This Easy Chicken Shawarma recipe is oven roasted and packed with flavor for an easy weeknight dinner!
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Hello friends! I’m so excited to bring you this recipe for chicken shawarma today! I’m sharing this recipe from my friend Samantha’s new cookbook, The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen. Sam blogs over at Little Ferraro Kitchen where she shares easy world cuisine. In The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen, she shares 80 authentic, healthy and easy recipes that can be made even on the busiest of weeknights. Want a copy for yourself? I’m giving one away right now over on Instagram!
When I received this cookbook, I flipped through the pages trying to decide what to make first. I considered the One-Pot Paprika Chicken with Olives and Orzo, the Shaksuka with Lamb and Spices, and the Jeweled Tabbouleh Salad before ultimately deciding on this Everyday Chicken Shawarma recipe.
What is Shawarma?
You may be asking, what is shawarma? Shawarma is traditionally thin cuts of meat, stacked into a cone and roasted on a vertical spit. It is then shaved off and served on a plate or in a sandwich or wrap.
What do you put in Chicken Shawarma?
Chicken Shawarma can be marinated in a variety of spices and aromatics, but this one uses garlic, lemon, Aleppo pepper, sumac, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, cumin and paprika.
What is the difference between a gyro and shawarma?
Although both a gyro and shawarma are slices of meat packed together and roasted on a vertical spit. A gyro is usually made of beef and lamb, then topped with tzatziki, tomato and onion and wrapped in a pita. Shawarma is a similar dish, but there are more variations in the preperation. If can be almost any kind of meat, and the spices vary depending on the recipe.
This recipe is a perfect weeknight meal. The chicken can marinate in about 20 minutes, then roasts on a sheet pan. Cover the pan in foil for easy cleanup.
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen over on Instagram! And if you missed it, don’t worry, the book is available on Amazon!
What should you serve with chicken shawarma?
You can serve chicken shawarma with:
- sliced tomatoes and cucumbers
- fresh herbs
- pita bread
- plain Greek yogurt or try this Mint Yogurt Sauce
- try this Turmeric Rice on the side!
Easy Chicken Shawarma
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
- 1/2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- pita bread
- fresh herbs
- lemon wedges
- plain greek yogurt
- chopped salad
- Preheat the oven to 400°F
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken thighs with the oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, Aleppo pepper, allspice, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and salt, stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes and up to an hour, the longer the better.
- Transfer chicken to foil lined baking sheet. Pour the marinade over the chicken. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. For extra crispy edges, increase the heat to 425°F and continue cooking for 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before cutting into it. Then cut the chicken into slices.
- Serve with pita bread, tahini sauce or yogurt sauce, chopped salad, fresh herbs and lemon.
If you like this recipe you may also like this Lamb Kofta or Mediterranean Lamb Bowls!
Made this last night! Was off the chart excellent!!! Thank you for sharing!
So happy to hear that!
Sarah Alcantara says
HI, stupid question….I did not have marinade to pour over the chicken in step 3. I followed the recipe, am I missing something?
Hi Sarah – it just means if there is any of the oil/spice mixture left in the bowl, pour the excess over the chicken.
LOVED this recipe. Made it for my family, my dad said it was the best food he’s had in months! I served it with the turmeric rice and mint yogurt sauce on the side, both went very well with the chicken. It’s so easy and healthy, I will definitely make this again!
So glad you loved it!
What can u use in place of sumac & alpeco pepper?
Hi Barb – You can leave out the sumac and just add a little extra paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper to replace the allepo pepper.
Chris Salman says
Delicious! I’ve made it in my home and use vertical broiler Shawarma machine to cook. Chicken turned out perfectly! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe
So glad you loved it Sarah!
Loved the recipe. Very flavorful chicken. Wondering if I can marinate a whole lot of chicken with this marinade, freeze it and use when needed. Will the lemon juice mess with the chicken texture while frozen?
Hi B – I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t say for sure, but don’t think it will cause an issue.
The recipe says marinate 20 minutes and up to one hour…..what about longer than an hour? Overnight even?
I loved the Greek chicken bake for the fact that I could prepare and marinate the day before and then just take out the next afternoon and bake. I was hoping this was the same.
We LOVED the Greek Chicken by the way!!! *****
Hi Jodi – I THINK it would be fine – the only concern I have is the lemon juice. Sometimes the acidicty can make the chicken get a weird texture. If you do marinate it overnight I would leave out the lemon juice and just use the zest. You could add the lemon juice right before cooking. I’m so glad you love the greek chicken!
Update – I talked to Samantha who wrote this recipe and she said she has marinated it overnight and it was great! So go for it!
Stephanie Gussler says
I always marinade overnight. Not 24 hours because yes, the chicken gets mushy and weird. But you can marinate it while you sleep and then get it on the grill. Excellent recipe! I think I’ve made it about oh I don’t know, 600 times
So glad you love it!
Lance Armstrong says
We travel to Israel as often as we can. Chicken Shawarma is one of our favorite things. A little Lebanese restaurant in Abu Gosh makes the best we’ve had. I have tried, too, to copy it. This recipe is 👌—thank you!!
So happy you loved it Lance!
Samantha @ferrarokitchen says
This is stunning and you make the shawarma looks sooo drool worthy!! Thank you SOOOO much for cooking from my book 🙂
I’m so impressed with you for writing such a beautiful and useful cookbook! Thanks for letting me be a part of your book release fun!
Thanks for sharing the recipe and the book. My husband has been enjoying Mediterranean food….like at least twice a week. Which means this needs to happen and I need to get that book.
Yes! You guys would love this book! Thanks Linda!