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Get ready to be transported straight to the bustling streets of the Middle East with my flavorful Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma! Packed with tender, marinated chicken, a punchy garlic sauce, and all bundled up in a soft pita wrap, this is the perfect recipe to satiate those international street food cravings right at home.
The Best Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe
Let’s talk about this utterly delectable Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma. It’s one of those dishes that I just can’t help but crave. The chicken is marinated in a magical blend of spices – cumin, paprika, a hit of turmeric, and a bit of cinnamon for warmth. We’re talking layers of flavor here, folks! Each bite of the tender, juicy chicken is a burst of savory goodness, with the spices creating a beautiful harmony.
But wait, it gets even better. We’re not just serving the chicken on its own, oh no. We’re tucking it into a warm, soft pita and drizzling it with a homemade garlic sauce that is absolutely to die for! It’s creamy, tangy, and packs a garlicky punch that complements the chicken perfectly. Add a smear of hummus and a spoonful of tabbouleh salad, and you’ve got a wrap that is bursting with freshness and flavor. It’s a flavor extravaganza that you won’t want to miss!
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Shawarma
- Simple Recipe! This is a foolproof method for making shawarma that is very easy. It produces layers of amazing flavor without any fancy ingredients or special equipment.
- Authentic Flavor! With the right combination of spices, lemon, and olive oil you can create classic Middle Eastern flavors just with a simple marinade and your oven.
- Meal Prep Perfect! You can start marinating the chicken the night before and cook it the next day. Better yet, just freeze the marinated chicken, thaw, and bake when ready!
- Chicken – I love making this with chicken breast but I have made this which chicken thighs as well and I can assure you both are great!
- Onion and Garlic – As I always say these are essential flavor enhancers in most dishes and they definitely make a difference in this chicken shawarma recipe. Don’t discard the sliced onions, add them to your shawarma wraps for extra flavor.
- Lemon Juice – Quite a popular ingredients in most Middle Eastern recipes and same goes for this recipe. Combine this with the spices for that great marinade.
- Spices – Lots of spices used in Middle Eastern cuisine here. You’ll need cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
- Parsley – I always love to garnish my dishes with a bit of fresh parsley.
- Vegetable Oil – You can use a good vegetable oil or if you want to use olive oil I would go with one that’s lighter and not extra virgin, so that the flavor doesn’t overpower the sauce.
- Lemon Juice – I recommend freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Garlic – Lots of fresh garlic here, it is a garlic sauce after all.
- Egg White – If you don’t want to use raw egg whites in the garlic sauce, you can omit it. I have made this with egg white and without, so I know for a fact this sauce is delicious either way.
- Salt – A bit of salt to bring out all the flavors.
This incredible recipe is going to show you how to make homemade chicken shawarma in the oven. And just like my Chicken Doner Kebab, no grill or spit is needed! Just make sure to properly marinate the chicken breasts and the rest is effortless.
The first step is to start marinating the chicken to infuse it with all the amazing Middle Eastern flavors. So put the lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, salt, cumin, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and garlic into a large bowl. Then whisk everything together until all the ingredients are fully combined. Next, add the chicken breasts to the bowl and toss them in the marinade until they are fully coated. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
Then cover the bowl with some plastic wrap and put the chicken in the fridge to marinate for at least one hour. Keep in mind that the longer the chicken stays in the marinade the more tender and tastier it will be.
After the chicken has had enough time to soak up plenty of flavor, you need to preheat your oven to 425°F (218°C). Then add the sliced onion to the chicken that is marinating in the large bowl and toss it together with the breasts until it’s totally covered in marinade. Next, transfer the chicken breasts and onions into a 9×13-inch baking dish making sure to spread everything out in a single layer so that it cooks evenly.
Now, let’s start cooking some chicken shawarma! Pop the baking dish into the hot preheated oven and let the chicken cook for about 40 to 45 minutes until it browns and gets crispy on the edges. Then when the chicken is done, if you’d like it to be crispy on top too, you can just put it under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp it up even more.
While the chicken is baking away in the oven into shawarma deliciousness, you can whip together the yummy homemade garlic sauce! All you have to do is put all the sauce ingredients into a blender and then puree them together for about 2 minutes or until a smooth sauce forms. You can also make the sauce with a food processor or immersion blender if you like.
When the chicken is cooked to your liking, remove the pan from the oven and let the chicken rest for at least 5 minutes. This step should not be skipped. The key to juicy chicken is not slicing into it too soon, which will just let all the juices run out and make the meat dry. Then you can cut it into bite-size bits or thin slices of meat to make the wraps.
