Amazing Chicken Shawarma

Are you looking to break out of your chicken routine? Β Ever tried some Middle Eastern food? Β Before this meal I hadn’t… but let me tell you, I’ll be trying more and more! Β This chicken shawarma is seriously amazing!!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

My husband has had this before from a restaurant, so I was going by his opinion of how it tasted, and he gave it an, “oh wow this is GOOD!!!” πŸ™‚ Β Don’t you just love that approval? Β Especially when he went on to praise it several more times and had seconds, then thirds…. SCORE!!

I served this chicken up with a cool and refreshing cucumber yogurt sauce made from greek yogurt, and some garlic flavored naan from our grocery store. Β Honestly, I’m not a huge fan of greek yogurt… but I decided to give it a shot πŸ™‚ Β I just can’t seem to get past the “tang” that comes with greek yogurt, so next time I may try the sauce with sour cream as the base instead. Β Everyone else loved the greek yogurt sauce, so you might too!

What I love most about this chicken recipe is that it uses regular, common spices that you probably already have. Β So you can have Middle Eastern food without having to buy a bunch of spices you may hardly use!

I actually wanted to make my own naan (I’ve found a few great recipes to try), but was running short on time (and energy) that day, and it was our grocery store to the rescue with some great tasting naan πŸ™‚ Β So if you’ve got a great recipe to make your own, go for it!

Just combine the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag, seal, and shake to mix it well πŸ™‚ Β Pierce your chicken breasts with a fork a few times to allow the marinade to really get in there, and add the chicken to the bag. Β Smoosh it around to get all the chicken coated, then put the bag in the refrigerator to marinate overnight or for 8 hours.

You could grill or saute your chicken, or actually you could bake it too if you prefer. Β I just cooked them in my cast iron pan, but if it was summer, I’d be sending them outside for my husband to grill. Β That smoky charred taste is just too irresistible!

Let your chicken rest 5 minutes or so before slicing it, so it stays nice and juicy πŸ™‚ Β You can make the yogurt sauce ahead of time, in fact it tastes better after it’s been sitting in the refrigerator.

Now you could wrap some chicken, cilantro, and yogurt sauce in a naan, like a Middle Eastern taco… or just take little pieces of all the ingredients on a fork if you’d prefer. Β I think the slices of chicken would also be great on top of a salad, with the cucumber yogurt sauce as a “dressing” πŸ™‚

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

I love the fresh cilantro with the chicken… it really takes it to the next level!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

I have to tell you, the leftovers (if there are any) are amazing too!!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

If you try this amazing recipe, please let me know how much you like it πŸ™‚

Recipe adapted from Recipe Tin Eats

This recipe will be linked up to all the fabulous parties on my Where I PartyΒ page, be sure to check them out for fantastic recipes!

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!

Amazing Chicken Shawarma

Chicken marinated with some common spices, olive oil and lemon juice will amaze your tastebuds! Take your mouth on a Middle Eastern vacation!
4.7 from 11 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 22 mins
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts


  • 1 clove large garlic - minced
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp ground cardamon
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper - or to taste
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil


  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt - or sour cream if you prefer
  • 1 clove garlic - finely minced or grated
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp grated peeled cucumber
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper


  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a large ziplock bag (or bowl).
  • Add the chicken make sure each chicken piece is coated in the marinade.
  • Marinate overnight or up to 24 hours.
  • Combine the yogurt sauce ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Cover and put in the fridge until needed (it will last for 3 days in the fridge).
  • Heat grill (or large heavy based pan on stove) on medium high. Spray with cooking spray.
  • Place chicken on the grill and cook the first side for 6-7 minutes until nicely charred, then flip and cook the other side for 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove chicken from the grill and cover loosely with foil. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Author The Chunky Chef
Tried this recipe?Mention @the_chunky_chef or tag #thechunkychef!

If changing the recipe serving quantity, the recipe plugin will change the ingredient values for you, but it does NOT change the written instructions, those are manually added and not subject to a slider/button. You will have to extrapolate that multiplication to any amounts listed in the instructions.

