The Ultimate Guide to Delicious Chicken Shawarma Salad


 The Ultimate Guide to Delicious Chicken Shawarma Salad

If you're a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, you've probably heard of chicken shawarma. This flavorful dish is traditionally made with layers of well-marinated chicken (or beef or lamb) that are stacked on a vertical spit. The meat is then shredded and wrapped up in a warm pita with all the toppings. It's juicy, tender, and smothered in a delicious shawarma spice marinade. In this guide, we'll show you how to take this classic dish and transform it into a healthy and delicious chicken shawarma salad.

What is Chicken Shawarma?

Chicken shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish that is typically made with marinated and grilled chicken. The marinade is made with a blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and oregano, along with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice. The chicken is then grilled until it's perfectly charred and cooked through. The result is a flavorful and tender chicken that is bursting with Middle Eastern flavors.

Why You'll Love This Chicken Shawarma Salad Recipe

There are several reasons why you'll love this chicken shawarma salad recipe:

1. Traditional Shawarma Marinade: This recipe uses an authentic spice mix that is commonly used in shawarma recipes. The combination of spices adds depth and complexity to the chicken, making it incredibly flavorful.

2. Healthy and Delicious: This chicken shawarma salad is not only delicious, but it's also healthy and nutritious. It's packed with fresh vegetables and lean protein, making it a perfect choice for a light and satisfying meal.

3. Customizable: You can easily customize this recipe to fit your dietary needs and preferences. Feel free to add or omit any ingredients that you like or dislike. The possibilities are endless!

4. Meal Prep-Friendly: This chicken shawarma salad is perfect for meal prep. You can prepare the ingredients in advance and assemble the salad when you're ready to eat. It's a convenient and time-saving option for busy weekdays.

Ingredients for Your Chicken Shawarma Salad Bowl

To make this delicious chicken shawarma salad, you'll need the following ingredients:

  • Chicken Thighs: Thinly sliced chicken thighs work best for this recipe as they absorb the marinade well and stay moist and juicy when cooked.
  • Shawarma Seasoning: A blend of spices such as cumin, coriander, paprika, cinnamon, and oregano adds the authentic shawarma flavor to the chicken.
  • Olive Oil: Used to marinate the chicken and add flavor to the mixture.
  • Lemon Juice: The acidity in lemon juice helps to balance out the flavors and adds freshness to the dish.
  • Garlic: A key ingredient in shawarma, garlic adds a savory and aromatic flavor to the chicken.
  • Vegetables: For the salad, you'll need romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and cucumber. These fresh vegetables add crunch and texture to the dish.
  • Tahini Sauce: A creamy and tangy sauce made from tahini, lemon juice, and yogurt complements the chicken shawarma perfectly.
  • Optional Toppings: You can add pickled banana peppers or pickles to enhance the flavor of the salad.

How to Make the Chicken Shawarma for Your Salad

Here's a step-by-step guide on how to make the chicken shawarma for your salad:

  1. Start by marinating the chicken. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, shawarma seasoning, and salt. Mix well to create a marinade.
  2. Add the sliced chicken thighs to the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate for at least one hour, or overnight for the best flavor.
  3. Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated chicken for about 5 minutes on each side, or until it's charred and cooked through.
  4. Once cooked, transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for a few minutes. Then, slice the chicken into thin strips.

Tips for Making Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Dressing

To ensure that your chicken shawarma salad turns out perfectly, here are some helpful tips:

1. Use Chicken Thighs: Chicken thighs are recommended for this recipe as they are more flavorful and tender compared to chicken breast. However, you can use a mix of chicken breast and thighs if you prefer.

2. Don't Skip the Marinade: The marinade is what gives the chicken its delicious flavor. Be sure to marinate the chicken for at least an hour, or overnight if possible, to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat.

3. Cook the Chicken Just Right: It's important not to overcook the chicken, as it can become dry. Cook it until it's just cooked through and still tender and juicy.

4. Cut the Salad Ingredients on the Smaller Side: By cutting the salad ingredients into smaller pieces, you'll ensure that every bite is filled with flavor and texture.

Popular Substitutions & Additions

Here are some popular substitutions and additions you can make to customize your chicken shawarma salad:

1. Use Different Meat: If you're not a fan of chicken, you can use beef or lamb instead. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

2. Serve with Fattoush Salad: Instead of a traditional salad, you can serve the chicken shawarma on top of a Lebanese fattoush salad. The tangy dressing of the fattoush salad complements the flavors of the chicken shawarma perfectly.

3. Pre-Made Shawarma Seasoning: If you don't have time to make your own shawarma seasoning, you can use a pre-made blend from the store. Just make sure to check the ingredients and adjust the seasoning accordingly.

4. Serve with Homemade Flatbread: Instead of pita bread, you can serve the chicken shawarma with homemade flatbread. The warm and fluffy bread is perfect for stuffing with the chicken and salad.

How to Store Chicken Shawarma Salad

If you're making this chicken shawarma salad for meal prep, here's how to store it:

  • Chicken: Store the cooked chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • Tahini Dressing: Transfer the tahini dressing to a sealed jar and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
  • Salad Ingredients: Keep the salad ingredients, such as lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cucumber, in a sealed bag or container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long should I marinate the chicken? It's best to marinate the chicken for at least one hour, but if you have more time, marinating it overnight will yield the best results.

2. Can I use a different type of meat? Yes, you can use beef or lamb in place of the chicken. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

3. What can I substitute for tahini? If you don't have tahini, you can use any other nut or seed butter as a substitute. Alternatively, you can make a yogurt-based dressing or a simple vinaigrette.


Chicken shawarma salad is a delicious and healthy way to enjoy the flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine. With its flavorful marinade, tender chicken, and fresh salad ingredients, it's a meal that is sure to satisfy. Whether you're looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner or a meal prep option, this chicken shawarma salad is a must-try. Enjoy the flavors of the Middle East in every bite!

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