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Chicken Shawarma Plate

4.8 stars (6 ratings)

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Chicken shawarma plate is my non traditional take on a classic chicken shawarma plate. It’s loaded with rich flavorful chicken, crunchy banana peppers, spicy garlic sauce, and smooth hummus wrapped up in warm, pita bread. With enough garlic to satisfy garlic lovers everywhere, it’s perfect for a girls night in with friends. Read on for a few tips or skip to the recipe and make it for your next girls night in!

All the elements of girls night chicken: chicken shawarma, garlic toum, homemade hummus, banana peppers, and fresh pita bread.

Originally appearing on the blog in September 2016, the recipe was last updated in September 2018.

This girls night chicken shawarma plate was inspired by the chicken and hummus from Oasis Mediterranean Restaurant in Lexington, Kentucky. I was introduced to it by my best friend while we were in college and it soon became a weekly habit.

Like the original, this chicken shawarma has 5 elements: warm pita bread, garlic sauce, banana peppers, hummus, and chicken. Over the years I’ve searched high and low for an easy way to recreate it at home. Note the key word: easy.

While my final result is different from the original, it’s still very good. So, plan a girls night and treat your friends. It’s so much better than takeout!

An overhead shot of all the elements of girls night chicken: chicken shawarma, garlic toum, homemade hummus, banana peppers, and fresh pita bread.

Homemade Pita Bread

The ideal pita for chicken shawarma is thin, soft, and pliable. It should be strong enough to hold in the filling, but not so thick that it breaks. The best authentic pita is made in a tandoori oven and can be found at a Mediterranean restaurant.

The next best is my homemade pita bread, which took me FOREVER to perfect. It’s hands on and takes some time, but the flavor is worth it. Also, there are usually leftovers, which can be frozen for the next time.

The Banana Peppers

The banana peppers are the one element here that I get straight from a jar. They provide a little bit of crunch with a tangy and slightly sweet flavor that comes from the pickling process. Look for them near the pickles in your local grocery.

A pan of roasted chicken shawarma in a cast iron skillet.

Spiced Chicken Shawarma

Traditional recipes for shawarma call for stacking chicken on a spit and slow roasting for hours. The flavors you get from spit roasting are amazing, but unless you are cooking for a crowd, you won’t use enough chicken to warrant a spit. I’ve found that the best alternative results come from oven roasting thin sliced chicken. A previous version of this recipe called for a yogurt based marinade, but the dry rub in this version is much better.

I can usually find thin sliced chicken breast in the meat department at my local grocery. If you can’t find it, buy standard chicken breast and cut them in half laterally to create thin chicken breast. Alternatively, pound out standard chicken breast until they are about 1/2″ thick.

The chicken is dry rubbed with the spice mixture before roasting. This can be done a day or two in advance, leaving the chicken to marinate in the fridge.

At my house I keep the shawarma spice blend on hand in my pantry. I make make 6 times as much as the recipe calls for because 1/2 tsp x 6 = 1 TBSP. You can quickly measure out single TBSPs for most of the spices, then store this blend in your spice cabinet for later.

The Homemade Garlic Hummus

The hummus is a classic made with garlic, tahini, and lemon juice. I make mine in a mini chopper but you can also use a food processor or blender. Place chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, paprika, and water into the food processor, then pulse to combine. Add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.

When making the hummus in advance it may dry out and thicken up in the fridge. A little extra water will get it back to the right consistency.

The Garlic Sauce aka Toum

Toum is a thick, creamy, Lebanese style garlic sauce. With it’s sharp garlic flavor and mayo like consistency, it was the most challenging to recreate. Most of the information I found was for making massive quantities, that are way more than I would ever use.

So I changed my perspective. Once I considered that it is essentially a very strong aioli, or garlic mayo, I realized I could change my approach. Instead of focusing on large batches, I can make a smaller portion using a wide-mouth mason jar and my immersion blender. It didn’t just work, it worked amazingly well!

A word of caution: don’t use olive oil for making toum. The extended mechanical processing of the blender gives it a funky, almost rancid flavor. Instead select a refined, neutral oil that is liquid at room temperature – I like grapeseed oil best. 

Assembly and Eating!

Now for the fun part! This dish is best served family style. If your pitas aren’t as soft as you like, wrap them in a damp tea towel or paper towels and microwave at 10 – 15 second intervals. The steam and heat should make them soft and pliable.

