What is Shawarma Chicken?

Shawarma, also spelled shawarma or shawarma, meaning “turning” in Arabic, is a Levantine meat preparation in the Ottoman Empire (roughly modern-day Turkey) in the 18th or 19th century. It is a Levantine meat preparation in which thin cuts of lamb, chicken, beef, or mixed meats are stacked in a cone-like shape on a vertical rotisserie.

Shawarma is a portion of popular street food in North Africa and the Middle East. It is made from thin slices of chicken, lamb, turkey, or veal and served with sauces. The meat is usually cooked on a grill or a rotisserie, but it can also be baked. If you want to make your shawarma, you can also use leftover shredded chicken from the night before. The recipe for shawarma chicken is straightforward to make, and it is a trendy and healthy food.

What is Shawarma Chicken?

To prepare the chicken shawarma at home, you can use the same spices as the restaurant. You can buy spice mixes in your local supermarket. Combine cumin, garlic, turmeric, and paprika to make your own. Add salt to taste. Add a few sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and chopped herbs to top it off. This dish is perfect for lunch, dinner, or snacks!

First, you must cook the chicken. It should be cooked to 160F with juices running clear through a pierced breast. To make the meat tenderer, cut against the grain instead of across the grain. The chicken will be more tender this way. Once cooked, allow the chicken to rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing. After slicing, transfer the slices to a skillet to finish browning.

What is Shawarma Chicken?

Traditional chicken shawarma consists of well-marinated chicken piled on a vertical rotisserie or spits and slow-roasted for days in its fluids and fat until exquisitely tender and tasty! The restaurant owner would usually slice a layer of shawarma off the spit and place it into a pita pocket, then cover it with tahini sauce and a mountain of fresh toppings! This Mediterranean dish is popular in Turkey, Israel, and the Middle East. Usually slow-roasted on a rotisserie, shawarma chicken is incredibly delicious. Although shawarma chicken is typically prepared outside a restaurant, you can cook it at home for flavor and convenience. You can easily replicate the authentic flavors with a few essential ingredients.

Shawarma is created from marinated meat that has been roasted for hours on a vertical spit — the meat can be anything from lamb, beef, or chicken to goat, turkey, or a combination of these. The meat is sliced into thin, wide pieces and packed into a flatbread with lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, pickles, and parsley after it has been baked. Condiments can range from garlic yogurt to hummus to chili and pickled mango sauce, and while the type of bread used varies depending on where you are, the most common are pita, lavash, and taboon.

How to Make Chicken Shawarma?

1. Make the shawarma spice mixture. Add the spices into a small bowl and mix to combine.

2. Cut up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs into small bite-size pieces (you can use chicken breast if you like, this is my personal preference.

3. Spice the chicken up. Make sure to coat the chicken well with the spice mixture. Add onions, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. If you have the time, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight (if you don’t, you can skip the marinating time, it’ll still be delicious

4. When ready, lay the chicken shawarma on a large sheet pan and bake in a 425 degrees heated oven for 30 minutes (check a bit earlier as ovens vary.


  • ¾ tbsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tbsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tbsp ground coriander
  • ¾ tbsp garlic powder
  • ¾ tbsp paprika
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper, more if you prefer
  • Salt
  • Eight boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • One large onion, thinly sliced
  • One large lemon, juice of
  • ⅓ cup Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil


  1. Combine the cumin, turmeric, coriander, garlic powder, sweet paprika, and cloves in a small bowl. Put the shawarma spice mix away for now.
  2. Dry the chicken thighs and season both sides with salt before slicing them into tiny bite-size pieces.
  3. In a large mixing basin, place the chicken. Toss in the shwarma spices to coat. Combine the onions, lemon juice, and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Toss everything back together. Cover and marinate for 3 hours or overnight (you can decrease or skip the marinating time if you don’t have time).
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F when ready. Remove the chicken from the fridge and set it aside to room temperature.
  5. The marinated chicken and onions are spread on a large, lightly oiled baking sheet pan. Roast for 30 minutes at 425°F in a preheated oven. Move the pan to the highest shelf and broil the chicken for a more browned, crispier result (observe). Take it out of the oven.
  6. Prepare the pita pockets while the chicken is roasting. To make the tahini sauce, follow this recipe, or for Tzatziki sauce, follow this recipe. Follow this recipe to make a 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad. Place aside.
  7. Open the pita pockets to serve. Spread some tahini or Tzatziki sauce on the plate, then top with chicken shawarma, arugula, Mediterranean salad, and pickles or olives.

