Grilled Chicken Shawarma (Easy Middle Eastern Dish)

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma is an amazing dish of Middle Eastern flavors that comes together super quick, smells divine and disappears from plates in seconds. Try this chicken recipe, full of fragrant spices, for your next BBQ and you’ll surely “wow” all your guests.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma on a cutting board with grilled lemons

Grilled Chicken Shawarma – The Best Way to Eat Grilled Chicken

Grilled Chicken Shawarma is my new favorite way of eating grilled chicken. It’s usually made with boneless skinless chicken thighs so that it can be easily cut into strips and used in pitas, wraps or salads.

For this recipe, I used skinless chicken thighs on the bone. I really think that bone-in meat makes all the difference in how juicy the meat comes out, and it’s very easy to grill.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma on a cutting board with grilled lemons, olives and yogurt sauce on a side

Nevertheless, you can still strip the meat off the bone if you want to use it for wraps or pitas – that’s how my husband and my aunt ate it the last time I made it.

Personally, I ate it straight from the bone, smothered with my absolute favorite summer sauce….Traditional Greek Tzatziki. You can also serve it alongside this Summer Panzanella Salad with Garlic Butter Bread or Greek Panzanella Salad with Garlic Lemon Dressing, and just like that, your dinner will be ready.

If you follow this blog you may know that I love bread based salads, as they can serve as both veggie and starch simultaneously.

Other serving options would be Lebanese Mujadara, Greek Spinach Rice or Parsley Potatoes.

Grilled chicken shawarma with grilled lemons

Making Grilled Chicken Shawarma is Not Intimidating

If you’ve never made grilled chicken shawarma before it may intimidate you at the outset. However, the marinade is very simple and uses spices that most already have in their home. Yet, one spice that may not be present in your pantry is Cardamon – but I suggest buying it, as you’ll definitely want to make this grilled chicken shawarma recipe more than once in the summer.

The secret to achieving the most flavorful, juicy grilled chicken shawarma possible is to marinate it for a day before cooking, thus letting the flavors marry for 12+ hrs ahead of time.

The next day, simply throw the chicken on the grill and grill on both sides (until cooked through and the internal temperature shows 165 degrees F). Caution: the smell of the grill will be so amazing that you may be tempted to lick the metal grates; this is ill-advised.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma on a board with lemons

How to Make Marinade for Chicken Shawarma

So what spices will you need to make this flavorful, juicy grilled chicken shawarma? Here’s a quick list:

  • Cumin;
  • Coriander;
  • Cardamon;
  • Smoked paprika;
  • Cayenne pepper;
  • Salt & pepper.

For the marinade you’ll also need:

  • Garlic;
  • Lemon juice;
  • Extra virgin olive oil.

Once you’ve combined all the marinade ingredients and added chicken to it, your job is basically done.

The next day the grill will do all the work. Yet, you’ll still need to watch it a little bit….but that’s all! :). I encourage you to demo this amazing Grilled Chicken Shawarma recipe, my friends.

Oh… and if you are up for a challenge, you can make a homemade pita bread to accompany it. If you decide to go this route, then this recipe for Traditional Greek Pita Bread from Half Baked Harvest will surely be handy.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma with lemons on a board

Other Popular Chicken Recipes:



Grilled Chicken Shawarma is an amazing dish of Middle Eastern flavors that comes together super quick, smells divine and disappears from plates in seconds. Try this chicken recipe, full of fragrant spices, for your next BBQ and you'll surely "wow" all your guests.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Grilled Chicken Shawarma is an amazing dish of Middle Eastern flavors that comes together super quick, smells divine and disappears from plates in seconds. Try this chicken recipe, full of fragrant spices, for your next BBQ and you'll surely "wow" all your guests.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Edyta


  • 8 Chicken thigh Skinless, on a bone


  • 2 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Coriander
  • 1 tbsp Cardamon
  • 2 teaspoon Smoked paprika Sweet
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Lemon Juiced (or 2 tablespoon of lemon juice)
  • 3 tablespoon Olive Oil Extra virgin


  • Add all the marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix together;
  • Place chicken tights in the large ziplock bag, pour over the marinade and massage the chicken so all the pieces get covered in the marinade;
  • Close the ziplock and place it in a fridge overnight, for at least 12 hours and as long as 24 hours;
  • Heat the grill on medium high. You can oil the grill or use the cooking spray;
  • Place the chicken on the grill and cook for about 5-7 minutes on each side. You can flip it a few times during cooking. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165F.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes. Serve it with a side salad, pita bread, and tzatziki sauce. 


I also grilled few lemons cut in half and sprinkle the meat with the lemon juice, but this step is optional. I simply like how lemon elevates all the flavors. And the grilled lemon not only is juicer but also has a little smoky flavor. 


Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 214mg | Sodium: 1369mg | Potassium: 660mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 695IU | Vitamin C: 17.3mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 3.4mg
Tried this recipe?Show me @eatingeuropean or tag #eatingeuropean!

If you make this recipe please let me know if it’s a keeper for you! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram. Don’t forget to use hashtag #eatingeuropean.

Read about the author Edyta here or follow Eating European on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.





Similar Posts


  1. 4 stars
    I have it marinating now. I forgot to do it earlier so will only end up with 8 or 9 hours marinating time. I hope that will be ok!
    We are accompanying this with Saag Paneer and Baingan Bharta! *crossing fingers for a delightful meal*

      1. 5 stars
        The sides are done and the chicken is going on the grill in a few minutes…I’ll let you know how it turns out!

          1. I did! Super yum! The husband said its “gotta be the most tender chicken” he’s ever had. Huge compliment from him, woo hoo! Leftovers were good too.
            The third meal we had from it I pulled the meat off the bones and heated in a skillet and made tacos. Super good! Thanks for the share!

      2. Starting to marinad this tonight for tomorrow night!! Hope it’s good since the cardamom was a bit pricey!

  2. 5 stars
    Never heard of this before seeing your recipe, cooked tonight under the grill and it was wolfed down with a salad, 5 star recipe thanks.Phil UK

  3. Hi edyta, going to do this recipe soon.
    Just wondered is the 1 tablespoon of cardamom, ground cardamom, the ground whole pod ground or just the seeds or 1 tablespoon of whole cardamom pods in the marinade.
    Maybe I’m just being dumb! Definitely looking forward to doing this recipe.
    Thanking you. Laurence

  4. Did them today for a barbecue with the neighbours and everyone loved them! Crispy on the outside, sooo juicy on the inside and the flavours were amazing. Thank you for a delicious and easy recipe.

  5. Definite keeper!!! So flavorful! Whenever I eat shawarma anywhere else now I always think, ” I like mine better.” Thank you for the recipe.

  6. 2023-I’m late to this party. First had this as a hors d’oeuvres over 2021 Thanksgiving holiday and had to have the recipe. Absolutely Terrific!! I’ve made it both as a full thigh dinner item as well as marinated chunks served as an appetizer . Rave reviews from those treated with this easy and scrumptious chicken.

  7. We made this for dinner tonight and it was SO YUMMY! I used boneless thighs for ease with the kids. I marinaded it for about 6 hours. Threw the chicken in the marinade in the morning and made for dinner with lentil, barley and cauliflower salad, homemade yogurt and herb sauce and cucumber, tomatoes and feta. Layered it all in fresh pitas! Will make again and again!

  8. Love this chicken made it once and it was extremely delicious. I’m wanting to make it again but can’t remember if I used whole cardamom seeds or crushed them. You don’t say in the recipe whether the cardamom are whole, ground or what. Please advise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating