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Here's a home-cooking recipe for the delectable Middle Eastern street food, Chicken Shawarma: spicy grilled chicken, Israeli chopped salad and lemony tahini sauce. Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Cooking Light

Spicy Chicken Shawarma


An easy home-cooking recipe for the delectable Middle Eastern street food: Chicken Shawarma


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Marinade
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 3 small garlic cloves, crushed (2 teaspoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Chopped Salad
  • 1 hothouse cucumber, peeled and diced (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small red onion peeled and diced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 ripe tomato, diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • a pinch of salt
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • Tahini Sauce
  • 7 tablespoons tahini
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 pitas
  • Olive oil for warming the pitas
  • Optional Garnish
  • Sriracha Chili Sauce



  1. Marinate the Chicken Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add chicken; toss to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Make the Tahini Sauce Whisk all of the tahini ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
  3. Make the Cucumber and Tomao Salad Mix all of the salad ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
  4. Grill The Chicken Heat your grill to medium-high. Cook the chicken for 6 minutes per side or until cooked through. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes and then slice into strips.
  5. Heat the Pita Bread Just before serving, coat a large cast iron or nonstick skillet with a thin film of oil. Heat over medium-high heat. One by one, lay each pita in the pan and press down on it with a spatula for about 30 seconds per side, adding more oil, if needed. Set warm pitas on a paper-towel-lined plate. Tent with foil. This heats the pita and gives it a great texture for stuffing, so it won't be dry or crumbly.
  6. Assemble the Shawarma Slice the pitas in half. Open each half and spread some tahini sauce around. Fill with chicken and cucumber salad. Add Sriracha, if you like. Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 12 mins
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Grill, Barbecue
  • Cuisine: Israeli

Keywords: chicken shawarma, grilled chicken shawarma