For example: if an ingredient calls for 4 cups, and you doubled the recipe, it will automatically change to 8 cups. In the instructions, if I say β€œuse 4 cups of cheese”, you will have to realize that since you doubled it, you use 8 cups, not 4

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Recipe Rating

75 comments on “Amazing Chicken Shawarma”

  1. I would cut 1 tsp of salt out other than that it was amazing.Β 

  2. This is my husband’s favorite meal. He almost never has requests for dinners when I’m doing my meal planning, but if he does, this is it. My only changes are to halve the cayenne and to add lemon zest to the marinade. I always at least double the recipe so there are leftovers, which makes him really happy.

  3. I made this recipe so many times and it was always huge success. I’m wondering if I could use chicken tights instead of chicken breast?

  4. I had most of the ingredients in my kitchen for this recipe so I thought, why not, since I was in the mood for something with Mediterranean flavors and my husband and I are glad we made it. Might be little hot for some (not for us) so you may want to cut back on the cayenne pepper. We are already talking about making it again! We served it with the Chunky Chef’s GREEK-INSPIRED TOMATO AND AVOCADO SALAD but we left out the avocados because they weren’t ripe; nevertheless, the salad was delish and a nice crunchy accompaniment to the AMAZING CHICKEN SHAWARMA. Both recipes were so good, I’m looking through the website for another winning recipe!

  5. I absolutely loved this recipe. I love chicken schwarma, but am very picky about the flavors. I made this and cut it very thin, I cut each breast in half, then sliced them thin and put each half in an individual pack. We put all packs in a freezer bag and just pull out a pack when we want it. It froze beautifully. We love heating up a pack and either adding it to salad or putting in a pita for a sandwich. I cooked mine on the George Forman grill ( about 7 min. each side). We loved it so much that we just bought more chicken breast to double the recipe for the weekend.

  6. THis is so good. Did make some adjustments for my own pallet. Your dish has become a favorite of husband’s and five children.

  7. What would you suggest for baking this?

    • Hi Kelsey πŸ™‚ I would bake the chicken at 425 degrees F for about 30-40 minutes, until chicken is charred and cooked through. Times will vary depending upon the thickness of your chicken.

  8. This was amazing I couldnt have had it turn out any better! Thank you for the recipe!

  9. I made this tonight and it was fantastic! My husband is allergic to garlic so I had to omit it. I didn’t grill it, rather pan seared medium high for 3 minutes each side. (chicken breasts were thin). Then transferred them to a 200 degree oven to keep warm until served. I squeezed the juice of 1/2 a lemon over them just before serving. They were so moist and yummy! Thank you for this recipe.

  10. Shouldn’t there be cucumber in the yogurt sauce? I don’t see it listed on the recipe. It sounds delicious though.

  11. I love this simple yet delicious recipe. Plus this yogurt sauce looks terrific πŸ™‚

  12. I made this for the first time tonight after finding it on Pinterest last week. This is my new favorite dinner EVER. I need to reduce the amount of cayenne (I used 1 tsp as per the recipe suggestion) and it was way too spicy for us. I sliced the chicken thinly and put it on pita with lettuce, tomato and tzatziki sauce. Amazing. Can’t thank you enough for this recipe!

    • I’m SO SO glad you liked it Sarah!! My husband loves his spicy food lol. I love hearing from readers that have made a recipe, especially when they loved it as much as you did πŸ™‚

  13. Shawarma is one of my all time FAVES!!! Thank you for the mention!!! πŸ™‚ (And I promise my mind did not go to the gutter….. πŸ™‚ )

  14. This looks AMAZING! I will be featuring your awesome recipe at this weeks Tickle My Tastebuds Link Party! Have a terrific week!

  15. I have not ventured much into this kind of food, but you sure have sold me! Love marinated grilled chicken, and this is sure to bring new and exciting flavors! thanks!

  16. I think I just found dinner tonight! I have never used cardamom in a savory dish before, only desserts, but I can’t wait to try.

  17. Awesome recipe and beautiful photos! Thank you for joining us at #purebloglove. We enjoy having you every week on Thursday night at 8PM through Sunday night. ~Cydnee

  18. This not only sounds delicious, but it looks amazing!

    Thanks so much for sharing – Pinning!

  19. I LOVE chicken shawarma and yours look absolutely amazing! Drooling over here! Thanks for sharing and Cheers, chickie!

