This bold Instant Pot chicken shawarma recipe is easy to throw together with thighs. Serve inside pita bread as gyros for a great pressure cooker dinner.
Tried Instant Pot chicken shawarma yet? Never heard of it? Just think of the most flavorful shredded chicken thighs with TONS of flavor x100. I bet you want to try this easy InstaPot recipe now huh? 😉
Let’s start with a few basic tips:
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- For reference, this is the pressure cooker I have and use for all recipe creations.
- If you’ve never heard of this unique Middle Eastern style of chicken don’t worry!
- I didn’t try it until a few years ago but when I did I was addicted and needed to make it at home.
- Since I love having a large variety of easy Instant Pot chicken recipes on hand, I went to experimenting.
What type of chicken should you use for this? I personally use breasts or thighs and enjoy both. It really depends on what I have on hand, or what is on sale at the time.
Of course chicken thighs are much more moist and typically cheaper so I usually use that. They have so much more flavor in the dark meat.
This dish is part of Middle Eastern cuisine where meat is cut into thin slices, and traditionally roasted on a rotisserie. We will make ours in a pressure cooker though. 😉
Originally made of lamb, now people use chicken, turkey or beef.
It just means that when serving, it is put into a flat bread or Naan instead of a plate. It’s an excellent way to hold all the “goodies” together.
The sauce is the key to this recipe though. It brings chicken to a new level of deliciousness.
Types of chicken you could use would be chicken thighs or chicken breasts. Thighs are my go to with a ton more flavor and so tender so let’s go from there.
What differentiates this easy chicken recipe from any other are the bold flavors. Did I say BOLD flavors???
Since you’re making it in your pressure cooker it cooks quickly too. Yes you can use your Ninja Foodi or Crockpot Express too. Any brand works y’all. Before making your shredded chicken you’ll need to make this marinade.
- Lemon juice
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Garlic minced
- Cardamom – ground
You’ll want a gallon freezer bag so it won’t leak out on to your fridge shelf. That’s no fun. It is best if you leave it there overnight so it really soaks up and gets an overwhelming fabulous flavor.
Boneless skinless chicken is my preference so it can really soak in.
Time needed: 30 minutes.
Chicken Shawarma pita
- Pound chicken
Use a mallet on each piece of chicken so it is thin and will marinate well.
- Make chicken marinade
Combine ingredients in a freezer bag, then add the chicken and remove all the air. Zip closed and set into your fridge overnight.
- Pressure cook
Add a cup of water into your inner pot. Lower down a vegetable steamer basket and remove the chicken from your baggie. Set in steamer basket or large trivet to cook. Set to high pressure for 30 minutes cooking time followed by a quick release.
- Make garlic sauce
Mix together ingredients for creamy sauce to serve on top of your meat. Cut chicken into bite size pieces or shred. Serve inside pita bread or on top of rice.
How do you assemble a Shawarma? It’s up to you but typically the meat goes in first, followed by toppings, then a sauce on top. Serve like a taco or cone and enjoy.
Toppings may include:
- Sliced onions
Looking for other easy Instant Pot recipes? We have a TON on The Typical Mom blog like Instant Pot chicken and potatoes: 15 minute Instant Pot tacos, pressure cooker carnitas are to die for, and tips if you have frozen chicken.
Printable recipe with nutritional information such as saturated fat content etc. is below.
Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma
- 8 chicken thighs boneless skinless
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 2 tbsp garlic minced
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp cardamom ground
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 c green yogurt whole milk version
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp garlic
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1/8 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- Use a kitchen mallet to thin out the chicken thighs, this will make them more tender when cooking. Put them into a large gallon size ziploc bag.
- Put other ingredients for marinade (above the word sauce) in a bowl and mix well, then pour into your bag with chicken and zip closed.
- Massage and mix so chicken is coated. Leave in fridge overnight for best results.
- Put a trivet or vegetable steamer basket inside your pressure cooker and pour 1 cup of water into the pot.
- Put chicken on the trivet and set to high pressure for 30 minutes (times will vary slightly depending on how thick your thighs still are, but this works well for us). Then do a quick release.
- Remove chicken and shred/slice. Put into pita bread with tomatoes, onions, etc…
- Mix ingredients for sauce and top, enjoy!