Feasting at Home : Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe

July 4, 2014

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe

This easy Grilled Chicken Shawarma recipe is bursting with middle eastern flavors. Fast and simple to make, it comes together in less than 30 minutes and it's one we use a lot at home. During hot summer evenings, I love it best served over a bed of a chilled Israeli Salad, a salad made of very finely diced summer vegetables and fresh herbs. The combination of hot grilled juicy chicken, together with the chilled Israeli salad is refreshing and delicious. Look for the Israeli salad recipe here in the next couple days.  For heartier appetites, fold the tender flavorful chicken into pita, with tahini sauce along with this Turkish Cucumber Salad, or simply serve with rice…..the flavors will not disappoint. 

{A little side note- I recently opened a very small kitchen store with my good friend Jill filled with a few things I love to use at home in my own kitchen. It's called Bowl and Pitcher….take a gander when you get a chance!! }

The chicken starts with a  marinade, made with a combination of spices that I've been tinkering with for a while now. It finely tastes, just right. Use whole seeds or ground spices, either is fine.

Stir the spices with garlic and oil  into a paste and rub all over the chicken. For this recipe, I use boneless, skinless thighs, as thighs end up being extra tender and juicy. I haven't tried the marinade on tofu yet, but my guess is it would be delicious, lathered up on tofu slices and baked on a sheet pan, in the oven.

Place chicken on a hot grill, getting nice char. Once nicely charred, either turn heat down and cover, to cook through, or place into a 350 F oven until chicken is cooked through. The nice thing about thighs is it's very hard to overcook them.

Chop the chicken up and place over a salad, or serve them whole along side rice and salad.

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  • print recipe
    Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe
    Easy flavorful recipe for chicken shawarma
    Serves 4-6
    Ingredients 2 lbs to 2 ¼ lb chicken thighs ( boneless and skinless --or skin on)
    2 T ground cumin
    2 T ground coriander
    8 cloves minced garlic cloves
    2 tsp kosher salt
    6 T olive oil
    1/4 tsp cayenne
    2 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp ginger
    1 tsp. ground black pepper
    2 tsp allspice

    Place all in a bowl and mix, or pulse in a food processor. Make a paste. Rub chicken on all sides with the marinade and let sit 20 minutes (or up to 24 hours refrigerated).
    Grill chicken on a pre-heated BBQ, on medium high heat, closing the lid to the bbq, until all sides have nice grill marks, about 8 minutes each side.  Finish chicken in a 350 F oven until cooked all the way through, about 10 minutes.
    Enjoy the chicken over Israeli salad, or with rice and veggies.
    Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6


  1. Looks so delicious!

  2. This looks incredible, Sylvia, LOVE those flavors!!

    1. Thanks for visiting Matt. Love your blog!

  3. Hi Sylvia,
    I found your recipe on Pinterest, and we made the chicken last night for dinner, along with an Israeli Salad and grilled sweet potatoes. The chicken was super moist, flavorful, and so easy! This is definitely one of my favorite new recipes - it's SO GOOD!! thank you! :)

  4. I don't see many recipes online for homemade shawarma. This one looks excellent though, and really straightforward, thanks for sharing!

  5. Made this last night, along with the tahini sauce and some roasted potatoes and grilled leeks/zucchini. It was really excellent, however we all found it way too salty. Maybe it's just our preference, but next time I'll use 1/2 the amount of salt. But there definitely will be a next time.

    1. Thanks for the feedback. I think it may actually be a typo…I will fix. Sorry about that!!

  6. Just made this chicken...it's on the grill as we speak. So glad I misread the amount of salt. I added 1 1/2 t. It should be perfect.

  7. We're making this tomorrow night Sylvie!

  8. This was amazing.We had it with your salad for dinner last night. I knew it would be good while I was marinating the chicken. The smell was incredible! I also served grilled baby potatoes and corn on the cob. The flavor was perfect. It was the perfect seasonal summer meal. I am looking forward to the left-overs for lunch!

    1. Im so glad you enjoyed and thank you for sharing!

  9. This is delicious.. but unfortunately its very expensive for most people where I come from..

  10. Thanks for this lip-smacking recipe. I love this.

  11. I'm about to try your chicken shawarma here in Philippines and from the ingredients and the process of cooking I can judge it's so good and delicious. I'm glad that we can prepare shawarma this way because what i saw in foodcourt is a rotating pile of sliced chicken or beef grilled near a flame. Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Lovely recipe, but that is not an Israeli salad. It would be nice to give tribute to the actual origin of this food, which is clearly Palestinian.