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Chicken Shawarma Gyros

This chicken shawarma gyro recipe features tender, Middle Eastern spiced chicken tucked into soft pita wraps and topped with tangy tzatziki. It’s a restaurant-style meal that you can make at home!

Overhead view of 3 chicken shawarma gyros with small bowl of tzatziki

If you’re in a dinnertime rut and find yourself making the same chicken recipes again and again, these chicken shawarma gyros are here to spice up your routine—literally! A well-stocked spice rack comes in handy here, because you’ll be making your own shawarma seasoning blend to infuse your chicken with warm, smoky, earthy flavors. 

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Shawarma Gyro

  • Flavorful. There is something magical about the blend of spices in this dish. They add depth and complexity, and your kitchen will smell incredible as the chicken bakes.
  • Easy. The hardest part is getting all the spice jars out of the pantry! Everything else is practically effortless, making these chicken shawarma gyros perfect for a weeknight dinner.
  • Versatile. There are lots of ways to switch up this recipe, and you can also use the chicken shawarma in meal bowls, salads, and more.
Overhead view of chicken shawarma gyro on plate, with one end folded

What Is Chicken Shawarma?

Shawarma is a staple at Middle Eastern restaurants—you’ve probably seen it cooking on spits behind the counter. The spiced meat is sliced off and tucked into pitas or served over rice. 

This chicken shawarma recipe takes all of the flavors of shawarma and transforms it into a convenient sheet pan dinner. (You know, just in case you don’t have a vertical spit in your kitchen!) The meat is tender, juicy, and flavorful, and you can use it in so many ways.

Here, we use it to make chicken gyros. While the chicken bakes in the oven, whip up a batch of creamy tzatziki sauce, heat the pitas, and prep your toppings. 

Ingredients to make Chicken Shawarma Gyros.

What You’ll Need

Here’s everything you need to make a chicken shawarma gyro. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the specific quantities for all the ingredients. 

For the Chicken Shawarma

  • Spices – I season my chicken with a Middle Eastern spice blend of cumin, smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, and ginger, plus salt and pepper. It's easy to make at home if you have the spices, or you can pick up a packet of shawarma seasoning from the store.
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – You can substitute chicken breast if you prefer, but I like using thighs because they’re juicier when baked.
  • Olive oil – You can substitute another oil if needed. Oil helps the spices adhere to the chicken, and gets the outside nice and seared while it bakes.

For the Homemade Tzatziki

  • Greek yogurt – Use plain Greek yogurt, or any plain yogurt.
  • Fresh dill – You can also use dried dill in a pinch.
  • Olive oil – Or another mild-flavored oil, like avocado oil.
  • Cucumber – Try to find a seedless cucumber, and slice it up paper-thin.

To Assemble

  • Pita – You can choose pita with pockets, then cut them in half and stuff them, or pocketless pita and use them as wraps. Feel free to swap pita bread for any flat bread you prefer, or a gluten-free alternative.
  • Toppings – I like the classic, crunchy combination of fresh cucumber and red onion in my gyros. You can also garnish these shawarma wraps with hummus, pickled onions, cherry tomatoes, or any toppings you'd like.

How to Make Chicken Shawarma

Here are the steps to prepare your homemade shawarma chicken and then turn it into a filling and flavor-packed gyro. Scroll down to the recipe card for printable instructions.

Side-by-side photo of seasonings in glass bowl, one before and one after whisking
Make the seasoning blend.
  • Make the seasoning blend. Whisk the sea salt, ground black pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, and ginger in a small bowl.
Two side-by-side photos of chicken in bowl with seasoning, before and after mixing
Season the chicken.
  • Season the chicken. Next, toss the chicken with the olive oil and spice mix in a large bowl, making sure it’s evenly coated.
Two side-by-side photos of chicken shawarma on sheet pan, with one uncooked and the other cooked
Arrange on a baking sheet and bake.
  • Bake. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on a lined baking sheet and bake at 425ºF for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Next, we'll put it altogether in an easy homemade chicken gyro.
Overhead view of sliced chicken shawarma on cutting board with knife

Assemble a Chicken Gyro

With your shawarma chicken cooked and ready, here's how to make a chicken gyro:

  • Slice up the chicken. Let the baked chicken rest for 5 minutes, and then slice it into thin strips.
  • Make the tzatziki. Whisk the first three tzatziki ingredients in a mixing bowl, then fold in the cucumber.
  • Serve. Divide the chicken onto 4 pita rounds, then top with the tzatziki, more cucumber, and red onion.
Overhead view of chicken shawarma gyro on parchment paper, with plate of chicken and toppings

Recipe Tips and Variations

See? Quick and easy! Here are some final tips, plus some easy recipe variations to keep in mind.

  • Let the chicken rest. Doing so allows the juices to reabsorb into the chicken, rather than running out when you cut it. 
  • Use good-quality pita bread. Nothing ruins a gyro like dry bread! Be sure to pick up some fresh pita at your local bakery; if you live near a Middle Eastern restaurant, you might be able to buy some there, too.
  • Tame the red onion, if needed. Not a fan of strong onion flavor? After slicing the onion, soak it in ice cold water; this will cut some of its bite.
  • Dairy-free. To make this recipe dairy-free, you can substitute the Greek yogurt for your favorite plant-based yogurt, or use tahini sauce.
  • Gluten-free. For a gluten-free version, wrap your chicken gyros in my gluten-free flour tortillas, quinoa tortillas, or quinoa flour naan.

Serving Suggestions

Chicken gyros are always a hit. They're great on their own, or you can pair your wraps with a side of crispy potatoes or chips and hummus for a satisfying lunch or light meal. There are plenty of other ways to use chicken shawarma, too. I'll add the chicken slices to a Moroccan quinoa salad or saffron Middle Eastern quinoa salad, or use them as a topping for a hearty quinoa bowl. Get creative!

Three chicken shawarma gyros lined up on plate with scattered fronds of dill

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

  • Refrigerate. A chicken shawarma gyro is best eaten fresh, but any leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  • Reheat. Reheat the chicken in a skillet over medium heat with a splash of broth to keep it moist, or warm it in the microwave before serving.

Can I Freeze Chicken Shawarma?

The chicken shawarma can be frozen in a zip-top bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Let it defrost in the refrigerator before reheating according to the instructions above.

More Easy Chicken Recipes

Chicken Shawarma Gyro

This easy chicken shawarma gyro recipe has juicy, Middle Eastern spiced chicken tucked into a soft pita wrap with tangy tzatziki.
author: Alyssa
yield: 4 servings
Overhead view of 3 chicken shawarma gyros with small bowl of tzatziki
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes


For the chicken shawarma

For the tzatziki

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ large cucumber , cut into paper-thin slices (I like to use a mandolin)

To assemble

  • 4 pieces of pita
  • ½ English cucumber , cut into paper-thin slices
  • 1 small red onion , cut into paper-thin slices


  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Make the seasoning. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the sea salt, ground black pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, and ginger
  • Season the chicken. In a large bowl, toss together the chicken, olive oil, and spice mix. Mix thoroughly to coat the chicken.
  • Bake. Arrange the chicken in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Rest. Allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before slicing it into thin strips.
  • Make the tzatziki. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, dill, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Fold in the cucumber.
  • Assemble. Divide the chicken, tzatziki, cucumber, and red onion between 4 pieces of pita and enjoy taco style.


Serving: 1gyro | Calories: 532kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1007mg | Potassium: 622mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 379IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 152mg | Iron: 3mg
cuisine: Middle Eastern
course: Entree

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