Once the chicken has been chopped up, then the wrap making can begin. First, warm the pita wraps up for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Next, spread some hummus on each pita and then add a few tablespoons of the tabbouleh salad followed by some chicken and garlic sauce. Feel free to also add some fresh lettuce, tomato, red onion, cucumbers, or any veggies you like to your wraps as well as tahini sauce or yogurt sauce.
How To Serve Chicken Shawarma
I love to serve this with tabbouleh salad either on the plate or add it to my wraps, if making wraps. You could eat the chicken as is with some rice, but I still recommend the garlic sauce for that true Middle Eastern experience.
I also spread some hummus over my wraps but you can totally skip the hummus and just add tabbouleh salad, chicken shawarma and plenty of that garlic sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is chicken shawarma?
Chicken shawarma is a popular Arab dish consisting of meat such as chicken, lamb or mutton, cut into thin slices and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit.
Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts?
Absolutely. I’ve made this with both thighs or breasts and it’s delicious regardless which you use.
Can I make this chicken shawarma ahead?
Yes. You can prep this and marinade the day before. Prepare the chicken as described and marinate it in the fridge overnight until ready to cook the next day. You can also freeze the chicken in its marinade until ready to use. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Marinate the chicken longer. One hour is the minimum amount of time that you should marinate the chicken. Give it about 4 to 5 hours for the most flavorful results.
- Temp the chicken. For food safety, use an instant-read digital thermometer to make sure that the chicken is fully cooked and has reached an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C).
- Only chop up what you plan to eat. To keep the chicken juicy just cut up enough of it to make the number of wraps you wish to serve. Leftover whole breasts retain their moisture better.
The Chicken Shawarma will last in the fridge in an air tight container for 3 – 4 days. If you’d like to freeze this dish I recommend freezing the chicken in the bag with the marinade while still raw. When ready to use, thaw it in the fridge overnight.
You can store this home made garlic sauce for up to 2 weeks in the fridge in an airtight container. I don’t recommend freezing this sauce as it is similar to a home made mayo which separates and becomes unusable after thawing.
More Delicious Recipes To Try
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cumin (ground)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper (ground)
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 chicken breasts (boneless and skinless)
- 1 large onion (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons parsley (fresh, for garnish)
- In a large bowl add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt, cumin, black pepper, paprika, turmeric, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, garlic, and whisk well. Add the chicken and toss making sure the chicken is well coated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap or foil and refrigerate for at least an hour. The longer the meat marinates the more flavour you’ll have.
- Preheat oven to 425°F degrees. Add sliced onion to bowl with chicken and toss well so that the onion is fully coated in the marinade. Add everything to a 9×13-baking dish. I didn’t have much marinade leftover since the chicken absorbed most of it, so that’s why I added everything to the baking dish. Spread everything evenly over the baking dish.
- Bake in the oven until the chicken is browned and crisp on the edges, for about 40 to 45 minutes. If you want the chicken crispier on top, turn the broiler on to high and broil for 3 minutes until nice and crispy on the outside.
- Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then slice it into bits.
- Add all the ingredients to a blender (or an immersion blender) and blend until smooth, it should take 1 to 2 minutes. This recipe will make about 1½ cups of sauce, refrigerate leftover sauce.
Chicken Shawarma Wraps
- To make the chicken shawarma wraps, warm up the wraps first in the microwave for about 30 seconds, then spread some hummus over each wrap, spoon about 2 or 3 tbsp of tabbouleh salad, add chicken shawarma, and drizzle with garlic sauce and serve.
- *If you don’t want to use raw egg whites in the garlic sauce, you can omit it, just add the oil little by little to the blender until it thickens and should have the consistency of mayonnaise.
- You can find the homemade hummus recipe here. You can find the tabbouleh salad recipe here.
- Marinate Longer for More Flavor: The longer you allow the chicken to marinate, the more flavorful it will be. If possible, try to marinate the chicken overnight.
- Slice Against the Grain: When you’re ready to serve the chicken, be sure to slice it against the grain. This will make it more tender and easier to eat.
- Don’t Skip the Garlic Sauce: The garlic sauce is a key part of this dish, adding a wonderful creamy and tangy element. It’s worth taking the time to make it.
- Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients. Fresh lemon juice, garlic, and parsley can make a big difference in the flavor of your dish.
- Warm the Pita: Before assembling your wraps, warm the pita bread for a few seconds in the microwave. This makes it more pliable and brings out the flavor.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.