Thinking about what to serve with chicken shawarma? You are not alone! Many of us have tried to pair tender chicken shawarma with the perfect side dish. It can be tricky!
What is Chicken Shawarma?
Chicken shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish made with thin slices of chicken. The chicken is stacked onto a spigot until it is a very tall, cone-like shape. The meat is slowly roasted while rotating on the metal skewer.
As the chicken shawarma cooks, it is marinated in a blend of cumin, salt, garlic powder, cardamom, and black pepper. Cooking chicken like this creates an unbelievably tender, juicy, and flavorful meat better than any regular grilled chicken. It’s amazing!
Keep all of these strong spice flavors in mind when choosing a side dish for chicken shawarma. Middle Eastern side dishes with similar spices will always work well!
Chicken Shawarma Sides: Recipes You’ll Love
We have found ten delicious side dishes to serve with chicken shawarma. There is something on this list for everyone!
1. Spinach Salad
A healthy spinach salad is a great side dish to serve with chicken shawarma. Our spinach salad is light, flavorful, and very nutritious.
We use baby spinach and chopped asparagus to make the salad. Any type of baby mixed greens will work wonderfully. Some chopped romaine lettuce will give the dish a nice crisp texture.
Add your favorite vegetables to the salad to make it your own. Some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, or bell peppers will work great.
Give the salad a Middle Eastern flair by replacing the goat cheese with feta cheese. Halloumi cheese will also work wonderfully. A sprinkle of sesame seeds is the perfect added touch!
The homemade honey mustard dressing with black pepper is the perfect topping for the light salad. Try using red wine vinegar or a tahini sauce to top the salad.
Toss some of the sliced chicken shawarma into the salad. An easy chicken shawarma salad sounds like a delicious meal!
2. Homemade Pita Bread
Chicken shawarma is often served stuffed inside soft pita bread. Some fresh lettuce and a little tzatziki sauce with the marinated chicken in the pita bread, and you have yourself perfect chicken shawarma wraps!
Try making your own fluffy pita bread using this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen. Water, salt, yeast, and flour are the only ingredients you need to make perfectly puffed pita bread. It seems so simple!
Pita bread dough does take a little time to make. The dough needs to be kneaded and left to rise for about an hour. Small pita bread discs are rolled and then baked.
The dough puffs best when baked on a hot pizza stone or baking pan. Preheat the oven, place the baking sheet or stone in the oven to get it nice and hot, and then place the pita dough on the hot pan.
The dough should immediately puff up, creating the perfect pocket for you to stuff with chicken shawarma!
While making pita bread is a little time-consuming, the result is well worth the effort. You can’t go wrong with warm, tender pita bread filled with flavorful chicken shawarma!
3. Tahini Sauce
A great chicken shawarma recipe is always better with some fresh tahini sauce. Tahini sauce is a classic Middle Eastern dipping sauce that is served with everything from falafels to chicken shawarma wraps.
Tahini is made from ground sesame seeds. It has lots of healthy oils and a wonderful nutty flavor that is sure to please.
Tahini sauce often has yogurt or sour cream added to make it thinner and easier to dip. The creamy garlic yogurt sauce brings out the flavors in so many dishes!
Try this recipe from Tori Avery and make your own tahini sauce to serve with your sheet pan chicken shawarma.
Tahini paste made from ground sesame seeds is the first ingredient you will need. Water, garlic, fresh lemon juice, salt, and parsley are added to the tahini and blended until smooth.
Add a scoop of plain Greek yogurt for a tangier yogurt sauce. Skip the yogurt for a thicker, heartier sauce that will coat your chicken breasts perfectly.
4. Grilled Vegetables
Grilled Vegetables and oven-roasted chicken shawarma are a match made in heaven. Serve the meal with a tasty garlic sauce, and your dinner is complete!
Try this great recipe for grilled vegetables from Foodie Crush. We love the colors of the different vegetables. They make your dinner look and taste amazing!
This recipe uses corn, bell peppers, red onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and mushrooms. Before grilling, the veggies are marinated in a little olive oil, salt, and pepper.
Try making the vegetable kebobs in the oven rather than using the grill. Marinate the veggies just as directed in the recipe but place them on a sheet pan to roast.
Turn the veggie kebobs halfway through cooking, so they brown evenly. The veggies touching the sheet pan will turn golden brown first! The heat from the sheet pan will make the veggies caramelize, getting sweeter and tastier.
Sprinkle some fresh herbs over the cooked vegetables to give them more flair. Add flavor and spice with red pepper flakes, and use avocado oil in place of olive oil for a more nutritious twist. Avocado oil may also improve the nutrition calories in your meal.
5. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower rice is a fantastic side dish to serve with chicken shawarma. It is healthy, tasty, and surprisingly easy to make. Try this recipe from Cookie and Kate, which will should you how to make fantastic Mediterranean cauliflower rice.
Turning cauliflower into rice is as simple as putting it in a food processor. As the cauliflower florets blend, the pieces get smaller and smaller. Soon, they look like rice!
