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Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma (Gluten Free, Paleo, and Whole30)

 Slow cooker chicken shawarma (aka shwarma) combines the ease of a slow cooker meal with the complex flavor of a slow-roasted middle eastern chicken feast! This is a quick version of the middle eastern favorite: the slow cooker does a lot of the work and it can be prepped ahead of time. Various serving options make this sensational paleo and gluten free dinner recipe adaptable for low carb and Whole30 compliance, too!

Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma (Gluten Free, Paleo, and Whole30)



  • 2 lbs chicken breasts , (boneless, skinless)
  • 1/2 cup water


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic, (or garlic powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, (to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Generous pinch ground cloves


  • 1/4 cup olive oil, (divided; you may need a little less)


  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons water, (or as much as you need to get your desired consistency)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • Generous pinch fine sea salt, (to taste)


  1. Place chicken in the bowl of your slow cooker, and add water. Cook on high 2 hours until the chicken is cooked through (the juices run clear and the fat has rendered out of the chicken). 
  2. When the chicken is cooked, slice each breast against the grain.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together all of the spice mix ingredients. Set aside.
  4. Over medium high heat, preheat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan just large enough to hold all of the chicken in a single layer. (see cooking note below to avoid your chicken drying out!)
  5. Add the chicken to the skillet and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over the chicken. 
  6. Allow the chicken to fry, without moving it, until crisp. 
  7. Pour 1 Tablespoon more of oil over the chicken and flip the chicken, stirring gently to make sure that the chicken is well coated with the spice mix. If the chicken is starting to stick to the pan once flipped, add the remaining Tablespoon of oil and stir gently. 
  8. Remove chicken from pan as soon as it is crisped to your liking. 
  9. If serving with lemon tahini sauce, combine all sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
  10. Serve immediately, with lemon tahini sauce, if desired. (See notes for serving suggestions.)

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