How to CookMiddle Eastern

How to Make Shawarma at Home, No Equipment Required

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My stomach immediately rumbles at the thought of crispy golden chicken roasting slowly on a giant spit, smelling of fragrant spices and dripping with chicken fat.

Chicken shawarma isn't an easy food to walk away from: the thinly sliced chicken stacked high on a fluffy pita and topped with an assortment of herbs, pickles, sauces, and shredded vegetables.

Baked Chicken Shawarma
Baked Chicken Shawarma

The good news is that you don't have to have a large rotisserie to mimic chicken shawarma at home. By tossing chicken thighs in spices and roasting the meat a high temperature, you can have crispy, flavourful chicken in less than an hour.

Round out your shawarma with a combination of toppings like pickled turnips, cabbage, fresh herbs, tahini sauce, yogurt, olives, and feta.

Baked Chicken Shawarma

Baked Chicken Shawarma

Miranda Keyes Miranda Keyes
Serves 4 to 6
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for crisping on the stove
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 6 pita
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced into half moons
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 3 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup pickled turnips
  • 1/2 cup tahini
Go to Recipe

In a large bowl, combine coriander, allspice, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, pepper, salt, lemon juice, olive oil, and garlic. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Place in a large zip-top bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and as long as overnight.

Photo by Miranda Keyes

Preheat oven to 425° F. Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil. Place chicken in one layer on prepared tray. Bake until golden brown, crispy around the edges, and no longer pink in the middle, about 20 to 25 minutes. Let chicken rest for 10 minutes.

Slice chicken into thin pieces. For extra crispy chicken heat an extra tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan. Crisp chicken in the pan, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes.

Serve chicken shawarma in pita topped with sliced red onion, chopped parsley, shredded cabbage, pickled turnips, and tahini.

Photo by Miranda Keyes

Tags: Chicken, Weeknight Cooking, DIY Food