This recipe was first inspired by the popular Middle Eastern street food, Chicken Shawarma, but it takes a little of this and a little of that from other cuisines. Boneless chicken thighs and store-bought naan (I like the Roasted Garlic Naan from Stonefire) are all you really need to get started. Coat the thighs with a robust spice rub (below) before grilling; then add sliced fresh cucumbers, red onion, and tomatoes (I also add roasted cherry tomatoes for deeper flavor); fresh herbs like mint, parsley and cilantro; and your favorite yogurt- or tahini-based sauce.

Susie Middleton

I’ve included a recipe for Lemon Yogurt Tahini Sauce (more like a spread), but you could use your favorite tzatziki or raita recipe, too, or even just tahini. I’m also providing you a link to my favorite Spicy Peanut Sauce, as we accidentally discovered one night that it is pretty awesome in these wraps. (The spice-tomato-peanut combo is more common in African and Caribbean cuisines.) 

You’ll want to warm the naan just until it is pliable – either in a covered grill or wrapped in foil, in the oven. Don’t warm it or grill it for too long or it will stiffen.

This recipe feeds three to four people but you could easily double it for a party. Have your rub made, your sauce made, and all your other ingredients prepped before you grill the chicken and warm the naan. If you prefer chicken breasts, by all means use them; I would suggest butterflying them before grilling for more surface area for the rub and for thinner slices.

Let us know what kind of variations you do to make your own version of this recipe!

Serves 3 to 4

For the condiments
1 recipe Lemon Yogurt Tahini Sauce (below) or your favorite tahini or yogurt sauce (such as raita)
1 recipe Spicy Peanut Sauce

2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
½ to 1 cup roasted cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 medium cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced
1 small red onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup mint, cilantro or parsley leaves
16 small lettuce leaves

For the chicken and naan
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 recipe Spice Rub for Wraps (below, you won’t use it all)
Olive oil
4 large (4-ounce) naan, each cut in half into two more-or-less equal pieces, or 8 small (2.5-ounce) store-bought naan (I like Stonefire Roasted Garlic)


1. Prepare all the condiments and put each in a serving bowl.

2. Light a gas grill to medium-high. Put the chicken thighs in a mixing bowl and add 3 to 4 tablespoons of spice rub and a few teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl. Mix well to coat the thighs, adding more spice rub and a little more oil as needed to coat them generously. (Don’t go crazy with the oil as you simply want enough to adhere the spices to the chicken.)

3. Arrange the naan on a sheet pan and brush each side very lightly with olive oil.

4. Put the chicken thighs on the grill and cook, flipping once after about 7 minutes, until cooked through (about another 5 to 8 minutes, depending on their size). They will be darkened and will have shrunk and feel firm. Transfer to a cutting board.

5. Arrange the naans on the grill, cover, and cook for 1 minute. Uncover, flip over, and cook for another 30 seconds, just until warm and tender.

6. Slice the chicken thinly and arrange the chicken, the naan, and the condiments in a place where everyone can assemble their own naan. If using yogurt-tahini sauce, spread it on the warm naan first before adding other ingredients. The easiest way to eat these is folded over like a taco. They will still be messy!


Lemon Yogurt Tahini Sauce

The consistency of this is less like a sauce and more like a spread, so serve it with a sandwich knife for spreading on the warm naan.

  • 1 5.3-ounce (150g) container of full fat Greek yogurt (about ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 3 tablespoons well-mixed tahini
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1. Stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. It will be thick and rather stiff.

Spice Rub for Wraps

Store leftovers in a glass jar. This rub has plenty of salt in it so you will not need to add salt when you use it.

Makes about 2/3 cup

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

1. Stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl.