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Great Chicken Shawarma Recipes

There are lots of Chicken Shawarma recipes. And that’s OK because this is one that can be adapted to your own personal taste. More garlic, or lemon, or perhaps less pepper, just enjoy and make it your own!

Chicken Shawarma just might be the original lemon pepper chicken.

This delicious Middle Eastern dish is made by marinating chicken breast in a mixture of aromatic spices, then cooking it on a vertical spit until it’s juicy and flavorful.

Chicken shawarma is one of the world’s most popular street foods and there are many recipes for chicken shawarma.

This chicken is shaved off the spit in thin slices and served in pita bread with fresh vegetables, garlic sauce, and hot sauce.

Many Chicken Shawarma recipes have a marinade that consists of lemon, yogurt, 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, sliced or chopped and can be used to make chicken shawarma pita pockets or a chicken shawarma sandwich.

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.

If you love chicken shawarma, you’ll be happy to know that it’s easy to make at home.

This easy, oven baked chicken shawarma recipe is perfect for your next weeknight dinner.

chicken shawarma recipes on blue decorative plate

Ingredients for this Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts


Lemon juice

Olive oil

Garlic cloves, minced



Black pepper

Salt to taste

Ras el Hanout (optional) I love a bit of this to season the chicken shawarma. It can contain up to 12 different herbs and spices giving it a sweet, warm, earthy flavor. Everyone has their own mixture but I use Savory Spice for most of my specialty needs.

Pita bread

Red onion


Garlic sauce

Hot sauce

Tahini sauce


Fresh garnishes such as tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, scallions, olives, pine nuts,

chicken shawarma recipe on decorative plate with pita

How To Make Chicken Shawarma:

  1. In a large bowl or zip lock bag mix together yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, black pepper, salt to taste and ras el hanout if using.
  2. Add chicken pieces to the marinade and stir until coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the mixture to a freezer bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours for best results.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  4. Spread the chicken pieces with a quartered red onion in a single layer on the baking sheet and reserve the marinade. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. The internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F (74°C). However if you choose to give the chicken a smoky grill taste, do not cook all the way. Preheat the grill and place the chicken on the grill for 5 to 10 minutes more while basting with the reserved marinade.
  5. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing it into thin strips or chopping into chunks or bits.
  6. Warm pita bread on the top rack of the oven or in an air fryer.
  7. To assemble the shawarma, spread garlic sauce and tahini sauce (if using) or even hummus on the pita bread. Top with chicken, red onion, and any other garnishes you like. Drizzle hot sauce on top and fold the pita pocket.

This easy chicken shawarma recipe is a great way to enjoy a delicious meal without spending too much time in the kitchen.

You can prepare the marinated chicken ahead of time and roast it on a busy night for a quick and flavorful dinner.

The chicken shawarma taste is authentic and flavorful, with warm spices and juicy perfection.

If you don’t have a vertical spit or a rotisserie, don’t worry.

This recipe uses a baking sheet and a cooking method that produces similar results.

You can also cook the chicken on a George Foreman grill or a grill pan over medium-high heat for a charred and crispy exterior.

chicken shawarma recipes with granishes on middle eastern plate

A garlic yogurt sauce is an essential component of chicken shawarma.

It adds tang and creaminess to the sandwich and balances out the spices in the chicken.

To make your own sauce, simply mix together Greek yogurt, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. You can adjust the amounts of garlic and lemon juice to your liking.

I often use the garlic spread dip that I buy at Trader Joes instead of making my own but it doesn’t contain yogurt.

Chicken shawarma is a versatile dish that can be customized to your taste.

What to Serve with Chicken Shawarma?

It’s perfect for a casual dinner party.

Served with gorgeous saffron yellow and white rice, a chicken shawarma platter is gorgeous.

I made it for a dinner party and gave my friends 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.

Chicken Shawarma is traditionally served with some type of sauce.

Like mentioned above, 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!

chicken shawarma recipes

Tomatoes and cucumbers aren’t necessary but they sure contrast well with the chicken. As do roasted bell peppers!

And in case I left out the kitchen sink, just know that almost any garnishes work well with baked chicken shawarma.

Play with your own herbs and spice to create one of your own recipes for chicken shawarma.

This Middle Eastern dish reminds me in many ways of Mexican carnitas, which are also a workhorse in the kitchen.

With a big batch of homemade chicken shawarma in the fridge, you can prepare dinner easily and quickly.

Think a big Greek salad, varieties of sandwiches, or even use this in a rice bowl.

Perfect in eggs or tortillas, or even on a quesadilla, it’s amazing how this simple Middle Eastern food can be adapted to so many cultures.

Try this easy weeknight dinner, experiment with a new mixture of spices and let me know what you think!

Chicken Shawarma

You Should Try These!
Homemade Pita Bread
Tahini Dip
kadaif, kanofa, katayif
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Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma – Oven Baked and Lightly Grilled

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star No reviews
  • 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!


Units Scale
  • 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


Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

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! ?