Chicken Shawarma Salad

5 from 109 votes

This Chicken Shawarma Salad bowl is an authentic Lebanese shawarma recipe made with a warm spice blend & served over salad with tahini dressing!

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This Chicken Shawarma Salad is made with an authentic Lebanese style marinade that’s easy to make with simple spices and comes out so moist and juicy. To make this chicken shawarma into a salad bowl, I just add lettuce, tomatoes, onions, sliced banana peppers, and drizzle with my easy tahini sauce. It’s a flavor-packed Middle Eastern salad recipe that you’ll want to have on repeat!

Two large bowls of chicken shawarma salad with tahini sauce drizzled on top and served on the side

Salad bowls are all the rage right now, and for a good reason! They are healthy, delicious, and can be customized to fit any dietary need or preference. In this recipe, I will show you how to make a chicken shawarma salad with tahini dressing that will knock your socks off!

The chicken thighs marinated in authentic Middle Eastern spices add a richness and depth of flavor that takes this dish to the next level. Top it off with some crunchy veggies and a drizzle of tahini dressing, and you have yourself a meal that is sure to please!

What is chicken shawarma?

Authentic chicken shawarma is layers of well-marinated chicken (or beef or lamb) that is stacked on a vertical spit. Then the shawarma is shredded and wrapped up in a warm pita with all the toppings. It’s juicy, tender, and smothered in the shawarma spice marinade. My version has the essence of that chicken shawarma in the quick, simplified homemade version.

The chicken shawarma gets perfectly charred on the grill pan, similar to the effects of shawarma on a vertical spit. And the salad ingredients are simply there for inspiration because you could really eat this shawarma salad with any veggies you’d like.

why you’ll love this chicken shawarma salad recipe

  • Traditional shawarma marinade. This recipe uses an authentic spice mix that I learned to make from my parents and from all the chicken shawarma recipes I grew up eating!
  • Healthy and delicious. This chicken shawarma salad is healthy, nutritious, and downright delicious! Plus, it’s low-carb, so perfect for when you’re craving a gyro but prefer to skip the pita. It’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.
  • Customizable. You can customize this recipe to fit your dietary needs and preferences. Just leave out the optional ingredients that you don’t like or need.
  • Meal prep-friendly. This chicken shawarma salad is perfect for meal prep! Just pack the ingredients separately and assemble them when you’re ready to eat.

Ingredients For Your chicken shawarma salad Bowl

  • Chicken thighs: Slice them thinly so that they absorb the marinade really well.
  • Shawarma seasoning: You can get many different shawarma blends. I make my own using salt, paprika, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, and crushed red pepper. Find the exact measurements below in the recipe card.
  • Olive oil: Used to marinate the chicken and add flavor and fat to the mixture.
  • Lemon juice: The acidity in lemon juice helps to balance out the strong flavor of chicken thighs and adds so much freshness and zing to the shawarma. It’s a key ingredient not to leave out.
  • Garlic: It’s not shawarma without garlic so go for at least 4 cloves per pound of chicken. Make sure it’s fresh and mince it or press it with a garlic press for best flavor distribution.
  • Vegetables: For the salad itself, use romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and sliced pickled banana peppers (or pickles). Feel free to switch out the vegetables and adjust quantities based on your preference.
  • Tahini Sauce: Tahini complements chicken shawarma so well. Try my authentic tahini sauce recipe and drizzle it on top of the pita pizzas right before serving. You can also make this with Lebanese garlic sauce.
Ingredients to make the salad recipe

How to make The chicken shawarma For Your Salad

  1. Marinade the chicken with the oil, garlic, lemon juice, and seasoning.
  2. Transfer the marinated chicken to a heated cast iron skillet.
  3. You’ll know it’s done cooking when it’s charred, fragrant the juices run clear. You can let the chicken shawarma rest in the cast iron skillet while assembling your salad next.
3 image collage to show how to marinade chicken with shawarma seasoning, transfer to cast iron skillet and then cook in the skillet

