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Chicken Shawarma Salad

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Last Updated on June 27, 2020 by Lisa Johnson

Welcome my friends, come on in and take a seat. Tonight we are having an incredibly delicious Chicken Shawarma Salad that is topped with a dairy-free Tzatziki Dressing that will blow your mind! It has all the flavors that you have come to know and love from your local Mediterranean restaurant, but has non of the guilt and is Whole 30 and Paleo compliant…..

 

This Chicken Shawarma Salad with dairy-free Tzatziki Dressing has all of the flavors from a Mediterranean restaurant, and it is Whole30 and Paleo compliant as well!! cookingwithcurls.com

I like sneaking that last part in there. 😉 I am afraid if I start labeling everything Whole 30 or Paleo it will scare people away!! This Chicken Shawarma Salad is delicious and a perfect meal for everyone!!

Warning: another crazy long post with multiple types of cooking instructions.

How to make a Chicken Shawarma Salad:

Mix the marinade together in a large zipper bag or bowl.

Cut each chicken thigh into 3 pieces, and each breast into 6 pieces if using an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker.

Leave each piece whole if grilling or baking.

Place the chicken into the marinade and toss/massage to thoroughly coat…..

Marinate chicken overnight © COOKING WITH CURLS

Place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

To make Tzatziki Dressing:

Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water.

Let cashews soak for 15 minutes, or overnight.

Drain and rinse cashews and place into a blender…..

Soaked raw cashews in a blender cookingwithcurls.com

Pour in remaining 1 1/4 cup of water. Puree until smooth, then puree again.

Add vinegar, lemon juice, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, and dill.

Puree until smooth and thoroughly combined. If dressing is too thick, add additional water until you reach your desired consistency…..

Tzatziki Dressing pureed in a blender cookingwithcurls.com

Pour into a sealing container and chill until ready to serve.

To make regular tzatziki dressing, substitute 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt. Thin as needed with water to achieved desired consistency.

When ready to cook the Chicken Shawarma:

If using an Instant Pot– Pour the chicken stock into the pressure cooker liner then add the chicken pieces WITH the marinade.

Secure lid, select “Manual” and use the + or – to set the timer for 20 minutes.

When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before opening. If the pressure has not dropped completely, turn the pressure release valve to release the remaining steam.

Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and cut into bite-sized pieces…..

Cut cooked Chicken Shawarma into bite sized pieces © COOKING WITH CURLS

Place the chicken in a large bowl and toss with the spices until coated…..

Toss the cooked chicken shawarma with the spices in a large bowl cookingwithcurls.com

Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil on a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook, while stirring/flipping, until the chicken becomes fragrant and starts to sizzle…..

Sear the spiced chicken in a large skillet to remove the excess moisture cookingwithcurls.com

If you do not have a large enough pan, divide the chicken and cook in batches.

Remove from pan and place in a bowl or on a serving platter and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.

To bake Chicken Shawarma – Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and add the chicken. Pour marinade over the chicken.

Bake chicken for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked through (165 degrees) and browned.

Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice chicken into strips and place in a bowl or on a platter. Set aside.

To grill Chicken Shawarma – Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until cooked through (165 degrees)

Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice chicken into strips and place in a bowl or on a platter. Set aside.

To assemble the Chicken Shawarma Salad:

Add the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and parsley to a large bowl. Toss to combine…..

Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl cookingwithcurls.com

Place lettuce mixture on a serving platter or in a bowl. Top with chicken and serve with Tzatziki Dressing on the side…..

Everyone in the family will love this Chicken Shawarma Salad. It is loaded with Mediterranean flavors and topped with a tzatziki dressing! cookingwithcurls.com

Alternate method – Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and some of the dressing and toss to thoroughly coat.

Serve with additional dressing…..

The Mediterranean infused flavors of this Chicken Shawarma Salad will delight your taste buds, while allowing you to remain Whole30 and Paleo compliant! cookingwithcurls.com

and pita bread wedges if not following Whole 30 or Paleo. 😉

Notes:

  • I used a combination of chicken breasts and thighs, but feel free to use all of one or the other if desired. Cooking time remains the same.
  • I actually didn’t do much chopping to get bite-sized pieces, the chicken basically fell apart as I removed it from the pressure cooker.
  • You do not NEED to grill the cooked chicken, but it adds SO much extra flavor that I think it is worth the effort!!
  • This recipe was prepared using this 6 quart Instant Pot. I do not own a 3 qt or 8 qt, so I do not know what if any changes need to be made to this recipe.

Some additional Salad recipe for you to try:

Tools used to create this recipe:

Enjoy!!

This Chicken Shawarma Salad with dairy-free Tzatziki Dressing has all of the flavors from a Mediterranean restaurant, and it is Whole30 and Paleo compliant as well!! cookingwithcurls.com

Chicken Shawarma Salad

The Mediterranean infused flavors of this Chicken Shawarma Salad will delight your taste buds, while the dairy-free tzatziki dressing will allow you to remain Whole30 and Paleo compliant! 
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: chicken, shawarma, mediterranean, sauce, dressing, recipe, lettuce
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 580kcal
Author: Lisa Johnson

Ingredients

Marinade

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/16 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons corriander
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

When ready to Cook

  • ½ cup chicken stock (for Instant Pot version)
  • 1 pound chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
  • 1 pound chicken thighs (boneless, skinless)

Seasoning for Skillet

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamon
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil (for the skillet)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice (to finish)

Tzatziki Dressing

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup boiling water (to soak)
  • 1 ¼ cup water (to puree)
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup grated cucumber (drained)
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh dill (chopped, stems removed)

Salad

  • 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups chopped green leaf lettuce (or butter lettuce)
  • 1 ¼ cup cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • ½ cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • cup chopped Italian parsley

Instructions

Marinate

  • Mix the marinade together in a large zipper bag or bowl.
  • Cut each chicken thigh into 3 pieces, and each breast into 6 pieces if using an Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker. Leave each piece whole if grilling or baking.
  • Place the chicken into the marinade and toss/massage to thoroughly coat. Place in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 8 hours.

To make the Tzatziki Dressing

  • Place cashews in a large bowl and cover with 1 cup of boiling water. Let cashews soak for 15 minutes, or overnight.
  • Drain and rinse cashews and place into a blender. Pour in remaining 1 1/4 cup of water. Puree until smooth, then puree again.
  • Add vinegar, lemon juice, cucumber, olive oil, garlic, salt and dill.
  • Puree until smooth and thoroughly combined. If dressing is too thick, add additional water until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Pour into a sealing container and chill until ready to serve.
  • To make regular tzatziki dressing, substitute 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt. Thin as needed with water to achieved desired consistency.

When ready to Cook the Chicken

  • If using an Instant Pot– Pour the chicken stock into the pressure cooker liner then add the chicken pieces WITH the marinade.
  • Secure lid, select “Manual” and use the + or – to set the timer for 20 minutes.
  • When the Instant Pot beeps, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes before opening. If the pressure has not dropped completely, turn the pressure release valve to release the remaining steam.
  • Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Place the chicken in a large bowl and toss with the spices until coated.
  • Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil on a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces and cook, while stirring/flipping, until the chicken becomes fragrant and starts to sizzle.
  • If you do not have a large enough pan, divide the chicken and cook in batches.
  • Remove from pan and place in a bowl or on a serving platter and drizzle with lemon juice. Set aside.
  • To bake Chicken Shawarma – Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and add the chicken. Pour marinade over the chicken.
  • Bake chicken for approximately 25 minutes, or until cooked through (165 degrees) and browned. Toss with the seasoning towards the end of the cooking time, if desired.
  • Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice chicken into strips and place in a bowl or on a platter. Set aside.
  • To grill Chicken Shawarma – Grill chicken over medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes per side, until cooked through (165 degrees).
  • Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice chicken into strips and place in a bowl or on a platter. Set aside.

To assemble the Salad

  • Add the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cucumber and parsley to a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  • Place lettuce mixture on a serving platter or in a bowl. Top with chicken and serve with Tzatziki Dressing on the side.
  • Alternate method – Toss the salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and some of the dressing and toss to thoroughly coat. Serve with additional dressing.

Notes

  • I used a combination of chicken breasts and thighs, but feel free to use all of one or the other if desired. Cooking time remains the same.
  • I actually didn’t do much chopping to get bite-sized pieces, the chicken basically fell apart as I removed it from the pressure cooker.
  • You do not NEED to grill the cooked chicken, but it adds SO much extra flavor that I think it is worth the effort!!
  • This recipe was prepared using this 6 quart Instant Pot. I do not own a 3 qt or 8 qt, so I do not know what if any changes need to be made to this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 580kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 394mg | Potassium: 900mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5475IU | Vitamin C: 21.6mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 4.4mg

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