Indulge in Keto Chicken Shawarma with Keto Pita Bread
Embark on a culinary journey to the Middle East with a keto twist! Our Keto Chicken Shawarma with Keto Pita Bread is a flavorful, low-carb feast that will delight your taste buds without compromising your dietary goals. Perfect for those following a ketogenic lifestyle, this recipe offers the classic spiced, succulent chicken paired with soft, keto-friendly pita bread.
Why is this a stellar keto diet recipe? It’s all about the macronutrient balance—high in healthy fats and protein while keeping the carbohydrates to a minimum. This ensures you stay in ketosis while enjoying a dish that’s traditionally carb-heavy. Let’s dive into this guilt-free version of a beloved street food!
Recipe Origins and Keto Benefits
Shawarma, a dish beloved across the globe, typically features meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Our Keto Chicken Shawarma is inspired by this traditional cooking method but adapted for a home kitchen and a ketogenic diet.
Chicken thighs are the star of this dish, providing a juicy, flavorful base that’s naturally high in fats and proteins—key components of a keto-friendly meal. The spices, including cumin and smoked paprika, not only infuse the chicken with Middle Eastern flair but also offer health benefits like anti-inflammatory properties.
Almond and coconut flours replace traditional wheat flour in the pita bread, drastically reducing the carb count while still delivering that satisfying bread-like texture. Xanthan gum is a keto dieter’s ally, giving the dough elasticity without the gluten.
Every ingredient in this recipe has been carefully selected to create a harmonious balance of keto-friendly nutrition and authentic taste. The result is a dish that’s not just a treat for your palate but also aligns with your health and wellness goals.
Mastering the Method
Creating the perfect Keto Chicken Shawarma at home is all about technique and timing. Start with the marinade, which is the foundation of flavor for the chicken. Marinating overnight will deepen the flavors, so don’t rush this step!
When cooking the chicken, achieving a good char is crucial—it adds a smoky depth and mimics the traditional shawarma experience. Use a well-heated grill or pan to ensure your chicken gets that perfect sear.
The keto pita bread requires a gentle touch. The dough is more delicate than traditional wheat-based dough, so roll it out patiently between parchment paper. When cooking, keep a close eye on the pita; it should be golden and pliable, not brittle.
These extra tips will elevate your dish from good to restaurant-quality. Remember, attention to detail is the key to culinary success, especially when adapting classic recipes to fit a keto lifestyle.
Variations to Spice Up Your Shawarma
Spicy Keto Chicken Shawarma
For those who enjoy a kick, add some cayenne pepper or chili flakes to the marinade. This will infuse the chicken with a spicy heat that complements the other warm spices beautifully.
Lamb Keto Shawarma
Substitute chicken with lamb for a richer flavor. Lamb is a fantastic keto-friendly meat that’s high in fat and perfect for mimicking the traditional shawarma experience.
Vegetarian Keto Shawarma
Swap the chicken for thick slices of portobello mushrooms or eggplant for a vegetarian twist. Marinate and cook as you would the chicken for a delicious plant-based alternative.
Substitutions for Dietary Needs
While this recipe is designed to be keto-friendly, you may need to make substitutions to cater to other dietary restrictions or preferences.
Use coconut cream in place of yogurt to create a dairy-free tzatziki sauce that’s still creamy and full of flavor.
Nut-Free Keto Pita
If you’re allergic to nuts, replace almond flour with sunflower seed flour for a nut-free pita bread alternative that keeps the carbs low.
Egg-Free Keto Pita
For an egg-free version of the keto pita, use a combination of psyllium husk and water to bind the dough together.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use chicken breast instead of thighs?
Yes, chicken breast can be used, but keep in mind it’s leaner and can dry out more easily. Adjust cooking times accordingly.
How can I store leftover shawarma?
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat gently to avoid drying out the chicken.
Is this recipe gluten-free?
Yes, this recipe is gluten-free, as it uses almond and coconut flours instead of wheat flour.
Can I freeze the keto pita bread?
Absolutely! Wrap the pita bread individually and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in a dry pan.
How can I make the shawarma spicier?
Add more smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or a few dashes of hot sauce to the marinade for extra heat.
Keto Chicken Shawarma with Keto Pita Bread
- Mixing bowls
- Grill or stovetop pan
- Non-stick skillet
- Parchment paper
- Measuring cups and spoons
Keto Chicken Shawarma
- 1 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- Salt and pepper to taste
Keto Pita Bread
- 1 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 tsp xanthan gum
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup warm water
- Begin by preparing the chicken shawarma marinade. In a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, apple cider vinegar, minced garlic, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Whisk together until well combined.
- Add chicken thighs to the marinade, ensuring each piece is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or overnight for deeper flavor.
- Preheat your grill or stovetop pan over medium-high heat. Cook the marinated chicken for about 10 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) and the outside is nicely charred. Remove from heat and let it rest.
- While the chicken is resting, prepare the keto pita bread. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, beat eggs and olive oil together. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, along with warm water, and mix until a dough forms.
- Divide the dough into four equal portions. Roll each portion between two pieces of parchment paper until about 1/4 inch thick.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and cook each pita for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
- Slice the rested chicken into thin strips. Serve the chicken shawarma with the warm keto pita bread. Optional: garnish with fresh herbs or a dollop of keto-friendly tzatziki sauce.