Easy Chicken Shawarma
The best homemade shawarma recipe using the most amazing (and easy!) spice mixture. Great for salads, wraps + bowls!
Shawarma is a very popular street food item from the Middle East, made from marinated meats like lamb, beef or chicken. It’s become increasingly popular here in the US, and now you can make it right at home with the most amazing spice mixture using just a few pantry staples.
I always opt to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, but chicken breasts can absolutely be subbed here. And with a bit of olive oil, fresh lemons, garlic and your pantry spices, you can marinate your chicken for 2 hours or overnight, letting it soak up all that spice goodness.
Throw these bad boys on your grill (or a cast iron grill pan) before serving them in a salad, some warm pita, or as a grain bowl. My personal favorite is to serve this with a side of tzatziki sauce and all the pita bread.
CAN I USE CHICKEN BREASTS?
Yes, chicken breasts can absolutely be used here but chicken thighs have more dark meat and a higher fat content which will yield juicier, more flavorful chicken when thrown on the grill.
WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE A GRILL?
Easy Chicken Shawarma
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
- SPICE MIXTURE: In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, water, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, cardamom, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and SPICE MIXTURE; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the chicken from the marinade.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat.
- Brush chicken with canola oil; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add chicken to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes.
- Serve immediately with tzatziki sauce.