Homemade and Easy Chicken Shawarma

When COVID lockdown first really hit I instantly started missing all of the foods I would have ordered for a treat like Chicken Shawarma. Even though I wouldn’t even eat it that often, I had major cravings for it because, well, when you tell a human they can’t have something, don’t they just want it more and more? I bothered my Lebanese friends for their recipes and scoured the internet and between the two, came up with my go-to recipe for Chicken Shawarma and I think you’re going to love it!

You can serve it on a big sharing platter with rice, pickled turnip and tabbouleh or simply stuff it in a pita with homemade garlic sauce or tzatziki and a bunch of veggies – chef’s kiss!

I find if you bake the chicken first and then cut it up into small pieces and sauté over high heat in some olive oil you get that nice crispy vibe that comes when you buy an authentic shawarma from the spit. I highly encourage!


  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp of paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of coriander (ground)
  • 1 tsp of sumac
  • 1/4 tsp of turmeric
  • 1/4 of ground cardamom
  • 1/4 of black pepper
  • a dash of crushed red pepper flakes (adjusted to your desired spiciness)
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6 garlic cloves smashed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice


  • combine all of the spices with olive oil, lemon juice and garlic until smooth
  • add in chicken and toss well to coat (don’t be afraid to use your hands for this!)
  • add in sliced onion and mix again
  • cover tightly and store in the fridge for at least 12 hours – the longer you marinate the better!
  • once marinated pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F
  • on a rimmed baking sheet grease with olive oil and place chicken thighs and onions evenly
  • roast in the oven for around 4o mins or until the chicken is starting to brown on the edges and is cooked through
  • once cooked slice thighs thinly
  • heat a large pan on the stove top and add a bit of olive oil, once hot add sliced chicken and cook until nice and crispy on the edges (optional)
  • serve on a big platter with pickles, pickled turnip, tabbouleh and rice or pop it in a warmed pita with lettuce and tomatoes – don’t forget the tzatziki!

Stay tuned for my recipes for tabbouleh, tzatziki and pita chips coming up soon!




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