Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes

Authentic Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

middle eastern shawarma wraps made up with tender chicken pieces marinated in a delectable yogurt marinade and hearty spices. Serve these wraps with cucumber and turnip pickles, tabbouleh, and garlic dip

Many are in search of an authentic Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma recipe. Well, this one is definitely worth your time! An absolute crowd-pleaser that your guests and loved ones will have a hard time resisting!

From tender, grilled chicken pieces infused with aromatic spices and marinated to perfection in a delectable yogurt marinade that make the flavor traditional yet mouth-watering, this chicken shawarma recipe will be in your dinner rotations for a while!


golden chicken shawarma wraps served with golden crunchy French fries
Your lunch table’s main attraction!


Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

Originally a must-try street food in the Middle East, Lebanese Shawarma has become a popular go-to food worldwide. It’s a simple wrap made with juicy pieces of marinated chicken (or beef) that has been marinated overnight or for at least 6 hours in a blend of flavorful spices and seasonings.

This authentic dish captures the essence of Middle Eastern cuisine, delivering a harmonious blend of smoky char and rich seasoning.

Elevate your cooking experience with this easy shawarma recipe that guarantees a delectable and memorable dining adventure.

If you are a fan of beef meat, then you surely have to try my Tender Middle Eastern Style Beef Shawarma recipe.


Best Ways to Serve Chicken Shawarma

Apart from its traditional sandwich form, you can serve this family-favorite in various ways! Read on for some new and fun ways to serve up chicken shawarma.

Lebanese chicken shawarma is traditionally either served as a chicken wrap or as a chicken shawarma plate.

One of the most popular ways to serve shawarma sandwiches in the Middle East is on Shrak bread, also known as Markook bread. Layer your shawarma chicken on a spread of Garlic Sauce on the bread, then sprinkle diced pickles to add a sour crunch. You can also add fries to the sandwiches. Wrap it up and enjoy the differing flavor combinations!

Alternatively, opt for the chicken shawarma platter. Of course, it would be a game-changer to include shawarma side dishes like warm pita bread alongside crunchy French fries, fresh coleslaw, pickles, and a zesty garlic dip.

Embrace the versatile nature of grilled chicken shawarma by pairing it with an array of dips and sauces, such as hummus, tzatziki, or a tangy tahini sauce. Or, serve the chicken shawarma wrapped tightly in your bread of choice and dip them into the sauce or dip of your choice!

Enrich your chicken shawarma experience by pairing it with an array of roasted fresh vegetables. Roast a vibrant medley of red onions, cherry tomatoes, corn, bell peppers, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, or any preferred combination. The symphony of colors and flavors will harmonize seamlessly with your healthy chicken shawarma.

Another satisfying option is to pair homemade chicken shawarma with a bed of rice pilaf, cooked quinoa, or a salad. Tabbouleh and Fattoush are the leading Middle Eastern salads that will enhance the flavor of any Arabic style chicken shawarma. Try my Chicken Shawarma Bowl for a hearty and balanced meal.


middle eastern shawarma wraps made up with tender chicken pieces marinated in a delectable yogurt marinade and hearty spices. Serve these wraps with cucumber and turnip pickles, tabbouleh, and garlic dip
Serve these yummy wraps with crunchy pickles.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What cuts of chicken can be used to make Middle Eastern shawarma?

To make Middle Eastern chicken shawarma, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs. In my recipe, I used chicken breast. I just love how easy it is to work with and how juicy the meat is after cooking.

Can I use frozen chicken?

Absolutely yes! However, you have to make sure that you defrost the chicken before marinating it so that the chicken is well coated with the marinade.

How can I store homemade shawarma leftovers?

Store homemade shawarma leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 2-3 days. You can also freeze shawarma leftovers for up to 3 months after popping them in a Ziploc bag.

How can I reheat Middle Eastern chicken shawarma?

Reheat chicken shawarma in a skillet or in the oven over low heat for about 5 minutes.

Can I make a vegetarian version of shawarma using this recipe?

Absolutely! Instead of chicken, you can marinate firm tofu or even a medley of vegetables like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. The same marinade and cooking methods apply to a tasty vegetarian alternative.


Reviews

I’d have to say the best review I received is from my 3-year-old who lays claim to my chicken shawarma literally being his favorite food 😂😎.

But, also, the fact that many people commented on my shawarma saying it was the closest thing to shawarma shops in the Middle East when I used to cater!


delicious chicken shawarma served with pickles, tabbouleh, and garlic dip
Dig in garlic dip and enjoy the flavor!

