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homemade chicken shawarma

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Delicious flavor-packed chicken seasoned with warm, savory spices.  This chicken can be served in so many different ways and it’s quick and easy enough for weeknight dinners.


Units Scale
  • 22 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, pounded to 1/2 thickness
  • zest and juice of 2 lemons, (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil (or oil of your choice)
  • 1 large red onion, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. One at a time, place chicken breasts into a gallon zip-top freezer bag.  Using a rolling pin or cast iron skillet, pound the chicken breasts to 1/2″ thickness.  It’s important for them to be uniform in thickness, so they cook evenly.  Remove the breast from the bag and set aside while you do the next one.  Cut larger breasts into two portions after pounding.
  3. Place all the prepared chicken pieces back into the zip-top freezer bag.
  4. In a small bowl or container, mix together all the remaining ingredients to create the marinade.
  5. Pour marinade over the chicken breasts in the zip-top freezer bag.
  6. Allow chicken to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but not more than 2 hours.  After 2 hours, the marinade will start to break down the muscle tissue in chicken breast, causing it to become mushy and stringy when cooked.
  7. After the chicken has marinated, place it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes.  Flip the chicken and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  9. Chicken is done when a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the thickest part reads 165°.
  10. Once chicken is done, remove baking sheet from oven and place on a cooling rack.  Allow the chicken to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes or so. The juices in the chicken will redistribute and thicken during the rest period, giving you tender, juicy chicken.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish, Chicken, Meat
  • Method: roasting
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: chicken, shawarma