Chicken Shawarma

August 11, 2015

Author Notes: My family loves chicken shawarma, and I have tried to replicate the flavor from our favorite shawarma restaurant. I have friends from Israel and Iran, and they've given me their ideas and hints too. Once the chicken is done, there are so many ways to use it! I add sumac because it gives the chicken a tart flavor along with the spices. In this recipe I've made shawarma pitas and shawarma salad. It is great in wraps and, of course, in tacos!Leith Devine

Serves: 6-8


  • 4 pounds chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • pita bread or flatbread
  • arugula
  • feta cheese
  • halved cherry tomatoes
  • ranch tzatziki sauce (see my recipe)
In This Recipe


  1. Mix together dry spices in small bowl. Make sure they are thoroughly combined.
  2. In a zip top plastic bag, add olive oil, then dry spices and mix together until combined. Add chicken thighs and marinate at least 4 hours and overnight if possible.
  3. If cooking on the BBQ, put chicken on indirect heat for 30-45 minutes, turning halfway through. Internal temperature should be 160-165 before removing and resting for 15 minutes.
  4. If using the oven, set oven temperature to 350 degrees. Put chicken on a foil lined baking pan and cook for 30-45 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  5. To make shawarma pitas, layer chopped chicken with feta, hummus, tomatoes, arugula and tzatziki dressing.

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