Expert Tips

When you marinate chicken, make sure that it is well coated with the marinade.

It is better to marinate the chicken shawarma for 6-8 hours. The longer you marinate it, the juicier and more tender the shawarma will be.

Important tip: You marinate the chicken for up to 48 hours!

On the same note, don’t over-marinate because chicken breasts will break down.

The cooking time depends on the size of the chicken breasts. Large chicken breasts take about 30 minutes of cooking time. However, smaller ones will need less cooking time.

Don’t overcook the chicken to avoid dry shawarma. Cook until the internal temperature of the breast is 165°F. Use an internal thermometer to measure the inside temperature.

For the best chicken shawarma, let the cooked chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before slicing them thinly to allow the juices of the marinade to redistribute throughout the flesh.

Cut grilled shawarma chicken breasts thinly after cooking them. A clever way to keep chicken juicy!


yummy shawarma wraps served with cucumber and turnip pickles, tabbouleh, and garlic dip
Perfect for a family weekend!

Ingredients

To make this delicious easy chicken shawarma recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

Chicken breast: Use fresh, good-quality chicken breast to get tender juicy chicken shawarma. Rinse chicken breasts well and remove the excess fat and skin. Chicken thighs work as well but cook time will vary.

Spices: To marinate the chicken breast, you will need the following spices: Aleppo pepper, shawarma spices, paprika, ginger powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt.

Olive oil: Add olive oil to dilute the heat of spices and get a hearty Mediterranean flavor. You can use any other neutral oil instead. For example, avocado oil is a great substitution for olive oil.

Yogurt: The key factor to tenderizing chicken much more gently and effectively than regular marinades is to add yogurt.

Mayo: Mayonnaise will add fat, salt, and acidity to the chicken shawarma marinade.

Fresh garlic: Add finely minced fresh garlic for a huge kick of flavor to the shawarma marinade. You can also use garlic paste instead.

Tortilla wrap: The star of the chicken shawarma sandwich is the bread you use to wrap it in. In the Middle East, people usually use Shrak bread. Since I didn’t have any at the time, I served shawarma in Tortilla wraps.

Pickles: For a yummy tangy flavor, you will need to pair your authentic chicken shawarma with Middle Eastern cucumber pickles and turnip pickles.


Steps to Prep

First, make slits into full chicken breasts.

Now, in a large mixing bowl, add the spices and ingredients of the shawarma marinade (Aleppo pepper, chicken shawarma spices, olive oil, yogurt, mayo, salt, minced fresh garlic, paprika, ginger powder, garlic powder, black pepper). Mix until all combined. Marinate for a minimum of 6 hours in the fridge.

After that, cook the marinated chicken shawarma covered in a pan on medium heat until cooked through.

Next, set aside for 5 minutes before slicing each chicken breast thinly.

Then, layer your shawarma wraps by spreading garlic sauce on the tortilla and then adding the cut chicken on top.

Last but not least, add more garlic sauce and the different diced pickles.

Finally, roll the chicken shawarma pita up like a burrito and press it in a panini press or on the stove until golden. Enjoy!


authentic shawarma wraps served with cucumber and turnip pickles, French fries, and garlic dip
A festival of colors and flavors!

Must-Try Recipes:

Restaurant Style Butter Chicken (cheat version)

Palestinian Purslane Stew Recipe

Traditional Palestinian Musakhan Recipe

Halal Cart Chicken and Rice

Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Bukhari Rice and Chicken (Ruz Bukhari)

Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Recipe

Vodka Pasta Recipe Without Vodka

Viral Smashed Burger Tacos (Middle Eastern Style)

Santa Fe Chicken Salad With Creamy Chipotle Dressing


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


middle eastern shawarma wraps made up with tender chicken pieces marinated in a delectable yogurt marinade and hearty spices. Serve these wraps with cucumber and turnip pickles, tabbouleh, and garlic dip

Authentic Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

Fatimah
Indulge in the irresistible flavors of my Middle Eastern chicken shawarma recipe made with juicy pieces of marinated chicken that have been marinated in a blend of flavorful spices and seasonings.
5 from 50 votes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

For The Chicken Shawarma

  • 1 pound chicken breast

For The Marinade

  • 1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
  • teaspoons shawarma spices any brand
  • cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic or garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ginger powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For Serving