Tips for making chicken shawarma With Tahini Dressing

  1. Use chicken thighs. Chicken thighs will most closely resemble the type of chicken that is authentically used on a vertical spit in traditional shawarma recipes. It has more fat, which lends excellent flavor to the chicken while keeping it extra juicy.
  2. Don’t skip the marinade. This is what makes the chicken shawarma so flavorful and tender. I recommend at least one hour, but you can marinade for up to 24 hours.
  3. Don’t overcook the chicken. The goal is to cook the chicken until it is just cooked through so it remains juicy. It can be tempting to cook it for just a few extra minutes, but resist the urge!
  4. Cut your salad pieces on the smaller side. This will help them to be more manageable when eating and also allow for more flavor in each bite.
  • Use chicken breast or a mix. If you prefer to use chicken breast, that works as well, but my recommendation would be to at least try a mix of chicken breast and chicken thighs since the latter makes it more flavorful and moist.
  • Serve the chicken shawarma on top of a Lebanese fattoush salad. You can skip the fattoush dressing or swap it for the tahini dressing.
  • Use pre-made shawarma seasoning. If you can find some authentic shawarma seasoning, use that instead.
  • Serve with homemade flatbread or pita bread. This salad bowl goes great with a homemade slice of homemade pita or flatbread!

how to store chicken shawarma salad

If you plan to make this salad bowl for meal prep, I recommend storing the chicken, tahini dressing, and veggies separately. This will help to prevent the salad from becoming soggy. Use an airtight container or bag for the chicken and dressing, and store the veggies in a separate container or bag.

How long will Chicken Shawarma last in the fridge?

The chicken can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to four days. The tahini dressing will keep in a sealed jar in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. And the veggies can be stored in a sealed bag in the fridge for up to four days.

Frequently asked questions

How long should I marinate my chicken?

If you can give your chicken a full 24 hours in the marinade, that is ideal. However, if you are short on time, even just an hour will do the trick.

Can I use a different type of meat?

Yes! You can use lamb or beef in place of the chicken thighs. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

What should I do if I don’t have tahini?

If you don’t have tahini, you can use any other type of nut or seed butter. Just make sure it is smooth and has a consistency that will work well in a salad dressing. You can also make a yogurt dressing or a simple vinegarette if you prefer.

Fork taking bite out of chicken shawarma salad bowl

This chicken shawarma salad is a healthy, delicious, and easy way to enjoy your favorite Middle Eastern dish. If you’ve never had chicken shawarma before, this is a great recipe to start with! It’s perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

More Lebanese recipes:

If you try this feel good Chicken Shawarma Salad recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

This Chicken Shawarma Salad recipe was originally published on March 13, 2018. The recipe has been slightly modified to simplify the salad part, and the post now includes new step-by-step photos for how to make the shawarma recipe.

Chicken Shawarma Salad

This Chicken Shawarma Salad bowl is an authentic Lebanese shawarma recipe made with a warm spice blend & served over salad with tahini dressing!
5 from 109 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Main Course
Calories 452
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Ingredients
  

For the chicken shawarma

For the salad bowl

  • 1 head romaine lettuce chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes chopped
  • 2 Persian cucumbers chopped
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 2 ounces pickled sliced banana peppers
  • ½ cup tahini sauce
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Place the marinade ingredients in a large bowl: olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, paprika, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon and crushed red pepper; and whisk to blend.
  • Add the chicken into the large bowl with the marinade and stir with a spoon to evenly coat the chicken with the marinade. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
  • Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet or cast iron skillet over medium high heat and add the marinated chicken to it. Cook, stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  • Divide the salad ingredients into four bowls. Add the cooked chicken shawarma on top and drizzle with the tahini sauce and serve with fresh parsley.

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftover chicken shawarma in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet with a little water or in the microwave until heated through
Make ahead: You can make the marinade for the chicken up to 24 hours in advance to save time. 

Nutrition

Calories: 452kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 29g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 108mg, Sodium: 704mg, Potassium: 844mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1470IU, Vitamin C: 29mg, Calcium: 98mg, Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Two large bowls of chicken shawarma salad with tahini sauce drizzled on top and served on the side

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Comments

  1. Made this in Ramadan; it was the best. I let it marinate overnight; you tasted the spices in the chicken; most important, it was a complete meal. After consuming a small bowl of chicken shawarma, we did not require more food. Love it and will make it again.

