This chicken shawarma gyros recipe features tender, Middle Eastern spiced chicken tucked into soft pita wraps and topped with tangy tzatziki. It’s a restaurant-style meal you can make healthier at home!
If you’re in a dinnertime rut and find yourself making the same chicken recipes again and again, these chicken shawarma gyros are here to spice up your routine—literally! A well-stocked spice rack comes in handy here, because you’ll be making your own shawarma seasoning blend to infuse your chicken with warm, smoky, earthy flavors.
What Is Chicken Shawarma?
Shawarma is a staple at Middle Eastern restaurants—you’ve probably seen it cooking on spits behind the counter. The spiced meat is sliced off and tucked into pitas or served over rice.
This chicken shawarma recipe takes all of the flavors of shawarma and transforms it into a convenient sheet pan dinner. (You know, just in case you don’t have a vertical spit in your kitchen!) The meat is tender, juicy, and flavorful, and you can use it in so many ways.
Here, we use it to make chicken gyros. While the chicken bakes in the oven, whip up a batch of creamy tzatziki sauce, heat the pitas, and prep your toppings.
Why You’ll Love These Chicken Shawarma Gyros
There's a lot to love about this recipe:
- Flavorful. There is something magical about the blend of spices in this dish. They add depth and complexity—and your kitchen will smell incredible as the chicken bakes.
- Easy. The hardest part is getting all the spice jars out of the pantry! Everything else is practically effortless, making these chicken shawarma gyros perfect for a weeknight dinner.
- Versatile. There are lots of ways to switch up this recipe, and you can also use the chicken shawarma in meal bowls, salads, and more.
What You’ll Need
Here’s everything you need for making these chicken gyros. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the specific quantities for all the ingredients.
For the Chicken Shawarma:
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- Ground cumin
- Smoked paprika – This allows you to get some of that smoky grilling flavor without a grill.
- Ground cinnamon – Cinnamon is a key ingredient in many savory Middle Eastern spice blends. It adds a subtle warmth and earthy flavor to dishes.
- Cardamom – Cardamom brings lots of complexity to the spice blend.
- Ground coriander
- Ground turmeric – Turmeric adds a golden color to your chicken and anti-inflammatory benefits!
- Ground ginger
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – You can substitute chicken breast if you prefer, but I like using thighs because they’re juicier when baked.
- Olive oil
For the Tzatziki:
- Greek yogurt – Use unsweetened plain yogurt.
- Fresh dill
- Olive oil
- Cucumber – Slice this paper-thin.
- Pita – You can choose pita with pockets, then cut them in half and stuff them, or pocketless pita and use them as wraps.
- English cucumber
- Red onion
How to Make Chicken Shawarma Gyros
Here are the steps to making chicken shawarma gyros at home:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 425ºF, then line a baking sheet with foil.
Make the seasoning blend. Whisk the sea salt, ground black pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, and ginger in a small bowl.
Season the chicken. Toss the chicken with the olive oil and spice mix in a large bowl, making sure it’s evenly coated.
Bake. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Rest. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice it into thin strips.
Make the tzatziki. Whisk the first three tzatziki ingredients in a mixing bowl, then fold in the cucumber.
Serve. Divide the chicken onto 4 pita rounds, then top with the tzatziki, cucumber, and red onion.
Tips for Success
These simple tips will help you achieve chicken shawarma perfection:
- Let the chicken rest. Doing so allows the juices to reabsorb into the chicken, rather than running out when you cut it.
- Use good-quality pita bread. Nothing ruins a gyro like dry bread! Be sure to pick up some fresh pita at your local bakery; if you live near a Middle Eastern restaurant, you might be able to buy a package there, too.
- Tame the red onion, if needed. Not a fan of strong onion flavor? After slicing the onion, soak it in ice cold water; this will cut some of its bite.
These chicken gyros are always a hit, but you can use the chicken shawarma in other ways, too. Here’s some inspiration:
- Add it to Moroccan Quinoa Salad or Saffron Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad for extra protein.
- Use it in a healthy quinoa bowl.
- Serve it over Curry Cauliflower Rice and Quinoa.
To make this recipe dairy-free, you can substitute the Greek yogurt for your favorite plant-based yogurt, or use tahini sauce. For a gluten-free version, wrap your chicken gyros in my gluten-free flour tortillas, quinoa tortillas, or quinoa flour naan.
How to Store
These chicken shawarma gyros are best eaten fresh, but any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of broth to keep it moist, or warm it in the microwave before serving.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
The chicken shawarma can be frozen in a zip-top bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.
More Delicious Chicken Dinner Ideas
- Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Instant Pot White Chicken Chili
- Quinoa and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken
- Air Fryer Popcorn Chicken
Chicken Shawarma Gyros
For the chicken shawarma
For the tzatziki
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ large cucumber , cut into paper-thin slices (I like to use a mandolin)
- 4 pieces of pita
- ½ English cucumber , cut into paper-thin slices
- 1 small red onion , cut into paper-thin slices
- Prep. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Make the seasoning. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sea salt, ground black pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, and ginger
- Season the chicken. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, olive oil, and spice mix. Mix thoroughly to coat the chicken.
- Bake. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
- Rest. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it into thin strips.
- Make the tzatziki. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, dill, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Fold in the cucumber.
- Assemble. Divide the chicken, tzatziki, cucumber, and red onion between 4 pieces of pita and enjoy taco style.