My personal favorite way to eat chicken shawarma is in small pita rolls. Start by cutting the pita into 6 -8 triangles. Open up the first pita triangle and layer on the garlic sauce, followed by a banana pepper or two, then a couple chunks of chicken and a dollop of hummus. Gently wrap the tips of the triangle around the filling and enjoy!

A plate of Girls Night Chicken in front of all the elements of girls night chicken: chicken shawarma, garlic toum, homemade hummus, banana peppers, and fresh pita bread.

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Girls Night Chicken Shawarma Recipe

With tender chunks of spiced chicken, smooth hummus, garlicky toum, and crunchy banana peppers wrapped up in warm homemade pita bread, this chicken shawarma plate has earned the title of Girls Night Chicken Shawarma. If your friends are like mine, they will beg you to make double so they can take the leftovers home.

Leftovers are best eaten within 3 days. If your hummus dries out a bit in the fridge, add water a bit at a time and stir to return it to it’s normal consistency. The toum can last as long as a month in the fridge – just check the expiration date of your eggs. Leftover pita and chicken can be frozen for longer storage.

While this chicken shawarma makes a complete meal, it tastes great served with Cadillac margaritas. For more tasty dinner options, check out all my main dish recipes.

If you like this recipe, please give it a FIVE-STAR rating and share it on your favorite social channel!

All the elements of girls night chicken: chicken shawarma, garlic toum, homemade hummus, banana peppers, and fresh pita bread.

Girls Night Chicken Shawarma Plate

Girls Night Chicken Shawarma: tender chunks of spiced chicken, smooth hummus, garlicky toum, and crunchy banana peppers wrapped up in homemade pita bread.
4.8 stars (6 ratings)
prep: 45 minutes
cook: 15 minutes
total: 1 hour
servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

For the Chicken:

  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1.5 lbs of thin sliced chicken breast

For the Hummus:

  • 1 – 15 ounce can of chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 2 TBSP tahini
  • 2 TBSP water
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

For the Toum:

  • 6 – 8 garlic cloves (1 ounce of garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 cup vegetable oil

For Serving:

Instructions

  • The Chicken
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small sized bowl combine together all spices including salt and pepper.
  • Rub chicken liberally with spice mixture and place in a greased baking dish.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then flip chicken over. Bake an additional 5 – 10 minutes, or unti chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  • Allow chicken to rest 5 minutes then thinly slice.

The Hummus:

  • Place the chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, cumin, salt, paprika, and water into the container of a food processor, mini chopper, or blender and pulse to combine.
  • If needed, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time, to reach the desired consistency.

The Toum:

  • Place the garlic, salt, lemon juice, water, egg white, and vegetable oil into the bottom of the mason jar.
  • Place the immersion blender into the jar, touching the bottom. Pulse it on high a few times while stabbing at the bottom of the jar a few times to puree the garlic chunks. Turn it on high, then hold it steady at the bottom of the jar.
  • As you start to see the oil emulsify and turn white, begin to rock the immersion blender gently back and forth to help draw in the ingredients. In about 2 – 3 minutes you will have a super thick, super flavorful garlic sauce that will keep for about 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge.

Assembly and eating:

  • Cut the pitas into 6 – 8 triangles.
  • Open up the first pita triangle and layer on the garlic sauce, followed by a banana pepper or two, then a couple chunks of chicken and a dollop of hummus.
  • Gently wrap the tips of the triangle around the filling and enjoy!

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Notes

When making the hummus in advance it may dry out and thicken up in the fridge. A little extra water will get it back to the right consistency.
For the toum do not use olive oil! Select a refined, neutral oil that is liquid at room temperature – grapeseed oil is my favorite, but vegetable oil, corn oil, or canola oil all work well too.

Nutrition

Calories: 872kcal

Nutrition information is automatically calculated and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.

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About Renee N Gardner

I'm the recipe developer, food photographer, and mastermind behind Renee Nicole's Kitchen, where I help create kitchen confidence to inspire home cooks to become home chefs. No fancy fads here, just high-quality, homemade recipes featuring seasonal ingredients.

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9 Comments on “Chicken Shawarma Plate”

  1. 4 stars
    This is my favorite meal!! I highly recommend doubling everything, minus the toum as you’ll love it so much, and one extra!!!

    I also encourage you to check out the homemade pita recipe. There’s a lot of recipes out there for homemade pita, but with my first try with this one, I made a perfect pita. I do recommend allowing for extra prep time if you are going to make the pita. Enjoy!!!

    Reply

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