        1. Aww, thank you so much! You can check out my Instagram page (@feelgoodfoodie) or Facebook page (Feelgoodfoodie).

  2. By cardamom, do you mean cardamom powder or green cardamom pods and the inside? Sorry I’m new to cooking 🙄
    Thanks

      1. This was SO GOOD!! Better than the shawarma places 😍😍😍 can’t wait to make the shish tawook next. You’re amazing!!

  3. Chicken Shawarma anything is my favorite. I make it often and I always look forward to it. Since no one I know doesn’t know about Shawarma, I get the pleasure to introduce them to it and they love it. I made 3 times this week for different guests and I have an event next month I will be making it for 45 guests which I’ll making it. Every time I serve it, they tell me they never tasted anything so good. LOL

  4. This was delicious! I used sesame oil instead of olive oil and spinach instead of romaine lettuce and I added avocado. I also used chicken breast instead of thigh. I didn’t add banana pepper because I don’t like them. The salad was good with these substitutions and changes.

  5. Fantastic! The recipe was beyond our expectations!!! So flavorful and paired great with your pita recipe!!

  6. What a feel good fresh recipe!
    First time trying and the chicken is amazing. Everything here is very simple and easy prep. Will be making more often. Thanks for the recipe feel good foodie!!

  7. Delicious! The chicken is so flavorful, and it’s wonderful with the banana peppers and cucumbers. I didn’t think I liked tahini, but the tahini sauce on this salad changed my mind for sure 😋 Will definitely make again!

  8. Made this recipe this week and it’s so simple and easy! Also paired it with hummus and toasted garlic naan. Will definitely be making again!

  9. I’ve been making Feel Good Foodie’s recipes over the years and they are the BEST! The chicken shawarma is soo good, one of the best authentic recipes we’ve had (even my Lebanese family agrees). I had frozen chicken with the shawarma seasoning already so decided to make the chicken shawarma salad. Of course we loved it! It’s so good and love the crunchy salad with the chicken and tahini dressing (can never get enough of that). I didn’t have Romain but used a arugula/kale mix which was really tasty. Definitely adding this salad to the routine. Thanks Yumna 😋

    1. Aww, thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed the recipe, especially the dressing! You’re so welcome!

  10. Chicken shawarma was always mine and my family favorite dish but making it healthy version like chicken shawarma salad from your recipe is even great. Thank you sharing great recipes and making cooking easy for us. 😊

  11. Hello, Yumna!
    I hope you don’t mind me skipping cinnamon, I used some nutmeg instead. This treat is appetizing, packable, and does not need reheating, thus ideal to take on the go! Your ideas are extraordinary yet you always abide by the original flavours.
    Greetings from Central Europe!
    Sanya Aliza

  12. I made this recipe a couple nights ago and it turned out great! The chicken part of this dish could be used in so many other meals!

  13. Easy super delicious and fast to prepare , I make Shawarma salad 3 times this month. I can’t wait to see more recipes similar to this salad.

  14. I made this for my roommate and we both loved it. The marinade is great and the suggested tahini sauce was a great dressing. The banana peppers are just so good. Will be putting this one in the rotation!

  15. I made this & it came out BEAUTIFUL! It’s perfect for iftar dinners since it’s filling but still somehow light at the same time. Thank you for sharing, Yumna!

  16. This is my favourite food Lebanese food ❤️ I tried this two days ago and we lucked out the entire tray!!! Killer shawarma ❤️

  17. Chicken shawarma salad is going to be my favourite salad from today onwards..the taste was mindblowing…i just love the combination of shawarma in salad..😍😍

  18. It was delicious. Flavourful. and juicy tender chicken with a yummy dressing. Cold also nice for lunch!

  19. Love, love your recipes. So easy to follow. This recipe was a keeper. My whole family loved the salad.. especially the dressing.

  20. I’m a vegetarian who sometimes cooks meat for my family. This was a very easy recipe to follow and simple to adapt for vegans too. Everyone loved eating it!

  21. I made April cooking challenge last night, Chicken Shawarma Salad. I love Yumna recipe they are always so simple and easy to follow and always so flavorful.

  22. I made April cooking challenge last night, Chicken Shawarma Salad. I love Yumma recipes they are always simple and easy to follow and tastes so good!

  23. I made this recipe for lunches this week and it was so tasty! Very easy to make and so flavorful. Definitely planning on making this one again! Thank you!

  24. One of the easiest and yet delicious and flavorful shawarma recipes I’ve ever made. I was always intimidated to make shawarma because I thought it would be too difficult or that I would need special tools to stack them on top of each other but this recipe is nothing like that. I made mine in the oven and it tuned put really juicy & flavorful. It made a perfect Iftar and is the best weeknight dinner.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you found this recipe easy to make and that it turned out that way. It makes me so happy to hear!

