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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Grilled Chicken Shawarma Recipe
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4-6
Easy flavorful recipe for chicken shawarma Serves 4-6
  • 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
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp allspice
  1. Place all ingredients except chicken in a bowl and mix, or pulse in a food processor to make a paste.
  2. Rub chicken on all sides with the marinade and let sit 20 minutes (or up to 24 hours refrigerated).
  3. 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.
  4. Enjoy the chicken over Israeli salad, or with rice and veggies.
thanks for sharing!
thanks for sharing!


  1. says

    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! :)

  2. Anonymous says

    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.

  3. Anonymous says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

  5. says

    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.

  6. Anonymous says

    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.

  7. Maryellen says

    Would you mind describing how you made the vegetable mix that is pictured with the chicken in these photos? This is right up my alley! Thank you.

  8. Kathy says

    After pulsing the ingredients, the instructions say “make a paste.” What do you use to make a paste, add olive oil or water?

  9. joanna says

    just made this tonight on the grill and it was awesome!! it stayed so moist on the inside and nice and charred on the outside. the flavor combo was really great.

  10. Patricia says

    I tried this recipe on the weekend with Israeli Salad.
    Absolutely Amazing!!!
    This will be a weekly go to recipe during the summer.

    I made the Israeli Salad with lime juice instead of lemon, as I prefer the refreshing taste of lime.

  11. Tina V. says

    Made this along with the Israeli salad and it was all fantastic! This is going into the regular rotation for sure!

  12. Ashley says

    Hi Sylvia, I made this for a dinner party recently and it was such a huge hit. Like your other recipes I’ve tried it really exceeded my expectations! I wanted to make this recipe for another group of friends this weekend but some don’t eat chicken. Do you have a recommendation for using fish? Have you tried it with tofu yet? Many thanks for your feedback!

    • Sylvia Fountaine says

      Thanks Ashely! You know…I can’t picture this with fish, but it might be good? I have had with tofu and liked it. :)

  13. Mary Dempsey says

    I am trying to subscribe but it’s not accepting my email address -is there a problem with this section of you site?

    • Sylvia Fountaine says

      Hi Mary- sorry about that! Are you subscribing at the top right of the page….in the box? Or in the post itself?

  14. Ben says

    The ingredient list does not specify ground or fresh ginger could you elaborate i really want to try this with a cilantro lime farro i am trying.

  15. alan says

    This was one of the most flavorful and most tender grilled chicken i have ever had. Used breasts instead of thighs. thank you so much. I think I am going to try your creamy sun dried tomato pasta dish tonight.

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