Authentic Chicken Shawarma

Authentic Chicken Shawarma

An incredibly flavorful Levantine street food!

Seasoned with cloves, cardamom, and other secret ingredients, this authentic chicken shawarma will make your stomach growl and your house smell incredibly sweet! Not only is it incredibly flavorful, fragrant, and delicious, but it also comes together in a flash! Believe me; once you’ve had this shawarma, you will never order it from your next-door Middle Eastern restaurant again!

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is among the most popular street foods in the Middle Eastern, Levant, and Arabe countries. It is a dish of thin slices of meat stacked together in a cone-like shape, then roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie.

Usually made of lamb, chicken, or beef, thin slices are shaved off the spit to serve shawarma on a plate or sandwich. In this recipe, however, we will be making homemade shawarma. Therefore, there is no need for rotisserie or fancy equipment; just a few fragrant spices, citric juices, and a good appetite!

Authentic Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Growing up in the Mediterranean region, I ate a LOT of shawarma as a child! However, nothing compares to this authentic chicken shawarma recipe! The secret to this hit dish involves a successful marinade that is so fragrant and flavorful and yet only calls for a few simple ingredients. Wanna know more about these secret ingredients? Keep reading! 

The Secret Ingredients!

  • Secret number 1 to a successful shawarma recipe is the marinade, my friend! Because too much seasoning will make this dish heavy, it’s important to follow the recipe to the T when it comes to the spices. That is to say, cloves, nutmeg, and cardamom make this dish aromatic, while fresh citric juices and olive oil produce an incredibly juicy and flavorful chicken!

  • Secret number 2 is the garlic sauce! While there are many recipes for garlic sauce, you may use a blend of mayonnaise and garlic powder only! If the sauce is too thick for your liking, you may add a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. This yummy sauce comes together in no time, is versatile, and tastes fantastic!
  • Secret number 3 involves the famous pomegranate molasses! This OH. SO. YUMMY. The sauce will take your sandwich to the next level! Careful not to use too much because it is strong; therefore, you may start with 1/2 teaspoon per wrap and go from there. If you’re wondering what pomegranate molasses are, here is the bottle I used.
  • Secret number 4 only applies to shawarma sandwiches! Because dill pickles will compromise the flavor, garnishing your wrap with sweet gherkins or cornichons is important. YUM!
Authentic Chicken Shawarma

Bon Appetit!

If you’re wrapping your shawarma, using Pita or Naan bread is best. Spread one tablespoon of garlic sauce in the center of a warm pita, and place your chicken over the top. Top your sandwich with sweet gherkins, tomato slices, french fries, or your favorite shawarma topping. Last but not least, drizzle some more garlic sauce and a bit of pomegranate molasses, roll up your wrap, and serve it immediately! Enjoy!

Authentic Chicken Shawarma

Authentic Chicken Shawarma

Laila Benjelloun Bailey
Seasoned with cloves, cardamom, and other secret ingredients, this authentic chicken shawarma will make your stomach growl and your house smell incredibly sweet! Not only is it incredibly flavorful, fragrant, and delicious, but it also comes together in a flash!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Marinade Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 4 people


  • 2 lb chicken breast

Marinade Ingredients

  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 3/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 garlic clove (crushed)
  • 1/2 orange (juiced)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil

Sauce Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)

Other Sandwich Condiments

  • Pitas, Naans, or flatbreads (warmed, or lightly toasted)
  • pomegranate molasses to taste (I use 1/2 tsp per sandwich, but you may use more).
  • Sweet gherkins or cornichons (to taste)
  • Tomatoes, french fries, etc.


The Marinade

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large deep bowl or a Ziploc® bag. Stir well and set it aside.
  • Cut the chicken breast into thin slices and add them to the marinade.
  • If you're using a bowl, use your hands to toss the chicken, making sure the chicken pieces are well coated with the marinade. Toss your chicken again, and seal your bowl with plastic wrap (cling film) to cover it.
  • If you're using a Ziploc® bag, you may close and massage the bag, making sure the chicken is coated and the marinade is well dispersed.
  • Refrigerate the marinating chicken for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Grilling the Shawarma

  • Heat a grill pan (or cast iron pan) on medium-high for 3-5 minutes. There is no need to oil it because the marinade already has enough oil.
  • Place your marinated chicken on the grill pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side until the chicken is cooked and has turned nicely brown.
  • Meanwhile, combine the mayo with garlic powder in a small bowl, and stir well with a fork until it's all combined.
  • If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add 1/2 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice and stir well until smooth. Set the garlic sauce aside until the shawarma is ready to serve.

Wrapping the Shawarma

  • Spread 1 Tablespoon garlic sauce in the center of a warm pita. Place your chicken over the top, followed by sweet gherkins, tomato slices, or your favorite shawarma topping.
  • Top with more garlic sauce and drizzles of pomegranate molasses to taste; pomegranate molasses are strong, so you may need to start with 1/2 teaspoon and go from there.
  • Roll your wrap up, cover it with aluminum foil, and serve it immediately. Enjoy!


Keyword authentic chicken shawarma recipe, authentic shawarma recipe, chicken shawarma, chicken shawarma recipe, homemade chicken shawarma, shawarma recipe

Looking for Mediterranean Recipes? Here’s one of my favorite Spanish dishes!
Tortilla Española
Tortilla Española, or Spanish Omelette, is a classic signature dish in the Spanish Cuisine. Made of eggs, potatoes, parsley, and onions, the beloved Tortilla de Patatas is commonly served as a tapa, snack, or appetizer all over Spain. Because it's best served at room temperature, it makes an excellent picnic or potluck addition! Here's how to make a classic and flavorful Tortilla!
Check out this recipe

Did you make this delicious Chicken Shawarma? Tag @petitapron on Instagram so we can find you!

0 comments on “Authentic Chicken ShawarmaAdd yours →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating