Chicken Shawarma Middle Eastern

30 mins Cook
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This chook Shawarma recipe goes to knock your socks off! Only a handful of everyday spices make an exquisite fowl Shawarma marinade that infuses the chook with special middle jap flavors. The smell, while that is cooking, is insane!

this is a reader-preferred recipe protected using a popular call for in my debut cookbook “Dinner”!

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

That is one of my signature recipes to be very acquainted with all my pals due to the fact I make this so regularly. It’s off the charts for attempt vs output: only a handful of everyday spices, garlic, and a touch of lemon and olive oil transforms into the maximum amazing flavor.

while this chicken is cooking, the odor is brilliant. In truth, it’s how I met maximum of my neighbors after I lived in a townhouse complicated, random human beings I had never met earlier than popping their heads over the fence wanting to know what on the planet I was making. They have been elated once I surpassed our samples!

What is Chicken Shawarma, actually??

Shawarma is a popular dish originating from the Middle East. It’s a famous avenue food this is historically made in the shape of spiced meats which might be stacked on a vertical rotisserie with skinny slices shaved off because it rotates. but don’t fear! we can prepare dinner horizontally in a good antique pan or on the BBQ!

Shawarma changed historically made with lamb, mutton, and chicken even though in recent times you spot it with pork too. It’s commonly served in the form of a wrap, although in a few nations, you notice it served on plates with facets including seasoned rice or fries, and salads. In this recipe, I’m giving you both options!

Ingredients in Chicken Shawarma

Right here’s what you need to make bird Shawarma. I’m betting you’ve got maximum if now not all of the spices in your pantry already!

  • chook – I love to make Shawarma with boneless, skinless thighs as it’s juicier than breast. however chicken breast and tenderloin each work remarkably.
  • Lemon juice – fresh!
  • Olive oil – For a touch of flavor but also to dilute the lemon juice so it doesn’t “prepare dinner” the chicken (like we intentionally do with ceviche!).
  • Spices – nothing out of the ordinary right here! The handiest one you might not have in inventory is cardamom, even though nowadays it’s without difficulty discovered at any grocery store. It has a piney, form citrusy flavor and it’s a key aspect that distinguishes the Shawarma marinade from other cuisines, including Mexican, that frequently makes use of the opposite spices used in this recipe. Quick, don’t pass it!
  • Spice manipulation – The spiciness in the Shawarma marinade comes from the cayenne pepper. It’s not a key element of the flavor so in case you don’t need it spicy, both reduce or remove it altogether. I promise you received’t feel robbed. masses of different flavors going on in this dish!


Shawarma is traditionally served with both a tahini sauce (common in Israel) or a Yogurt Sauce. In case you’d like to apply a tahini sauce, use the one in this Roasted Broccolini recipe.

For a Lemon Yogurt Sauce, right here’s what you want:

How to make Chicken Shawarma

For the pleasant consequences, it’s quality to marinate the hen overnight. but to be honest, the volume and flavor of the marinade are intense sufficient that you could get away with no less than 3 hours of marinating. Been there, and completed that in plenty of instances, and no person has complained!

  • mix marinade – For convenience, simply mix the marinade directly in a ziplock bag. A bag works nicely because the bird stays well-lined within the marinade. in case you opt to use a container, both turn the chook a few times or growth the marinade using 50%.
  • upload fowl into the marinade. Seal the bag, putting off extra air, then rub down to coat from the outside. go away to marinade for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. in case you’re pressed for time, even 3 hours will do!
  • Yogurt sauce – Make the yogurt sauce actually via blending the substances then set aside for at least 20 mins to let the flavors meld. this may keep for three days inside the refrigerator.
  • cook dinner bird either on the range or on the BBQ. it’ll get an exquisite crust on it from the spices, and you may adore the smell. It’s intoxicating!
  • Relax chicken for a minimum of 3 mins before helping allow the juices to redistribute all through the flesh, else they may simply run out anywhere whilst you slice the meat.
  • To serve, simply pile everything on a platter and let everybody make their very own wraps! The hen, lettuce, tomato slices, onion, yogurt sauce, and warmed flatbreads – self-made or store offered. If the bird is on the larger aspect, I on occasion slice it. however, if they are smaller, I generally tend to simply depart them completely.

How to Serve Chicken Shawarma

There are two main ways to serve chicken Shawarma.

  • Wraps – As chicken Shawarma wraps (like Gyros and Doner kebabs), with tomato, lettuce, and an easy yogurt sauce at the facet. other non-compulsory extras include red onion, cheese (query authenticity? but that’s adequate!!), hummus, and warm sauce/chili sauce.
  • Shawarma plate – With rice and salads at the aspect. the idea is I generally do serve pita bread or any other kind of flatbread properly, with a large dollop of both Hummus or the Yogurt Sauce on this recipe, just because it’s very on the subject matter.

below, the bird Shawarma is pictured with Mejadra which is a middle jap lentil rice (critically so suitable you could / will want to eat it simply via itself!) and a middle eastern Chickpea Salad (I pass the spicing of chickpeas otherwise there’s simply too much kapow spices going on).

some other matters that might be very an awful lot at home alongside chook Shawarma:

  • Lemon Rice Pilaf
  • Rice Pilaf with Nuts and Dried Fruit
  • Chickpea Rice Pilaf
  • Juicy Greek Salad – the flavors in Greek salad pair surely nicely with middle jap food
  • middle japanese Shredded Cabbage, Carrot, Mint Salad
  • center japanese Roasted veggies with Tahini Drizzle
  • Roasted Pumpkin with Yogurt Sauce and Pine Nuts
  • Roasted Broccolini with Tahini Sauce

The unfold below features the Chickpea Salad stated above and Mejadra, the lentil spiced rice.

