This super easy Chicken Shawarma recipe is a classic Mediterranean-inspired dish loaded with tons of spices and baked until golden brown. If you’ve ever thought chicken was boring, this is the recipe that will change your mind!

Love easy weeknight recipes? Try my Homemade Hamburger Helper and my Creamy Shrimp and Grits!

chicken shawarma topped with fresh chopped parsley on a white plate

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    Homemade Chicken Shawarma

    After a recent trip to Israel, I was on a mission to replicate the street-style chicken shawarma I enjoyed there. It was tender, juicy, full of flavor and tons of fragrant spices. We saw chicken shawarma at pretty much every restaurant we went to. Either in a sandwich served with rice or on a kabob.

    In my version of Chicken Shawarma I decided to leave the chicken whole and bake the chicken instead of grilling which they traditionally did in Israel. Leaving the chicken whole and baking was a lot easier to do versus cubing, putting it on skewers then grilling. Baking doesn’t change the flavor at all. You can still get golden brown roasted chicken in the oven. I bake the chicken in a 425 degree oven so it cooks fast and stays juicy. After the chicken bakes, I broil them for a few minutes on each side. This helps to get the golden brown char on the chicken similar to grilling.

    chicken shawarma pita sandwich

    If you’ve ever thought chicken thighs were boring, this chicken shawarma recipe will change your mind! This dish is so fragrant with tons of spices. Your entire house will smell divine! And the chicken comes out moist and tender thanks to the marinating and broiling.

    Serve this dish as an entree with sides like my Mediterranean quinoa, over some mixed greens as a salad, in a pita with some hummus as a riff on a gyro, or over crispy pita chips with some fresh veggies and tzatziki sauce for Mediterranean-style nachos!

    chicken shawarma on pita topped with sliced onions, parsley, tomatoes, shredded lettuce

    ingredients

    • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs: I love using chicken thighs because they’re pretty cheap and nearly impossible to overcook. And they’re perfect for flavorful recipes like this shawarma that uses a variety of bold flavors. However, you can use breasts, if you prefer.
    • Lemon Juice: Adds a nice acidity to the chicken and acts as a tenderizer in the marinade.
    • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: To marry the spices in the marinade together and adhere them to the chicken thighs.
    • Garlic: Minced fine so they almost melt into the chicken thighs and other spices.
    • Dry Seasonings: Ground cumin, paprika (smoked, if possible), turmeric, ground cinnamon, salt, and pepper are all you need to get the bold flavor of street-style Chicken Shawarma at home!
    • Fresh Parsley: Chopped for garnish.
    chicken shawarma topped with parsley on white plate

    How To Make Chicken Shawarma

    Making Chicken Shawarma at home is a lot easier to make than you might think! All you need is a few minutes of prep time.

    • Marinate the chicken: Add chicken to a large ziplock bag along with all of the ingredients except the chopped fresh parsley.
    marinating ingredients in ziplock bag
    • Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    marinating chicken in seasonings, olive oil and lemon juice
    • Bake chicken: When you are ready to cook preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Place chicken in a greased baking dish and bake until golden brown and cooked through. (Mine took about 15 minutes because the chicken was on the thinner side). In the last minute or two of cooking switch the oven to Broil. Cook chicken for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
    unbaked chicken thighs in white casserole dish
    • Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.
    baked chicken shawarma in white casserole dish
    • Serve! Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve the chicken in a pita or on top of a salad or over rice!
    chicken shawarma pita sandwich on white plate

    Can You Grill This Chicken Shawarma Recipe

    Absolutely! This recipe can easily be made on the grill as full thighs or breasts, or skewered, after marinating of course. Grill until golden brown, and cooked through (about 10-15 minutes). You can also throw some sliced veggies like red onion, bell peppers, and mushrooms into your marinade and grill them, too. (Best for kebabs.)

    how to make garlic sauce

    • In a small bowl combine the minced garlic, mayonnaise, greek yogurt and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth and combined. The sauce will be on the thinner side. Make sure to use full fat greek yogurt for a thicker garlic sauce!
    garlic sauce in white bowl with silver spoon

    how to serve chicken shawarma

    toppings for sandwiches on wooden cutting board

    Serve this chicken in a warm pita with Garlic Sauce, tomatoes, lettuce, and onions for your own homemade gyro! Or serve as an entree over rice or a salad. Hummus, tahini, or Mediterranean salsa also make great toppings for this chicken! You can also make your own Mediterranean-style pizza with this on top!

    chicken shawarma gyro with tomato, lettuce, onions and parsley

    Storage, Freezing, and Reheating Instructions

    This Chicken Shawarma recipe is perfect for meal prepping ahead of a busy week or freezing to eat later.

    • Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 4 days.
    • Freeze cooked and cooled chicken in a freezer-safe, airtight container or plastic bag for one month. You can also prepare the chicken through the marinade stage and then freeze the raw chicken thighs and marinade together for up to 3 months. Allow cooked or raw frozen chicken to thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter at room temperature.
    • Reheat thawed or chilled cooked chicken in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, until warmed through. Allow raw chicken to thaw completely before assembling to cook.
    chicken shawarma on white plate topped with fresh chopped parsley

    More delicious dinner ideas for tonight!

    Chicken Shawarma

    4.98 from 39 votes
    Super Easy Chicken Shawarma. A Mediterranean inspired dish loaded with tons of spices and baked until golden brown!
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes
    Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Ingredients 

    Garlic Sauce

    Instructions 

    • Add chicken to a large ziplock bag along with all of the ingredients except the chopped fresh parsley. Cover and store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.
    • When you are ready to cook preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Place chicken in a greased baking dish and bake until golden brown and cooked through. (Mine took about 15 minutes because the chicken was on the thinner side). In the last minute or two of cooking switch the oven to Broil. Cook chicken for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
    • Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest for a couple of minutes before slicing.
    • Top with chopped fresh parsley if desired. Serve the chicken in a pita or on top of a salad or over rice!

    Garlic Sauce

    • In a small bowl combine the minced garlic, mayonnaise, greek yogurt and lemon juice. Whisk until smooth and combined. The sauce will be on the thinner side. Make sure to use full fat greek yogurt for a thicker garlic sauce.

    Nutrition Information

    Calories: 344kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 33gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 162mgSodium: 736mgPotassium: 498mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 546IUVitamin C: 7mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 3mg

    Did you make this?

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