  • Tortilla or Shrak bread
  • Pickled turnips
  • Middle Eastern pickled cucumbers

Instructions
 

  • Make slits into full chicken breasts.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the spices and ingredients of the shawarma marinade (Aleppo pepper, shawarma spices, olive oil, yogurt, mayo, salt, minced fresh garlic, paprika, ginger powder, garlic powder, black pepper). Mix until all combined. Marinate for a minimum of 6 hours in the fridge.
  • Cook the marinated chicken shawarma covered in a pan on medium heat until cooked through.
  • Set aside for 5 minutes before slicing each chicken breast thinly.
  • Layer your shawarma wraps by spreading garlic sauce on the tortilla and then adding the cut chicken on top.
  • Add more garlic sauce and the different diced pickles.
  • Roll up like a burrito and press in a panini press or on the stove until golden. Enjoy!

Notes

  • It is better to marinate the chicken shawarma for at least 6-8 hours. The longer you marinate it, the juicier and more tender the shawarma will be. You marinate the chicken for up to 48 hours!
  • Don’t overcook the chicken to avoid dry shawarma. Cook until the internal temperature of the breast is 165°F. Use an internal thermometer to measure the inside temperature.
  • For the best results, let the cooked chicken breasts rest for 5 minutes before slicing them thinly to allow the juices of the marinade to redistribute throughout the flesh
Keyword Authentic Shawarma, Chicken Shawarma, Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma, Middle Eastern Shawarma
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

47 thoughts on “Authentic Middle Eastern Chicken Shawarma

  1. Asma says:

    5 stars
    This is the best shawarma ever. Better than any restaurant

  2. Layan says:

    5 stars
    my favorite shawerma recipe! better than any take out

  3. Candice Chieffo says:

    5 stars
    Hands down the best ever !!!! You won’t find better at any restaurant… once you try this recipe you’ll be hooked 😋 &&& be sure to let marinate overnight for the best results tho!!

  4. Karawan says:

    5 stars
    I make this shawarma every single week. It truly is the best

  5. Lina Elzayyat says:

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe!! One of the best I’ve made 😀

  6. Afnan says:

    5 stars
    Had both the chicken & beef shawarma but couldn’t decide which I liked better! They were both so delicious and full of flavor! I loved the fact that they each had so much toppings yet I was still able to taste the glove of the chicken & beef individually.

    1. Afnan says:

      5 stars
      *taste the flavor of the chicken & beef

  7. Lena says:

    5 stars
    LOVE the marinade, and I love the tips on cutting it after cooking!!! It definitely makes for a juicy shawerma and reminds me of all those shawerma shops in amman!!

  8. Loren says:

    5 stars
    I cant say I had authentic restaurant shawarma, but this recipe is wonderful!

  9. Huda says:

    5 stars
    tried it out for today’s dinner- and omg, this is the best recipe I have ever tried!!!

  10. Malak says:

    5 stars
    I miss summers in Jordan- mainly because of food (and family) and this is probably the best tasting homemade Shawarma ever. I even made the garlic sauce from the instagram! It definitely reminds me of Jordan ♥️

  11. Noor says:

    5 stars
    I totally recommend this recipe! It’s so good, easy to follow and tastes so delicious! 100% will make it again!

  12. Noura says:

    5 stars
    Okay so im skeptical at reviews even though the shawarma does actually look good. Well. This shawarma tastes amazing, and the reviews are spot on. I had to make it after you posted it on instagram. Thanks!!

  13. Fatema says:

    5 stars
    marinated this thursday to have it friday night. Best. Recipe.Ever.

  14. Mariam says:

    5 stars
    made this for a lunch gathering and everyone wanted the recipe! crazy delish

  15. Nasreen says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is marvelous!!! Well, actually this whole blog is marvelous!!!! totally fan of your dishes, I was shocked to try this shawarma!! Thank you soooooo muchhhhh 🤍🤍🤍🤍🤍🤍

  16. Ghadeer says:

    5 stars
    absolutely amazing

  17. Liyan says:

    5 stars
    I live in a city that has a lot of shawerma shops but none of them compare to this. Absolutely delicious

  18. لارا says:

    5 stars
    احسن شاورما بيتية thumbs up

  19. gladys says:

    5 stars
    Had to make a few changes due to not finding some spices- but best shawwarma ever

  20. Mohammad says:

    5 stars
    Very authentic tasting recipe, added some cloves to the spice mix, very excellent and is just like shops in Amman. Excellent shawarma