  25. Delicious and flavorful salad. Easy to make and can be prepped ahead of time. Great for meal prep! It tastes refreshing during spring/summertime. I used chicken breast meat and added avocado. Thank you for the recipe!

  26. Such an amazing recipe! Because of this I’m hooked to your easy tahini sauce and put it on everything!! Above all the salad was perfect my family loved the flavor combinations~~ Thank you!

  27. My husband and I loved this recipe! I marinated the chicken for around two hours and followed everything exactly as is. (Except we used spinach and not romaine.) The tahini drizzled on top as a dressing worked and tasted SO GOOD. The banana peppers add a delightful flavor burst and bit of heat as well. Going to toss this into our meal rotation for sure. Thanks for another hit recipe!

  28. Made this today for the April cooking challenge. Loved the tahini dressing, and the shawarma chicken was delicious. Will definitely make again!

  29. I’ve made this Sharma recipe a couple times & it’s always perfect. I made a couple days ago for Iftar & it did not disappoint. The spices just compliment each other in a way that’s unmatched. As walys a five star must make

  30. Another great recipe! Made it with out the banana peppers and swapped out the tahini dressing for fattoush dressing. Also tossed in some cooked bulgur to fill out the salads with some whole grain for work 🥗🥗🥗Paired it with the oatmeal bake to round out quick and easy food prep for the week. Thank you so much! ❤️❤️❤️

  31. I made this tonight and it is so good! I thought I didn’t like banana peppers but decided to try them anyway. They were delicious! They added a nice tang to the salad. The dressing is tangy and nutty and the chicken is so yummy! So very good! I will definitely make this again.

      1. What a unique and fresh alternative for a chicken salad. The chicken shawarma had a really authentic flavour and was extremely juicy. I had to swap chicken breast for thighs and jalapeños for banana peppers but it was still delicious! Definitely a recipe my husband wants to use for grilled chicken on the BBQ! Would you suggest any changes to the marinade if it were grilled?

  32. This is undoubtedly the best shawarma I’ve ever had ( and I’m Lebanese so I know what I’m saying!) Will be using this recipe for years and years ! Thank you !

  33. I made Yumma version of this chicken shawarma salad last night for Iftar dinner, and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again!

  34. This is DELICIOUS! My little helper enjoyed assisting in the kitchen and loved the chicken so much!

  35. I switched out the thighs for breast as it is a more healthy option. However, the recipe still tasted amazing and i will for sure make this again in the near future 🙂

  36. Hi there, I love the chicken Shawarma salad’s recipe. I definitively will prepare this recipe with all the authentic ingredients and I will try to keep all the tips that you gave to us. Thank you 🥰

  37. Fun and easy to make! Will definitely make this a regular dish, and with the tahini sauce it was fantastic!

  38. I made this delicious chicken shawarma marinade and fattoush salad for dinner tonight and it came out perfect. Loved the flavor of the chicken and it was great with the tahini sauce. I will definitely be making this again.

      1. By cardamom, do you mean cardamom powder or green cardamom pods and the inside? Sorry I’m new to cooking 🙄
        Thanks!

  39. OMG!! First of all, thank you for this recipe. And secondly, thank you for making it so flavourful with the simplest of ingredients that are always available at home. I made this salad for dinner today. It was soooo delicious. So quick and soooo good!! This is my go-to salad from now on!

  40. Just made it for iftar today Super easy tasty and healthy at the same! It summarizes everything about feel good!!

  41. I just made this receipe and it is SO GOOD! Highly recommend. The marinade for the chicken really helps bring out lots of flavor and compliments the salad very well. Do not pass up on the tahini sauce – it’s another level of yum! I appreciate that most of these ingredients can be meal prepped since college can be very busy.

  42. Recipe looks delicious. Can’t wait to try. Everything I have made from your recipes has turned out amazing !

  43. Made this tonight and it was delicious! The homemade spice mix marinade is just amazing, a perfect balance of flavours!
    I can see this being a regular in our house.

  44. I love this recipe and I’ve made it many times. I wanted to write tonight because my baby just ate the chicken for his 1st birthday dinner. He loved it and kept asking for more.

  45. So, so good. Flavor on this chicken is great (marinated about 9 hours). Made a variation of this bowl with turmeric/cumin rice and hummus (and veggies). Prepped some of your Lebanese tahini dressing for a topper.

    1. Love that made this into a bowl with your own spin and that you added tahini sauce on top! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