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.

two foil-wrapped pitas filled with homemade chicken shawarma prepared in a slow cooker

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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.

A serving platter of slow cooker chicken shawarma sprinkled with herbs on a kitchen linen

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.

Serve these handheld beauties with a side of Lemon Rice, a platter of Greek Layer Dip, or Grilled Halloumi Cheese.

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.


The Ingredients

  • 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.

The Directions

  1. Mix the herbs and spices together.
  2. Stir half of the spice mixture into the yogurt (reserve the other half).
  3. Coat the chicken in the yogurt marinade and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  4. Transfer to a crockpot and cook until fall-apart tender.
  5. Remove, shred, and season with reserved spice mixture.
  6. Serve in warm pitas with desired toppings. ENJOY!
pita bread topped with crockpot chicken shawarma, red onion, cucumber, herbs, and tomatoes on parchment with a bowl of hummus

Storage Tips

  • 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.
Two homemade chicken gyros wrapped in foil and filled with slow cooker chicken shawarma and fresh vegetables.

Pita bread and yogurt chicken shawarma hugs all around!

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Chicken Shawarma Taste Like a Gyro?

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.

How Can I Make Chicken Shawarma Without a Slow Cooker?

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.

Can I Make Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma with Chicken Breasts?

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.

two pitas filled with garlic yogurt chicken made in a slow cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma

4.97 from 27 votes
A slow cooker chicken shawarma recipe that's moist, tender, and juicy. Try this yogurt-marinated chicken in a pita with veggies and tzatziki!

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Total: 4 hrs 10 mins

Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 6) served in a pita without toppingsCalories: 406kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 46gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 181mgPotassium: 659mgFiber: 5gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 135IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 85mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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