  21. Maryam Rehman says:

    5 stars
    The best shawarma recipe i have tried it’s mom and grandma approved too!! All my family requests me to make this atleast 3-4 times a month. Even the chicken marinade by itself is so good you can grill the chicken and eat it with fries/rice halal guy’s style!! I love love lovee this recipe <3

  22. Sara says:

    5 stars
    Yummiest shawarma recipe EVER!!! 👏❤️

  23. UmMohammad says:

    5 stars
    Best recipe hands down. My kids loved it.
    Seriously restaurants who? When u have this and actually know what’s in ur sandwich. Ya3teeki Alf 3afiya

  24. Lena Azzam says:

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe, I recently moved to a state that doesn’t have restaurants with good middle eastern food so I cook dishes as offen as I can, and having this recipe was very helpful for my shawarma cravings! Loved how it came out, the recipe was well written, definitely recommend!

  25. Duha says:

    Just made this tonight and we loved it!! Only different thing I did was cut up the chicken breast. Super thin then marinated it. And cooked it on a skillet without covering it on super high temp. It cooked very well and still was juicy!!

  26. Alaa Zayed says:

    5 stars
    Yummmmm!! The best shawerma I’ve ever made. Thank you. I really trust your recipes whenever I want to cook your website is my go-to.

  27. Jasmine says:

    5 stars
    Marinated this for 2 days. BEST SHAWARMA EVER. Thats all.

  28. Shams says:

    5 stars
    I made enough for leftovers. There were no leftovers lol, it was that good

  29. Shaima says:

    5 stars
    Had this today for the first time and i can honestly say this the best next to shawarma from jordan

  30. Mysoon Hammad says:

    5 stars
    Made the chicken shawarma today for dinner using boneless chicken thighs instead and can I say it was delicious. I know I can put faith and trust in any recipe she post. She has yet to disappoint. Love seeing what new she has to post on a daily. This is definitely a must try recipe.

  31. Sophia says:

    5 stars
    My favorite recipe! So easy to make and delicious. I paid leftover chicken with rice and pickled turnips and garlic sauce for a makeshift chicken and rice. 10/10

  32. Kheirat says:

    5 stars
    Best shawerma ever, and the combination of the garlic sauce is just diving

  33. Maram says:

    5 stars
    BEST shawerma ever. Seriously. We dont ever have left overs

  34. Dania says:

    5 stars
    My mom made this and it was the best shawarma I have ever had! And I’m picky about my shawarma and have had it countless times.

  35. Dania says:

    5 stars
    My mom made this and it was the best shawarma I have ever had! And I’m picky about my shawarma and have had it countless times.

  36. Nermeen says:

    5 stars
    Stop-just stop looking for a shawerma recipe because THIS ONE IS THE ONLY ONE YOU NEED. It ruined restaurant shawermas for me.

  37. Marwa says:

    5 stars
    I tried another bloggers recipes before this one and it doesn’t even compare. This one is PERFECTION.

  38. Lamia says:

    5 stars
    We made this last week and oh my God it was literally better than any restaurant we tried. MashaAllah you are so talented

  39. Dalia says:

    5 stars
    I made this shawarma recipe last Thursday, and it was the best!!! SO good! Thank you!!!

  40. Haneefah says:

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe out for my family and I can tell you they absolutely loved it! The flavours altogether were ‘chef’s kiss’ 🤌🏼

  41. Sumaiyah says:

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe ما شاء الله
    Made it once and making it again tomorrow
    Such a hit and very moist chicken

    Love from the UK

  42. Rabia says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is a keeper JazakAllah!!! I just need to work a little on the garlic sauce but still the shawarma cane out amazing! Again JazakAllah!

  43. Rabia says:

    5 stars
    Yummiest shawarma recipe that i gave trued.. comes out better with chicken breast..

  44. Maxia says:

    5 stars
    This was utterly delicious and so easy to make. I made it for a dinner party and it was a hit between my friends. Can’t wait to do it again.

  45. Iman says:

    5 stars
    ABSOLUTELY LOVE this recipe I make it all the time for my family and everyone can’t get enough. Thanks for the recipe it’s on rotation in our house. X

  46. 5 stars
    OMG, this recipe is amazing! I’ve been craving shawarma for weeks and this recipe did not disappoint. The flavors are so authentic and the chicken is juicy and flavorful. I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you for sharing!

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