Chicken shawarma with easy flatbread

Juicy chicken shawarma marinated in spiced yogurt then grilled is a delicious dinner served wrapped in easy flatbread with crunchy vegetables.

Chicken shawarma with easy flatbread

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is meat (most often beef, lamb or chicken) stacked on a vertical rotisserie/spit and grilled low and slow, often all day long. The meat is carved off the side of the spit and served in pita bread or flatbread with your choice of vegetables, sauces, pickles, etc.

As I didn’t have the option to cook the chicken for long on a vertical spit, I wanted to replicate the juiciness and flavor in a simple way. Something we could all do at home. Marinating the chicken in yogurt and spices tenderizes the meat while also seasoning the chicken from the inside out. I used boneless, skin-on chicken thighs and baked them in a really hot oven with the top grill/broiler on to really caramelize the skin.

The end result was incredibly juicy chicken. We all ate our fair-share before the slices even made it into our shawarmas.

Ingredients Needed 

  • Chicken thighs. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs because they stay incredibly juicy during cooking. Chicken breasts can be used but the cooking time will need to be adjusted to avoid over-cooking.
  • Yogurt. Use a thick, Greek-style yogurt if possible.
  • Fresh garlic cloves.
  • Lemon.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Spices: Paprika, chilli flakes/red pepper flakes, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper. Other seasonings like garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric, cayenne pepper, cardamom and cinnamon can be used. Dried herbs like oregano or thyme will also be delicious.
Juicy spiced chicken shawarma

How to make chicken shawarma

  1. Marinate the chicken: Place boneless, skin-on chicken thighs in a large bowl. Combine Greek yogurt, spices, garlic, lemon and olive oil and add to the chicken. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes – 1 hour, ideally overnight. Marinating the chicken for up to 24 hours will result in incredibly 
  2. Cook the chicken: Pre-heat your oven to its hottest temperature, turning the top element/grill on if needed. Place the chicken onto a large baking sheet/oven dish. Bake the chicken until the skin is golden and caramelized and the meat is cooked through and tender. Remove from the oven and slice.
  3. Assemble the shawarma: Serve the charred chicken in flatbread or warmed pita bread. Top with garlic sauce, pickles and fresh vegetables of your choice.

What’s the difference between pita bread and flatbread?

Flatbread is a thin, flat bread (usually unleavened) cooked on a hot cooking surface/pan until charred and blistered. Pita bread is soft, leavened bread that often has a pocket which can be stuffed with grilled meat and vegetables.

What to serve with shawarma

The shawarma chicken and flatbread can be served with a variety of vegetables, sauces and pickles. Hummus, baba ganoush, tzatziki and tahini sauce are often used. Vegetables like marinated eggplant, lettuce, chopped tomatoes and red onion add freshness and great texture. The chicken can also be served on rice with your favorite toppings as a gluten-free rice bowl.

  1. Easy pickled radishes
  2. Easy pickled red onions
  3. Marinated cucumber salad
  4. Creamy tzatziki sauce
Easy flatbread


Is chicken shawarma made from breast?

Shawarma can be made from breast or thigh meat. I prefer using boneless thighs because the meat is much more succulent but chicken breasts can also be used.

What is the difference between chicken shawarma and kebab?

Kebab is often made with ground meat and spices formed around a skewer where as shawarma is meat skewers and roasted or cooked on a vertical spit.

Does shawarma contain garlic?

Yes, the marinade contains garlic.

Chicken recipes

  1. Easy herby lemon chicken skewers
  2. Spicy grilled chicken with corn salsa
  3. 30-minute easy grilled chicken and vegetables
Chicken shawarma with easy flatbread

Chicken shawarma with easy flatbread

Juicy chicken shawarma marinated in spiced yogurt then grilled is a delicious dinner served wrapped in easy flatbread with crunchy vegetables.
4.75 from 85 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Chicken schwarma, Chicken Shawarma, Easy flatbread
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Calories: 669kcal
Author: Alida Ryder
Servings: 5


For the chicken shawarma

  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chilli/red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 kg boneless, skin-on chicken thighs

For the easy flatbread

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ cup plain/Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾-1 cup milk

For the garlic yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup plain/Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 2-3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

For serving

  • Pickles of your choice
  • fresh vegetables of your choice (tomatoes, cucumber, avocado work well)


  • Mix all the marinade ingredients together then pour over the chicken and allow to marinate for 30 mins – 1 hour. 
  • In the meantime, mix together the dry ingredients for the flatbread then add the yogurt and oil. Add the milk, a little at a time, and mix until a rough dough starts to form. You might not need all the milk. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until it just comes together in a smooth ball. Cover in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. 
  • Pre-heat the oven to 240ºC/460ºF (or as hot as your oven goes) with the top element/grill to caramelize the skin on the chicken. 
  • Place the chicken in a baking dish/baking sheet in a single layer then place in the oven. Allow the chicken to bake/grill until fully cooked with the skin crisp and caramelized. 
  • While the chicken is baking, roll tennis-sized balls of dough out onto a floured surface (to around ½cm thick) and cook in a hot pan until golden and bubbling then flip and cook for another minute or two on the other side. Remove from the pan, brush with melted butter (optional) and keep wrapped in foil. 
  • Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients and mixing well. 
  • When the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and slice. 
  • Serve the chicken shawarma in the flatbread with vegetables and pickles of your choice drizzled with the garlic sauce. 


Calories: 669kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 1641mg | Potassium: 861mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 7.3mg | Calcium: 251mg | Iron: 5.8mg

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  1. Hello,
    I really want to try making your flat bread. How long will leftover bread be good for? And how should I store it?
    Can’t wait to try.

  2. I found some almond flour taco shells. Having to be extremely conscious of carb count, I need something else instead of the flatbread.

    1. I’m watching carbs at the moment and so wrapped my chicken in lettuce leaves instead! The chicken is the hero here, and I was pleasantly surprised how enjoyable it was, and it went really well with the yogurt dip!

  3. Haven’t made the chicken yet but made the flat bread today, and it was fantastic! I was doubtful because the recipe without yeast looked too easy, but it turned out SO WELL! Thank you so much!

  4. Made this tonight and it was delicious. I left the marinade one the chicken and baked for 45 minutes at 425. It carmelized beautifully. Enjoyed it on flatbread (store bought) with yogurt sauce, pickles, tomato and feta. Great taste and even my family loved it too.

  5. This sounds awesome and can’t wait to try this weekend. On the flat bread, can I use olive oil instead of vegetable oil?

  6. Hi! If I wanted to make a couple batches ahead of time, can I refrigerate the dough or Even better, cook and freeze the flatbread?

  7. This is gene most delicious quick tasty dish. As I don’t eat meats I use black beans but use the delicious marinade sauce for the chicken schwarma. Thanks a million my favourite go to recipe

    1. chicken is so good!! I covered a cookie sheet in tin foil and threw every last bit of the sauce and chicken on there. Cake out perfectly! I am Italian so 4 cloves of garlic…c’mon…I threw in a whole head because we are garlic fanatics at my house. I also added extra garlic powder to the flatbread….personal preference and made a spicy sriracha version of the sauce with some sriracha powder. Tomato, Cucumber and red onion salad on the side. My pickiest eater ate the whole thing veggies and all. If you have not made this you are absolutely missing out. It is FABULOUS!!

  8. I loved all of the recipes!! And I’m eating those pickled onions like a pregnant woman, haha. I did want to offer a bit of feedback — This was my first time making pita, and we loved it! BUT, I had to look at other recipe pages to feel ready to bake. The pita dough is tackier than most breads, and this threw me off – a note about the consistency/texture would have been helpful to know whether I should be adding more milk or not. Similarly, a heat recommendation for the pan would have been helpful. I took hot to mean high heat, but since butter has such a low burn point the fire alarms were going off the whole cook time. Next time I’m going to use a high heat oil and see how that goes, but clarification on temp or this issue with butter may have been helpful. I cant wait to make it again!

  9. Yum this was DELICIOUS! The chicken was sooo flavorful, we grilled it and used chicken breast because that’s what I had in the fridge 🙂 the flat bread was surprisingly easy to put together, came out perfect on my cast iron. Thank you!!

  10. Made the chicken but served it with pita bread and tzatziki. Delicious! We’ve never had chicken so juicy!

  11. One word: AWESOME! But also DELICIOUS, TASTY and all the other words that go along with that. Takes a bit of effort but nothing too difficult and the end result is so worth it.

  12. This was delicious. I followed the instructions as they were. I didn’t use the garlic yogurt sauce and bought tazaiki sauce. I’ll definitely be making this again. The bread was so good!! It all was