Chicken Shawarma Sandwich with Garlic Sauce

I’m excited to share a deeeelicious new recipe with you! I think this is one of my husband’s favorite things I’ve made (maybe ever) … at least based on how many times he said how much he liked it, LOL.

These hot Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches with Garlic Sauce (inspired by a local restaurant—more on that below) are definitely being added to the top of the list the next time I can cook for friends. It’s a great recipe that you can mostly prep ahead so you aren’t glued to the stove for too long when entertaining!

Chicken Shawarma on 100 Days of Real Food

Sponsor Shoutout: Farmer Focus Organic Chicken

I used Farmer Focus organic chicken tenders for this recipe and, I have to say, I don’t normally cook with chicken tenders but they were the perfect for this dish. The tenders were the ideal size so all I had to do was slide them into a bag and pour the marinade on top. Easy peasy. And since I’m all about skipping unnecessary steps, especially when it comes to not having to deal with raw chicken (and the dirty cutting board + knife), I’ll take it!

We’ve been partnering with Farmer Focus organic chicken this past year because we love how their operation is 100% organic from start to finish—and how they care about their farmers, which means better working conditions, and in the end, a better product. I’ve noticed organic chicken seems to be easier to get your hands on (vs. conventional) with the meat shortage many of us are dealing with right now.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, they now have a Farm ID on every package so you can see the farmer who raised your food! If you can’t make it to your farmers’ market for locally sourced meat, this is definitely the next best option. They have all different cuts of chicken aside from tenders (including everything from whole to bone-in thighs to boneless chicken breasts) so definitely look for it next time you’re at the store!

Recipe Inspiration

This dish is inspired by a restaurant here in Charlotte called Kabab-Je that serves authentic Lebanese Cuisine. It’s a popular lunch spot with my girlfriends, and I have missed being able to do things like that, so I decided to try making this yummy hot sandwich at home!

I think the end result turned out pretty authentic and close to what they serve. I’m happy to have this recipe now to help hold us over until we can go out to restaurants again. I have sure missed the occasional meal out!

Chicken Shawarma on 100 Days of Real Food

I would also suggest pairing this recipe with a Traditional Greek Salad for a perfect outdoor lunch or dinner.

Chicken Shawarma on 100 Days of Real Food

Chicken Shawarma Sandwich with Garlic Sauce

These warm Chicken Shawarma Sandwiches with Garlic Sauce were inspired by my favorite Lebanese restaurant, are easy to make, and have authentic flavor.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Marinade: 12 hrs
Total Time: 12 hrs 30 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 6 sandwiches


For the Chicken + Marinade

For the Garlic Sauce

  • 1 head garlic peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt

For Assembly

  • 6 whole-wheat pitas
  • butter or olive oil (for toasting the pitas)
  • thinly sliced pickles (or sandwich slices)


For the chicken and marinade

  • Put the chicken in a zip-top bag and set aside. Using a mini food processor, hand immersion blender, or small blender jar (such as magic bullet) puree the lemon juice, garlic, oil, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and oregano. (This is not enough marinade to easily work in a large blender or food processor.) Pour over the chicken and massage to coat, seal, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add a teaspoon or two of the olive oil to the pan and, using tongs, remove the chicken from the marinade and add to the hot pan. Cook in batches until golden brown and cooked all the way through (no longer pink in the middle), about 4 to 5 minutes per side.

For the garlic sauce

  • Using a mini food processor, hand immersion blender, or small blender jar (such as magic bullet), puree the garlic, oil, lemon, and salt until smooth. (This is not enough sauce to easily work in a large blender or food processor.) BRIEFLY pulse in the yogurt to help thicken the sauce. If you blend the yogurt too much it will just thin out again (see notes).

For assembly

  • Heat a little butter or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the pitas until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
  • Spoon a generous helping of garlic sauce down the middle of each pita, top with a pickle slice, and add chicken (our chicken tenders were on the smaller side and I put two in each pita). Pull up both sides and wrap parchment paper around, twisting the excess on the bottom, to keep the sandwich in place and serve warm.


If you accidentally end up with a thin sauce you can just pulse or even stir in extra yogurt to fix it. If you make the sauce in advance and it separates, simply follow this same fix to bring it back to life.
We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Shawarma Sandwich with Garlic Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 51mg17%
Sodium 639mg28%
Potassium 488mg14%
Carbohydrates 37g12%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 207IU4%
Vitamin C 18mg22%
Calcium 61mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, your cost will be the same but 100 Days of Real Food will automatically receive a small commission. Your support is greatly appreciated and helps us spread our message!

27 thoughts on “Chicken Shawarma Sandwich with Garlic Sauce”

  1. The chicken was amazing and we all loved it, but I was the only one in my family who would eat the garlic sauce because it was way too strong of a raw garlic flavor. I regretted eating the sauce later that night when garlic was all I could taste for hours and hours (and I’m sure you could smell me from a mile away). I wish I had read the comments and used maybe 3-4 cloves instead of the whole head. The flavors were very good and I will definitely make it again, using only a 1/4 of the garlic in the sauce.

  2. Rebekah Sherwood

    5 stars
    We really enjoyed this recipe. We used sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts because we had them on hand. I only got to marinade for about 5 hours but it was still delicious. Also we had about 6 medium garlic cloves so that’s what went into the garlic sauce. We love garlic and that was plenty for us. We served it with the Greek salad. Definitely going on our rotation to make again! Thanks for the yummy recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Delicious! My whole family (minus the vegetarian tween) loved it! Thanks for all the amazing recipes :).

  4. My whole family and I LOVED this recipe! My daughter and a friend ate it again in a sleepover fridge raid the same night! :)

    Going to make it again soon!
    And absolutely the cast iron is key to the caramelization of the chicken!

  5. 5 stars
    This was excellent!! My whole family loved it and asked me to save the recipe. My husband has been to Lebanon twice and said this is the closest recipe he’s had to the real deal, and that the garlic sauce was spot on!

  6. 5 stars
    Definitely a winner! I didn’t have pitas so I served it with Romaine lettuce leaves, a tomato and cucumber salad and couscous.

  7. 5 stars
    This was so yummy! Followed the recipe as written and it was fantastic, I think the cast iron skillet is key.

  8. I loved the spices for the chicken! Very tasty and I made a vegetarian version with chickpeas. However, the sauce has such a pungent raw garlic flavor that I had to throw it out as I only tasted garlic for the day after. Did you mean a whole head of garlic vs a few cloves? Was it supposed to be roasted or raw?

    1. I was going to make this and was worried about that exact thing. Do you think roasting the garlic would help or just cut back on amount?

    2. 100 Days Admin

      Hi Karin, the whole head of garlic for the sauce. No need to roast. Just peel, crush, and blend with the rest of the ingredients. – Nicole

  9. I like most of your recipes and this sounds yummy. Most of our Seattle area restaurants (even a few high end 5star) have switched to take home. Can’t you support Kabab-Je that way so they can stay in business?! You could also buy a gift certificate perhaps to support them.

  10. This looks wonderful – I was going to make it for dinner until I saw the restaurant is in Charlotte, and now I think I’ll be ordering from there tonight instead :)


    Hi Lisa,
    Can you tell me what kind and brand of pickles you use? My son has been eating Shawarma lately and I’d love to surprise him with this. I don’t want to mess it up with the wrong pickles as I’m not familiar with what would be authentic to this sandwich.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating