Instant Pot Recipes from a Chef's Wife and IP Enthusiast

Mouth Watering Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma

Start to finish cook time: 35 minutes (20 prep + 8 pressurize + 7 high pressure) 
Effort Level: Medium
Servings: 5

This is one of my favorite meals to cook in my Instant Pot. Chicken thighs used to be out of my comfort zone, but they turn out really well in the IP. Chef says that is because thighs are more tender than chicken breasts when slow or pressure cooking. This shwarma turned out so well, it was as good as if I was sitting in a restaurant! Spicy and flavorful. To be semi health conscious I cut down some of the oil, subbed smart butter, and paired with wheat pitas. Eat it as a stuffed pita, or eat as a deconstructed salad.

If you are looking for a good Instant Pot hummus, check out my hummus recipe under the snack section! We have a really one :)

If you want to jump straight to the recipe, no need to keep scrolling it's right below. If you want step-by-step pictures though, I've included those below the recipe. And as my Chef husband says, "Food is love". Enjoy!

Source: Adapted by

  • 2.5 - 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, sliced into strips
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp of Smart Balance® Original Butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 chicken bouillon cube or 1/2 tsp chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp regular salt
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (Optional)


  • Hummus
  • Thin sliced red onions
  • Thin sliced seedless cucumber
  • Sliced romaine
  • Wheat pita pockets 
  • Rice side (optional)


  1. Slice chicken thighs into 1/2 inch strips and set aside. 
  2. Slice yellow onion into strips and dice garlic. Set aside.
  3. In a bowl add turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, black pepper, salt, and optional crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Mix 1/3 cup water with 1/2 bouillon and set aside, this will be your chicken broth. 
  5. Set Instant Pot to high sauté for 15 minutes (you likely won't need all this time but I do this so it doesn't turn off while cooking if I do need extra time).
  6. Add butter, oil, garlic, and onion. Cook until onion is translucent, should only be a few minutes as garlic burns quickly. 
  7. Add chicken thighs.
  8. Add the seasoning mix you had set aside earlier. 
  9. After 30-60 seconds, add chicken broth. Stir well, scrape the bottom of the pot really well with a wooden spoon (don't use metal spoon or it will scratch). This will get all the flavors to release and also prevent burning .
  10. Turn off sauté and seal pot. Set to high pressure for 7 minutes.  Make sure the steam vent is in the sealed position. Once done, quick release pressure. 
  11. While your chicken is cooking, prepare your stations. Thin slice purple onions and place in small bowl of water (will prevent from being overpowering). Thin slice cucumber. Thin slice romaine. Take out your hummus.
  12. Once chicken is done, quick release pressure. 
  13. Wrap your pitas in a paper towel and nuke in microwave for 10-30 seconds, just to get a bit warm and soft. 
  14. Chicken will be in some liquid, so use a slotted spoon to scoop your chicken before stuffing into your pita to prevent sogginess. I like to keep a bit in a small container to drizzle on pita or dip pita into
  15. After adding chicken you will want to add hummus, lettuce, cucumber, and onions to your pita. Alternatively, you could make deconstructed salad with pita on the side (that is Chef's favorite way to eat).
Slice thighs into strips, chop onions into strips, chop garlic, prepare all slices in
a bowl, and set aside bouillon/water broth mix.

Saute on high butter, oil, onions, and garlic until onions are translucent. 
Add meat and seasoning. Mix for 1-2 minutes, add broth and turn off suate.
Set to high pressure for 7 minutes, allowing for 8 minutes pressurization. 
While meat is cooking, prep other items. Thin slice onions,
cucumbers, and lettuce. Take out hummus. Right before chicken is done
wrap pitas in a paper towel and heat in microwave for 10-30 seconds until warm.
Once chicken sounds, instant pressure release. When serving chicken,
use a slotted spoon to prevent soggy pita.
Stuff pita with chicken, hummus, onions, cucumbers, romaine. Drizzle with
excess sauce. 
Or eat your pita deconstructed, as a chicken salad with pita on the side.
This is Chef's favorite.