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Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RMN = Retail Me Not
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

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I first tried chicken shawarma years ago, I can’t remember where, but when I got the idea to see if I could make it myself, I kept typing “chicken shwarma” into Google. All that came up was chicken shawarma, but I quickly realized that my memory had failed and there was an extra “a” in there! (The good news is, Google is really good at figuring out what you mean!) Happily I discovered that although the interesting name might make you think it’s really complicated, it is a really simple recipe. This easy chicken shawarma is something I serve alongside pita and yogurt sauce and some kind of green vegetable, which makes it a frugal and simple family meal.

Easy Chicken Shawarma Pita Meal

The inspiration for this meal came from a recipe I found in the NY Times, but it is hard to access the recipe now without a subscription to the newspaper, so you can see the original recipe at Recipe Zazz. I have adjusted the seasonings and also simplified some of it so that it’s as simple as throwing a bunch of stuff in a bag, letting it marinate, and then cooking it in the oven. You can take the added step of pan-frying the chicken and onion after its cooked, which you don’t have to do—all the flavor from the spices and roasting the chicken will be there—but oh my goodness, the extra flavor from the crispy, blackened chicken is SO GOOD.

Once the chicken is done cooking in the oven, you’ll take the chicken from the pan and slice it into strips. Then just put it all in a big skillet in a single layer.

After cooking it for a few minutes on one side, you’ll flip it over with a spatula and cook it on the other side. Then you’ll just scoop it into a bowl and place it on the table with the rest of the meal.

Easy Chicken Shawarma Pita Meal

Easy Chicken Shawarma Pita Meal


    For the chicken:
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 4 pitas
  • For the yogurt sauce:
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice


  1. Slice lemon in half and squeeze juice into large ziptop bag or bowl.
  2. Add spices and 1/4 cup olive oil to the lemon juice, then add chicken thighs and onion slices.
  3. Marinate for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees and pour entire contents of bag into 9x13 baking pan.
  5. Bake for about 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees.
  6. Once the chicken is done, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  7. Remove pan from oven and put chicken on a cutting sheet. Using a fork and sharp knife (the chicken is hot!), cut the chicken into slices/smaller pieces.
  8. Once the oil in the pan is hot, place the chicken slices and onion in the oil, spreading out so it is all in a single layer. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip it all over cook for another 3-4 minutes until chicken is crispy on both sides.
  9. Serve with pita bread and yogurt sauce (see below).
  10. Remove to bowl and toss with parsley.
  11. For the sauce, stir all ingredients together in a small bowl, adding more seasoning to taste if you want.

Because we were eating the chicken in pita bread with the yogurt sauce, I just serve broccoli alongside it. But you could also make this into a rice bowl dinner by making rice instead of pita and adding other vegetables to put in the bowl with the chicken, rice, and yogurt sauce.

Another recipe with international flavor from the archives: Thai Style Beef Stir Fry!

Looking to add some international flavor to your meal plan? Try this easy chicken shawarma recipe with pita and yogurt sauce!