Home Foods Chicken Shawarma (Middle Eastern) | RecipeTin Eats

Chicken Shawarma (Middle Eastern) | RecipeTin Eats

by Amelie Smith
Overhead photo of chicken shawarma

This Chicken Shawarma recipe is going to knock your socks off! Just a handful of every single day spices tends to make an outstanding Chicken Shawarma marinade that infuses the chicken with exotic Middle Eastern flavours. The smell when this is cooking is insane!

Overhead photo of chicken shawarma

Chicken Shawarma

This is one particular of my signature recipes that will be extremely familiar to all my mates mainly because I make this so frequently. It is off the charts for work vs output: just a handful of each day spices, garlic, a splash of lemon and olive oil transforms into the most outstanding flavour.

When this chicken is cooking, the smell is outstanding. In truth, it is how I met most of my neighbours when I lived in a townhouse complicated, random persons I had in no way met prior to popping their head more than the fence wanting to know what on earth I was producing. They have been elated when I handed out samples!

Cooked chicken shawarma meat ready to be eaten

What is Chicken Shawarma, really??

Shawarma is a well-known dish originating from the Middle East. It is a well-known street meals that is traditionally created in the kind of spiced meats that are stacked on a vertical rotisserie with thin slices shaved off as it rotates. But do not be concerned! We can cook our horizontally in a superior old pan or on the BBQ!

Shawarma was traditionally created with lamb, mutton and chicken even though these days you see it with beef as well. It is typically served in the kind of a wrap, even though in some nations you see it served on plates with sides such as seasoned rice or fries, and salads. In this recipe, I’m providing you each selections!

The flavour of this Chicken Shawarma marinade is absolutely incredible, yet made with just a handful of everyday spices. recipetineats.com

Components in Chicken Shawarma

Here’s what you will need to make Chicken Shawarma. I’m betting you have most if not all of the spices in your pantry currently!

Ingredients in Chicken Shawarma
  • Chicken – I like to make Shawarma with boneless, skinless thighs as its juicier than breast. But chicken breast and tenderloin each perform good.

  • Lemon juice – Fresh!

  • Olive oil – For a touch of flavour but also to dilute the lemon juice so it does not “cook” the chicken (like we intentionally do with ceviche!).

  • Spices – Nothing at all out of the ordinary right here! The only one particular you may well not have in stock is cardamom, even though these days its conveniently identified at any grocery shop. It has a piney, sort of citrusy flavour and it is a crucial ingredient that distinguishes the Shawarma marinade from other cuisines, such as Mexican, that on a regular basis utilizes the other spices employed in this recipe. In quick, do not skip it!

  • Spice manage – The spiciness in the Shawarma marinade comes from the cayenne pepper. It is not a crucial element of the flavour so if you do not want it spicy, either lessen or get rid of it altogether. I guarantee you will not really feel robbed. Lots of other flavours going on in this dish!

Sauce selections for Shawarma

Shawarma is traditionally served with either a tahini sauce (widespread in Israel) or a Yogurt Sauce. If you’d like to use a tahini sauce, use the one particular in this Roasted Broccolini recipe.

For a Lemon Yogurt Sauce, here’s what you will need:

Ingredients in Chicken Shawarma

How to make Chicken Shawarma

For the most effective benefits, it is most effective to marinate the chicken overnight. But to be sincere, the volume and flavour of the marinade is intense sufficient that you can get away with a minimum of three hours of marinating. Been there, completed that lots of occasions, and no one has complained!

How to make Chicken Shawarma
  1. Mix marinade – For comfort, just mix the marinade straight in a ziplock bag. A bag performs most effective mainly because the chicken remains nicely coated in the marinade. If you favor to use a container, either turn the chicken a couple of occasions or boost the marinade by 50%.

  2. Add chicken into the marinade. Seal the bag, removing excess air, then massage to coat from the outdoors. Leave to marinade for 12 to 24 hours in the fridge. If you are pressed for time, even three hours will do!

  3. Yogurt sauce – Make the yogurt sauce just by mixing the components then set aside for at least 20 minutes to let the flavours meld. This will retain for three days in the fridge.

  4. Cook chicken either on the stove or on the BBQ. It will get a good crust on it from the spices, and you will adore the smell. It is intoxicating!

  5. Rest chicken for at least three minutes prior to serving to let the juices to redistribute all through the flesh, else they will just run out everywhere when you slice the meat.

  6. To serve, just pile all the things on a platter and let everyone make their personal wraps! The chicken, lettuce, tomato slices, onion, yogurt sauce and warmed flatbreads – homemade or shop purchased. If the chicken is on the bigger side, I in some cases slice it. But if they are smaller sized, I have a tendency to just leave them entire.

The flavour of this Chicken Shawarma marinade is absolutely incredible, yet made with just a handful of everyday spices. recipetineats.com

How to Serve Chicken Shawarma

There are two key methods to serve Chicken Shawarma.

  1. Wraps – As Chicken Shawarma wraps (like Gyros and Doner kebabs), with tomato, lettuce, and a uncomplicated yoghurt sauce on the side. Other optional extras consist of: red onion, cheese (query authenticity? But that is ok!!), hummus, hot sauce / chilli sauce.

  2. Shawarma plate – With rice and salads on the side. Believed I commonly do serve pita bread or one more form of flatbread as nicely, with a massive dollop of either Hummus or the Yogurt Sauce in this recipe, just mainly because it is extremely on theme. &#x263a&#xfe0f

    Beneath, the Chicken Shawarma is pictured with Mejadra which is a Middle Eastern lentil rice (seriously so superior you can / will want to consume it just by itself!) and a Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (I skip the spicing of chickpeas otherwise there’s just as well much kapow spices going on).

A couple of other factors that would be extremely a lot at house alongside Chicken Shawarma:

The spread beneath functions the Chickpea Salad referred to above and Mejadra, the lentil spiced rice.

The flavour of this Chicken Shawarma marinade is absolutely incredible, yet made with just a handful of everyday spices. recipetineats.com

Good meals for gatherings

This Chicken Shawarma, along with the Vietnamese Noodles with Lemongrass Chicken, are two of my most regularly created foods when I’m cooking for a crowd mainly because it is effortless to make loads, they are each good “lay it all out and let everybody serve themselves” form foods (I’m a massive fan of meals like that), and it travels nicely. I’ve created this various occasions on camping trips (along with the Vietnamese Noodles and Greek Gyros!).

It was also component of a 7 course Arabian Feast menu that I shared way back when I 1st published this recipe in 2015. I nonetheless haven’t gotten about to perking up all the recipes with fresh new pictures, but I will one particular day! I adore that menu mainly because so a lot of it can be ready ahead, and there’s lots of widespread components.

Be ready for the remarkable smells when you are cooking this Chicken Shawarma! – Nagi xx

The flavour of this Chicken Shawarma marinade is absolutely incredible, yet made with just a handful of everyday spices. recipetineats.com

Watch how to make it

Chicken Shawarma recipe video! You can pretty much smell the heady aroma through the screen….pretty much!!!

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How to make a killer Chicken Shawarma!!

Chicken Shawarma (Middle Eastern)

Servingsfour – five

Tap or hover to scale

Recipe video above. The smell when this is cooking is outrageous! The marinade is extremely fast to prepare and the chicken can be frozen in the marinade, then defrosted prior to cooking. Greatest cooked on the outside grill / BBQ, but I commonly make it on the stove. Serve with Yogurt Sauce (offered) or the Tahini sauce in this recipe. Add a uncomplicated salad and flatbread laid out on a big platter, then let everybody make their personal wraps!


  • Marinade chicken – Combine the marinade components in a big ziplock bag. Add the chicken, seal, the massage from the outdoors with your hands to make certain each and every piece is coated. Marinate 24 hours (minimum three hours).

  • Yogurt Sauce – Combine the Yogurt Sauce components in a bowl and mix. Cover and place in the fridge till essential (it will final for three days in the fridge).

  • Preheat stove or BBQ – Heat a big non-stick skillet with 1 tablespoon more than medium higher heat, or lightly brush a BBQ hotplate/grills with oil and heat to medium higher. (See notes for baking)

  • Cook chicken – Location chicken in the skillet or on the grill and cook the 1st side for four to five minutes till nicely charred. Turn and cook the other side for three to four minutes (the 2nd side requires significantly less time).

