This Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Fennel Spinach Tzatziki Sauce is full of spices and fresh herbs.
We’re at the peak of summer grilling and by this time of year, I’m looking for new grilling ideas. My kids will try just about anything, so I was pleasantly surprised when one of my boys spotted a recipe for Chicken Shawarma and asked if I was going to make it. Apparently, he’d tried it while he was at college this past year. I love the fact that my kids have started to experiment on their own at college and try different foods.
This Chicken Shawarma is marinated in Greek yogurt that’s spiced with allspice, coriander, cumin and cinnamon. The yogurt tenderizes the chicken, and marinating the chicken overnight allows the spices to penetrate the meat for maximum flavor.
The first time I made chicken shawarma was almost three years ago, from my friend Faith’s cookbook. Her chicken shawarma is spiced with cumin, coriander, cardamon, ginger, allspice, fenugreek, cloves, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne, and is served with a Garlic Mayonnaise Sauce and pickles.
This version of chicken shawarma is served with an unusual tzatziki sauce with fresh fennel and spinach, in addition to fresh parsley, mint, dill and cucumbers mixed with Greek yogurt. I loved the hint of licorice from the fennel in the tzatziki sauce, and the addition of some spinach in the sauce.
Serve it in a tortilla or pita bread if you like, so enjoy it with just the tzatziki sauce like I did, it’s all good.
My husband liked it wrapped up in pita bread – it reminded him of a gyro, a street food he fondly remembers from growing up in New York City. If you’re gluten-free, serve with a gluten-free tortilla, wrap in lettuce leaves, or just leave out the wrap.
Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Fennel Spinach Tzatziki Sauce Recipe
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 3 ⁄4 cups Greek yogurt
- 1 ⁄2 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground allspice
- 1 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 1 ⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion grated
- wooden skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes
Fennel Spinach Tzatziki Sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 ⁄2 cup cucumber seeds removed, finely chopped
- 1 ⁄2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh dill
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh mint
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
- 1 small bulb fennel outer layers removed, cored and finely chopped
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- gluten-free tortillas or pita bread optional
- In a large bowl, mix together 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup olive oil, black pepper, allspice, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, 3⁄4 of the garlic, and the onion in a bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
- Thread chicken on skewers and grill until cooked through, turning halfway through cooking.
Fennel Spinach Tzatziki Sauce
- Ina medium bowl, mix together remaining garlic and the lemon juice; let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in remaining 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt and 2 tablespoons olive oil, cucumber, spinach, dill, mint, parsley, fennel, salt, and pepper.
- If desired, serve Chicken Shawarma on tortilla or pita bread. Sprinkle with za'atar and serve with yogurt sauce.
Recipe NotesAdapted from Saveur
Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
This month’s theme is Herbs hosted by Barbara from Creative Culinary. I hope you enjoy all the recipes using herbs we made for this special event.
Please be sure to see what everyone made for today’s event:
Cooking with Herbs
- Zucchini, Potato and Herb Fritters with a Garlic and Herb Yogurt Sauce from Creative Culinary
- Pesto Pasta Salad from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Homemade Cilantro Mayonnaise from The Heritage Cook
- Methi Machli – Fish with Fenugreek Sauce from Spice Roots
- Tomato Basil Hummus from Food Hunters Guide
- Lemon Sage Mustard from Stetted
- Lemony Three Bean Salad with Feta, Tomatoes, and Marjoram from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Fennel Spinach Tzatziki Sauce from Jeanette’s Healthy Living
- Sauteed Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Herbs and Hazelnutsfrom Healthy Delicious
- Lemongrass Ice Cream from Pastry Chef Online
- Peach Blueberry Basil Cobbler from Never Enough Thyme
- Peach-Rosemary Shrub from girlichef