How to Make Chicken Shawarma Butter Lettuce Wraps

These super easy gluten-free chicken shawarma wraps are a crowd because everyone will have a chance to customize their wraps just the way they like it. My girls love to build their own–which promotes freedom of choice, expression, and a chance to eat their veggies!

For this recipe, I will be using Crescent Foods Halal chicken thighs.

Shawarma [shuh-wahr-mah] dates back to the Ottoman Empire and consist of middle-eastern spices, marinated lamb, beef, or chicken that has been rotating vertically over a fire or heat lamp.

What is Chicken Shawarma Served with?

The thinly sliced meat is then filled inside pita bread, lavash, spread over hummus or over rice. Today, we are creating our own homemade “shawarma” using our handy dandy skillet and adding it to healthy crisp butter lettuce.

chicken shawarma wraps

What Does Chicken Shawarma Taste like?

Delicious! Ok, let me break it down, the taste is aromatic because of all the spices that go into. There is turmeric, allspice, cumin and sometimes, even cinnamon. The meat is sliced thinly and can be crispy around the edges as it is reheated on a flat grill when ordering at a restaurant. Chicken shawarma is generally not a spicy dish–it does not even come close to Indian or Asian flavors. All I have to say is try it!

Cooking with Chicken Basics

Storing Poultry

Chicken is the most popular eaten poultry in the world. It contains both white and dark meat and has relatively little fat–which makes it perfect for the base of this super delicious shwarma chicken butter lettuce tacos.

It’s very important that chicken is in a temperature-controlled environment for safety. It’s highly perishable and susceptible to contamination by salmonella bacteria. Chicken needs to be stored around 32°F-34-°F (0°C-2°C).

How to make chicken shawarma wraps

Determining Doneness

1.) Touch–when the chicken is done, it should have a firm texture to the touch, and spring back quickly.

2.) The chicken should reach a temperature of 165°F-170°F (74°C-77°C)

3.) When poultry is done, the juices should run clear, if it does not, it is clearly not done yet. The chicken should not have blood running from the meat or joints.

How to make chicken shawarma at home

Toppings choices:

° Fresh Cilantro or Parsley
° Garlicky Yogurt
° Raddish
° Red onion or Green Onion
° Diced tomatoes
° Diced bell pepper
° Cheese
° Salsa

Let each person have fun building their own Shawarma wrap!

We will be using the dry-heat cooking method

Once again, I used Crescent Foods for this recipe. It is what’s local to me and I really enjoy the quality of their products.

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Best Chicken Shawarma Butter Lettuce Wraps

How to make chicken shawarma at home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


Chicken and Shawarma Spice Mix

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used Crescent Food Halal chicken)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (add more if you like it spicey)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • salt and pepper

Salad Material

  • 1 head butter lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (garnish (optional))
  • 1 cup cucumber (garnish (optional))
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • a handful of freshly chopped parsley

Turkish Cucumber Dressing Cacik [ja-jick]

  • 1 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper


  1. In a large mixing bowl, add cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, allspice, salt and pepper, and mix until well combined.
  2. Add the olive oil and water and mix until thick paste forms.
  3. Slice boneless, skinless chicken thighs into long thin strips. Add the chicken into the paste and toss until the chicken is fully coated with the seasoning.
  4. In a skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is golden brown. Because we are using dark meat, the chicken will take longer to cook, about 20-25 minutes. (no need to add oil to the pan since the chicken already contains olive oil).

Salad Material

  1. Shredded the carrot and place into a small serving dish.
  2. Chop extra parsley and place into a small serving dish.
  3. Thinly slice red onion and place into a serving dish.
  4. Slice grape or cherry tomatoes in half and place into a serving dish.
  5. Slice Persian cucumber into forths then chop along the width, place into a serving dish.

Turkish Cucumber Yogurt Sauce [Cacik]

  1. Add the yogurt, dried mint, oregano, finely chopped cucumbers, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and mix until well combined, set aside.

Putting it all together!

  1. Leave the chicken shawarma in the skillet and place it over a square. mitten to protect your table from burning.
  2. Surround the shawarma with all the topping a.k.a salad material and Turkish yogurt sauce.
  3. Allow the family to build their own shawarma lettuce wraps and enjoy!

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