Chicken Shawarma Recipe

How to Serve Chicken Shawarma?

Chicken shawarma is traditionally served in pita pockets or wraps with a generous amount of vegetables and sauce. The concept of stuffed pita pockets appeals to me, and peppery arugula and my 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad for the veggies. Chicken shawarma can be served with a heavy sprinkle of tahini sauce, just like beef shawarma. A white yogurt-based sauce, such as Greek Tzatziki, is also famous. This dish of chicken shawarma serves 4 to 6 people. However, if you’re looking for a fun way to feed a larger group, consider shawarma sliders!

After the shawarma has been cooked, it is frequently sliced or shaved using a long thin knife. Only the necessary portions are sliced into thin, wide strips. The meat is then served with various vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and turnip in a packed pita, wrap, or sandwich. Shawarma is fantastic since you can serve it with any vegetables or sauces! Tahini, garlic, and hummus are the most prevalent sauces in shawarma wraps.

You can even combine different meats in one wrap or sandwich, depending on your preferences! Try your shawarma wrap with beef and chicken, for example. This is commonly referred to as “Mixed Shawarma.” Shawarma can also be served in a bowl with various veggies or fries or rice, Tabbouleh or Fattoush salad, and cooked vegetables. It’s entirely up to you how you love shawarma.

What does Chicken Shawarma Taste like?

Shawarma is marinated in herbs and spices such as garlic, turmeric, dried lime, cinnamon, and cardamom, giving it a rich, tangy, and toasty flavor. The flavors and quantities vary significantly from cook to cook, but cumin, cardamom, and paprika are frequently used in shawarma spice mixes. Some merchants will then sprinkle ground coriander, cinnamon, clove, allspice, smoked paprika, or ground turmeric.

How do you Eat Shawarma?

After the shawarma has been cooked, it is frequently sliced or shaved using a long thin knife. Only the necessary portions are sliced into thin, wide strips. The meat is then served with various vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and turnip in a packed pita, wrap, or sandwich. Shawarma is high in harmful fatty acids, which can cause blood cholesterol to rise. Heart disease and stroke are caused by too much cholesterol in the blood, limiting your Shawarma consumption to avoid heart disease.

Why Should you Eat Shawarma?

Shawarma is high in good fats and has some health advantages. This is because healthy fats are found in plants such as olives and tropical oils. Shawarma is also helpful in promoting a healthier body composition, stronger muscles, and increased brain function because it contains good fats from sliced lamb or beef.

Shawarma lacks critical minerals and vitamins due to its nutritional value, and these nutrients are critical for normal bodily development and growth. Unhealthy eating habits can stifle mental and physical development. Too much soda and sugar (both in shawarma) can cause tooth decay and bone loss.


Shawarma is seasoned with cumin, turmeric, and paprika, among other flavors. It’s produced by stacking thinly sliced meat on a rotating skewer or cone, usually lamb, beef, or chicken. It’s also occasionally cooked with the excess fat from the meat to make it juicier. The shawarma stack is slowly rotated for hours as it cooks in front of a heat source that roasts the outer layer repeatedly. Shawarma debuted in Turkey in the 19th century as a doner kebab. Later, it was taken to Greece, influencing the famous Greek cuisine gyro, usually made with pork or chicken. After Lebanese immigrants introduced it to Mexico, Shawarma acquired popularity in the Western world.

If you prepare shawarma at home, the chicken thighs should be sliced thinly and marinated overnight. To prepare the chicken shawarma, you need a large non-stick skillet or a barbecue hotplate with about one tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is hot, put the chicken in the pan, and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. You can serve it with salad or over a bed of lettuce.