Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma
These Slow Cooker Yogurt Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches are going in for the hug.
With fluffy pita bread, juicy, warmly-spiced chicken, and a shower of Mediterranean toppings, this easy slow cooker chicken recipe is the sandwich version of a pick-you-up, spin-you-around, they-just-don’t-make-movies-like-this-anymore embrace.
Forget the firm handshake you learned in business school and the awkward back-pat pseudo hug. Slow Cooker Yogurt Chicken Shawarma wants the real deal.
The inspiration for this recipe hails from my favorite Mediterranean restaurant, which can be found in the cultural mecca of…Wichita, Kansas. Whenever we are together in our hometown, my sisters and I have been known to eat lunch there daily (I once went back for dinner), and even Ben has become intimately familiar with the menu. The owner is Greek, the food is authentic, and the chicken shawarma is outstanding.
As cool as it would be to have a giant spit of chicken shawarma roasting in my kitchen the way you’ll see it in Greece (and Wichita), today’s slow cooker version boasts the benefit of being immediately attainable and doesn’t require specialty chicken-roasting equipment. It has all the soothing flavors of classic chicken shawarma, plus it’s fall-apart tender, dribble-down-your-chin juicy thanks to two key ingredients: Greek yogurt and Just BARE Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs.
This juicy chicken magic begins with a Greek yogurt marinade. For tender chicken guaranteed, Greek yogurt is almost impossible to beat. It bathes the chicken in its own creaminess, locks in meaty juices, and does other powerful, wonderful things that I cannot explain, though I’m happy to devour the results.
Secondly, I use chicken thighs. Although I typically prefer the taste of white meat if I’m having grilled chicken, for any slow cooker recipe, chicken thighs are the best choice. They are still very lean but are not as apt to dry out in the crock pot as chicken breasts. I find they give more flavor to slow cooker recipes too. This chicken shawarma was so tender, I couldn’t even remove the chicken thighs from the slow cooker in a single piece—they fell apart as soon as they touched my fork!
As I’ve shared before, I trust and value Just BARE Chicken. As a conscious consumer, I appreciate the company’s commitment to raising its animals with care, providing natural products, and giving back to communities. As a lazy weeknight cook, I adore the fact that all of the chicken comes neatly trimmed, so I can start using it immediately, versus wasting time cutting away excess fat and bad pieces (all of which we are charged for when the chicken is weighed for purchase!).
If you are new to using chicken thighs or just in need of some dinner inspiration, you can view my entire collection of chicken recipes here, including my latest favorite way to use chicken thighs, Maple Bourbon Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken Sandwiches.
Pita bread and yogurt chicken shawarma hugs all around!
Slow Cooker Yogurt Chicken Shawarma
A slow cooker recipe for moist and tender yogurt chicken that tastes just like chicken shawarma, but is so much easier to make! Try it with warm pita.
Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours (on high); 4 hours (on low)
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 large lemons)
- 2 1/2 pounds Just BARE Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Whole wheat pita pockets
- For serving: thinly sliced red onion, fresh parsley, diced tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, hummus
- In a small bowl, stir together the allspice, oregano, salt, garlic powder, cinnamon, and cayenne. Set aside.
- Place the yogurt and lemon juice in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Add half of the spice mixture (reserve the second half) and stir to combine. Add the chicken thighs and gently turn to coat in the yogurt mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- Coat the bottom of a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Add the chicken and all of the yogurt marinade. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
- With a fork or slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a large bowl (discard the cooking liquid). Shred the chicken with two forks, then sprinkle the remaining spice mixture over the top. Stir to coat with the reserved spices.
- Serve the chicken shawarma inside warmed pita bread, sprinkled with any desired toppings.
Leftover yogurt chicken shawarma can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four days or frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
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I’m thrilled to be partnering with Just BARE Chicken this year to share this and more recipes with you, and have been compensated for my time. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own, and thank you, for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to continue creating quality content for you!