Chicken Shawarma in your Instant pot or Air Fryer

Instant Pot or Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma

Eating out can be amazing! It can also be very expensive. We have spent a lot of time researching our favorite meals and learning how to adapt them for our family. Chicken Shawarma in the Instant Pot took several months to perfect, but we finally landed at a recipe that we all love. Additionally, you can cook this in the Air Fryer which makes it very adaptable to the appliances you have available.

Why Chicken Shawarma in Your Instant Pot?

There are not many people (or kitchens!) that have the space to house a slow turning rotisserie. Something that you will often see at restaurants when you order Chicken Shawarma. The Instant Pot provides and excellent alternative that is both space friendly and time friendly.

Why Chicken Shawarma in Your Air Fryer?

Alternatively, the Air Fryer will provide the same success as the Instant Pot (and avoid the need for the rotisserie). However, utilizing the Air Fryer for your chicken could prevent you from being able to add french fries to your meal. Something that we will not go without on Shawarma night!

Tzatziki Sauce for a Perfect Meal

You might recall that I created the perfect Tzatziki sauce when I created my Air Fryer Gyros. It was a huge success and I copy-pasted for this recipe as well. An important thing to remember is sauce can make the meal, so always test your sauce prior to adding to your dinner. Adjust as needed to make it perfect for YOU!

Instant Pot or Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
Instant Pot or Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
Instant Pot or Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma

Incredible Chicken Shawarma You Can Make in Your Instant Pot or Air Fryer

An incredibly flavorful and super delicious chicken shawarma in your instant pot or air fryer. Shawarma's flavor is quite extensive and is very easy to over do. It's no fun tasting a shawarma flavor that is a little off all night. We've been making little changes here and there to our recipe for just under a year now and I believe we have finally nailed it! It comes out ridiculously tender in the instant pot with plenty of flavor to take you straight to shawarma town. The Air Fryer will deliver a more traditional grilled chicken texture with the same great shawarma flavor.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Calories: 392kcal
Author: David Wayne
Cost: $12

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker
  • Air Fryer

Ingredients

  • 2.5 – 3 lbs Chicken Thighs boneless and skinless
  • 1 cup Water or Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp Chicken Bouillon if using water not chicken broth

Rub

  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice fresh
  • 1 Tbsp Granulated Garlic garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Peppers
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Allspice
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Cloves

Instructions

  • Mix rub ingredients together in a medium small bowl
  • Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon
  • Add 2 Tbsp of lemon juice to a gallon size ziploc bag or large mixing bowl
  • Add boneless skinless chicken thighs to the bowl with lemon juice and mix chicken around to cover the thighs completely in lemon juice
  • Add rub mix to the chicken thighs and mix together very well to completely cover all surface area of the chicken thighs with the rub
  • Seal the zip lock bag or cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (we let ours sit for about 6 hours)

Instant Pot Cooking Method

  • Add 1 tsp of chicken bouillon and 1 cup of water (or use chicken broth instead) to the instant pot
  • Place the shawarma rubbed chicken thighs into the instant pot in the broth (pile them in there)
  • Put the instant pot lid on and seal the pressure release valve
  • Pressure cook for 15 minutes with a 10 minute natural pressure release
  • After the 10 minute natural pressure release, open the pressure release valve to release the pressure and remove the lid
  • Carefully remove the tender chicken shawarma chicken thighs and let them rest on a plate for 5-10 minutes

Air Fryer Cooking Method

  • Preheat your air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes
  • Spray the basket with olive oil or avocado oil
  • Place chicken thighs into the air fryer basket leaving enough room for air to circulate between them
  • You will have to do them in batches if they all do not fit
  • Air Fry at 300°F for 20 minutes for boneless and 30 minutes for bone in chicken thighs
  • Flip the chicken thighs after 15 minutes, spray with oil and finish cooking
  • Check the temperature of the thighs to make sure they are 165°F at the thickest part of the biggest thigh
  • You can put them in for a couple more minutes if they are not done but remember everybody's air fryer works just a little bit differently so just make sure not to overcook or undercook your chicken thighs
  • Move the chicken thighs to a plate to rest for 5 minutes

Instructions

  • Rip the chicken thighs apart with two forks and serve in a warm pita bread or tortilla with fresh green lettuce, thick slices of roma tomatoes, and thin sliced red or sweet onions
  • Top with Tzatziki Sauce and enjoy!
  • We have a great recipe for my favorite Tzatziki Sauce, hit the link

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcal

The Final Touches

We opted to make burritos with our Chicken Shawarma, however there are plenty of additional options with this flexible meal. Such as:

  • Put on top of salad
  • Fold into warm pita bread,
  • Put it over steamed vegetables
  • Or on top of a mound of rice
  • Mix in with some pasta
  • Spooned over some french fries
  • Or, a mixture of the above!

Don’t forget the tzatziki sauce on top.  Yum! 

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