Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe 

 Last Update May 15, 2024

By Jenny Zhang

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Chicken shawarma holds a special place in our home, especially since my husband is Middle Eastern. It's crucial for us to have a tasty yet easy chicken shawarma recipe at home. Traditionally, chicken shawarma is cooked on a vertical rotisserie, with the meat thinly sliced off as it cooks. However, this oven-roasted chicken shawarma recipe proves that you don't need a rotisserie to create delicious, authentic-tasting shawarma right in your kitchen.

In this post, I will guide you through our easy chicken shawarma recipe, which can be made in the oven without the need for specialized appliances.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Prep Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
40 minutes

Rest Time
60 minutes

Total Time
1 hour and 50 minutes

  • Cooking Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Servings: 4
  • Calories:310
  • Courses: Main Dish
  • Best Season: Any


  • 1 1/2-2 Pound Of Chicken Breast Or Thighs
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil/ Avocado Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Pomegranate Molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Coriander
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Garlic
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  • Salt and pepper

For serving:

  • Whole wheat pita bread or lettuce leaves
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cucumbers
  • Chopped red onions
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Toum


1. Set your oven temperature to 425°F (220°C) to preheat.

2. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, salt, pepper, pomegranate molasses, and fresh lemon juice. Ensure thorough mixing until all the ingredients are fully blended.

3. Place the chicken in a large bowl and pour the marinade. Toss well to coat the chicken evenly. To enhance the flavors, allow it to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or refrigerate for a maximum of 24 hours.

4. Use either a loaf pan or a deep baking pan, and coat the pan with cooking oil to prevent sticking. I didn't use any parchment paper or baking sheet, but you can, depending on the type of pans you are using. Stack the marinated chicken in layers and fill up the baking pan. Later, cutting into the chicken makes you feel like you are shaving off the rotisserie.

5. Position the pan in the preheated oven and roast for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and exhibits a slight browning.

6. While the chicken is roasting, prepare your desired toppings, such as chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, fresh parsley or cilantro, and any other veggies you prefer.

7. After the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes. This will enable the chicken to absorb the flavorful juices. Then, use a knife to cut the chicken from one end to another into bite-size pieces. When you cut the chicken, it will feel like you are shaving off the rotisserie.

8. Assemble your chicken shawarma wraps by placing the roasted chicken and desired toppings onto whole wheat pita bread or lettuce leaves.

Tips & Notes

Marinate the chicken: Give the chicken ample time to marinate, ideally for a minimum of 30 minutes, but for an even better result, marinate it overnight in the refrigerator. This extended marinating period will enhance the flavors, tenderize the meat, and ensure a more flavorful outcome.

Stacking: To achieve a desirable rotisserie effect, stack the chicken breasts on top of one another.

Remember the acid: Add a splash of acidity to the marinade for an extra depth of flavor. You can use lemon juice or vinegar. The acid helps tenderize the meat and adds a tangy note.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 4



% Daily Value*

Total Fat 11.8g


Saturated Fat 1.1g


Cholesterol 109mg


Sodium "98mg


Total Carbohydrate 13.2g


Dietary Fiber 0.7g


Total Sugars 8.6g

Protein 36.5g

Vitamin D 0mcg


Calcium 60mg


Iron 3mg


Potassium 914mg


*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Let it rest: After the chicken is cooked, allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing or serving. This resting period helps retain the juices, resulting in a moist and flavorful chicken.

Add some heat: If you wish to add some heat to your roasted chicken shawarma, feel free to sprinkle some red pepper flakes.

What Is Chicken Shawarma?

Chicken shawarma, a well-known Middle Eastern dish, consists of skinless, boneless chicken thighs marinated and seasoned with spices. Traditionally, it is prepared by cooking the chicken on a vertical rotisserie. The chicken is slowly roasted, allowing the spices and marinade to infuse and create flavorful and juicy meat.

Once cooked, the chicken is typically sliced or shredded and served in various ways. The thin slices of meat can be savored as a delectable filling inside warm pita bread or flatbread, complemented by an array of toppings and sauces like tahini, garlic sauce (toum), pickles, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Combining tender, flavorful chicken with condiments and bread creates a satisfying and delicious meal.

What Ingredients You Need To Make This Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma Recipe


Chicken is the main protein in the dish. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs are commonly used to make chicken shawarma recipes. Chicken breast is leaner, while thighs have slightly more fat, which adds flavor and tenderness to the meat.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a key ingredient that coats the chicken, preventing it from drying during cooking. It also adds richness and a smooth mouthfeel to the dish. Extra virgin olive oil is often preferred for its distinct flavor.


Ground garlic is known for its strong and distinct flavor. Its pungent, mildly spicy, and savory flavor imparts a delightful depth to various dishes. It contributes a classic garlic flavor to your chicken shawarma marinade.


Ground cumin is a prominent staple spice in Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a warm, earthy, and slightly nutty flavor that contributes to the distinct taste of chicken shawarma.


Paprika is derived from dried and ground red bell peppers, infusing the marinade with a gentle, sweet, and subtly smoky flavor. This addition enhances the overall taste of the chicken, elevating its deliciousness.


Ground coriander is derived from the seeds of the cilantro plant. It adds a citrusy, slightly floral, and earthy flavor to the chicken shawarma. Coriander is frequently employed in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.


Turmeric is a vibrant yellow spice that adds color to the dish. With a subtle bitterness and warm undertones accompanied by a hint of earthiness, turmeric possesses a distinct flavor. Turmeric is renowned for its health benefits and is common in diverse culinary traditions.


Ground cinnamon provides the marinade with a sweet, warm, and slightly spicy flavor. By incorporating it, chicken shawarma's overall taste profile gains depth and complexity.


Ground ginger has a warm, pungent, and slightly sweet flavor. Its inclusion brings forth a gentle spiciness and aromatic essence, heightening the overall flavor profile of dishes. It also works well with the other spices commonly used in chicken shawarma, such as cumin, coriander, paprika, and cinnamon. Incorporating it contributes complexity and depth to the overall flavor of the marinade.

Salt And Pepper

Salt brings out the natural flavors of the other ingredients, while pepper adds a subtle hint of spiciness.

Pomegranate Molasses

Pomegranate molasses is a dense syrup crafted by simmering and reducing pomegranate juice. It contributes a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the marinade, offering a unique and distinctive taste to chicken shawarma.

Lemon Juice

The addition of freshly squeezed lemon juice imparts a vibrant and revitalizing citrus taste to the marinade. It adds acidity, which helps to tenderize the chicken and balance the richness of the other ingredients.

How To Store And Reheat Leftovers

Place the leftover cooked chicken shawarma in airtight containers or sealable plastic bags. This helps prevent air exposure and keeps the chicken from drying out. Ensure that the containers are placed in the refrigerator within a maximum of two hours after cooking. The chicken should be stored in the coldest part of the fridge, typically the lower shelves or the meat drawer. When properly stored, chicken shawarma is best consumed within 3-4 days.

When you're ready to enjoy the leftovers, you can reheat the chicken shawarma to ensure it's warm and safe. To reheat the dish, you can use either the microwave or the oven. Cover the microwave with a microwave-safe lid or wrap, and heat it in brief intervals, stirring occasionally, until it is warmed through. Take care not to overcook, as this can result in dry chicken.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can I Use Chicken Thighs Instead Of Chicken Breasts For Oven-Roasted Shawarma?

Certainly, boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used as a substitute for chicken breasts. Many individuals favor thighs due to their enhanced flavor and moistness. Adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure they are thoroughly cooked. Depending on the size and thickness of your chicken thighs, you will need to cook chicken thighs for about 35-40 minutes.

How To Serve With Oven Chicken Shawarma


Wrapping oven roasted chicken shawarma in flatbread or pita bread is the most prevalent method of serving it. Warm the bread slightly to make it more pliable. Spread a layer of your favorite sauce or condiment on the bread, such as tahini, garlic sauce (toum), or yogurt sauce. Add the chicken shawarma slices and any desired toppings like chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, or pickles. Roll up the wrap tightly and enjoy!


Another option is to serve oven-roasted chicken shawarma on a platter. Arrange the sliced or shredded chicken on a large serving dish. Surround it with an assortment of toppings and condiments, such as hummus, tabbouleh, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta cheese, and pita bread on the side. This allows people to create their own combination of flavors and assemble their personal wraps or bites.


For a lighter option, you can create an oven-roasted chicken shawarma salad. Begin by creating a base layer of crisp, fresh greens like lettuce, spinach, or mixed greens. Top it with sliced or shredded chicken shawarma. Add various colorful vegetables like cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and bell peppers. Drizzle with your favorite dressing, such as a lemon-tahini dressing or a yogurt-based dressing. Optional additions can include crumbled feta cheese, toasted nuts or seeds, and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

Rice Bowl

Create a flavorful oven-roasted chicken shawarma rice bowl by serving the chicken over a bed of cooked rice, such as basmati or brown rice. Add a variety of toppings like roasted vegetables, pickled onions, sliced avocado, and a drizzle of sauce or dressing. This customizable option allows you to mix and match different ingredients according to your preferences.

Jenny passionately advocates a holistic and natural approach to health and well-being. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and years of working in food sciences, specializing in organic & natural products. She is committed to helping others embrace a balanced, natural lifestyle that fosters well-being. Jenny believes that a harmonious balance between nutrition, fitness, and mindfulness is the key to unlocking the full potential of one’s well-being.