  20. This looks so good, I had to stop by from FF and check it our! I know I have to try this, so on it went to my pins!

  21. That shwarma does indeed look amazing! And I am going to try it very soon, bcos the husband & I are big fans πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for sharing!

  22. My husband is half Lebanese, so the kids have all grown up on Middle Eastern food. This looks delicious! Sending some foodie love your way! Can’t wait to try it!

  23. Love all the spices in this and love Greek yogurt so I am definately going to try this recipe!

  24. I am OBSESSED with Middle Eastern Food!! This looks absolutely wonderful- I would use chicken thighs (my favorite). I am a HUGE fan of Greek yogurt too. Love it!!

  25. oooh! I love Shawarma! πŸ˜€ Never tried making it at home though. Now I have no excuse! πŸ™‚ This looks amazing and wish I had this for dinner…

  26. You have created a beautiful dish! I have pinned this and will give it a try. Your chicken was browned to perfection and we love cilantro. Win win win.

  27. Congrat’s to you for achieving success with chicken shawarma right out of the gate! Making hubby as happy as you did must have felt great. πŸ™‚ I bet you’ll make numerous people happy with this delicious dish at the Fiesta Friday Anniversary Part 2 as well. Thanks for sharing it with all of the party revelers, Amanda!

  28. This looks great too! And it’s on the dinner list for this week. Thank you πŸ™‚

  29. this looks utterly amazing oh my

  30. I love the taste of Cilantro too!! You know they say you either love it or not!! Great Recipe!! I would love for you to stop by and share your stuff at my Link Party…it’s still open!!

    • You’re so right… I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who kind of likes cilantro, it’s one way or the other πŸ™‚ Hello fellow cilantro lover! Thank you! And I’ll be sure to stop by this afternoon during the kiddos’ nap time πŸ˜€

  31. Thank you for sharing your chicken recipe with the Fiesta Friday crowd over at Angie’s The Novice Gardener blog. Today is Part 2 of the special anniversary edition and your chicken looks great adorning the main course table.

  32. I absolutely love marinades because they’re so flavorful (and pretty easy too). The flavors in this dish sound amazing, and I just love cilantro. Happy FF, and have a wonderful weekend! πŸ˜€

    • Yes, marinades are one of my favorite cooking techniques, I love how much flavor can develop even after just 1 hour of marinating! I put cilantro on most anything lol. Happy FF! Enjoy your weekend πŸ˜€

  33. “have you ever tried shawarma? There’s a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is, but I wanna try it.” haha sorry, couldn’t resist (here’s hoping know what I’m quoting here or you’re just gonna think I’ve lost it haha!
    This looks delicious though, and I haven’t ever had shawarma so the quote applies – just instead two blocks I only have to come here!

  34. I have to say, this does look AMAZING! I read through the list of ingredients and they look almost identical to a recipe I made from The Clothes Make the Girl blog (she’s a “Paleo” food blogger) and my husband said it was the best chicken he ever had. I will try this for sure. Thank you for bringing to the party!

  35. CHICKEN SHAWARMA IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE THING ON THE FACE OF THE PLANET!!!!!!! In fact, I officially am craving it – AGAIN – so I think I am going to get some TOMORROW πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ And I am also going to try my hand at making some…. I CANNOT WAIT!

  36. I am always looking for new chicken recipes…this looks delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  37. Welcome to “living” lol

    Kidding (kinda), but chicken shawarma is one of my all time favorite foods, so I’m always super pumped to see other people catch on to its deliciousness. Yours looks delicious- great job πŸ™‚

    • Lol, I get caught up in my standard chicken routine and it sure was great to break out of that πŸ™‚ Thank you!! It means a lot to have someone who loves the food compliment on my dish πŸ˜€

  38. Looks amazing! I am drooling looking at the pictures!

  39. This does look amazing! And yes, I am trying to break out of my normal chicken routine so this is perfect. I cook chicken at least once a week and definitely need to try this recipe soon.

    • Thank you!! Awesome, I hope you love it πŸ˜€ We eat chicken 2-3 times a week sometimes, so I’m always trying to change it up so everyone isn’t thinking “great, chicken… again” lol πŸ™‚