Chicken Shawarma

This Chicken Shawarma recipe consists of succulent, immensely flavourful chicken, wrapped in flatbreads with a creamy garlic-tahini yogurt sauce. Shawarmas are popular street food in Middle Eastern countries and are equally loved in Pakistan. If dinner was something I did not like, Shawarmas were my saviour.

I do not believe I need to explain what a Shawarma is to anyone but just for the record a Shawarma is thinly sliced meat (typically slow-grilled on a vertical spit) rolled in flatbread or pita. Hummus, garlic sauce, tahini, pickled vegetables, grilled vegetables, and sometimes even thick fries are added to the Shawarma roll. Shawarma meat is marinated in an exotic spice mix encompassing robust middle eastern flavours. I love cooking with Middle Eastern spices, the fragrance they give off as they cook is intoxicating.

Shawarmas are a great idea if you are cooking for a crowd. I like serving Shawarmas in a ‘make your own’ style. I lay out boards of sliced juicy Shawarma meat, a variety of sauces like hummus, my garlic-tahini yogurt sauce, spicy paprika sauce, sliced pickled and fresh vegetables, olives, and some flat breads. Guests can then assemble their own Shawarmas optimized to their preferences.

How to make Chicken Shawarma

Make the homemade Shawarma spice mix by combining cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, ground ginger, ground garlic, paprika, cumin, red chilli, black pepper, all spice, ground cloves and salt.

Marinate the chicken breasts in olive oil, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of the Shawarma Spice mix.

Grill Chicken in a grill pan or oven. I sometimes also use my panini grill to cook flattened chicken breasts. It is a good equipment to get some nice grill marks on the meat.

Assemble Shawarma by placing thinly sliced grilled chicken, your desired vegetables, pickles and sauces on flatbread or pita and wrapping them into a roll.


for shawarma spice mix:
  • Cinnamon Powder 1/4 tsp.
  • Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp.
  • Coriander Powder 1 tbsp.
  • Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp.
  • Ginger Powder 1/2 tsp.
  • Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp.
  • Paprika Powder 1 tsp.
  • Cumin Powder 1 tbsp.
  • Red Chilli Powder 1/4 tsp.
  • All Spice Powder 1/4 tsp.
  • Salt 1 tsp.
for chicken shawarma:
  • Chicken Breasts 2; Flattened using a rolling pin or steak hammer
  • Shawarma Spice Mix 2 tbsp.
  • Olive Oil 2 tbsp.
  • Lemon Juice 3 tbsp.
  • Red Onions 1; sliced
  • Pickles 2; sliced
  • Lettuce as required; sliced
  • Tomatoes 1; sliced
for garlic-tahini yogurt sauce
  • Greek Yogurt 1 cup
  • Mayonnaise 1/4 cup
  • Garlic Cloves 3 minced
  • Tahini Paste 3 tbsp.
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Lemon Juice 1 tbsp.


Combine all the ingredients listed under Shawarma spice mix. You can store this mixture upto 3 months in an air-tight jar.

In a medium sized bowl combine olive oil, lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the Shawarma spice mix. Put flattened chicken breasts into this marinade and ensure the entire surface of chicken breasts is coated. Allow the chicken breasts to marinate for at least 2 to 3 hours or preferably overnight.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a grill pan and grill chicken breasts until cooked completely, approximately 7 minutes per side. You can also bake them in an oven for 20 minutes at 200 C. Allow the chicken to cool slightly before slicing into thin strips.

To make the yogurt sauce combine yogurt, mayonnaise, tahini paste, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

To assemble Chicken Shawarma wraps, Spread 2 tbsp of garlic-tahini sauce in a flatbread or pita. Top with sliced chicken, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes. Fold into a roll and enjoy!

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Muayyad Karadsheh says:

    Your bringing back memories of my childhood in Jordan. I would go to a famous Shawarma pop up on the side of the street. The line would be long and I would wait 30 minutes. Looks delicious. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Muayyad Karadsheh says:

    Correction ” You’re bringing back memories”


  3. I am glad you liked it 😊 Do give your feedback when you try the recipe.


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