Well, you know those greek gyros comprised of a whole bunch of meats sort of combined together into this giant cylindrical slab of meat on a spit? It’s just like that.
But since many of us aren’t exactly finding such cuts of meat and spits in our homes anytime soon, I still felt I could bring a hint of this magnificent dish to the Instant Pot!
Totally unconventional and deviated from a true shawarma (and I’m only focusing on chicken here), it’s the flavor and quality that counts and the way this dish is spiced up and prepared, this isn’t going to sacrifice that one bit!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Spice is nice. Mix together some paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, black pepper, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper.
Blend well and set aside.
Take an onion (as usual)…
…and cut it up longways into thick strands.
Now take a bunch of chicken thighs (and I strongly suggest you use thighs for this as they are especially tender, although breasts will do fine as well, or you can even use beef!)…
…and slice it into strands, removing any excess fat.
Now go to the Instant Pot and toss in some butter…
…a bunch of olive oil…
…and once they’re all heated up…
…add in the onions…
…along with some garlic…
…and let them cook for a few minutes.
Next, add in some garlic broth…
…as well as the chicken.
Then, add in our lovely blend of spices…
…and stir well…
…so everything is now nice and coated with that shawarma spice. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, it will smell absolutely incredible. Now remember, we really made this a spice-infused marinade more than a sauce as most of it is compromised of olive oil, therefore its main purpose was to season and infuse the chicken with that amazing shawarma flavor as it pressure cooks in the pot. So while it’s not necessarily meant to be eaten as a saucy soup, it’s perfectly ideal for drizzling over the shawarma and/or rice and veggies (or my Israeli Couscous)!
Let’s assemble our shawarma! Take a pita (either warmed or not)…
…spread on a hummus of your choice…
…add in a bunch of the chicken shawarma along with some of the amazing spice-infused marinade…
…and top with some thinly sliced red onion, cucumbers and tzatziki!
Wrap it up…
…bring it close to your face…
…show everyone the work of art you’ve just created…
…and make love.
Now your face will likely be a mess as you praise whoever it is you wish to praise. But that’s only because you achieved success. If your face isn’t a mess, you’re not doing it right.
Have another bite…
…and yeah. Admire it. Life is good. Shawarma is better.
Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma
One of my most popular and simple recipes, my spin on middle eastern Chicken Shawarma will have you wrapping the chicken in warm pita (if using) and yourself in hugs.
- 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (yes, I know that’s a lot)
- 2 tbsp of salted butter
- 1 yellow onion, sliced longways into thick wedges
- 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
- 4 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into strips with fat trimmed (thighs are strongly suggested for this recipe due to how tender they are, although breasts will do as well – you can also use some beef round/flank steak and pork tenderloin cut into strips too if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup of garlic broth (I used 1/2 tsp of Garlic Better Than Bouillon + 1/2 cup of water but you can just use 1/2 cup of chicken broth if you don’t have this)
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- 1 tbsp of curry powder
- 1 tbsp of seasoned salt
- 1/2 tbsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 2 tsp of black pepper
- 1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (optional)
For arranging, if desired:
- Pita/flatbread, warmed or room temperature
- Hummus, any of your choice or click here to make mine
- Red onion, sliced into strands
- Cucumber, diced
- Tomatoes, diced
- Tzatziki (click here to make mine)
- Add the butter and olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. Once melted and the oil begins to bubble (or the display reads “Hot”), add in the yellow onion and garlic and cook for about 3-5 minutes
- Next, add in the chicken thighs followed by the paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir well so all the spices are mixed in with everything in the pot
- Then, add in the garlic (or chicken) broth. Stir very well, deglazing/scraping the bottom of the pot
- Secure the lid, hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 7 minutes. Quick release when done. (Note: Remember, we really made this a spice-infused marinade more than a sauce as most of it is compromised of olive oil, therefore its main purpose is to season and infuse the chicken with that amazing shawarma flavor as it pressure cooks in the pot. So while it’s not necessarily meant to be eaten as a saucy soup, it’s perfectly ideal for drizzling over the shawarma and/or rice and veggies when serving. You can also save any remaining infused olive oil, place in a mason jar and pop in the fridge to cook other dishes with in the future!)
- Prepare your shawarma wrap by taking some pita, spreading on some hummus, laying in some chicken and yellow onion, topping with some strands of red onion, diced cucumber and some tzatziki. Top it off by drizzling the incredible spiced-infused oil we cooked our shawarma in over the top. Wrap it together nice and tightly, making sure the bottom is tight (I know). Wrapping the bottom portion in foil may help with any messy drippings
If you want to use beef instead of chicken, use a beef round/flank steak cut into strips like I use in my black pepper beef recipe. OR use some pork tenderloin cut into strips. Cook time remains the same! Or do a mix of chicken, beef AND pork!
Got Shawarma seasoning from some place authentic? Great! Use about 6 tbsp of that instead of all the seasonings listed in the ingredients!
Remember, we really made this a spice-infused marinade more than a sauce as most of it is compromised of olive oil, therefore its main purpose is to season and infuse the chicken with that amazing shawarma flavor as it pressure cooks in the pot. So while it’s not necessarily meant to be eaten as a saucy soup, it’s perfectly ideal for drizzling over the shawarma and/or rice and veggies (or my Israeli Couscous)!
If you have leftovers and pop it in the fridge, you’ll see that due to the nature of the amount of olive oil used, it will congeal very firmly. A simple heating up in the microwave, on the stovetop or on Sauté mode on your Instant Pot will make heat it up nicely!
To that point, you can keep this spice-infused olive oil in the fridge in a jar and use it for cooking other dishes! It’s truly magnificent!
Loved this recipe! I’m going to add some cream to the leftovers and serve it over rice. It was sooooo good! Thank you!
Fantastic! It’s one of my favorite recipes too!
I would actually double most of the spices the next time as my family loves very flavourful food. It was really good and the chicken was super moist (and I used breasts only).
Sooooooo delicious! I added dill pickles as a topping too. Definitely adding this dish to our rotation.
If I cut the amount of chicken in half (2 lbs), do I just halve the spices as well?
I used to halve the spices at first, but found it to be much more flavorful if you use the full amount of the rest of the ingredients. I don’t use any of the peppers though since my toddlers claim to be sensitive to spice lol
Ok so I love this recipe! So delicious. I recently bought both of the cook books and I noticed the recipe is a little different..more cumin and pickles instead of cucumber. Was this intentional? If so are there any other changes to your online recipes in the book?
I love the schwarma, but here’s my plan…substitute Mediterranean ingredients with ras el hanout, harissa, etc. Add carrots and preserved lemons. Make everything else as written. Moroccan chicken tagine! Thoughts/suggestions?
Made this tonight! Amazingly tasty and easy! My house now also smells amazing. Thanks for the recipe 🙂
I can’t wait to try this, we have a local Mediterranean restaurant and the owner makes the best chicken shawarma platter ever. Literally that is the only thing I order from there. Thank you
This is by far the best recipe I’ve had in my Instant Pot. I used 2.75 lbs of chicken and cut the oil down to 2 tbsp. but used the full amount of spices the recipe called for. This was just as good, if not better, as chicken shawarma I’ve had in restaurants.
Any substitute for better than boullion? Don’t think we can get that in Canada. Thanks!
Any broth will do
Costco sells Better Than Bouillon; as well as Walmart. I’m in Ontario; Canada.
We can get it in Canada! Not sure where you’re at but I’ve bought it from most of the big chain grocery stores here in Alberta. 🙂 I always have some on hand.
I get the “food burn” notice when i do this in a 3 quart instant pot. Is it because this is meant to be in a 6 quart? I don’t understand why that would make a difference but i can’t figure out why I’m getting the error. Any advice?
This is a great recipe. Incredibly flavourful. There’s only one thing missing…..usually shawarma has crispy bits (from being turned on a spit). I might try frying some of the leftovers.
Terrific meal. Thank you for creating and sharing this delicious recipe. I can always count on you for home run meals!
Compromised? I think you mean comprised.
When using the Better Than Bouillon products in a pressure cooker, can you just add tge water and boullion concentrate or do you still need to heat the water and mix them?
Would love to cook this for my daughter. Unfortunately she is allergic to butter. Is it okay to leave out the butter? Your reply will be greatly appreciated.
Yeah, this just rendered the restaurant up the street obsolete. Well done, sir!
Is there any replacement for humus – just not a fan!?
Can I do bone-in chicken thighs? I am too lazy to de-bone and cut up the thigh meat.
How long should the cooking time be for bone-in thighs?
Question: can this recipe be halved, and if so, how would that affect the cooking procedure? Or, can cooker portions of the meat be frozen?
Made this for a friend from Jordan. He approved.
Well THAT’S a high compliment!
I’d like to make this recipe but cut it in half. Any suggestions on cutting the cook time or?
Same cook time!