This easy sheet pan Arabic Shawarma recipe will satisfy all your cravings for this classic dish! It's my go-to when I want a convenient weeknight meal. The Chicken Shawarma is seasoned well with delicious Arabic spices, served with a creamy yogurt tahini sauce that tastes SO good (but is actually super healthy!), alongside fresh colorful vegetables. What I love about this Arabic Shawarma dish is how versatile it is. You can serve it in a pita wrap, over rice, or over salad! The chicken makes a great pizza topping too.
What is Shawarma?
Shawarma is a classic Arabic street food that's made using beef or chicken, usually stacked on a large slowly rotating spit and roasted to perfection. It is typically served in a wrap with fresh vegetables, pickles, and with hummus or garlic sauce. I absolutely love serving mine with a light yogurt tahini sauce with lemon and garlic. It brings all the flavours together! My favourite thing about this recipe is making a big batch and using it in different ways throughout the week. You can also freeze the marinated chicken which is super handy on busy nights.
How to make Arabic Shawarma
Here's the quick breakdown of this sheet pan Arabic Shawarma recipe. Start with slicing your chicken into thin even strips. Then mix together the spices with the lemon juice to create an even paste. Marinate the chicken - use your hands and toss toss toss! Leave it to sit for an hour or so in the fridge (or not if you're super hangry!). When you're ready, preheat the oven, lay the chicken in one layer on a parchment lined baking sheet, and pop them in the oven. They'll only take between 20-25 minutes depending on your oven.
While they cook, you can start making the sauce which takes about 2 minutes - just mix everything up. Then choose your vegetables (whatever you have on hand), cut them up and when the chicken is done, serve them up. I like to serve mine "buffet" style, with the toppings and the sauce and pita all ready and everyone can just dig in and make their own wrap.
Hungry Paprikas Tips to make the best Chicken Shawarma:
- Create a marinade "paste" by adding the lemon juice with all the spices and mixing them very well. This will ensure that when you marinate the chicken, the spices are evenly distributed
- Marinate the chicken for at least an hour in the fridge or even overnight. This will give you a stronger flavor
- Lay the chicken flat in one layer in the oven to ensure they cook evenly
- Adjust the yogurt tahini sauce flavors to your liking! Some like it garlic-y (me!!!) and some like it lemon-y. Make sure you taste and adjust.
Storage and make-ahead instructions:
- To make-ahead, simply cut the chicken thighs into strips and marinate them, then place them in freezer bags in meal-sized portions and freeze them. You can use them within 2 months.
- You can also meal prep a larger batch, cook the chicken, and store it in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days. This will be great to use throughout the week for lunches and dinners.
- The sauce will keep well in the fridge in an air tight container for 4-5 days. It may thicken in the fridge, and you can thin it out with a bit of water or lemon juice when serving.
I hope you try this recipe! If you do, be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe. I absolutely love hearing back from all of you. If you snap a picture, share it with me on Instagram!
For more Middle Eastern recipes, check out:
Sheet Pan Arabic Shawarma (Chicken)
For the Chicken:
- 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 garlic cloves crushed
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp salt
For the Yogurt Tahini sauce:
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ½ cup tahini
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- Juice of ½ lemon
- ¼ tsp salt
- Pre-heat oven to 450ºF
- Cut chicken thighs into thin strips
- Mix the lemon juice with all the spices and combine to create a paste
- Marinate the chicken for a few hours in the fridge (you can skip this if in a hurry)
- Lay chicken on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 450ºF for 20-25 mins until cooked through
- To make the sauce, mix all ingredients together
- Serve the Shawarma with the sauce, pita bread and an assortment of vegetables to make wraps, such as: Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red onions, Arugula or Lettuce and Pickles
- It's best to use chicken thighs rather than chicken breast for this recipe, since chicken breast can dry out in the oven
- You can also serve the Shawarma over rice or salad