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When Hanger Strikes

  • Writer's pictureMari

Leftover Turkey Shawarma Plates

Updated: Nov 24, 2023

I truly believe the only reason I make a whole turkey on thanksgiving is for all the leftovers after. Endless possibilities with leftover turkey - would you ever have thought to make turkey shawarma? Probably not. Believe it or not, even with all the different components, this entire dish took me less than 1 hour to make. That’s a whole meal for 4-6 people, with sides and 1 hour. I suppose if you don’t have leftover turkey breasts, you could just disassemble and use a whole rotisserie chicken. That’s how big this turkeys breasts whole rotisserie chicken worth...must be nice. Tips for this recipe - use a rice cooker. If you don’t have a rice cooker, BUY A RICE COOKER. And if you can get to @evoolution104, get the sriracha salt and use it in all components of this dish!! What a game changer.

Makes 4-6 servings


For the Rice

  • 3 cups uncooked sella rice

  • 4 1/2 cups water

  • 1 tsp salt (I used sriracha sea salt from EVOO)

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tbs olive oil

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds or cashews, chopped

For the Shawarma Marinade

  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt (6% or higher fat, low fat yogurt splits while cooking)

  • 2 tbs lemon juice

  • 2 tbs white vinegar

  • 3 tbs olive oil

  • 1 tbs tahini sauce

  • 1 tsp turmeric powder

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

  • 1/2 tsp allspice

  • 1/2 tsp onion powder

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp ground black or white pepper

  • 1/2 tsp zatar seasoning (optional)

  • 1 tsp sea salt (I used Sriracha salt from EVOO)

For the Meat

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 1 large white onion, sliced thin

  • 2 tbs ginger garlic paste

  • 2 large turkey breasts, cooked and shredded or thinly sliced

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 4 cloves of garlic (if not using a food processor, finely mince into a paste)

  • 2 tbs tahini sauce

  • 3-4 tbs Sriracha sauce

  • 1 tbs lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used Sriracha salt from EVOO)

For the Salad

  • 2 tomatoes, deseeded

  • 1/2 cup cucumber, small diced

  • 1/2 a red onion, small diced

  • 1/2 cup curly parsley, finely chopped

  • 2 tbs fresh mint, finely chopped

  • Juice of half a lemon

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Wash the rice 2-3 times and drain. Add all of the ingredients for the rice into a rice cooker. Turn on. When the rice cooker clicks, unplug the cooker and leave the lid on for another 10 minutes. Fluff the rice up with a fork and set aside until ready to serve.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the salad and stir well to combine. Set in the fridge until ready to use.

  3. Add all of the ingredients for the sauce into a food processor. Alternatively, add to a bowl and mix by hand. Process or whisk until you have a smooth, creamy sauce, about 2 minutes. For a thicker sauce, use more mayonnaise. For a spicier sauce, use more Sriracha. Transfer to a bowl and set in the fridge until ready to use.

  4. Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl. Whisk very well to combine.

  5. Heat up a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add 2 tbs of olive oil, the white onion and ginger garlic paste. Sauté until the onion starts to brown, about 8-10 minutes. Add the cooked turkey and sauté another minute or so to get the turkey warmed up. Add all of the marinade, using a rubber spatula to get all of the sauce in the pan. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook until all of the marinade has been absorbed by the turkey, around 7-9 minutes. Turn the heat back up to high, and allow the turkey to sit for 30-45 seconds untouched, then stir. This will create a nice caramelized crust on pieces of your turkey. If you want more of the meat to have caramelized bits on it, keep repeating this process until you are happy with the result. Remove from heat.

  6. To assemble, put rice on your plate, then top with as much or as little turkey as you would like. Put a few spoonfuls of the salad on top, and drizzle with the sauce. I also like to serve with pickled turnips.


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