Chicken shawarma wraps are the most flavorful & easy meal! No need to marinade, put everything in the Instant Pot & smother in yogurt sauce!
The first time I heard of chicken shawarma, I was actually reading a funny tweet from a girl wondering if a stranger in her college class loved her because he brought her a random shawarma, just because she was hungry.
I honestly had to Google it because I had no idea what that meant. Once I found out, I decided he must, in fact, be in love with her because these things are DELICIOUS.
What is chicken shawarma?
Traditionally, chicken shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish that is usually roasted on a spit or slow roasted, rotisserie style. It’s typically marinated in lots of spices like cinnamon, tumeric, and curry, and has tons of flavor.
Unfortunately for me, I don’t have days or even hours to wait for hot chicken shawarma. So I landed on a quick and easy, but super juicy chicken recipe that can be made in the Instant Pot!
- Chicken breasts – The healthiest and leanest chicken you can buy. The Instant Pot pressure cooks moisture into the chicken, so even though it’s lean, the chicken breasts still come out juicy!
- Shawarma seasoning – A combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and tumeric. All the flavors combine well in the Instant Pot while the chicken cooks through.
- Yogurt dill sauce – a combination of plain Greek yogurt, fresh dill, garlic, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and grated cucumber. Yogurt dill sauce is refreshing and pairs amazingly well with the spices in the chicken shawarma meat.
- Whole wheat flatbread/pita bread – higher in fiber than regular flatbread, which makes it more filling and healthier than some other flatbread options. Try to find one that is relatively low in added sugars, too.
- Sliced cucumber – a must-have for these chicken shawarma wraps. Cucumber, shawarma, and yogurt dill sauce are made for each other.
- Sliced tomato – pairs so well with the cucumbers and all the sauce. Tomato is totally optional but highly recommended!
- Spinach – a nutritional boost of vitamin K, vitamin A, and vitamin C! Spinach is a true superfood, and you barely even notice it with all the flavors going on in these shawarma wraps.
- Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, and tumeric in a small bowl.
- Toss the 2 chicken breasts in the spices, and set them in the Instant Pot. Drizzle the chicken with 1 tbsp of avocado oil.
- Close the lid, and set the valve to “sealing”, or natural release. Press “manual”, and set to cook for 12 minutes.
- Make the yogurt sauce: Combine the yogurt, fresh dill, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and minced/grated cucumber in a medium bowl and set aside.
- After the 12 minutes of cook time is complete, allow the Instant Pot to sit for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, changes the valve to “venting”, and allow all the steam to be released.
- Open the lid, remove the chicken, and shred it.
- Once shredded, return the chicken to the Instant Pot and toss until it’s coated in the juices and spices.
- Assemble your wraps: To assemble a chicken shawarma wrap, start by spreading about 2 tablespoons of the creamy dill yogurt sauce on the whole wheat pita bread. Top with about 1/2 cup of the chicken shawarma, then add cucumber, tomato, and spinach. Top with a little bit more yogurt sauce, then fold it up like a burrito or taco and get to eating!
Tips & FAQ
Honestly, any chicken you decide to use will probably taste amazing and work just fine. I would just try to stick to boneless. It makes it cook more evenly and ends up easier to shred in the Instant Pot.
In this chicken shawarma wrap recipe, I decided to use chicken breasts. You can definitely use other chicken cuts like thighs too, but chicken breasts are bit healthier and more budget-friendly.
I’ve found that if you’re cooking raw chicken breasts in the Instant Pot, the time it takes to cook depends on a couple of things. If you’re cooking a smaller amount of chicken (about 2 breasts), the perfect amount of time seems to be about 12 minutes. If you’re cooking more chicken (about 4 breasts) the time it takes is a little bit longer, more like 16 minutes.
For this chicken shawarma, you only really need 2 chicken breasts so they should cook quickly and evenly. However, if you end up with undercooked chicken, simply return the chicken to the Instant Pot, and set it for manual for 5 more minutes. Check it again and make sure it’s at 165 degrees internally before serving.
For frozen chicken, you may need to increase the time setting on your pressure cooker. For 2 frozen breasts, I would start at 15 minutes. For 4 frozen breasts, I would set it to about 20 minutes.
Like most chicken, you can definitely make it in advance and store it for up to 3 days, until you’re ready to eat it. When you’re ready to assemble your wraps, microwave the chicken for about a minute until warmed through.
You can also freeze the cooked and shredded chicken for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Just let it cool before freezing.
How do I serve this?
Shawarma can be served a variety of different ways, like on salads, in burritos and wraps, over rice, in a shawarma bowl, and even just on it’s own!
These wraps definitely taste better if the meat is hot, but they can be eaten with the meat warmed or cold from the fridge.
Not all chicken shawarma wraps are healthy, but this one definitely is! This wrap is high in protein and really filling with lots of fiber. There’s nothing but natural ingredients in this wrap, and it’s made with whole wheat pita and spinach for the extra fiber!
Total nutritional content per serving is:
- Calories: 335 calories
- Protein: 23 grams
- Sodium: 582 mg
- Carbohydrates: 43 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
This shawarma recipe comes out to be $7.27 or about $1.82 per serving! Not only is this recipe incredibly easy, it’s healthy and afforadable, too!
Other Instant Pot Recipes
Tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating in the comments below! I would really appreciate your feedback!
Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Wraps
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp tumeric
- 2 chicken breasts thawed
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp fresh dill minced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ cup cucumber minced/grated
- 4 whole wheat pitas
- 1 cucumber sliced
- 1 large tomato sliced
- 2 cups spinach
- Combine all the spices in a small bowl. Toss the chicken with the spices, and set in the Instant Pot. Drizzle the chicken with avocado oil.
- Close lid, and set the valve to "sealing" or natural release. Press "manual", and set to cook for 12 minutes. Note: If your Instant Pot gives you the "burn" error message, add 1/4 cup of water or chicken broth and try again!
- While the chicken is cooking, make the yogurt sauce. Combine the yogurt, fresh dill, lemon juice, dijon mustard, garlic powder, and minced/grated cucumber in a medium bowl and set aside.
- After the 12 minutes is complete, allow the Instant Pot to sit for about 5 minutes with the valve set to "sealing". Once the 5 minutes is complete, change the valve to "venting" and allow all the steam to be released before opening the lid.
- Remove the chicken and shred. Return the shredded chicken to the Instant Pot, coating it in the leftover juices and spices.
- Assemble your shawarma wraps: Spread 1 pita with 2 T of the yogurt sauce, add 1/2 cup of chicken, then top with cucumber, tomato, and spinach. Fold it up like a burrito or taco, and enjoy!
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Instant Pot chicken shawarma wraps are honestly one of my favorite meals right now. They’re healthy, flavorful, and super easy! Plus, you have to love that garlic yogurt sauce smothered on everything! Your family will love them, too!