Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma Will Spice Up Your Weeknights

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Air fryer chicken shawarma is a great choice when you are looking for a fun way to shake up dinnertime. Tender, juicy chicken is seasoned with warm spices and piled high on naan bread with creamy tahini sauce and a rainbow of fresh veggies.

The air fryer does all the hard work, giving you a sizzling, aromatic chicken shawarma that is surprisingly easy. Like “busy weeknight” easy. Sure, the ingredient list looks long, but it mainly consists of spices for flavoring the chicken and veggies for the wrap. 

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It is a great meal to prep ahead of time. My family’s favorite thing about this meal is that everyone can customize their shawarma creation, piling on their favorite toppings

In this post, I’ll cover everything from the ingredients to the mouth-watering assembly of your shawarma. Plus, I’ve got some pro tips and answers to all your questions.

I’ve got you covered if you are looking for more internationally inspired air fryer recipes. Try air fryer Kung Pao shrimp, air fryer enchiladas, or air fryer chicken tikka

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

The ingredient list is long, so I will break it into two parts. First, there are the ingredients you need to season and cook the chicken. Then, there is what you need to serve up a shawarma wrap.

Chicken Ingredients

  • Chicken breast
  • Olive oil
  • Garlic
  • Lemon juice: Fresh is always best!
  • Cumin
  • Paprika
  • Ground cloves
  • Turmeric
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For Serving

  • Tahini paste
  • Parsley
  • Naan bread
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Lemon juice
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
chicken shawarma ingredients

🥣How to Make Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma

  1. Take your chicken and slice it into bite-size pieces.
  2. Grab a medium bowl and throw in all those beautiful chicken seasoning ingredients. Mix it up and add the chicken.
  3. You can cook the chicken right away or let the pieces marinate for 30 minutes to overnight. I recommend a little marinating if you have time.
  4. When you are ready to cook, line your air fryer with aluminum foil so the marinade doesn’t all run to the bottom.
  5. Pop your chicken in and cook at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until its internal temperature reaches the sweet spot of 160 degrees F. 
  6. While the chicken is cooking, toss together the lemon tahini sauce ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. Then, chop up the salad ingredients.
  7. Put all the salad ingredients in a small bowl and mix.
  8. To assemble the chicken shawarma, grab your naan bread, slather on that tahini sauce, layer on those succulent chicken slices, and top it off with your fresh salad.
  9. Fold it and enjoy!
Raw chicken pieces marinating in a spicy red sauce in a white bowl on a wooden surface.
Marinate the chicken.
Raw seasoned chicken in foil inside an air fryer basket, ready for cooking.
Air fry for 8-10 minutes.
A bowl of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onions on a wooden table, with a lemon and oil bottle on the side.
Combine the salad ingredients.
A flatbread topped with roasted chicken-spiced vegetables, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, and a dollop of white sauce, served on a wooden cutting board.
Assemble the chicken shawarma.

🍴Serving Ideas

The classic way to serve chicken shawarma is to stuff the spiced chicken into naan or pita bread, drizzle with the lemony tahini sauce, and top with that crisp, vibrant salad. It’s a handheld street food straight from the Mediterranean.

You can also create a Shawarma platter! Lay out all the components separately and let your family or guests build their own. It’s like a taco night but with a Middle Eastern twist. For those who want to be adventurous, you can even throw in some extra toppings like pickles, olives, or a sprinkle of feta cheese.

If you are watching your carbs, ditch the bread and make a shawarma bowl. Start with a quinoa or cauliflower rice base, pile on the chicken, drizzle that sauce, and top with the salad. It’s a fork-friendly option that won’t leave you in a food coma.

💭How to Store

It is best to store the leftover components separately. Store the chicken in an airtight container in the fridge. It’ll stay good for about three to four days, ready to be revived for a quick lunch or a sequel dinner.

The tahini sauce might thicken up a bit in the fridge, so give it a good stir and maybe a splash of water to bring it back to that creamy consistency. It’ll keep in the fridge for about a week, so feel free to use it on other dishes.

The salad, though, is a bit more delicate. It’s best eaten fresh, but if you must save it, keep it in a separate container in the fridge, and it should last a day or so.

And the naan or pita bread? Keep it in a breadbox or a bag on the counter if you’ll eat it within a day or two. Otherwise, you can freeze it for later use. Just wrap it up tightly to avoid freezer burn.

A pita bread sandwich filled with spiced chicken, tomatoes, and cucumbers, served with a side salad on a white plate.


Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • Aim for even thickness in your slices when cutting your chicken so it cooks evenly. 
  • Let that chicken soak up the flavors overnight if you can plan ahead.
  • Give your chicken slices some space in the air fryer. Overcrowding can lead to steaming instead of frying. If your air fryer is small, cook the chicken in batches.
  • You can also buy a jar of shawarma spice blend to simplify your prep.
  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. Prep the chicken, sauce, and salad early in the day and refrigerate. When you are ready to eat, it will take just a few minutes to air fry the chicken and assemble your wraps.

📝Reader Questions

Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts? 

Absolutely! Chicken thighs can be even juicier than breasts and are forgiving if you’re worried about overcooking. 

What if I don’t have an air fryer? 

No worries! You can bake the marinated chicken in the oven. Spread it out on a baking sheet and cook at 425°F for about 20-25 minutes, or until it reaches a safe internal temperature of 160°F.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

The chicken and tahini sauce are gluten-free, but naan and pita typically aren’t. To keep it gluten-free, serve your shawarma over rice, gluten-free flatbread, or go for a shawarma salad bowl.

Can I make the tahini sauce ahead of time? 

Definitely! Whip up the tahini sauce in advance and store it in the fridge. It’s one less thing to do when you’re ready to assemble your shawarma.

How can I make my shawarma spicy? 

If you like heat, add a pinch (or more) of cayenne pepper to the chicken marinade. You can also drizzle your finished shawarma with hot sauce or a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. 

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A close-up of a pita bread sandwich filled with spiced chicken, tomatoes, and green peppers, served on a white plate with a side salad.
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Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma Will Spice Up Your Weeknights

Published By Anne
This air fryer chicken shawarma recipe is a fun, easy weeknight meal packed with flavor. Tender chicken, warm spices, and fresh toppings – all in under 30 minutes!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time8 minutes
Optional marinade time6 hours
Total Time6 hours 23 minutes
Servings: 4
Print Save Rate Pin


For Chicken

  • pounds chicken breast boneless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice from one fresh lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For Lemon Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini paste
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon parsley dried

For Assembling

  • 4 slices naan bread
  • 1 cup tomatoes diced
  • 1 cup cucumber diced
  • 2 tablespoons red onion minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a medium-sized bowl, add all your ingredients for the chicken seasoning. Mix.
    2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon garlic, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cut your chicken into slices.
    1½ pounds chicken breast
  • Add the chicken slices to your chicken seasoning mix. You can cook right away, or you can allow them to marinate. I like to marinate for at least 30 minutes or as long as overnight.
  • When you are ready to cook, line your air fryer with aluminum foil, creating a tray with raised edges to keep in the marinade.
  • Cook at 400 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F.
  • Combine all the ingredients for the tahini sauce in a small mixing bowl and mix until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
    ½ cup tahini paste, 1/3 cup warm water, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon garlic, ¼ teaspoon cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 1/2 teaspoon parsley
  • While your chicken is cooking, add all the salad ingredients to a small bowl, stir, and mix well. Set aside.
    1 cup tomatoes, 1 cup cucumber, 2 tablespoons red onion, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Once your chicken is done cooking, you’re ready to assemble your shawarma.
  • Add lemon tahini sauce and chicken slices, and top with your salad to your pita bread or flatbread.
    4 slices naan bread


  • If you prefer, replace the cumin, paprika, cloves, cinnamon, and turmeric with 2 teaspoons of store-bought shawarma spice blend. 
  • Try to keep the chicken slices uniform so it cooks evenly. 
  • Let that chicken soak up the flavors overnight if you can plan ahead.
  • Don’t overcrowd the air fryer.
  • This is a great make-ahead dinner. Prep the chicken, sauce, and salad early in the day and refrigerate. When you are ready to eat, it will take just a few minutes to air fry the chicken and assemble your wraps.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 583kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 1740mg | Potassium: 1039mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 605IU | Vitamin C: 30mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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A chicken in a pita with fresh vegetables, wrapped in foil, served on a plate alongside a salad and cucumber slices.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

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