Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma is so easy and delicious! Chicken thighs are quickly dry brined and seasoned, with a homemade shawarma spice blend, before being popped in the air fryer. Use this juicy flavorful chicken shawarma in a wrap, salad or rice bowl! Serves 4 to 6 depending.
Chicken Shawarma Anything Is a favorite in our home.
Last summer I shared a grilled version. Years ago, an oven-baked recipe… and today? We’re making delicious, healthy and easy chicken shawarma in the air fryer. From there the sky’s the limit. You can enjoy it as is with turmeric or saffron rice, build a rice bowl, or slice it and tuck it into wraps or top a salad. In this post, I also included a simple how-to on pulling together the best chicken shawarma wrap and salad.
Note: The day I made this (and shot the photos) I was making a double batch to use throughout the week, however the recipe is written (within the post and recipe card) is for 1 batch.
To Make Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma you Will Need:
- boneless skinless chicken thighs – Lends more flavor than white meat. Thigh meat is tender and moist without being overly fatty or oily.
- kosher salt – Draws out flavor and will season the chicken.
- shawarma seasoning – Homemade Shawarma Seasoning is a blend of 13 warm and robust ground spices and dried herbs.
Add boneless skinless chicken thighs to a large bowl and sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of each piece.
Set off to the side for 25 to 30 minutes. This method is call dry brining.
WHAT IS DRY BRINING?
Dry brining is a quick way to brine meat without going through the whole rigamarole of making a wet brine. In a nutshell? It’s salting your meat and let it rest before cooking. Which is great when you’re short on time because meat can soak in a wet brine for hours! Dry brining works by drawing out moisture, breaking down the salt and then the chicken reabsorbs the salty “brine”, not only seasoning the meat throughout but also tenderizing it as well. Dry brining does not dry your chicken out whatsoever. Instead, dry brining will yield juicy tender chicken every single time. Just as long as you don’t overcook your chicken. 😉
After 30 minutes, measure and add 1 generous tablespoon of shawarma seasoning.
What’s In Shawarma Seasoning?
This Homemade Shawarma Seasoning is a blend of 13 warm and robust ground spices and dried herbs. These spices include; allspice, garlic powder, white pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, cardamom, cumin, chili powder, paprika, smoked paprika, oregano and turmeric. You can use this spice blend in marinades or to season your favorite protein, vegetables, soups and stews. Yields just under 1 cup.
Toss to coat the chicken thighs in the spice blend.
Preheat your air fryer to 390° or 400° depending on your make and model.
What Is Air Frying?
- An air fryer is a counter top appliance that requires less oil (anything from a few spritz to 1 tablespoon) yet produces crispy food that rivals most deep fried foods. By using circulating hot air, it moves at a high speed so the food tends to cook in a fraction of the time.
- There are a bunch of different makes and models of air fryers. My husband did the research (as he’s known to do) and found this air fryer [affiliate] to be one of the best. But do your research and purchase one that fits your lifestyle.
How is Air Frying Healthier?
- Air frying is healthier because only a thin layer of oil coats the food and when the hot air comes in contact it will crisp. Saving you a ton of fat and calories (without sacrificing any flavor!) because food is not being submerged in a vat of hot oil.
- Keep in mind, not all air fryers are equal. Some preheat and some do not. Some are smaller than others therefore you may need to work in smaller batches to air fry.
For more Air Fryer recipes, click here for my growing collection.
I line my air fryer insert with parchment paper specifically made for air fryers. If using parchment paper, make sure it’s meant for the air fryer and never preheat your air fryer with only the parchment paper inside.
Work in batches cooking the chicken thighs for 6 minutes, turning and continue air-frying for 5 minutes more or until fully cooked.
Once all of the chicken is cooked, transfer to a cutting board and let rest before thinly slicing.
Build A Chicken Shawarma Wrap:
Start by warming a pita or lavash. In the center add the garlic sauce (aka toum) and spread it down the middle of your wrap before topping with spoonfuls of turmeric rice. Next arrange the sliced shawarma chicken, thinly sliced pickles (Claussen pickles are the BEST!), roma tomatoes and pickled red onions or use raw red onion.
Build A Chicken Shawarma Salad:
Add your favorite salad greens to a bowl. Top with some turmeric rice, cherry tomatoes, a spoonful of garlic sauce, sliced pickles, pickled red onion, kalamata olives and chicken shawarma. I also like to add sweet potato fries to my salad if I have them. Drizzle with this simple lemon tahini dressing (omit the garlic in the dressing if using toum) and top with freshly ground black pepper.
Grab a fork and dig in!
Looking for a Chicken Shawarma Rice Bowl? Click Here!
Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 1¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more as needed
- 1 tablespoon chicken shawarma seasoning
- Add boneless skinless chicken thighs to a large bowl and sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of each piece.
- Set off to the side for 25 to 30 minutes. This method is call dry brining, you can read more about it in the post.
- Preheat your air fryer to 390° or 400° depending on your make and model.
- Add 1 generous tablespoon of shawarma seasoning and toss well to coat.
- Work in batches cooking the chicken thighs for 6 minutes, turning and continue air-frying for 5 minutes more or until fully cooked.
- Once all of the chicken is cooked, transfer to a cutting board to rest for a few minutes before thinly slicing.
- Serve as is or in wraps, salads and rice bowls.
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