Chicken Shawarma


Indulge in the tantalizing flavors of the Middle East with our Chicken Shawarma recipe. Bursting with aromatic spices and tender, juicy chicken, this dish is a beloved staple known for its vibrant flavors and versatility. In this article, we’ll delve into the delicious details of crafting authentic Chicken Shawarma right in your own kitchen, allowing you to savor the exotic tastes of this beloved culinary delight.


  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  •  tsp cayenne pepper
  •  tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs about 6
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • For the Yogurt Sauce:
  •  cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the Chicken:

  1. In a large bowl, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, and spices. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and toss to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 425F 220C.
  4. Add the sliced onion to the marinade and toss to coat.
  5. Spread the chicken and onion onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes, then slice thinly.

For the Yogurt Sauce:

  1. Combine the yogurt, lemon juice, and garlic in a bowl. Whisk together.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Suggestion:

  1. Serve on warmed pitas with the yogurt sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumber if desired.
  2. Enjoy your delicious homemade Chicken Shawarma!


Serving Tips:

  1. Pita Wraps: Serve Chicken Shawarma traditionally wrapped in warm pita bread. Fill the pita pockets with slices of grilled chicken, fresh vegetables, and a generous dollop of tzatziki sauce or hummus for a flavorful and satisfying meal.
  2. Salad Bowls: Create Chicken Shawarma salad bowls by layering sliced chicken shawarma over a bed of greens such as lettuce, spinach, or arugula. Add diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and olives, then drizzle with tahini dressing or a lemony vinaigrette for a refreshing twist.
  3. Platter Presentation: Arrange grilled chicken shawarma slices on a large platter alongside a variety of mezze (appetizers) such as tabbouleh, falafel, stuffed grape leaves, and hummus. Serve with warm pita bread and an assortment of sauces for a Mediterranean-inspired feast.
  4. Sandwiches and Wraps: Use leftover chicken shawarma to make delicious sandwiches or wraps for quick lunches or on-the-go meals. Spread a thin layer of garlic sauce or tahini on flatbread or tortillas, add sliced chicken shawarma, and top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and pickles before rolling up.
  5. Grain Bowls: Incorporate Chicken Shawarma into grain bowls by pairing it with cooked quinoa, rice, or couscous. Add roasted vegetables, chickpeas, and a drizzle of tzatziki sauce or yogurt dressing for a hearty and nutritious meal option.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store leftover Chicken Shawarma in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Make sure to let the chicken cool completely before refrigerating to prevent bacterial growth. Reheat gently in the microwave or oven before serving.
  2. Freezing: Chicken Shawarma can be frozen for longer-term storage. Place cooled shawarma slices in a freezer-safe bag or container, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Frozen chicken shawarma will maintain its quality for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Portioning: Consider portioning leftover chicken shawarma into individual servings before freezing. This makes it easier to thaw and reheat only the amount needed for a single meal, reducing food waste.
  4. Marinade Storage: If you have leftover chicken shawarma marinade, store it in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Use it to marinate additional chicken or as a flavor booster for roasted vegetables or tofu.
  5. Separate Components: If storing Chicken Shawarma with accompaniments like pita bread, sauces, or salads, store them separately to maintain freshness and prevent sogginess. Assemble the components just before serving for the best taste and texture.


  1. What is Chicken Shawarma?
    • Chicken Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern dish made from marinated and thinly sliced chicken meat that is typically grilled or roasted on a vertical rotisserie. It is known for its tender and flavorful texture, often seasoned with a blend of spices and served with various accompaniments.
  2. What spices are used in Chicken Shawarma?
    • The spices used in Chicken Shawarma can vary depending on the recipe and regional variations. Common spices include cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, cinnamon, and sumac. These spices create a savory and aromatic flavor profile characteristic of traditional Shawarma.
  3. How is Chicken Shawarma typically served?
    • Chicken Shawarma is commonly served wrapped in warm pita bread with accompaniments such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, and tahini or garlic sauce. It can also be served over rice or in salad bowls with a variety of toppings and dressings.
  4. Can I make Chicken Shawarma without a rotisserie?
    • Yes, you can make Chicken Shawarma without a rotisserie by grilling, baking, or pan-searing the marinated chicken. While the traditional method involves cooking the meat on a vertical rotisserie for an authentic texture, alternative cooking methods can still yield delicious results.
  5. What are common side dishes or accompaniments for Chicken Shawarma?
    • Common side dishes and accompaniments for Chicken Shawarma include hummus, tabbouleh, fattoush salad, pickled vegetables, rice pilaf, grilled vegetables, and Middle Eastern dips such as baba ganoush and muhammara. These complement the flavors of the Shawarma and add variety to the meal.


Experience the exotic flavors of the Middle East with our tantalizing Chicken Shawarma recipe. Whether enjoyed as a hearty meal or a flavorful snack, this dish is sure to transport your taste buds to distant lands. With its aromatic spices, tender chicken, and vibrant accompaniments, Chicken Shawarma offers a culinary adventure that’s not to be missed. Try making it at home and delight in the rich flavors of this beloved Middle Eastern classic.