Leftover chicken shawarma is best turned into a fresh salad the next day! Fresh vegetables like lettuce, cucumber, tomato, onions and pickles are tossed together and then topped with warm chicken shawarma. The final (and best) layer is a drizzle of white sauce, or shawarma sauce. Make this salad in under 15 minutes and enjoy as a light dinner or lunch.
As an Arab, I'm obviously quite attached to Arabic style chicken shawarma, and I make my recipe at least once a week. I usually serve it in wraps with a healthy dollop of toum, or next to yellow rice, and drizzled with shawarma sauce.
I regularly make a large batch so leftovers can be tossed into this salad the next day. When having shawarma in a platter or as a salad (not as a wrap), I love using a light yogurt and mayo based white sauce to drizzle, instead of the heavier toum which is oil based.
But - don't mistake my sentiments above for not having a fond love of toum. My shawarma wrap will always be drenched in toum. There's no other way.
Ingredients and Salad Preparation
You can use any vegetables to make this salad, but here are my go-to ones for a good balance of greens to crunch to saltiness:
- Lettuce: any variety will do.
- Tomato: cherry tomatoes or heirloom are my top picks, always! But Roma will do too.
- Cucumber: I love the small Persian cucumbers as they have a lot more flavour than english cucumbers.
- Red onions: or substitute any other type of onions.
- Olives: I usually go for black olives, sliced.
- Pickled Turnips or regular pickles: dice them finely to get a small bit in every bite.
Heat up any leftover shawarma that you have on a skillet. If you don't have any, just follow my shawarma recipe to make it; it takes only 20 minutes.
Then, toss the salad together. I start with a bed of lettuce, then layer all the other vegetables on top. I love using cherry tomatoes, but whole diced tomatoes work too.
I slice the onions very thinly, and cut the pickles into smaller cubes so they mix well and you don't get big mouthfuls of salty pickles.
Next, add the warm chicken on top.
Then drizzle it generously with the white sauce, and toss. You can also easily make this salad with any protein you have on hand, such as leftover shredded chicken, or beef shawarma.
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Chicken Shawarma Salad with White Sauce
- 3 cups cooked chicken shawarma Leftovers or cooked fresh
- 1 head lettuce any type, sliced
- 3 persian cucumbers sliced into half moones
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced into halves or quarters
- ¼ red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup black olives sliced
- ½ cup pink pickles or any pickles chopped finely
For the Dressing:
- Heat up your leftover shawarma on a skillet over the stove. If you'd like to make this salad and don't have leftovers, use any type of chicken on hand (like rotisserie) or make the shawarma fresh.
- Prepare the vegetables by slicing each one as instructed in the ingredients.
- Mix together all the ingredients to make the shawarma sauce, which will be used as the dressing.
- Layer the salad starting with: lettuce, cucumber and tomato, onions, olives, and pickles.
- Drizzle the sauce all over. Toss to combine and serve immediately.
- You can use any type of chicken for this salad, its not just limited to chicken shawarma. But shawarma works best!
- Store in a container and in the fridge, but I suggest serving it on the same day as the vegetables will release moisture as they sit.
- Mix and match different vegetables to your liking.