Chicken Shawarma

Discover the tantalizing taste of the Middle East with our delectable Chicken Shawarma recipe. This dish features tender boneless skinless chicken thighs marinated in a flavorful blend of spices, olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic, then grilled to perfection. Whether served in pita pockets or alongside your favorite Mediterranean sides, this dish promises a truly satisfying culinary experience.


  • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground Cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 3 teaspoons Garlic, minced


  1. Marinate the Chicken: Place the chicken in a sealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, combine cumin, paprika, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, oregano, cardamom, salt, and pepper to create the shawarma seasoning. In another bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, and minced garlic to make the marinade. Pour the marinade over the chicken in the bag, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Seal the bag and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour or overnight for maximum flavor.
  2. Preheat the Grill: Preheat a grill over medium-high heat.
  3. Grill the Chicken: Cook the marinated chicken for about 6-8 minutes on each side or until juices run clear and the meat is fully cooked.
  4. Rest and Serve: Once cooked, remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. Serve hot and enjoy the aromatic flavors of homemade chicken shawarma!

Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 12 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes | Servings: 8

Serving and Storage Tips:

Serving Tips:

  1. Pita Pockets: Serve the grilled Chicken Shawarma sliced and wrapped in warm pita pockets alongside fresh vegetables and your favorite sauce, such as tahini or tzatziki, for a traditional presentation.
  2. Mediterranean Spread: Create a Mediterranean-inspired spread by serving the Chicken Shawarma alongside hummus, tabbouleh, Greek salad, and grilled vegetables for a complete and flavorful meal.
  3. Garnish: Garnish the Chicken Shawarma with chopped fresh parsley, thinly sliced red onions, and a squeeze of lemon juice for a burst of freshness and color.
  4. Side Dishes: Accompany the Chicken Shawarma with traditional side dishes like rice pilaf, couscous, or roasted potatoes to round out the meal and satisfy hungry appetites.
  5. Family Style: Serve the grilled chicken on a large platter, allowing guests to build their own shawarma wraps or plates according to their preferences.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover Chicken Shawarma in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure that the chicken is completely cooled before storing to maintain its freshness.
  2. Meal Prep: Consider preparing extra chicken ahead of time and storing it in individual portions for convenient meal prep throughout the week. Simply reheat and serve as desired.
  3. Freezing: While cooked chicken can be frozen, it may result in a slightly different texture upon thawing. If freezing, place the chicken in a freezer-safe container or bag, removing as much air as possible to prevent freezer burn. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.
  4. Reheating: To reheat leftover Chicken Shawarma, gently warm it in a skillet over medium heat or in the microwave until heated through. Avoid overheating to prevent drying out the chicken.
  5. Versatile Leftovers: Use leftover Chicken Shawarma to create flavorful salads, wraps, sandwiches, or grain bowls for quick and satisfying meals on busy days.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Chicken Shawarma remains fresh, flavorful, and ready to enjoy whenever you crave a taste of the Middle East. Whether served fresh off the grill or as part of a meal prep rotation, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds with its bold and aromatic flavors!


  1. Beef Shawarma: Substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs with thinly sliced beef sirloin or flank steak for a delicious alternative.
  2. Vegetarian Shawarma: Replace the chicken with grilled or roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms marinated in the same spice blend for a flavorful vegetarian option.
  3. Lamb Shawarma: Use boneless lamb shoulder or leg of lamb sliced thinly and marinated in the shawarma seasoning for a rich and savory twist on the classic dish.
  4. Shawarma Bowls: Serve the seasoned grilled chicken over a bed of quinoa, couscous, or cauliflower rice along with a variety of toppings like chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, and feta cheese for a nutritious and satisfying meal.
  5. Shawarma Wraps: Wrap the grilled chicken in large tortillas or lavash bread along with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sliced onions, and a drizzle of tahini sauce or yogurt dressing for a portable and flavorful meal on the go.
  6. Shawarma Salad: Toss the grilled chicken with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber slices, red onion, and Kalamata olives, then drizzle with a lemon-tahini dressing for a light and refreshing salad option.
  7. Spicy Shawarma: Add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the spice blend for an extra kick of heat for those who enjoy spicy flavors.
  8. Shawarma Skewers: Thread marinated chicken pieces onto skewers along with bell peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes, then grill for a fun and colorful presentation.
  9. Shawarma Pizza: Use grilled chicken shawarma as a topping for homemade pizza along with sliced red onions, bell peppers, and mozzarella cheese for a Middle Eastern twist on a classic favorite.
  10. Shawarma Tacos: Fill soft corn or flour tortillas with grilled chicken shawarma, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and a drizzle of tahini sauce or yogurt dressing for a fusion of Mediterranean and Mexican flavors.


  1. Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs? Yes, you can use boneless, skinless chicken breasts if preferred. However, chicken thighs tend to be more flavorful and juicy.
  2. Can I grill the chicken indoors? Yes, you can use a grill pan or indoor electric grill to cook the chicken indoors if an outdoor grill is not available.
  3. Can I marinate the chicken for longer than overnight? Yes, marinating the chicken for longer periods, such as 24-48 hours, can further enhance the flavor. However, avoid marinating for too long as the acidity in the marinade may break down the chicken too much.
  4. Can I adjust the spices to suit my taste preferences? Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the spice quantities to suit your taste preferences, adding more or less of any spice according to your liking.
  5. Can I make shawarma seasoning ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the shawarma seasoning in advance and store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for up to several months.
  6. Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh lemon juice? While fresh lemon juice is preferred for its flavor, bottled lemon juice can be used as a substitute if necessary.
  7. Can I grill the chicken on a barbecue instead of a grill? Yes, you can grill the chicken on a barbecue grill outdoors for a smoky flavor. Ensure the grill is preheated and lightly oiled before adding the chicken.
  8. Can I make shawarma seasoning without certain spices? Feel free to omit or substitute any spices you don’t have on hand. The flavor may vary slightly, but it will still be delicious.
  9. Can I use bone-in chicken for this recipe? Boneless, skinless chicken thighs are recommended for easier grilling and slicing, but you can use bone-in chicken if preferred. Adjust cooking time accordingly.
  10. Can I freeze cooked chicken shawarma? Yes, you can freeze cooked chicken shawarma in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating.

With its irresistible blend of spices and succulent grilled chicken, our Chicken Shawarma recipe is sure to transport your taste buds to the streets of the Middle East. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply craving a flavorful meal, this dish is guaranteed to satisfy. Try it today and embark on a culinary adventure like no other!