This Homemade Chicken Shawarma is so delicious, juicy, and full of flavor. It is also very easy to make!

Shawarma is typically made with thin slices of meat that are then stacked together on a spit and then roasted on a vertical spit. Thin slices of the meat are then shaved off to serve as it roasts. But this homemade version only requires the chicken to be roasted in an oven.

Shawarma was originally made with lamb, but it can also be made with chicken, turkey, or beef. For the best flavor and texture, we use both chicken thighs and chicken breasts.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Homemade Chicken Shawarma


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Homemade Chicken Shawarma


  1. In a large bowl, add a ¼ cup olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, cardamom, paprika, cumin, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon then whisk to blend.
  2. Add the chicken into the bowl with the marinade mixture and stir with a spoon to evenly coat the chicken with the marinade.
  3. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least an hour or up to 24 hours.
  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.
  5. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with parchment paper.
  6. Roast the chicken for about 15 minutes, until cooked through, turning halfway through.
  7. Remove the chicken from the oven and use a sharp knife to thinly slice the chicken into thin pieces. (Allow the chicken to rest before slicing. This helps to make them extra juicy.)
  8. If you’d like to give the chicken shawarma seared edges, you can transfer it to a skillet with its juice and sauté for a few minutes until they are lightly browned.
  9. Serve in a pita with pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and garlic/tahini sauce or with a rice dish.