This easy Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma recipe will solve all your “what’s for dinner” problems. A simple spice mixture takes boring chicken thighs to the next level and will make you look like a professional chef!
Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma Recipe
This quick and easy recipe combines tender, spiced chicken with a medley of aromatic flavors, all cooked to perfection in your air fryer.
Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a lazy Sunday dinner, this Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma is a fantastic choice that the whole family will love.
What is Chicken Shawarma?
Native to the Middle East, this chicken shawarma is made of tender slices of marinated chicken, infused with aromatic spices like cumin, turmeric, and paprika.
Traditionally, it’s cooked on a vertical rotisserie or spit. The marinated chicken is often served in pita bread with various toppings and condiments like tomatoes, lettuce, onions, tahini sauce, or hummus.
Why You Should Make It
Healthier option: with the air fryer, you can indulge in this delicious dish without too much oil, making it a guilt-free choice for your family.
Quick and easy: perfect for busy weeknights or lazy Sundays, this recipe is super simple to make!
Customizable: you can switch up the meat by using beef or turkey for a unique twist on the classic recipe.
Why You’ll Love It
The aromatic blend of spices in the marinade infuses the chicken with bold flavors that are bound to impress.
The tahini sauce adds a creamy, tangy goodness that perfectly complements the spiced chicken, creating a harmonious and satisfying combination.
This comforting and flavorful dish is guaranteed to be a hit with everyone, making it an ideal main course for family gatherings or potluck events.
Ingredients You’ll Need
A combination of pantry staples and fresh ingredients bring this delicious recipe to life!
Chicken Shawarma Ingredients
Chicken: boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices. If you don’t want to use chicken breast, chicken thighs are also delicious and get nice and crispy in the air fryer!
Seasonings: you will need garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, and coriander. All together, they create a rich tapestry of earthy, spicy, and savory flavors that give this dish its irresistible and unmistakeable taste.
While this recipe calls for a number of spices, you can always buy shawarma seasoning from your local grocery store if you don’t have these spices on hand!
Greek yogurt: is great for tenderizing the chicken while adding a creamy tanginess that makes the marinade rich and indulgent.
Lemon juice: adds zesty freshness but also tenderizes the chicken, making it perfectly tender and moist.
Tahini Sauce Ingredients
Tahini paste: I like to use tahini paste for its nutty creaminess that creates a velvety texture in the sauce.
Minced garlic: brings a pungent aroma and punch that adds more flavor to the tahini sauce.
Lemon juice: its tangy brightness that balances the richness of the tahini paste.
Cumin: adds a warm and earthy flavor to tahini sauce. It complements the nutty and slightly bitter taste of tahini, enhancing its overall depth and complexity.
I like to make an air fryer chicken shawarma wrap! I serve the chicken wrapped in pita bread with thinly sliced red onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.
How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
1. Marinate the Chicken. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, coriander, salt, and black pepper.
Add the thinly sliced chicken to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
2. Air fry the chicken. Drain the excess marinade from the chicken, and arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.
How to make Tahini Sauce
Homemade tahini sauce is simple to make!
In a food processor, place the tahini paste, garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, and salt. Pulse a few times until you get a smooth consistency.
Keep pulsing while adding the water slowly until you get a creamy consistency.
Can I Put Raw Chicken in my Air Fryer?
Definitely! As long as you thoroughly cook your chicken all the way though, or until the internal temperature reaches 165° F, it’s safe to put raw chicken into an air fryer to cook.
How to Serve Chicken Shawarma
To serve chicken shawarma, warm up your pita bread and set out your air fried chicken, along with all of your various toppings.
The creamy tahini sauce should go on the side. Let your everyone put together their shawarma wraps with their preferred fillings, then enjoy!
What to Serve with Chicken Shawarma
Here are some more delicious and authentic sides to serve with your shawarma:
Hummus, creamy and savory, it makes an excellent dip for pita bread or a side dish.
Tabouli, this refreshing Mediterranean salad made with bulgur wheat, tomatoes, parsley, mint, and lemon juice adds a burst of freshness.
Tzatziki sauce, a cool and tangy cucumber yogurt sauce that pairs perfectly with the spiced chicken.
Fattoush salad, a vibrant salad with toasted pita chips, fresh vegetables, and a zesty lemon dressing.
Grilled vegetables, serve a platter of grilled or roasted vegetables like bell peppers, zucchini, and eggplant for a nutritious and flavorful side.
Rice pilaf, a simple and aromatic rice dish cooked with spices, onions, and sometimes toasted nuts.
Mediterranean couscous, light and fluffy couscous with Mediterranean flavors such as herbs, lemon zest, and olives make for a tasty side dish.
Garlic sauce, a garlicky, creamy sauce that adds an extra kick of flavor.
Falafel, crispy, deep-fried chickpea fritters are a delightful addition for anyone looking for a vegetarian side option.
Roasted potatoes, flavorful roasted potatoes with a mix of herbs and spices provide a hearty and satisfying side dish.
Do you Have to Flip Raw Chicken in Air Fryer?
While it technically isn’t absolutely necessary to flip or turn your chicken while it cooks in an air fryer because air fryers circulate the hot air, I do recommended flipping it.
When you flip or turn your chicken in the air fryer, it exposes more of the chicken’s surface area and results in a more balanced and even cook and crispy-ness.
How to Store Chicken
You can make this recipe ahead of time, starting by marinating the chicken overnight. You can also store the cooked chicken shawarma in the refrigerator to serve later.
First, allow the cooked chicken shawarma to cool down to room temperature, and then place it in an airtight container.
Refrigerate the chicken shawarma promptly after it has cooled down. Place the containers in the refrigerator for no more than 3 or 4 days.
If you want to store chicken shawarma for a longer period, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
How to Reheat Chicken in the Air Fryer
When you’re ready to enjoy the your leftover chicken shawarma, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight if it was frozen.
Once thawed or if it was refrigerated, preheat your air fryer to 350° F and cook for about 5-8 minutes, flipping the slices or portions halfway through the cooking time.
WANT TO TRY THIS AIR FRYER CHICKEN SHAWARMA RECIPE?
Did you make this recipe? Post a photo on Instagram and tag me @JZEATS or #JZEATS so I can see! Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, too!
Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
- ¾ cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 2 tbsps lemon juice
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
- 1 ½ tsps ground cumin
- ¾ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp paprika
- ¾ tsp ground cardamom
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsps salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
- olive oil cooking spray
- ½ cup tahini paste
- ½ tbsp garlic, minced
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅛ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup water
- Pita bread
- Red onions, thinly sliced
- tomato, thinly sliced
- In a food processor, place the tahini paste, garlic, lemon juice, ground cumin, and salt. Pulse a few times until you get a smooth consistency. Keep pulsing while adding the water slowly until you get a creamy consistency.
- Place the tahini sauce in a jar with a lid in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Combine the Greek yogurt with the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, chili powder, cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, cardamom, coriander, salt, and pepper in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add the sliced chicken to the marinade mixture and mix well to ensure they are thoroughly coated by flipping them over several times. For maximum flavor, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375° F and spray the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Drain the excess marinade from the chicken, and arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Make sure the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165℉
- For serving, place the cooked chicken in the middle of the pita bread along with some tomato slices, sliced lettuce, and sliced red onion. Then move the chicken shawarma onto a platter and drizzle with tahini sauce.
Nutrition information is approximate and was calculated using a recipe nutrition label generator.
- If you don’t have all these spices on hand, don’t worry, you can purchase shawarma seasoning that is ready to use!