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Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Recipe Guide Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Recipe Guide


Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Recipe Guide

Written by: Emily Smith

This chicken shawarma, oh boy! It's a flavor-packed dish, made in my trusty instant pot. Marinated chicken thighs, cooked to perfection. Shredded and tucked into warm pita, it's a taste of the Middle East at home.

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Welcome! Have you ever craved shawarma but didn't want to leave the house? I've been there! That's why I'm excited to share this homemade version of my favorite street food. It's this incredible Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma recipe: it's easy, quick, and crazy delicious. Full of vibrant flavors, it takes you right to Middle Eastern streets from the comfort of your kitchen. You'll love the warm spices, the tangy lemon, and the tender chicken. Let's get cooking, shall we?

Ingredients for Flavorful Chicken Shawarma

  • Chicken thighs: Tender and flavorful meat that absorbs the spices well, making the dish juicy and delicious.
  • Olive oil: Adds richness and helps in marinating the chicken, enhancing the overall flavor and keeping it moist.
  • Ground cumin: Brings a warm, earthy flavor to the dish, essential in creating the authentic shawarma spice blend.
  • Paprika: Provides a sweet and smoky flavor, adding depth and color to the chicken shawarma.
  • Ground turmeric: Adds a vibrant color and subtle earthy flavor, enhancing the overall aroma and visual appeal of the dish.
  • Ground cinnamon: Offers a warm and sweet note, balancing the savory spices and adding a hint of sweetness to the dish.
  • Ground coriander: Adds a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor, complementing the other spices in the marinade beautifully.
  • Garlic powder: Infuses a robust garlic flavor without the texture of fresh garlic, ensuring even distribution of flavor.
  • Lemon juice: Provides a tangy and citrusy kick, tenderizing the meat and brightening up the flavors of the dish.

Essential Tools for Making This Middle Eastern Dish

  • Instant Pot: Essential for pressure cooking the chicken quickly and efficiently without compromising on flavor.
  • Mixing bowl: Used for combining the marinade ingredients to coat the chicken thighs thoroughly for maximum flavor infusion.

Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma Recipe Guide

This Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma recipe is a quick and delicious way to enjoy the flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine at home. Perfect for a weeknight dinner!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 4 people
Calories 300 kcal


  • Instant Pot


Main Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 0.5 teaspoon black pepper
  • 0.25 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 Juice of 1 lemon


  • In a bowl, mix olive oil, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice to make a marinade.
  • Add chicken thighs to the marinade and coat well. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Place the marinated chicken in the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Once done, allow for a natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then do a quick pressure release.
  • Shred the chicken using two forks.
  • Serve the chicken shawarma in pita bread with your favorite toppings.


Feel free to customize the toppings with your favorite vegetables, sauces, and herbs.


Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 30gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 600mgPotassium: 400mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 50mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Chicken Shawarma, Instant Pot, Quick Dinner
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Tips for Making Chicken Shawarma Ahead of Time

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken as per the recipe instructions and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before cooking.
  • You can cook the marinated chicken in the Instant Pot as needed.

Freezing Instructions

  • Marinate the chicken and place it in a freezer-safe bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw the chicken in the refrigerator overnight before cooking as per the recipe instructions.

Marinating the chicken for longer, ideally overnight, will enhance the flavors of the chicken shawarma even more.

Common Questions About This Instant Pot Recipe

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs for this recipe?
Yes, you can use chicken breasts, but thighs are recommended for more flavor and tenderness.
How can I adjust the spice level to my preference?
You can increase or decrease the amount of cayenne pepper used in the marinade to adjust the spice level.
Can I make this recipe without an Instant Pot?
Yes, you can make this recipe on the stovetop or in the oven, but the cooking times will vary.
How long can I marinate the chicken for?
You can marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours for more intense flavor, but 15 minutes will still give good results.
What are some suggested toppings for the chicken shawarma?
Toppings like tzatziki sauce, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and parsley work well with chicken shawarma.

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