Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi
BEHOLD! The absolute perfect, homemade chicken shawarma recipe! Better than you can get at a restaurant! This is the only chicken shawarma recipe you’ll ever need, trust me. It is juicy, full of flavor, and I teach you how to make them exactly like you’d find at a middle eastern restaurant.
Here’s how to make the best homemade chicken shawarma
The sandwich portion is simple – the perfectly spiced chicken, the toum – garlic sauce, the Arab pickles and the bread of choice (you could also use this flavorful chicken over salads or with rice as a complete meal – but if the main component of the chicken is lacking, it won’t be a true shawarma. I’ve got you with the perfect marinade. Enjoy!
Spice up the thighs chicken – which are already SO flavorful – and let it marinate for up to 24 hrs – but you could also make it right away. Cook up the chicken and save some of the flavorful oils in the pan. This will go out the outside of the wraps before we toast them up and it adds SO much flavor!
Slice up the chicken, add it to a pita, saaj bread or tortilla (which I prefer, I love the texture of the tortilla in this sandwich.) Smear on the toum, add the sliced chicken and pickles. Toast it up and serve with onions and tomatoes sprinkled with sumac to add a bit of acidity. It’s just PERFECTION.
You’re going to love this shawarma so much, you probably won’t make it another way at home again and it may even rival the ones from your favorite restaurants.
Find more Middle Eastern chicken recipes here!
When you make this chicken shawarma, be sure to leave a comment below to let me know your thoughts and send me a picture on Instagram @thebitewithjackie so I can share! I love seeing your remakes
THE BEST Restaurant Style Chicken Shawarma!
- 2 ½ lbs chicken boneless skinless breasts, fileted OR thighs, most of the fat removed
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 5 cloves garlic grated
- 3-4 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp cardamom
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp sumac
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp coriander
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ginger
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable or avocado oil for cooking
- Saj bread OR a great alternative is flour tortillas optional – you could also use no tortilla and put the chicken over a salad or with rice
- toum garlic sauce Can be found at trader joes or I use a great recipe from Cosette’s kitchen
- Fresh thinly sliced tomatoes
- Arabic pickles sliced into 4 strips
- Yellow onions thinly sliced
- A panini press or separate nonstick skillet to make the sandwiches
- Prepare the marinade by first combining the Greek yogurt with tomato paste, the grated garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well to combine. Add in all the spices to the marinade EXCEPT for the salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and add to the prepared chicken.
- Add the salt and pepper to the bowl with the chicken and marinade, mix well and let it marinate for 6-8 hours in the fridge for optimal flavor.
- When you’re ready to cook, remove the chicken from the fridge for at least 30 minutes to remove most of the chill. Prepare a nonstick skillet over medium heat with a flavorless oil like vegetable or avocado oil. Add the chicken in batches to ensure a crust develops on both sides. Cook, flipping once until the chicken is fully cooked through, remove, and set aside on a plate. Reserve some of the cooking oil in a small bowl – this will be used to give the outside of the shawarma sandwiches extra flavor. Continue cooking the rest of the chicken.
- Meanwhile, heat a panini press or separate nonstick skillet and slice the cooked chicken into strips. Prepare your tortilla or saj bread, spread a teaspoon of toum garlic sauce in the center, add 2-3 pickle slices on top and fold like a burrito. Spread about ¼ tsp of the flavorful cooking oil onto the outside of the tortilla or directly onto the cooking surface. Cook seam side down first and flip once until the bread is golden and crispy. Slice in half if desired and serve with more toum garlic sauce, sliced tomatoes, sliced onions and more Arabic pickles. Enjoy!!