This Mediterranean rice is cooked with a seasoning mix made with parsley, garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Some sliced almonds add a nice crunch to the soft rice.
Make cauliflower rice in advance, cooking it the day before you plan to eat. It is the perfect meal prep side dish that gets better as it sits! The rice absorbs the lemon juice flavor, getting tastier and tastier each day.
6. Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Still wondering what to serve with chicken shawarma? Try pairing your sheet pan chicken shawarma with roasted potatoes. Use this recipe from Chelsea’s Messy Apron to make perfectly crisp sweet potatoes.
Small diced sweet potatoes are spread across a rimmed sheet pan. The potatoes are sprinkled with olive oil, brown sugar, and salt, then cooked.
Skip the brown sugar if you’d like the potatoes to be a little less sweet. However, sweet foods taste great with spicy chicken shawarma.
Try seasoning the potatoes with smoked paprika, garlic powder, or even cayenne pepper for a spicy potato side dish.
Use regular potatoes in place of sweet for a whole new take on this side dish. Use Yukon gold or russet potatoes, which both roast well.
Try cutting the potatoes into fries or wedges instead of cubes. French fried served with tahini sauce, and chicken shawarma is a fantastic meal!
Roast some skinless chicken thighs into sheet pan chicken shawarma. You can cook the oven-roasted chicken shawarma at the same time as your potatoes are roasting. You only need to preheat the oven once!
Hummus is a very versatile side dish to serve with chicken shawarma. Spread hummus across the top of your roasted chicken thighs or serve it on the side with a few crackers. It is great no matter how you present it!
We love this easy hummus recipe from Once Upon a Chef. There is no cooking required, and it only takes about 10 minutes to make the tasty side.
Canned chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper are the main ingredients in this tasty hummus. Olive oil helps make the hummus thinner.
Try adding your favorite seasonings to the hummus, making it perfectly suited for your personal tastes. Replace the lemon juice with lime juice. Add some extra cayenne for a spicy hummus.
Try using cinnamon and cocoa powder for a dessert-like hummus. This can make a great dish to serve after your chicken shawarma meal. Chocolate hummus with some graham crackers or sliced fruit would be amazing!
Get creative when it comes to seasoning the hummus. It is very flexible and can handle quite a few changes. Keep the flavors of your chicken shawarma in mind as you add seasonings! You are sure to create something great.
8. Rice Pilaf
Classic rice pilaf is a wonderful side for your favorite chicken breast chicken shawarma recipes. This simple rice pilaf recipe from Erren’s Kitchen is exactly what you should make.
Butter, onions, and garlic are sauteed together. Rice is added to the mix and stirred to absorb the flavors of the seasonings.
The rice simmers in chicken broth, giving even more chicken flavor to your meal. Chicken rice pilaf and chicken shawarma made with chicken thighs or chicken breast is a wonderful dinner! So much chicken!
Rice pilaf is delicious with sliced almonds or raisins added to the mix. Almonds give the tender rice dish a nice crunch, while raisins add a perfect amount of sweetness.
Feel free to add the seasonings of your choice as well. Middle Eastern spices like cumin, parsley, or turmeric will add a lot of flavor to the cooked rice. Channel your inner private chef and get creative with the spices.
9. Fried Halloumi
Halloumi is a very special type of Middle Eastern cheese. It is similar to mozzarella cheese in flavor, but it does not melt, even under the highest heats!
Halloumi will hold its shape when heated, making it a fantastic cheese to grill or fry. We adore serving fried halloumi nuggets next to flavorful chicken shawarma.
Follow this recipe from Half Baked Harvest to learn how to make delicious fried halloumi bites.
We love that the breaded halloumi bites are baked in the oven rather than deep-fried. Cooking the halloumi on a baking sheet rather than tossing them in a fryer makes them a little healthier.
Baking reduces saturated fat and still gives you maximum flavor.
The hot honey dip tastes fantastic with the warm halloumi. However, try making a garlic sauce for dipping. It will pair well with your tasty chicken shawarma.
Serve chicken shawarma and halloumi bites, and everyone will think you have a private chef in the kitchen!
10. Tomato Salad
We love this Middle Eastern tomato salad from Kalyn’s Kitchen because it is the perfect side dish to serve with your chicken shawarma recipe. Tomato salad is a great summer dish when all the veggies are in season.
Chopped cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and red onion are tossed together in a large bowl. Fresh chopped parsley and mint are mixed into the fresh vegetables to add an incredible amount of flavor. The mint in the salad really makes the dish pop!
There is no need for a complicated salad dressing recipe. A simple blend of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, and pepper works perfectly!
Try topping the salad with a yogurt sauce or tzatziki dressing. This will give your salad so much flavor and make it pair with your chicken shawarma even more!
Amazing Sides to Serve with Any Chicken Shawarma Recipe
There are so many delicious sides that you can serve with chicken shawarma. Try all the recipes on our list, and you are sure to find one your whole family will love!
Hopefully, you will have some easy weeknight meals with chicken shawarma in the future. Enjoy!
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