Shawarma – How to Make Shawarma with Chicken

Shawarma is a dish of stacked thinly sliced meat that is roasted on vertical spit-roasting (also known as Rotisserie) and it is eaten by using a long sharp knife to cut some thin shavings from the rotating stack of roasted meat for serving. The meat commonly used in classic shawarma recipes can be chicken, lamb, or mutton. In modern shawarma recipes turkey, beef, or veal (meat from a young cow) can also be used.

What is Shawarma?

In countries where shawarma originated, it is correctly known that shawarma is meat that has been roasted on a vertical rotisserie and can be served in various ways. It can be eaten by cutting from the rotating rotisserie or the shavings can be added to a flatbread together with some vegetables and sauce to be eaten as a sandwich.

In other countries, most of their population assume shawarma to be the sandwich itself and very few actually know that it is the meat (roasted in a special way that is called shawarma). In Nigeria, shawarma is assumed to be the combination of roasted chicken or beef, some vegetables, mayonnaise as a sauce, and some sausages wrapped in a flatbread such as a tortilla or a pita; this type is actually the shawarma sandwich. Since having a rotating rotisserie is not common at home, I will be showing you how to make shawarma without an oven by simply using a stove. We will then use the chicken shawarma for making a chicken shawarma sandwich recipe.

Chicken Shawarma
Chicken Shawarma

Shawarma recipe is a Levantine cuisine that is common in countries such as Egypt, Israel, Turkey, and other Middle Eastern countries. Today, I will be showing you a simple way of making chicken shawarma without an oven and without a vertical rotisserie.

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 pieces of chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of freshly sliced tomatoes. Make sure the seeds are removed to reduce the water content of the tomatoes from making the chicken shawarma sandwich to be soggy.
  • 1 cup of sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup of sliced onions
  • 2 cups of sliced lettuce
  • 2 tbsp of olive

Ingredients for chicken marinade

marinating the chicken
Marinating the chicken pieces
  • 2 tbsp of yogurt
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp of red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp of ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp of onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

Shawarma sauce ingredients

making the shawarma sauce
Making the shawarma sauce
  • 1 cup of greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of tahini sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic
  • 1/4 tsp of black pepper
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp of salt

How to Make Shawarma

Before making shawarma, we need to marinade the chicken parts, wash and slice your vegetables, and get the shawarma wraps ready.

Making the chicken marinade

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for making the marinade, stir, and then bring in the chicken pieces.
  • Make sure to cut the chicken pieces into small slices.
  • Completely coat the chicken in the marinade and cover it with cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight. The longer it stays, the better the chicken would taste because the chicken would absorb the marinade, making it tasty when roasted or grilled.

Grilling the Chicken in a Pan

  • Place pan on the stovetop and add 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • When the oil is heated, add the sliced chicken.
  • Grill the chicken on one side for 5 minutes and then turn it over to the other side and grill it for another 5 minutes.
  • When cooked, remove the chicken from the pan, allow them to cool down a little, and then slice the chicken into thin strands. When done, keep them aside.

Making Shawarma Sauce

  • In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp of tahini sauce, 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Shawarma sauce can be made with mayo and some hot sauce (if you like it hot and spicy).

Add the filling for the shawarma sandwich

  • Place your shawarma wrap over a clean tabletop. You can place the wrap over parchment paper.
  • Scoop the shawarma sauce with a tablespoon and spread it over the surface of the wrapper. This is similar to the way pizza sauce is spread over the pizza dough. You can scoop about 3 tbsp of the sauce.
  • Next, add a handful of the roasted sliced chicken over the wrapper. The amount of chicken added would depend on the size of your wrapper. If it is wide, you can add more of the chicken pieces, or you can simply double the sheets to increase their width.
  • Also, about 5 pieces of sliced cucumbers, 5 pieces of sliced onions, 4 pieces of sliced tomatoes, and some sliced lettuce. You should add the vegetables according to your liking and based on the size of the shawarma wrap you are using.
  • Again, drizzle a tbsp of the sauce over the vegetables and 1 tsp of hot sauce (optional, if you need some heat).
  • Now, fold the edges together and roll the wrapper into a cylindrical sandwich.
  • Place a frying pan on the stovetop and add 1 tsp of olive oil. When the frying pan is heated, bring in the rolled shawarma, with the loose end facing down. Grill the shawarma for about 1 minute; this helps to dry the wrapper or the pita bread and prevents the wrapper from unwinding even when the shawarma sandwich is out of the pan.
  • After a minute, flip the shawarma to the other side using a tong or flat spoon. Grill also for another 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
  • Repeat the same process until you finish the wrappers and fillings for the shawarma sandwich.
Chicken Shawarma
Yummy homemade chicken shawarma!

