4.9 from 37 votes
Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma
Prep Time
1 hr 35 mins
Cook Time
18 mins
Total Time
1 hr 53 mins

This Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma will blow your mind! Try my easy and popular chicken shawarma recipe now in an instant pot with an amazing garlic sauce. Better than takeout and ready in no time.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Servings: 8
Calories: 678 kcal
Author: Joanna Cismaru
Chicken Shawarma
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 4 lbs chicken thighs boneless and skinless
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Garlic Sauce
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 egg white*
  • 1 tsp salt
Chicken Shawarma Wraps
Chicken Shawarma
  1. Add the olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, garlic, pepper, salt and onions to a ziploc bag, then add the chicken thighs. Seal the bag and shake it well to mix the ingredients. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 1 hour. The flavours develop better the longer you leave them. 

  2. Transfer the chicken into your Instant Pot. Mix to ensure even coverage. Close the lid (follow the manufacturer's guide for instructions on how to close the instant pot lid). Set the Instant Pot to the Manual setting and set the timer to 8 minutes on high pressure.

  3. Once the Instant Pot cycle is complete, wait until the natural release cycle is complete, should take about 15 minutes. Follow the manufacturer's guide for quick release, if in a rush. Carefully unlock and remove the lid from the instant pot. Remove the chicken using a slotted spoon.

  4. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and sear them for about 1 to 2 minutes per side just until they start to brown. You may have to do this in a couple batches. This step is optional if you want to get a crispier chicken.

Garlic Sauce
  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Refrigerate leftover sauce.

Chicken Shawarma Wraps
  1. To assemble the chicken shawarma wraps, warm up the pitas for 20 seconds to soften them. Spread a tbsp each of garlic sauce and hummus over the middle of the pita. Top with chicken, greek salad, garnish with parsley, and more sauce if desired. 

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

Note: In the video I forgot to add the onion to the marinade, so we ended up caramelizing some onion in some of the liquid left in the instant pot after the chicken was done.


Chicken breast can also be used instead of the thighs with the same cooking time.


* If you are unsure whether or not you want to consume raw egg white because of risk of Salmonella in raw eggs which can cause food poisoning, make a different type of sauce with just yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and salt. However, the risk of an egg being contaminated from raw egg is quite low. This used to be a problem over 20 years ago, but since then improvements have been made in the processing of eggs, leading to fewer Salmonella cases. 


You can also omit the raw egg white, just add the oil little by little to the blender until it thickens and should have the consistency of mayonnaise.


Total time include time required to marinate the chicken and the time required for the Instant pot to start and release pressure.


Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.


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