Chicken Shawarma Roll-Ups

by Mara @ What's For Dinner? on May 15, 2012

in chicken/turkey, grilling, simple recipe, South Beach Diet


**If you have yet to see The Avengers and are planning to, within this post are spoilers!**

**Seriously. I’m going to talk about the super-secret scene at the very end of the credits.**

**No angry comments that I “OMG GAVE SOMETHING AWAY”**

**You have been warned**

Growing up where I did, I was exposed to all sorts of cultures’ foods at a very early age. It wasn’t rare for me, as a fairly young kid, to request to go to the Mediterranean place for lunch on a weekend for hummus and baba gannouj. Bok choy and pork fried rice at a Chinese friend’s house? Yes please! Spaetzle at my German friend’s house? Absolutely.

Back to that Mediterranean food… I loved the stuff. We had this place up the street called Pita Inn where, as I just said, we’d go for hummus and baba gannouj. The place is still there and has expanded to multiple locations now, and we still go for hummus, baba gannouj, falafel, and chicken shawarma. My favorite thing there? A plate of hummus, topped with chicken shawarma.

What the heck is chicken shawarma? Imagine the most flavorful and juicy grilled (almost charred) chicken, cut up into little pieces, then placed in a warm pita with lettuce, tomato, onion, and a tangy tahini-yogurt sauce. In a word: delicious.


It wasn’t until a new Middle Eastern restaurant opened near Adam and my house that I experienced a shawarma rolled up in a thin wheat pita bread, kind of like a burrito. The super-thin pita bread made a perfect vehicle for the shawarma fillings.

Why all this talk about shawarma? We saw The Avengers over the weekend, and at one point, Iron Man says something about going for shawarma. “I don’t know what it is, but I’d like to try it,” he says. And then the credits roll, and roll and roll… and then we see the heroes, seated around a small table, eating shawarma.


I haven’t laughed that hard in a really really long time. Thor still had his cape on! And upon leaving the theater, Adam and I both wanted shawarma.

So I made it! I’ve eaten enough of it in my life that I could figure out what went into it, and its amazing tangy sauce.


Chicken Shawarma

by What’s For Dinner?

Prep Time: 10 minutes, plus marinating ti

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients (4 servings)

    For the chicken

    • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
    • 6 ounces fat-free greek yogurt
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • juice of 2 lemons

    For the sauce

    • 4 ounces greek yogurt
    • juice of 1 lemon
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 Tablespoon tahini
    • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar

    For serving

    • sliced tomatoes
    • sliced onions
    • chopped lettuce
    • large whole wheat pita bread


    For the chicken

    Slice the chicken into 3″ slices.

    Mix the remaining ingredients together to create your marinade. Add the chicken, then cover and marinate 1 hour on the counter or overnight in the fridge.

    Pre-heat the broiler to its highest setting. Broil the chicken about 7 minutes per side, or until charred. Grilling would work too!

    For the sauce

    Mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

    To serve

    Place a few pieces of chicken, lettuce, tomato, and onions on a large pita bread. Top with the sauce. Roll up and eat!


    The flavor was right on, and very similar to what I remembered from being a little kid, enjoying a shawarma sandwich with my dad at Pita Inn.

    And besides. It’s Avengers approved.



    Leave a Comment

    CommentLuv badge

    { 6 comments… read them below or add one }

    Farihah @ Spice's Bites May 15, 2012 at 6:52 AM

    I can’t believe we missed that scene! Now I want shawarma . . .
    Farihah @ Spice’s Bites´s last blog post ..Madhur Jaffrey’s Baked Beef Curry


    Biz May 15, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    I have some chicken I need to cook up – looks like I know what I am making! (sans the onions though!) :D
    Biz´s last blog post ..So far its working.


    biz May 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM

    I am marinating the chicken now for my lunch tomorrow!


    Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM

    Let me know what you think!!! I was so bummed that we had no leftovers!


    Jenn@slim-shoppin May 16, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    Oooh Mara – that looks awesome!
    Jenn@slim-shoppin´s last blog post ..Homemade hamburger buns


    Susan Bewley May 18, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Wow, I feel like a dork! I had never heard of Shawarma before and had no clue what they were talking about. I thought it was the name of a restaurant. LOL! I love trying different foods and I can’t wait to try this recipe!
    Susan Bewley´s last blog post ..Shopping List for Healthy Eating


    { 4 trackbacks }

    Previous post:

    Next post: