Easy Chicken Shawarma

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This Chicken Shawarma recipe is marinated in a delicious oriental mixture of spices, then grilled until perfectly cooked. Loaded with flavor, serve chicken shawarma in a wrap, topped with yogurt sauce, and your favorite vegetables for the best culinary experience.

best chicken shawarma recipe

I’ve always wanted to make shawarma recipe at home and tried many recipes, but none were that great to be shared on the blog. However, over time I’ve perfected the chicken shawarma recipe and replicated the taste of Shawarma meat I love so much when eating out. The chicken is super juicy, full of flavor, and ready in just 20 minutes.

What Is Shawarma?

Chicken shawarma is one of the most popular street food dishes in the world, and its recipe dates back to the 19th century, originating from the Middle East. It was traditionally made with lamb or mutton, then layered on a vertical rotisserie, slowly roasted, and thinly sliced. Now Shawarma can be made using any cut of meat such as chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. 

Usually, Shawarma is served tucked inside a piece of pita bread and topped with tahini, yogurt sauce, and fresh vegetables.

The classic spices in Shawarma may include cinnamon, turmeric, paprika, cumin, or cardamom. 

Shawarma is the Arabic name for “turn,” referring to the rotating block of meat for grilling.

Don’t worry, you can get the same Arabic flavors at home with this easy chicken recipe!

how to make chicken shawarma

Is Shawarma Keto-Friendly?

No, traditional Shawarma is not keto-friendly since it’s with a wheat tortilla, and in the Middle East is served with fries and pickles.  

However, the shawarma meat is completely keto-approved as it’s just meat, fat, and tons of spices. Skip the bread and enjoy shawarma meat with vegetables.

To make a keto chicken shawarma use low carb wraps that you can get from the store or make at home.

Reasons this Chicken Shawarma is The Best

  • Replicates the taste of traditional Shawarma meat.
  • Easy to make at home in just 20 minutes.
  • No need for a special rotisserie as we grill the chicken.
  • The Shawarma spice mixture includes cumin, paprika, cloves, garlic powder.
easy chicken shawarma recipe

Ingredients in Chicken Shawarma

You’ll be surprised to discover that you can prepare deeply delicious chicken shawarma with just a few ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. Here’s a note on the ingredients:

shawarma chicken ingredients
  • Chicken Thighs – I used boneless skinless chicken thighs as they tend to be tender and juicier than the chicken breast. However, chicken breast or turkey breast are both fantastic options.
  • Onion – yellow onion is used to marinate the chicken and makes it super tender. You can discard it after marinating, but I choose to keep it as I really love onion. 
  • Cumin – It gives an earthy, warm, rich, and hearty flavor, adding a bittersweet taste.
  • Turmeric – is an authentic ingredient for Lebanese chicken shawarma.
  • Paprika – use smoked paprika for an intense flavor. Replace with chili powder for an extra kick.
  • Garlic Powder – you can also use fresh garlic.
  • Ground Cloves – give a mildly spicy taste.
  • Salt&Pepper – to taste.
  • Lemon Juice – helps the meat become tender while marinating.
  • Oil – I recommend using avocado or olive oil.

How To Make This Delicious Chicken Shawarma

The hardest part of making chicken shawarma is marinating the chicken overnight. You can prep it the night before cooking to allow the flavors to develop. But don’t worry if you’re short on time; the flavors are incredible if you cook the meat just after adding the spices.

cook shawarma chicken on the stove
  1. Prepare the marinade- In a large mixing bowl, add all the marinade ingredients, mix them well. Add the chicken thighs and toss until each chicken thigh is well covered. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours. 
  2. Cook the chicken- Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the chicken thighs for 4-5 minutes. You can also cook the chicken in the oven at 425F for 30 minutes, flipping halfway.
  3. Prepare the sauce- I usually mix yogurt, garlic, lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. 
  4. Slice the chicken and serve on low carb tortillas, topped with yogurt sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. Wrap it tightly and enjoy. 
easy chicken recipe

This recipe makes enough meat for 6-8 people, so it’s a great meal if you’re looking to serve a larger hungry crowd.

Tips For Making The Best Chicken Shawarma

  • After you assemble your Shawarma, you can put it on the grill you used to make the chicken thighs. In this way, the tortilla will have a great flavor.
  • If you’re using large chicken thigh/breast fillets, pound them to a uniform thickness before cooking to guarantee even cooking.
  • Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing to make it super juicy.
  • Try not to overcook the chicken, or else it will be too dry.
favorite fast food keto shawarma recipe in low carb wraps

Can I Make This Recipe Ahead?

This is a great chicken recipe for making ahead for those busy days. So all you have to do is prepare the meat just like I did in this recipe store it for up to 3 days in an airtight container. When ready to eat, just reheat the chicken in the skillet.

Got Leftovers?

  • Fridge: You can store the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Freezer: Freezing the leftovers is another great option. Allow the chicken to cool completely, and store it in the freezer for one month.

This chicken shawarma can be reheated in the microwave or in a skillet for a few minutes. 

Alternatively, cold Lebanese chicken shawarma can be served on salads.

delicious chicken shawarma recipe

What Can I Serve With This Chicken Shawarma?

  • Wraps or Pita
  • You can make a delicious chicken shawarma salad bowl by adding your favorite vegetables.
  • This chicken shawarma can also be served with cauliflower rice.

Looking for More Chicken Recipes? Try these:

best chicken shawarma recipe

Chicken Shawarma

5 from 1 vote

Prep time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Yelds 6 servings
Author Ioana Borcea from LowCarbSpark.com


This Chicken Shawarma recipe is marinated in a delicious oriental mixture of spices, then grilled until perfectly cooked. Loaded with flavor, serve chicken shawarma in a wrap, topped with yogurt sauce, and your favorite vegetables for the best culinary experience.
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  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Chicken Shawarma Seasonings

To Serve

  • Low Carb Wraps
  • Tzatziki Sauce or Yogurt Sauce
  • Tomato slices
  • Sliced lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Onion slices


  • In a large bowl, add olive oil, lemon juice, all the chicken shawarma spices, and the onion slices.
  • Add the chicken into the bowl, and mix well to coat. Cover and marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side or until crispy on the edges. You’ll have to cook chicken in batches if your pan isn’t large enough to fit all the chicken pieces.
  • Remove the chicken from the heat and allow it to sit for 5 minutes, then slice the chicken into strips.
  • Serve with low carb wraps, topped with lettuce, yogurt sauce, tomatoes, or your favorite vegetables. Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving.
Total Carbs
Net Carbs

How do we calculate the nutrition info?

These nutrition facts listed are determined using nutrition information from the USDA Food Database. Our nutrition facts are accurate, but if you are using different products, please make your calculations. Net carb count is calculated by subtracting both fiber and sugar alcohols because they don’t raise blood sugar.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Keyword chicken shawarma
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Easy Chicken Shawarma


The full recipe is in the recipe card below. Readers that love this aslo made these recipes:


Ioana is a food and travel lover. Her greatest passion is developing mouthwatering recipes that are comforting, easy to make, and budget friendly! She firmly believes that cooking should be fun! About me...

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Hello! My name is Ioana Borcea, and I'm here to provide you with mouthwatering recipes. This blog is all about sharing my favorite tested easy to make, delicious low-carb & keto, nutrient-dense recipes.

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