Chicken Shawarma

Published on
September 22, 2023
This recipe is best when the chicken sits in the marinade overnight. Don't let the overnight sit deter you from making this recipe- the flavors will transport you to another place and time. Recipe adapted by Sam Sifton.
Platter of sliced chicken shawarma.
Prep Time:
10 Minutes + 1 Hour Refrigeration Time
Cook Time:
40 Minutes
Difficulty Level:

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

6 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons black pepper

2 teaspoons Cumin

2 teaspoons Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts

1 red onion, quartered


1. Make the marinade: In a zip-top bag combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, Cumin, Paprika, Turmeric, cinnamon and chicken. Seal and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 425ºF. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and grease with remaining tablespoon olive oil.

3. Add the chicken to the prepared pan. Toss the onion in the marinade and add to the pan with the chicken. Reserve the marinade. Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken is 150ºF.*

4. Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes or cool enough to handle and slice into 1-2 inch pieces.

5. Optional - Heat a skillet over high heat and add the chicken to crisp. Once crispy, stir in the reserved marinade and bring to a boil. Serve warm.

*If you opt not to crisp the chicken, cook the chicken in step 3 until internal temperature reaches 160ºF.

Recipe Tip:
I like to serve this with my Za'atar flatbread, hummus, olives and feta.
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