Chicken Shawarma Sheet Pan Dinner With Yogurt Garlic Sauce

Photo by Christopher Hunte
I had company coming
to stay overnight and through the next day until late in the evening when they caught a red eye flight. The meal the first night wasn't too complicated, but took a little more time just before serving. So for day two's meal I wanted something super simple.

Sheet Pan meals are on the rise and I continue to look for new variations inspired by different ethnic influences.  Shawarma traditionally has meal cooked on a vertical spit with the meat shaved off. It's fabulous.  So I wasn't sure what a sheet pan version would be like.  

After a lot of searching, I decided to use a recipe I found on The Modern Proper as my inspiration, but I of course had to change a few things.  I honestly could not find the peppadew peppers and didn't have time to order them in online.  After a lot of research and thought into what my family likes, I decided to replace them with a pint of multicolor heritage cherry tomatoes. They would have the mild kick of spice, but they would add a juicy sweet note. 

I also switched the sauce.  The original recipe used a tahini sauce and I'm just not a big fan of the taste of tahini.  And I do love a white, garlic yogurt sauce - so I found one that looked fabulous on ??? and it was perfect for what I wanted. Lastly the original recipe used chicken breasts. I had a large package of boneless skinless chicken thighs and my husband prefers those, so subbed them in. 

The three men loaded their pita (a non-stuff thicker version) with tons of topping, drizzled the sauce, and ate it with a knife and fork. I folded mine in half and ate it leaning over my plate as it was super juicy. Either way - the taste was fabulous and I'll be making it again. 

Below is what I did, but I have included links to the originals as well. NOTE - I made this a second time for my daughter when she visited and it was again a hit.  First time I used 2 small cookie sheets. 2nd time I used a big over liner and it all fit on it. 

Left - 2nd time I made it on an oven liner all on one sheet (pre-bake).
Right - Image by Christopher Hunte when I made it on 2
smaller cookie sheets (post-bake). This was half of the food. 

= = = = 

Chicken Shawarma Sheet Pan Dinner
Recipe from The Modern Proper (check original for a tahini sauce)
6 regular servings (I had big eaters so probably 5 servings)

Ingredients -

1 C                 Plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp               Cumin
2 tsp               Cardamom
2 tsp               Turmeric
2 tsp               Cinnamon
2 tsp               Salt
2 lbs.              Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs (or 3 large boneless skinless breasts)
2 T                 Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2                    Large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch thin strips
1                    Purple onion, cut into 1/2-inch thin slices
1                    Pint multicolour grape tomatoes 
6                    Thicker no-pocket pita breads is my fav here but I have used both kinds.
Shawarma White Sauce - recipe below

Instructions -

Mix yogurt, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.  Cut chicken thighs (or breasts) into strips. Add to marinade and mix well. Let marinade for several hours.  I also made the white sauce earlier so it could sit in the fridge and the wonderful flavor has time to come together. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a large oven baking sheet or 2 smaller cookie sheets with cooking spray or olive oil.  Prepare all the vegetables.  Lay the ingredients in alternating rows on the baking sheet(s). Note - they show it all fitting nicely on one regular sheet - no way. You need either a large baking sheet or 2 smaller cookie sheets.  Drizzle with olive oil.  If you have a spray for your olive oil, that works beautifully.

Place in the oven and back until chicken is done. The original said 20 minutes, but mine took 30 minutes and with chicken, I think that's a more realistic time.   Warm the pita in a pan, on the BBQ or in the microwave.  Top with chicken and veggies and serve with white sauce. 

The Best Ever Shawarma White Sauce
From a site called Gimme Delicious

Ingredients -

1/2 C             Greek Yogurt 
1 T                 Smooth Peanut Butter (tahini in the original)
3                    Garlic cloves minced
2 T                 Fresh dill chopped (1 teaspoon dry can also be used)
5                    Mint leaves optional, dry can also be used
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
Juice of half a lime

Instructions -

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and process for 1 minute or until light and fluffy Store in the fridge, in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE - I have made this twice with totally different results. The first time the yogurt turned into a liquid and never solidified at all. The second time the yogurt stayed fully intact and the ingredients didn't combine as well, and I had to thin it a bit so we could drizzle it on.  So it's hard to give exact instructions.  If your yogurt is thin, you may have to pulverize the other ingredients, then stir it into the soft yogurt. If firmer you'll need to do it all together and maybe even thin.