Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma

As a parent, there are definitely nights after school when I simply don’t have the time to spend creating a healthy meal from scratch (or times I really just don’t feel like it). In the interest of not blowing our budget or eating junk food, I always try to keep a batch of this slow cooker shawarma in our freezer. The night before a busy day I’ll put it into the fridge, so that when I get home I can pop it into the oven under the broiler, make a quick salad, and have an easy – and still healthy meal for the family.

I would not recommend substituting chicken breast for thighs in this recipe, only because they have a tendency to come out really dry. You’re cooking them twice – once in your slow cooker, then reheating under the broiler, and breast meat just tends to get stringy and unpleasant. I serve rolled up in lavash bread with hummus, salad, pickles, and hot sauce, but you can even serve it wrapped in a flour tortilla if that’s what you have on hand – or over a salad or bowl of homemade hummus. If you have commercial shawarma seasoning on hand, you can use that – though I’ve also included my own recipe – the recipe below will give you more than enough for at least three batches of shawarma.

Slow Cooker Shawarma

Keep a portion of this in your freezer, and defrost before a busy day for a quick, flavourful dinner.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time6 hours
Reheating Time20 minutes
Total Time6 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: chicken, shawarma
Servings: 4 people
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • Slow Cooker / Crockpot


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 to 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 Tbsp shawarma seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 1 tsp salt


Slow Cooker:

  • Set slow cooker to low heat for six hours. Place your olive oil and chicken thighs in the slow cooker. Sprinkle with the shawarma spice and salt and cook.
  • After six hours, allow the chicken to cool and then pull apart into bite-sized pieces. Place in the freezer for later, or for immediate use go to the next step.
  • If putting in the freezer, add a few spoonfuls of the cooking liquid to your storage container with the chicken – this will help it stay moist when reheated, though it's not necessary if you're putting it under the broiler immediately.


  • Defrost the shawarma overnight. If cold from the fridge – place on a foil lined baking sheet into a 350°F (175°C) oven for 10 minutes. Once warmed, move the chicken closer to the broiler, then broil for an additional 5-10 minutes until slightly charred and crispy.

Shawarma Spice Blend

Make a kebab-shop worthy shawarma yourself at home with this shawarma spice blend.
Prep Time2 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Keyword: seasoning, shawarma, spices
Author: The Elegant Economist


  • 2 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns (or ground)
  • 1 Tbsp white peppercorns (or ground)
  • 2 Tbsp allspice berries (or ground)
  • 2 medium cinnamon sticks (or 1 Tbsp ground)
  • 4-6 blades of mace (or nutmeg, or 1 Tbsp ground)
  • 1 Tbsp cardamom (green), seeds (or 1 Tbsp ground)
  • ½ Tbsp chili powder (or chipotle powder)
  • ½ Tbsp Aleppo pepper (optional)
  • ½ Tbsp dried marjoram (or oregano)
  • ½ tsp cloves, whole (or ½ tsp ground)


  • Grind all spices. Blend thoroughly.


This will keep in a cool, dark place for up to six months. This will yield approximately 2 ounces (60 grams) of spice.
June 11, 2019
June 17, 2019



Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.