The Easy Way to Make Chicken Shawarma at Home

One of the most recognizable Middle Eastern eats, shawarma showcases marinated meat slow-cooked on a spit, then served in thin slices. For those of us without a spare spit lying around, this recipe offers a perfectly delicious alternative to the traditional technique. Marinated, cayenne-spiced chicken is roasted until incredibly juicy, then drizzled with tahini and served with warm naan and a fresh cucumber and tomato salad, delivering that signature, satisfying taste (with a lot less effort).

2 lemons, divided
1 red onion, divided
3 cloves garlic, divided
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons tahini
2  pieces naan
3  tomatoes
1⁄2 English cucumber
1⁄4 ounce fresh parsley

3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
kosher salt
black pepper
large resealable plastic bag (optional)
12″ large pan
aluminum foil


1. Prepare Ingredients
Halve lemons. Peel onion, halve, and thinly slice 1⁄2; mince remainder. Mince garlic. Pat chicken dry with paper towel.

2. Marinate Chicken
In a large shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine spice mix, juice of 1⁄2 lemon, sliced onion, 1⁄2 of garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add as much cayenne pepper as desired (it’s spicy!) Add chicken and turn to coat. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

3. Make Tahini Dressing
While chicken marinates, whisk together tahini, juice of 1⁄2 lemon, and remaining garlic in a medium bowl until fully combined. Whisking continuously, slowly add 3 tablespoons warm water until smooth and pourable. Season with 1⁄8 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired.

4. Warm Naan and Sear Chicken
Place naan in a large pan over medium heat. Toast until golden, 2 minutes per side, then remove from pan. Cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan from naan. Remove chicken from marinade. Season all over with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. When oil is shimmering, add chicken. Scatter marinated onion around. Cook until onion is softened and chicken is no longer pink, 3-4 minutes per side.

5. Make Salad
While chicken sears, rinse tomatoes and cucumber and roughly chop. Rinse parsley and roughly chop leaves, discarding stems. Add vegetables to a medium bowl along with minced onion, juice of remaining 1 lemon, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

6. Plate Chicken Shawarma
Thinly slice chicken. Serve with onion and salad. Drizzle tahini sauce over everything and use naan for scooping. Delight in your satisfying shawarma dinner!

For more globally inspired recipes you can make at home, sign up for Plated, and receive a free dinner for two with your first delivery.

in Nourish


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