  • Rest – Eliminate chicken from the grill and cover loosely with foil. Set aside to rest for five minutes.

To Serve

  • Slice chicken and pile onto platter alongside flatbreads, Salad and the Yoghurt Sauce (or dairy free of charge Tahini sauce from this recipe).
  • To make a wrap, get a piece of flatbread and smear with Yoghurt Sauce. Leading with a bit of lettuce and tomato and Chicken Shawarma. Roll up and get pleasure from!

Recipe Notes:

1. MAKE AHEAD: Pop the marinade and chicken in a ziplock bag and freeze straight away. Then as it defrosts, it will marinate!
This also performs nicely created ahead, which I lately did when I created this for 50 persons as component of a multi-course meal. I grilled it in the morning and reduce it up. Then prior to serving it was just heated up in the microwave. Toss it with the juices pooled at the bottom of the dish and no one particular will guess it was cooked earlier in the day!
two. Chicken per serving – If working with big lebanese bread as pictured (diameter is pretty much 30cm/1 foot), you will need about 300g/10oz of chicken per individual (raw) to completely fill them out with no tucking the ends in. 200 – 250g/7 – 8oz per individual appears to be sufficient on typical, but I normally finish up supplying far more!
three. Chicken – I use six pieces approx 5oz/150g each and every.
Chicken breast: I really feel strongly that this is most effective created with thigh mainly because it is got far more fat so you get stunning caramelisation. But it is nonetheless super tasty created with chicken breast. The most effective way is to reduce them in half horizontally to make two thin steaks no thicker than 1 cm/ two/5″ each and every. If necessary, pound lightly. Marinate per recipe. Then cook on a higher heat (not medium higher per recipe) for just two minutes on each and every side till golden. They will be juicy and stunning inside!
four. Recommendations for factors to make on the side:
* Mejadra (pictured in post) – Middle Eastern lentil rice
* Chickpea Rice Pilaf– slightly significantly less spiced than Mejadra
* Middle Eastern Chickpea Salad (a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, skip the spicing of chickpeas to retain it fresher)

Also see 7 Course Arabian Feast (summary beneath recipe) and above recipe card in post for lengthier list of side selections.
five. BAKING: Cooking on a BBQ or stove is most effective to get the caramelisation. Baking does not yield pretty the identical flavour – but nonetheless extremely superior! Bake at 425F/220C for 20 – 25 minutes till a browned.
six. Nutrition for chicken only mainly because flatbreads differ so a lot in size and calories.Assuming six servings.

Nutrition Facts:

Serving: 183gCalories: 275cal (14%)Carbohydrates: 1.1gProtein: 32.9g (66%)Fat: 16.twog (25%)Saturated Fat: three.twog (20%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 140mg (47%)Sodium: 918mg (40%)

Initially published December 2014, updated with fresh pictures and an enhanced recipe video!

Arabian Feast Menu

Right here is a summary of the Arabian Feast Menu that I shared back in 2015. I haven’t updated all the recipes but – I’ll get to them sooner or later!

To Nibble: Hummus, Herb Chili Feta, Chargrilled Vegetable Platter

For the Guys to Grill: Lamb Koftas, Chicken Shawarma (this recipe)

Since we will have to have Greens: Shredded Red Cabbage Carrot Salad, Spiced Chickpea Salad

Arabian Feast - 7 dishes prepared in 1 hour. Fantastic for entertaining on a budget.
Arabian Feast – 7 dishes ready in 1 hour. Clockwise from major left: Hummus, Herb Chili Feta, Red Cabbage Carrot Salad, Lamb Koftas, Spiced Chickpea Salad, Chicken Sharwarma, Chargrilled Vegetable Platter

Life of Dozer

Throwback to Life of Dozer in 2015 when I 1st published this recipe – absolutely nothing has changed in the years that has passed!

This shot quite a lot encompasses how utterly predictable Dozer is:

&#x2705 Skulking close to a massive pile of meat

&#x2705 Squeezing himself below a tiny table laden with stated meals

&#x2705 Eyes sparkling at the possibilities

&#x2705 Licking his lips in anticipation



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