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If you love pizza and you love pitas, you need this Shawarma Pizza in your life. It’s basically taking the idea of a pizza (flat dough with toppings) and adding a Mediterranean flair to it. The best part is, you don’t need to make the dough (though you can make homemade pita if you want to!), and you can make this pita pizza using leftover chicken shawarma, vegetables, and tahini sauce.
I love this fun Lebanese-style pita bread pizza! Not only is this shawarma pizza loaded with all kinds of flavor from the juicy, tender, well-seasoned chicken and the lemony tahini sauce, but it’s also full of colorful, nutritious vegetables that will really make you feel good eating it.
why you’ll love this chicken shawarma pizza
- It’s different! As in, it’s not your average pepperoni or cheese pizza. This is a great way to mix up your pizza night routine.
- It’s easy! You don’t need to make the dough, and you can use store-bought pita or naan bread.
- It’s healthy! Packed with protein and veggies, this is a pizza you can feel good about eating.
- It’s flavorful! The combination of spices in the chicken shawarma, the acidity of the tomatoes, and the creaminess of the tahini sauce is just unbeatable.
Ingredients to make chicken pita pizza
- Chicken Shawarma: The chicken shawarma here is repurposed from the same recipe used to make the shawarma salad. The recipe card includes the full details of how to make the shawarma.
- Pita Bread: You can use any type of pita bread you want. I’ve got a great recipe for homemade pita bread, or just pick some up at your local grocery store. You can even use store-bought or homemade pizza dough too. To mimic an authentic shawarma sandwich, use thin Arabic-style pita bread.
- Mozzarella Cheese: You’ll add this to the pita bread to melt it before adding the chicken shawarma and vegetables
- Vegetables: I use red onion, tomatoes, and sliced pickled banana peppers (or traditional pickles). You can vary the vegetables as you like.
- 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.
How to make shawarma pita pizza
If you have leftover chicken shawarma in the fridge already, you can skip the first part of this recipe. If not, begin by making the chicken shawarma.
make the chicken shawarma
- Whisk together olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and the shawarma seasoning and marinate the sliced chicken thighs in it.
- Transfer the marinated chicken to a heated cast iron skillet.
- 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 the pita pizza next.
assemble the pita pizzas
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place two pitas on the baking sheet and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted.
- Add the cooked chicken shawarma on top of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the tomatoes, red onions, and banana peppers, and drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
watch me make this pita pizza
Tips for making pita pizza
- Use thin pita bread. Try to look for authentic Arabic bread that is thinner in style than Greek pita bread. It will more closely mimic the taste of a shawarma sandwich and allow the chicken and toppings to shine.
- Thinly slice the toppings. Because the pita bread is so thin, don’t overload it with heavy and large toppings. That way, it doesn’t break apart when you try to pick up a slice.
- Be careful not to burn the pita. The pita bread may brown before the cheese melts. That’s because it only takes a few minutes to crisp it up, and it can actually burn pretty quickly if left unattended, especially since every oven is different.
- Give the chicken time to marinate. This is key to getting the most flavor into your chicken shawarma. If you are able to marinate it for 24 hours, great! If not, try to marinate it for at least one hour.
- Use good quality tahini sauce. This is the sauce that really pulls all the flavors together, so don’t skimp on it. Check out my recipe for authentic tahini sauce and give it a try. You may never go back to store-bought again!
popular substitutions & additions
- Use Lebanese garlic sauce. You can slather this on top of the pita bread instead of the cheese or even add dollops of it on top of the pita pizza instead of the tahini sauce.
- Use beef shawarma. I have an authentic beef shawarma recipe I learned from my mom that you can swap for the chicken shawarma here.
- Make it vegetarian. Instead of chicken or beef, you can also make this pita pizza with chickpea shawarma. Toss the chickpeas in the marinade, bake in the oven and add it to the pitas.
- Add fattoush on top of it. If you have leftover fattoush salad, the flavors of this Middle Eastern-style salad would go perfectly with this pita pizza, so feel free to add that on top instead of the vegetables.
how to store & reheat Shawarma pizza
Pita pizzas are best eaten fresh and warm right out of the oven. However, if you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
To reheat, place them on a baking sheet and warm in a 350˚F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.
how long will pita bread pizza last in the fridge?
This chicken shawarma pizza will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. The pita may start to become soggy before then due to the hummus. If you are able to, it’s best to eat any leftovers within 24 hours.
Frequently asked questions
Yes, if you can’t find thin pita bread, you can use a tortilla instead. You may need to adjust the cooking times and amount of toppings to avoid burning the tortilla.
Yes, you can use a store-bought rotisserie chicken to save time. Just shred the meat and toss it in the marinade.
You can make the chicken shawarma ahead of time and store it in the fridge. I would not recommend assembling the pita pizzas ahead of time as the pita may become soggy.
This pita bread pizza has all the flavors of a traditional shawarma sandwich I grew up eating but in an open-faced pizza-style meal.
More shawarma recipes:
If you try this feel good Chicken Shawarma Pita Pizza 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 Pita Pizza recipe was originally published on June 19, 2018. The recipe has not been modified, but the post now includes new step-by-step photos for how to make the pita pizza recipe.
Chicken Shawarma Pita Pizza
For the chicken shawarma
- 4 pita breads
- 1 ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 roma tomatoes sliced
- ½ red onion thinly sliced
- 2 ounces pickled sliced banana peppers
- ½ cup tahini sauce
- Chopped fresh parsley
- 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 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.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place two pitas on each baking sheet and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake until the bread is lightly toasted and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
- Add the cooked chicken shawarma on top of the mozzarella cheese. Top with the tomatoes, red onions and banana peppers, and drizzle with tahini sauce. Sprinkle with fresh parsley.
- Cut each pita pizza into fourth and enjoy immediately.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.