instead, spread chicken evenly in a single layer in the air fryer basket and cook at 375 F for 10-12 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Shake the basket halfway during cooking to brown evenly.
  3. Serve chicken in pita bread with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and parsley.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the garlic yogurt sauce and stir until smooth. Drizzle on top of the chicken shawarma and serve. You can also add tzatziki sauce instead or a spread of hummus.


How to store: If you have any leftovers from your chicken shawarma dinner (which if you are like us, you likely won't!), store everything separately in the refrigerator in its own airtight container. The chicken, veggies, and garlic yogurt sauce will keep for up to 3-5 days.

How to freeze: You can prepare the chicken ahead of time and keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to make chicken shawarma wraps. Make the marinade, marinate the chicken in a freezer bag, and let it rest for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, then transfer to the freezer. It will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Keywords: chicken shawarma, chicken shawarma wrap, chicken donair, how to make chicken shawarma at home, homemade chicken shawarma