Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Fire up the grill this summer and make Grilled Chicken Shawarma for the family! This Middle Eastern dish – which can be made with chicken, lamb, beef and more – is traditionally cooked on a vertical spit. This rendition, which is just as flavorful, spicy and delicious, can be made on the grill at home! The meat is marinated, then grilled. Served with fresh pita, Tzatziki sauce, salad, Grilled Chicken Shawarma is the perfect entree for any cookout!

Grilled Chicken Shawarma on white platter next to bowl of salad

Grilled Chicken Shawarma on white serving dish

People oftentimes ask my husband and me what food we like to eat whenever we visit family in Louisiana.

This questions generally comes just before the statement, “We’re going to be visiting Lafayette / Baton Rouge / New Orleans, and…”

While we love Cajun and Creole cuisine, it’s not something we go out of our way to find whenever we visit Louisiana. We can make it for ourselves at home quite easily. Because while that is certainly the traditional food that everyone eats and wants to enjoy on their visits, it doesn’t even come to mind for us unless a family member is making it.

Close up of tongs holding piece of Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Our go-to food whenever we visit Louisiana is Lebanese.

Specifically, restaurants that sell garlicky, spicy and utterly delicious chicken shawarma on salads and pitas and platters. Mmm.

While restaurants in Dallas offer shawarma, we cannot seem to find any that remind us of our favorites in Louisiana.

After searching unsuccessfully for years and eating a lot of disappointing shawarma, we realized we would only eat shawarma in Louisiana… until I realized one day that we can make our own.

White platter of grilled chicken shawarma with tongs

While traditional chicken shawarma is made on a vertical spit in restaurants, it’s not hard to make at home.

And no, before you ask, you don’t need a spit.

At the mere mention of using a spit at home, I think of the ‘meet the family’ scene on My Big Fat Greek Wedding and the goat (I think?) roasting over the fire in the front lawn. While this would be awesome to do, and I totally encourage it if that is your thing, it’s totally unnecessary to make this recipe.

grilled chicken shawarma on a white platter

In fact, the chicken breasts marinate for 1-2 hours, then you throw them on the grill, cook and enjoy.

Quite simple. Quite delicious. And while it’s not entirely the same as our favorite shawarma dishes, it certainly works in a pinch, and it always hits the spot.

It’s also a unique dish you can cook up for family and friends this coming July 4th!

Here’s how you can make it:

Grilled Chicken Shawarma on serving dish with sides on wood table
Yield: 4 servings

Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes

Fire up the grill this summer and make Grilled Chicken Shawarma for the family! This Middle Eastern dish - which can be made with chicken, lamb, beef and more - is traditionally cooked on a vertical spit. This rendition, which is just as flavorful, spicy and delicious, can be made on the grill at home! The meat is marinated, then grilled. Served with fresh pita, Tzatziki sauce, salad, Grilled Chicken Shawarma is the perfect entree for any cookout!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts, (2-4, depending on the size)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Instructions

  1. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken into thin pieces, and transfer into a gallon-sized plastic bag.
  2. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, salt, cumin and minced garlic.
  3. Pour the marinade over the chicken breasts. Seal up the plastic bag, and shake it to where the chicken is coated in the marinade.
  4. Refrigerate, and let marinate for 1-2 hours.
  5. Once chicken has marinated for the appropriate amount of time, preheat the grill to 425°F.
  6. Transfer the marinated chicken to the preheated grill.
  7. Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken reads 165°F. (This will take 20-25 minutes, tops, depending on your grill and how its heat circulates.) You will want there to be a good char on the outside of the chicken.
  8. Once the chicken has cooked through, remove from the grill, and let sit for 5-10 minutes.
  9. Slice the chicken and enjoy over pita or salad with Tzatziki sauce and hummus.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1 serving

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 311Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 262mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 53g

Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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Grilled Chicken Shawarma on serving dish with sides on wood table

Have you ever tried shawarma?

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15 Comments

  1. Perfect summertime eats! It’s not even lunch time and wishing I had this right now 🙂 Yum!

    1. These really are the perfect summertime eats! And I wish you had some of this with you because it makes for an awesome lunch.

  2. Lebanese?! Wow. That’s not what I would have expected. 😉 But it’s awesome you found a way to make it at home! Looks fantastic.

  3. LOL now you have me craving a trip to Louisiana to eat the Cajun food AND the Lebanese, ha! I’m a huge fan of chicken shwarma and love the idea of grilling it. I could make this every single week and not get sick of it! Thanks for the inspiration, m’dear!

  4. I love shawarma, and this looks like the perfect, flavorful summer meal!

  5. Oh, this looks and sounds amazing! Love how flavorful the marinade makes the chicken. 🙂

  6. I’m definitely firing up my grill for this one Erin! The spices in this dish sound right up my alley! Perfect for our summer BBQ’s! Thanks for sharing.

  7. I can’t wait to try this. It’s a combination of flavors I’ve never tried before and sounds fantastic.

  8. This would be fantastic for this weekend! I love all of the flavors packed into this!

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