Cut the carbs with this Pressure Cooker Chicken Shawarma made with spices you probably already have in your cupboard. A Middle Eastern meal, tender chunks of seasoned chicken thighs are served on lettuce leaves with Tzatziki sauce.
This was my first time eating Shawarma. We often have Gyros, and I have a great Pressure Cooker Greek Taco recipe, but I don’t eat Middle Eastern food as often. If you’ve never eaten Shawarma either, it’s made with warm spices like cinnamon allspice, and cayenne.
In September I posted a Pressure Cooker Beef Curry recipe from Urvashi’s first cookbook, Indian Instant Pot® Cookbook: Traditional Indian Dishes Made Easy and Fast which has been super popular.
In the new cookbook, she brings together her love of pressure cooking and her success with the Keto diet.
The recipe couldn’t be much easier. Other than the spices, all you need for this recipe is chicken thighs and onions. You could substitute chicken breasts if you prefer but chicken thighs in the pressure cooker come out so much more tender. I recommend if you haven’t tried chicken thighs yet in the pressure cooker that you do it. The fat melts away from the meat and you’re left with tender juicy meat.
The recipe starts by sauteing the chicken. Be sure and pre-heat your pressure cooker. The Instant Pot actually says Hot on the display when the pressure cooker is pre-heated and ready to saute.
I made a few changes to the recipe. I doubled the amount of chicken in the recipe and it made 8 lettuce wraps. However, I did not double the spices and while we like things spicy, it was still too spicy for us. Next time, I would cut the spices in half. If you don’t like much heat at all, I would just use a dash of cayenne.
The recipe uses a 10 minute cook time, which was just perfect for chicken thighs. If you’re using chicken breasts, you may want to reduce the cook time to 5 minutes.
To be Keto friendly the cookbook recommends serving them as lettuce wraps. If you’re not trying to cut carbs, serve it on a warm pita. Despite the fact that the Chicken Shwarma was a little too spicy for our liking, we really enjoyed it especially with the tzatziki sauce to cool it down.
Although I don’t follow a Keto diet, I do often like to reduce my carbs and there’s lot of recipes in The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook that my family would enjoy and I look forward to trying.
I hope you’ll give this Pressure Cooker Chicken Shawarma a try.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Shawarma
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large bite-size pieces
- 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 cup thinly slice onions
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 large lettuce leaves (butter lettuce if available)
- 1 cup Tzatziki sauce
- Put the chicken in a zip-top bag and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil and the spices. Toss the bag so the chicken is evenly coated in the oil and spices.
- Preheat the pressure cooker. When the inner cooking pot is hot, add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil. Add the chicken and saute for about 4 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the water and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the onion and stir to combine.
- Lock the lid in place. Select high pressure and 10 minutes cook time. When beep sounds turn pressure cooker off and use a quick release to release pressure. When valve drops carefully remove lid, tilting away from you to allow steam to disperse.
- To serve, wrap the chicken in the lettuce leaves and serve with the tzatziki sauce. Or, serve on a warm pita.
Slightly adapted from The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook by Urvashi Pitre
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