Treat yourself to Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma for an easy Mediterranean-style dinner packed with flavorful tender yogurt-marinated chicken, soft warm pita bread, and an array of fresh toppings.
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With fluffy pita bread, juicy, warmly-spiced chicken, and a shower of Mediterranean toppings, this easy Crock Pot Shredded Chicken recipe is a warm embrace in sandwich form.
The inspiration for this easy yogurt chicken 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 their stellar Mediterranean recipes.
The owner is Greek, the food is authentic, and the chicken shawarma is outstanding.
5 Star Review
“Made this recently and have had to make it again twice already – massive success, thank you!”— Samia —
How to Make Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma
No giant roasting spit required, this slow cooker version has ALL the soothing flavors of classic chicken shawarma, plus it is fall-apart tender, dribble-down-your-chin juicy.
Well Plated Cookbook Chicken Shawarma
If you love chicken shawarma, snag a copy of my cookbook. It includes another fabulous, fast chicken shawarma recipe using store-bought rotisserie chicken.
- Chicken Thighs. 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 crockpot as chicken breasts. I find they give more flavor to slow cooker recipes too.
- Greek Yogurt. For tender chicken guaranteed, Greek yogurt is almost impossible to beat. It bathes the chicken in its own creaminess and locks in its meaty juices.
- Lemon Juice. For brightness and a little acidity.
- Oregano. Dried oregano leaves make this chicken smell insanely delicious and inject it with fresh herby flavor.
- Garlic Powder. For a little zip and added flavor.
- Allspice +Cinnamon. This dynamic spice duo adds tons of warmth to this dish.
- Cayenne. For a little kick, that enhances the flavors rather than overpowers.
- Pitas. I go for pillowy, soft whole wheat pitas whenever I make this slow cooker chicken shawarma.
- Toppings. Romaine, chopped spinach, red onions, diced cucumbers, and/or sliced tomatoes are always welcome additions. A little hummus, tzatziki, or even this Greek Yogurt Ranch Dip wouldn’t be tasty too.
- Mix the herbs and spices together.
- Stir half of the spice mixture into the yogurt (reserve the other half).
- Coat the chicken in the yogurt marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Transfer to a crockpot and cook until fall-apart tender.
- Remove, shred, and season with reserved spice mixture.
- Serve in warm pitas with desired toppings. ENJOY!
- To Store. Leftover yogurt chicken shawarma can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four days.
- To Freeze. Place chicken in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- To Reheat. Warm in the microwave or on the stovetop until steaming.
Pita bread and yogurt chicken shawarma hugs all around!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. If you love the taste of Greek gyros, then you’ll also enjoy chicken shawarma. While the proteins differ (lamb vs. chicken), both recipes use similar Meditteranean spices and ingredients.
I have only tried making this recipe in a slow cooker so using anything other than that would be an experiment. However, you may try using an Instant Pot by following my tips in this Instant Pot Chicken post or you could also try cooking in a deep, sturdy Dutch oven over low heat on your stovetop.
Yes. However, keep in mind that chicken breasts typically cook more quickly than chicken thighs. For best results, cook on LOW and keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook and dry out.
Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma
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- 1 tablespoon ground 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 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 with desired toppings.
- TO STORE: Leftover yogurt chicken shawarma can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for four days.
- TO FREEZE: Slow cooker chicken shawarma may be frozen for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- TO REHEAT: Warm in the microwave or on the stovetop until steaming.
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