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Quick & Easy Chicken Shawarma Middle Eastern Recipe

10 mins Cook
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Be prepared for the amazing smells when you’re cooking this Chicken Shawarma! It’s so tempting that you can’t control tasting it while cooking!

Ramsha Baig

This chicken Shawarma recipe is going to knock your socks off! Only a handful of everyday spices makes a great chicken Shawarma marinade that infuses the chicken with amazing middle eastern flavours. The smell while cooking is so tempting.

Chicken Shawarma

This is one of my signature recipes, a good way to be very acquainted with all my friends because I make this so frequently. It’s off the charts for effort vs output: only a handful of regular spices, garlic, a touch of lemon and olive oil transforms into the most first rate flavour.

While this chicken is cooking, the odour is awesome. In fact, it’s how I met most of my neighbours once I lived in a townhouse: complicated, random people I had by no means met before popping their head over the fence looking to know what on the earth I used to be making. They were elated after I handed out some one bites!

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What is Chicken Shawarma

Shawarma is a famous dish originating from the Middle East. It’s a famous street food that is traditionally made within the form of spiced meats that are stacked on a vertical rotisserie with skinny slices shaved off because it rotates. but don’t worry! We can prepare dinner horizontally in an awesome old pan or at the BBQ!

Shawarma was historically made with lamb, mutton and chicken although these days you spot it with beef too. It’s usually served within the form of a wrap, although in some countries you notice it served on plates with sides which include seasoned rice or fries, and salads. In this recipe, I’m providing you with each option!

Ingredients in Chicken Shawarma

  1. Chicken
  2. Lemon juice
  3. Olive oil
  4. Spices

How to make Chicken Shawarma

For the exceptional results, it’s nice to marinate the chicken in a single day. but to be sincere, the quantity and flavour of the marinade is intense enough that you can get away with no less than three hours of marinating. Been there, performed that plenty of instances, and nobody has complained!

Mix marinade: For comfort, simply mix the marinade without delay in a ziplock bag. A bag works pleasant because the bird remains properly lined within the marinade. In case you opt to use a field, both flip the chicken a few instances or boom the marinade by using 50%.

Add chicken: into the marinade Seal the bag, removing extra air, then rub down to coat from the outside. leave to marinade for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. in case you’re pressed for time, even 3 hours will do!

Yoghurt sauce: Make the yoghurt sauce simply by blending the ingredients then set aside for at least 20 minutes to let the flavours meld. This will hold for 3 days within the fridge.

Cook chicken: both on the range or at the BBQ. it will get an extremely good crust on it from the spices, and you will adore the smell. It’s intoxicating!

Rest: chicken for at least 3 mins earlier than serving to allow the juices to redistribute all through the flesh, else they will just run out everywhere while you slice the meat.

To serve: simply pile the whole lot on a platter and allow everyone to make their own wraps! The chicken, lettuce, tomato slices, onion, yoghurt sauce and warmed flatbreads – homemade or store bought. If the chicken is on the larger side, I sometimes slice it. but if they’re smaller, I have a tendency to just leave them whole.

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 a simple yoghurt sauce as the aspect. other non-obligatory extras include: crimson onion, cheese (query authenticity? but that’s good enough!!), hummus, hot sauce / chilli sauce.

Shawarma plate: With rice and salads on the side. concept I normally do serve pita bread or some other kind of flatbread as well, with a big dollop of either Hummus or the Yoghourt Sauce in this recipe, simply because it’s very on topic.

Below, the chicken Shawarma is pictured with Mejadra, that’s a middle eastern lentil rice (seriously so good you can / will want to eat it just by itself!) and a middle eastern Chickpea Salad (I skip the spicing of chickpeas otherwise there’s simply too much kapow spices taking place).

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

Be prepared for the amazing smells when you’re cooking this Chicken Shawarma! It's so tempting that you can't control tasting it while cooking!
prep time
10 mins
cooking time
10 mins
total time
20 mins



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

  • 1 tbsp ground coriander

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin

  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom

  • 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 to 5 flatbreads (Lebanese or pita bread or homemade soft flatbreads)

  • Sliced lettuce (cos or iceberg)

  • Tomato slices

  • Red onion - finely sliced

  • Cheese - shredded

  • Hot sauce of choice



Marinade chicken

combine the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag. add the chicken, seal, the rubdown from the outside with your hands to ensure every piece is coated. Marinate 24 hours (minimum 3 hours).

Yoghourt Sauce

combine the Yoghourt Sauce ingredients in a bowl and mix. cover and put within the refrigerator till required (it will last for three days within the fridge).

Preheat stove or BBQ

Heat a large non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon over medium high heat, or gently brush a BBQ hotplate/grills with oil and heat to medium high. (See notes for baking)

Cook chicken

place chicken in the skillet or at the grill and cook the first side for four to five minutes until nicely charred. turn and cook the other side for three to 4 mins (the 2nd side takes much less time)


remove chicken from the grill and cover loosely with foil. Set apart to rest for 5 mins.

To serve

slice chicken and pile onto a platter alongside flatbreads, Salad and the Yoghurt Sauce (or dairy free Tahini sauce from this recipe). To make a wrap, get a chunk of flatbread and smear it with Yoghurt Sauce. top with a piece of lettuce and tomato and chicken Shawarma. Roll up and enjoy!
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