Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma (+ video) – Family Food on the Table

Slow cooker shawarma recipe

Slow cooking chicken shawarma is marinated in the perfect spice mix and cooked slowly until incredibly tender, tasty, and delicious. Serve with pitas, over rice or hummus, or in a salad or bowl of grains. Chicken shawarma strips in a blue and white bowl with parsley sprigs nearby Chicken shawarma

is one of my long-time favorites


I fell in love with him in college, in a small Mediterranean restaurant near my apartment outside Chicago, Illinois


Then I found a favorite place in Washington, DC, where I lived for about 5 years.

And now that I’m back in my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina, I’ve happily discovered a new favorite place to get my shabarma fix.

But you know I also love to cook at home, so I had to tackle this favorite dish of mine!

First, I shared with you this easy baked chicken shawarma. It is toasted to perfection and very tasty.

But I couldn’t stop there, no, no.

Today, I am so happy to share this slow cook chicken shawarma that is quick to prepare, hands-free, smells amazing, and is incredibly tasty and delicious.

Slow cook chicken shawarma with onion in a blue and white bowl

We have chicken thighs that we marinate in a yogurt-based marinade with lemon juices and the perfect mixture of spices

. Then, the

chicken is slowly cooked in the clay pot until it is tender, cooked and perfuming the entire kitchen with the most attractive smells.

The chicken is chopped and mixed again with the sauce created from the marinade. And then it’s ready to devour.

You will have to stop inhaling an entire plate of this delicious chicken!

First, in case you’re curious, let’s tackle the basics.

What is chicken shawarma?

Chicken shawarma

  • is a marinated chicken dish where cuts of meat are stacked in a conical line on a vertical spit and slowly rotated while roasting. Shawarma
  • , also

  • sometimes spelled shawurma or shawerma, can also be made with beef, lamb or mixed meats. It is a standard Middle Eastern street food that is also popular in the United States. It can be served as a sandwich or pita, over rice or hummus, or in a salad.
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Slow cook chicken shawarma after being cooked and chopped, then mixed with onions and cooking liquid

Now, an important caveat: we are not using an upright rotisserie as home cooks are not available to us. So this cannot be considered a 100% authentic recipe.

Instead, we are marinating our meat and cooking it in the clay pot. But don’t worry, the flavors are there and you’ll love how tasty it is, and how easy!

In addition to mixing the marinade, this is a really hands-off meal.

It will be ready and waiting for you at dinner time and nothing beats that!

You’ll feel like a rock star doing something so full of flavor in your own kitchen!

OK, let’s cook.

<img src="×450.jpg" alt="A slow cooker insert with

sliced onions covered with marinated chicken thighs before cooking” />chicken thighs cooked on top of onions in a slow cooker

Now, I have some notes and tips on how to make slow cook chicken shawarma. Just try to be useful.

If you want to jump into the recipe, just scroll right through the rest of the text. The recipe card is near the bottom of the page, above the comments section.

Notes on how to make slow cook chicken shawarma


  • Chicken: The recipe calls for chicken thighs and I highly recommend using them. They have the extra fat, flavor and fleshiness that is associated with chicken shawarma. (But that’s okay, you can substitute chicken breasts or use a combination if you really want.)
  • Marinada: This recipe calls for at least a 4-hour marinade, so plan accordingly. That marinating time is critical. You can marinate this in the morning and then start it at lunchtime or in the afternoon. Or you can marinate it overnight.
  • Onion: I love the tender slices of onion mixed with chicken. However, you can skip the onion if you’re not a fan. (Or cook the chicken with them, but remove the onions when serving.)
  • Cooking temperature: You can cook this in the clay pot at low for 4-6 hours or at high temperature for 2-3 hours.
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<img src="" alt="Aerial shot of a clay pot with

strips of slow-cooking chicken shawarma and onions” />A blue and white bowl with strips and pieces of cooked chicken shawarma

Now that we have the basics of cooking, let’s talk about the fun stuff: serving and eating this delicious chicken!

Chicken shawarma is really versatile and you’ll see it on menus in many different ways. So you can serve it as you see fit. I love that.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking about.

Ideas for serving for chicken shawarma

: –

Put the chicken in a pita pocket or wrap it along with some hummus or tzatziki, lettuce, cucumbers and tomatoes


– Serve over steamed rice (white, brown, basmati or yellow rice) with a salad. (We love a cucumber and tomato salad marinated with this.)

– Add the chopped or shredded cooked chicken to a hummus dish and serve with pita bread.

– Serve shawarma chicken as protein in a bowl of rice or salad bowl, along with your favorite vegetables and sauces to top.

A bowl of cooked chicken shawarma surrounded by bowls of vegetables, hummus, feta cheese, olives and a plate of pita bread

I also have a shawarma rice bowl recipe for you


You can sign up for my free e-newsletter to receive all my new recipes straight to your inbox so you never miss a thing. I’ll even send you my free e-cookbook, Healthy Weeknight Dinners, as a thank you!

But going back to serving this because you’re going to want to devour it.

Hummus and tzatziki are a couple of my favorite sauces to serve with this chicken. They make a great pairing and give some freshness and juiciness to the chicken.

I have an easy tzatziki sauce recipe with these Greek turkey burgers if you’re interested in making it yourself.

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Chicken shawarma served with brown rice, vegetables, olives, feta cheese and hummus in a low bowl

The latest: leftovers


How to store leftover chicken shawarma:

– Leftover chicken, once cooled, will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat individual portions in the microwave.

You can also freeze the extras – it freezes great! Place leftovers in a freezer-safe container or zippered bag. Label it and date it. Freeze for up to 5-6 months.

There you have it. You’re more than ready to tackle some chicken shawarma in your own kitchen, and you’re going to be so happy you did!

Oh man, I’m so excited for you to try this. And I’d love to hear from you when you do, please leave me a comment below. 😊

Happy cooking and enjoy!



Chicken shawarma strips in a blue and white bowl with parsley sprigs nearby and an overlay of text on the photo

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