Great food for gatherings

This fowl Shawarma, the side of Vietnamese Noodles with Lemongrass chicken, are of my maximum regularly made foods once I’m cooking for a crowd because it’s smooth to make hundreds, they’re both extremely good “lay it all out and permit all of us to serve themselves” kind ingredients (I’m a huge fan of meals like that), and it travels well. I’ve made this multiple instances on tenting trips (along with the Vietnamese Noodles and Greek Gyros!).

It turned into an additional part of a 7-course Arabian dinner party menu that I shared manner returned after I first posted this recipe in 2015. I still haven’t gotten around to perking up all of the recipes with clean new photos, but I will sooner or later! I like that menu due to the fact a lot of it may be organized ahead, and there are masses of common ingredients.

Be prepared for the super smells when you’re cooking this fowl Shawarma!

Chicken Shawarma Middle Eastern

Chicken Shawarma Middle Eastern

This chook Shawarma recipe goes to knock your socks off! Only a handful of everyday spices make an exquisite fowl Shawarma marinade that infuses the chook with special middle jap flavors. The smell, while that is cooking, is insane!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
30 mins
total time
40 mins



  • 1 kg / 2 lb chicken thigh fillets , skinless and boneless (Note 3)


  • 1 large garlic clove , minced (or 2 small cloves)

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp ground cardamon

  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (reduce to 1/2 tsp to make it not spicy)

  • 2 tsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tsp salt

  • Black pepper

  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 tbsp olive oil


  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt

  • 1 clove garlic , crushed

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • Squeeze of lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper


  • 4 – 5 flatbreads (Lebanese or pita bread orhomemade soft flatbreads)

  • Sliced lettuce (cos or iceberg)

  • Tomato slices

  • Red onion , finely sliced

  • Cheese , shredded (optional)

  • Hot sauce of choice (optional)


Marinade bird – combine the marinade components in a massive ziplock bag. upload the bird, seal, the message from the outdoors with your arms to ensure every piece is lined. Marinate for 24 hours (a minimal of three hours).
Yogurt Sauce – integrate the Yogurt Sauce substances in a bowl and mix. cover and position inside the fridge until required (it'll last for three days inside the fridge).
Preheat range or BBQ – warmness a massive non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon over medium excessive warmness, or gently brush a BBQ hotplate/grill with oil and heat to medium excessive. (See notes for baking)
cook fowl – area chicken inside the skillet or at the grill and cook the primary side for four to 5 mins till well charred. flip and prepare dinner the other aspect for 3 to four minutes (the 2nd facet takes much less time).
rest – get rid of chicken from the grill and cowl loosely with foil. Set aside to relax for five minutes.


Slice chook and pile onto a platter along with flatbreads, Salad, and the Yoghurt Sauce (or dairy loose Tahini sauce from this recipe).
To make a wrap, get a bit of flatbread and smear with Yoghurt Sauce. top with a piece of lettuce and tomato and fowl Shawarma. Roll up and revel in!


MAKE beforehand: Pop the marinade and chook in a ziplock bag and freeze immediately. Then as it defrosts, it's going to marinate! This also works well made beforehand, which I later did after I made this for fifty people as part of a multi-path meal. I grilled it in the morning and cut it up. Then before serving, it turned into simply heated up in the microwave. Toss it with the juices pooled at the bottom of the dish and no person will bet it was cooked earlier in the day! chicken in step with serving – If the use of massive Lebanese bread as pictured (diameter is almost 30cm/1 foot), you need around 300g/10oz of bird consistent with character (raw) to fill them out without tucking the leads to. 2 hundred – 250g/7 – 8oz according to character seems to be enough on common, however, I usually emerge as imparting more! chicken – I exploit 6 pieces approx 5oz/150g every. fowl breast: I sense strongly that this is pleasantly made with thigh as it’s given greater fat so that you get stunning caramelization. however, it’s nonetheless great and tasty and made with bird breast. The nice manner is to reduce them in 1/2 horizontally to make 2 skinny steaks no thicker than 1 cm/ 2/5″ each. If wanted, pound lightly. Marinate per recipe. Then prepare dinner on excessive heat (not medium excessive consistent with recipe) for just 2 mins on each facet till golden. they may be juicy and beautiful interiors! four. tips for matters to make at the side: Mejadra (pictured in the post) – middle jap lentil rice Chickpea Rice Pilaf– barely less spiced than Mejadra middle japanese Chickpea Salad (a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, bypass the spicing of chickpeas to preserve it more energizing) also, see the 7-course Arabian dinner party (summary underneath recipe) and the above recipe card in the post for a lengthier list of facet options. BAKING: Cooking on a BBQ or stove is satisfactory to get the caramelization. Baking doesn’t yield quite the identical flavor – but excellent! Bake at 425F/220C for 20 – 25 minutes till browned. nutrients for birds are best due to the fact flatbreads vary a lot in length and energy. Assuming 6 servings
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