Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma - pita with white sauce, chicken, salad greens, halved cherry yellow and red tomatoes on parchment placed on a large white plate with French fries and white sauce and folded shawarma

Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: chicken, instant pot, shawarma
Main Ingredient: chicken
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 377kcal
Author: Paint the Kitchen Red
Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma requires very little hands-on time and delivers a delicious punch of bold flavor.   Serve in a pita or flatbread or as part of a rice bowl, with hummus, garlic or tahini sauce, hot sauce, pickled baby cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes.
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Chicken Shawarma

Garlic Sauce / White Sauce

  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or whole milk yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1/8 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp garlic minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper chopped finely (optional)


Chicken Shawarma

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine coriander, cumin, paprika, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, salt, lemon juice, yogurt, and garlic.
  • Add chicken to the marinade and stir. Refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight if you have the time.
  • Transfer chicken to Instant Pot inner pot.
  • Add bay leaves and stir to combine. Close the lid and pressure cook for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally.  If you're in a hurry, do a 10 minute natural pressure release (NPR)  i.e. allow the pressure to release naturally for  10 minutes, and release remaining pressure using quick release (QR).
  • Stir chicken and sauce.
  • Transfer chicken to a serving dish using a slotted spoon, draining well.
  • Optional: heat oil in a frying pan or cast iron skillet. Saute the chicken till lightly browned, adding some of the sauce to deglaze and keep the chicken moist.

Garlic Sauce / White Sauce

  • Combine all ingredients for garlic sauce / white sauce in a medium bowl.
  • Whisk together until smooth and set aside.

Chicken Shawarma Assembly

  • If necessary, lightly heat the pita to make it pliable
  • Spread garlic sauce/white sauce on the pita
  • Add lettuce and tomatoes
  • Add your choice of optional toppings
  • Add chicken on top
  • Garnish with chopped parsley



  • This recipe was tested with a 6 quart Instant Pot. 
  • Instead of using lettuce and tomatoes, try substituting this Mediterranean Salad.
  • See the blog post for more detailed recipe tips


Serving: 1pita sandwich | Calories: 377kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 441mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g