Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Pita with Tahini-Yogurt Sauce

We will be making shawarma-spiced chicken pita with tahini-yogurt sauce for our main dish. This is on heavy rotation in our house because it has protein, carbs, healthy fats and vegetables all-in-one, it comes together quickly when we are starving after work, and it is very affordable since chicken thighs are the main protein. This recipe feeds four adults, so feel free to adjust up or down if needed.

If you’d like an additional side dish, we’d recommend pita chips and/or extra veggies with hummus (homemade or store-bought). For dessert, if you’re looking for something on-theme, we’d recommend getting some extra yogurt and pairing it with honey and fresh berries. Or, if you’d like to experiment with tahini more and are up for a challenge to make a more weekend-worthy dessert, we recently made these tahini billionaire bars (kind of like Twix bars) and really enjoyed them. You can make them before the retreat starts and store them covered in the fridge.

Below are the ingredients for the main course (excluding optional sides and dessert). You will also need a sheet pan, 2 medium-to-large bowls, aluminum foil, a knife, a couple of spoons, and measuring cups/spoons. A lemon zester would be handy as well.


· 1½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs

· 1 cup full-fat or low-fat Greek yogurt


· 2 lemons

· 1 small red onion

· ¾ cup (~5 oz.) cherry or grape tomatoes

· Head of romaine or a bag of pre-shredded romaine

· 1 English cucumber or 2-3 Persian cucumbers

· 1 clove garlic

· Dill (fresh)

· Mint (fresh)


· 1 TBS plus 1 tsp. tahini (sesame seed paste; often located by the peanut butter)

· 4 pita breads or naan breads

· ½ tsp. ground cumin

· ¼ tsp. ground coriander

· ¼ tsp. paprika

· 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon

· 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

· 1½ tsp. kosher salt

· ¾ tsp. ground black pepper

· 4 TBS extra virgin olive oil