Note that you can use pita bread or tortilla as your shawarma sandwich wrap.

shawarma

Shawarma - How to Make Shawarma with Chicken

Bongdap Nansel Nanzip
Shawarma is a dish of stacked thinly sliced meat that is roasted on vertical spit-roasting (also known as Rotisserie) and it is eaten by using a long sharp knife to cut some thin shavings from the rotating stack of roasted meat for serving. The meat commonly used in classic shawarma recipes can be chicken, lamb, or mutton. In modern shawarma recipes turkey, beef, or veal (meat from a young cow) can also be used.
Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 12 hrs 12 mins
Course Sandwich
Cuisine Levantine
Servings 4 shawarmas
Calories 290 kcal

Equipment

  • Frying pan

Ingredients
  

  • pieces chicken breasts
  • 2 cups sliced tomatoes
  • 1 cup sliced cucumbers
  • 1 cup sliced onions
  • 2 cups sliced lettuce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Chicken marinade ingredients

  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Shawarma sauce ingredients

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions
 

How to make shawarma

  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for making the marinade, stir, and then bring in the chicken pieces. Make sure to cut the chicken pieces into small slices.
  • Completely coat the chicken in the marinade and cover it with cling film and allow it to rest in the fridge for 24 hours or overnight. The longer it stays, the better the chicken would taste because the chicken would absorb the marinade, making it tasty when roasted or grilled.
  • Place pan on the stovetop and add 2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • When the oil is heated, add the sliced chicken.
  • Grill the chicken on one side for 5 minutes and then turn it over to the other side and grill it for another 5 minutes.
  • When cooked, remove the chicken from the pan, allow them to cool down a little, and then slice the chicken into thin strands. When done, keep them aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp of tahini sauce, 1/2 tsp of crushed garlic, 1/4 tsp of black pepper, 2 tsp of lemon juice, and 1/4 tsp of salt. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed.
  • Shawarma sauce can be made with mayo and some hot sauce (if you like it hot and spicy).
  • Place your shawarma wrap over a clean tabletop. You can place the wrap over parchment paper.
  • Scoop the shawarma sauce with a tablespoon and spread it over the surface of the wrapper. This is similar to the way pizza sauce is spread over the pizza dough. You can scoop about 3 tbsp of the sauce.
  • Next, add a handful of the roasted sliced chicken over the wrapper. The amount of chicken added would depend on the size of your wrapper. If it is wide, you can add more of the chicken pieces, or you can simply double the sheets to increase their width.
  • Also, about 5 pieces of sliced cucumbers, 5 pieces of sliced onions, 4 pieces of sliced tomatoes, and some sliced lettuce. You should add the vegetables according to your liking and based on the size of the shawarma wrap you are using.
  • Again, drizzle a tbsp of the sauce over the vegetables and 1 tsp of hot sauce (optional, if you need some heat).
  • Now, fold the edges together and roll the wrapper into a cylindrical sandwich.
  • Place a frying pan on the stovetop and add 1 tsp of olive oil. When the frying pan is heated, bring in the rolled shawarma, with the loose end facing down. Grill the shawarma for about 1 minute; this helps to dry the wrapper or the pita bread and prevents the wrapper from unwinding even when the shawarma sandwich is out of the pan.
  • After a minute, flip the shawarma to the other side using a tong or flat spoon. Grill also for another 1 minute and then remove from the heat.
  • Repeat the same process until you finish the wrappers and fillings for the shawarma sandwich.

Video

Notes

You can use pita bread or tortilla as your flatbread for wrapping the shawarma.
Keyword Chicken Shawarma, Shawarma

Variations

Shawarma in Israel is often made of dark meat turkey and uses tahini sauce instead of yogurt. In Nigeria sausages are common and mayonnaise is often used instead of yogurt.

In Middle Eastern countries, chicken shawarma is often served with garlic sauce, some fries, and pickles.

Nutrition and Calories

1 serving of shawarma has about 290 calories with 28 grams of protein, which is about 56% of the nutrient content. There are about 3% carbs (5 grams) and 22% total fats. Other nutrients are fiber, sodium (20%), potassium (20%), cholesterol (27%), iron and calcium, and also vitamins A and C.

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