Skip to Content

Chicken Shawarma – Oven Baked and Lightly Grilled

Chicken Shawarma should always be in the fridge. Perfect on rice, in pitas, on salad…this lemony garlic pepper chicken is pretty awesome stuff!

Chicken Shawarma just might be the original lemon pepper chicken. Chicken Shawarma marinade consists of lemon, garlic and pepper with a few other herbs and spices thrown in. It tastes divine and can be made in the oven or on the grill or even a combination of both. The chicken is then shredded or chopped and can be used to make chicken shawarma pitas or wraps. Chicken Shawarma can also be served over rice, in tortillas and is perfect over salads. Trust me when I tell you that you will fall in love with chicken shawarma.

The season is here and I’ve been a million different directions. Let’s just say it hasn’t felt quite festive around here but we are making the best of it. Manservant and I just returned from a quick visit to Philly where Zoe cheered us up. All is fantastic in her world and that makes a parent feel good. I do feel though that life has gotten in the way of this blog and for that I apologize. After all this is supposed to be the time that one cranks out recipes and cheer, and gains readers by the boatload. Don’t I wish?

This doesn’t mean I’ve stopped cooking, though I’ve had a very hard time putting positive words to paper. Just wanted to let you know that I’m not dead or anything, but I’m not really sure what or anything means. In any case I do want to wish you cheer and goodwill and all kind things for mankind. Womankind. Peoplekind. Life is a wondrous journey filled with ups and downs and hopefully we all have more of the ups.

Chicken Shawarma

If you’ve read my blog long enough I’m sure you realize that I don’t just talk about food; though sometimes that might be the better avenue. Life isn’t always one grand boulevard lined with flowering trees and quaint cafes, though I wish it was, and food doesn’t always help, though I do believe it’s a pretty good cure. I could use some powerful chicken soup with magical qualities about now, but instead I’ll just give you this recipe for chicken shawarma. It may not be powerful, but it sure is awesome. We all need a perfect escape from heavy rich food and this is colorful enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

Chicken Shawarma

What to serve with chicken shawarma?

Chicken Shawarma is perfect for a casual dinner party. Served with gorgeous saffron yellow and white rice, the chicken shawarma platter was gorgeous. Unfortunately I didn’t photograph that one. You just get to see the leftovers! My friends had the choice to shove this chicken into pitas or to eat it on a bed of rice. Toppings are your choice, but we had hot sauce and pine nuts and cilantro. Of course, I also served hummus and tahini and feta. Tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t necessary but they sure contrast well with the chicken. And in case I left out the kitchen sink, just know that almost any garnishes work for this.

Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma is traditionally served with some type of sauce. Garlic Sauce is quite common, but I just served mine on a bed of tahini mixed with garlic and yogurt. If you want it creamer mix in a few spoonfuls of mayonnaise. This sauce that I use for potatoes would also be delicious. However nix the capers for this!

Food is pretty powerful stuff. Here’s hoping it cures what ails me! And here’s hoping it sends a little joy your way!

Some Chicken Soups for the Soul:

Thai Chicken coconut soup
Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup
chicken matzo ball soup

Please Pin and Share:

Chicken Shawarma

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma – Oven Baked and Lightly Grilled

  • Author: Abbe Odenwalder
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 Minutes
  • Total Time: 60 Minutes
  • Yield: 4-8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Oven/Grill
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern


Chicken Shawarma should always be in the fridge. Perfect on rice, in pitas, on salad…this lemony garlic pepper chicken is pretty awesome stuff!


  • 2 lemons juiced
  • 1/2 c plus 1 T olive oil
  • 6 minced cloves of garlic
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 2 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1 t ground cumin
  • 2 t smoked paprika
  • 1 t ras el hanout (optional)
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless thighs or breasts
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 T chopped fresh parsley
  • For Garnishes: Hot Sauce, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Scallions, Cilantro, Feta, Olives, Pine Nuts, Tahini, Hummus, Rice, Pita, Your choice!


  1. Prepare marinade for chicken by combining lemon juice, 1/2 c olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika, ras el hanout and chicken in a large zip lock bag. Mix ingredients well and marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
  2. When ready to cook preheat oven to 425. Use the remaining tablespoon of oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade and toss to combine. Now spread the chicken and onion from the marinade and place on the sheet pan evenly. Reserve marinade.
  3. Method 1: Place in oven and roast until browned and cooked through about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to rest a few minutes then slice all of it into chunks or bits.
  4. Method 2: After oven roasting I took the thighs and breasts and placed them on a preheated high temperature grill for about 5-10 minutes to give them a smoky grilled taste. I also basted them with the reserved marinade.
  5. After removing from the grill I cut the chicken into chunks or you could slice into bits-your choice. Serve the chicken with your choice of garnishes.


Inspiration from New York Times

Keywords: chicken shawarma, chicken shawarma recipe, chicken shawarma wrap, chicken shawarma sauce, chicken shawarma marinade,

Recipe rating

Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat

Monday 8th of January 2018

Yum, I love chicken shawarma so much!!

Karen (Back Road Journal)

Tuesday 26th of December 2017

Your chicken shwarma sounds like it would put a smile on anyone's face...I hope it did for you. Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year and look forward to posts from you when you feel like it. :D

Sippity Sup

Friday 22nd of December 2017

When you have Chicken Shawarma it's made all the better by the perfect plate to serve it on! I've never been to Philly. Is it a big Chicken Shawarma town? GREG

Healthy World Cuisine

Thursday 21st of December 2017

No worries blogging can be a full time job but life is to so you have to make some difficult decisions and it sounds like you made the best one! Love this delicious dish. Take Care and stay positive.


Tuesday 19th of December 2017

Woo hoo! Sounds like a great dish and a perfect one that should always be in the fridge! Life definitely gets in the way at times, take care and take long slow deep breaths! ?