Chicken Shawarma

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Marinate for: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Amira
Authentically spiced Middle Eastern chicken shawarma with all the tips and tricks for the perfect shawarma recipe.
Print Recipe


  • 1 (100g) Small onion, quartered.
  • 5 (12g) Large garlic cloves.
  • 1/2 (70g) Large red bell pepper .
  • 1 Tablespoon mayonnaise.
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste.
  • 1/2 cup (120g) plain yogurt.
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest.
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
  • 1/4 cup Orange juice freshly squeezed no sugar added.
  • 2 Lemons juiced about 6 Tablespoons.
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup olive oil.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves.
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper optional or add to your liking.
  • 2 teaspoon salt or to taste.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
  • 3-4 chicken thighs skin.

Quick shawarma white sauce

  • cup mayonnaise.
  • cup plain full fat yogurt.
  • 1 Large garlic clove, minced.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.


  • In the food processor add onion, garlic and red bell pepper. Pulse twice.
  • Add mayonnaise, tomato paste lemon zest, orange zest and yogurt then pulse until combined.
  • In a deep bowl, pour lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil and all the spices crumble bay leaves on top and mix.
  • Add the ingredients in the food processor and mix well.
  • Add thighs and toss to coat well.
  • Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or better overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 430F.
  • Divide chicken into two equal piles.
  • Fold one piece of chicken in half and thread it into two metal skewers. Repeat with the remaining chicken until you are done with one pile. Note1
  • Repeat with the second pile of chicken.
  • Choose a pan that is smaller than the skewers but can contain the drippings from the chicken while being cooked. Line with tin foil.
  • Arrange the metal skewers over the pan as shown above.
  • Place chicken skin over the skewers to cover chicken.
  • Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
  • Remove skin and brown the chicken for about 10 minutes each side.
  • Remove pan from oven, cover with foil, make a vent and let it set for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove skewers and cut chicken into thin slices. Note2
  • In a small bowl. mix the sauce ingredients well
  • Serve with rice or as a wrap with white sauce, cucumber slices, thinly sliced ice berg lettuce, pickles, onion rings, hummus and much more.



Note1:You can also try layering chicken on wooden skewers that has been deeply inserted into a large onion ( or potato) with a flat side set on a baking dish. I saw this on a facebook video before that I could not find unfortunately. Worth noting that I've tried this method several times and it did not work for me.
Note2: You can also brown the sliced chicken more in a pan on stove top for more color.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Shawarma
Amount Per Serving
Calories 402 Calories from Fat 253
% Daily Value*
Fat 28.1g43%
Saturated Fat 5.7g36%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3.7g
Monounsaturated Fat 15.4g
Potassium 258.5mg7%
Carbohydrates 12.5g4%
Fiber 3.3g14%
Sugar 4.8g5%
Protein 28.3g57%
Vitamin A 770IU15%
Vitamin C 91.4mg111%
Calcium 86mg9%
Iron 0.9mg5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 12.5g | Protein: 28.3g | Fat: 28.1g | Saturated Fat: 5.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15.4g | Potassium: 258.5mg | Fiber: 3.3g | Sugar: 4.8g | Vitamin A: 770IU | Vitamin C: 91.4mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 0.9mg

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