Shortcut Chicken Shawarma at Home, the Easy Way

This homemade Chicken Shawarma do not need any rotating rotisserie or spit, just few simple tools, fresh chicken and a mix of flavorful Shawarma spice mix and you can enjoy Shawarma at the comfort of your own home. There is no reason for you to miss take out Shawarma because this homemade version is enough to satisfy you, plus if you have leftover then you got yourself lunch or dinner the following day. Read on and see how you can make this Shawarma at home, bake version.

I love Shawarma! I got introduce to Shawarma only when I moved here in Canada. I cannot remember having I back in the Philippines (10 years ago). Shawarma is one thing that I wouldn’t get tired of eating. It is simply delicious, fresh and when done right, it’s flavorful and juicy. I’ve never thought of making my own at home until just recently when I had been staying home almost all the time. I am so glad I tried it, now I can enjoy it at home whenever I feel like it.

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is a dish in Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today’s shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, beef, or veal. (source: wikipedia)

What are the Ingredients for Chicken Shawarma?

  • Chicken Thigh – I always prefer using chicken thigh when making Shawarma because it is juicer and very forgiving when it comes to long time cooking. Chicken breast tends to dry easily so that is a risk you have to be ready to take when you choose that part.
  • Olive Oil – Oil will keep the chicken moist and will help bring the spices to stick and coat the chicken well
  • Greek Yogurt – The Greek yogurt when mixed with lemon juice helps tenderize the chicken
  • Lemon Juice – for flavoring and taste
  • Salt – for additional taste
  • Shawarma Spice Mix – this is what gives the chicken the wonderful favor
Small Batch Oven Baked Chicken Shawarma By SweetNSpicyLiving

How to Make Chicken Shawarma at Home

Tools That You Need

Aside for the ingredients, you only need few kitchen tools to make homemade Shawarma.

  • Oven: This method uses the oven to cook the chicken.
  • Deep Pan/Dish: Aside from the oven, you will need a deep pan or dish to hold the chicken especially if you are making a big batch.
  • BBQ Skewers: You will also need A BBQ skewers to help the stacked chicken stay in place.
  • Knife: A sharp knife to shred or cut the chicken for serving

The Process

  • Make the Shawarma Spice Mix: First, you have to make the Shawarma Spice Mix. You can also buy the ready to use Shawarma Mix in the grocery but I suggest try making your own. I have the mix in the ingredients section below and I will also create a separate post for this.
  • Marinate the Chicken – This step is a MUST to allow the chicken absorb the spice mix. I normally leave the chicken marinating overnight for use the following day.
  • Stack the Chicken: Now, time to arrange the chicken. Stack the chicken in BBQ skewers and position the stacked chicken in the pan or dish. If you do not have BBQ skewers, you can simply pile the chicken.
  • Bake the Chicken: Now, time to bake the chicken. Make sure to rotate the pan half way the baking time to allow even baking.
  • Cut: Use a sharp knife to shred or slice the chicken
Shawarma Spice Mix

How to Make Shawarma Spice Mix

It seems everyone have their own blend of Shawarma mix, and this one is my version. Of course, feel free to add spices and seasoning that you like. Making the spice mix is the easiest thing, it is just a matter of mixing all the seasoning and spices. Mix everything in a small bowl, transfer in a jar with a lid and you have a Shawarma spice mix that you can use for several batch of this recipe.

Oven Baked Chicken Shawarma By SweetNSpicyLiving

Can I Freeze the Marinated Chicken?

You can also freeze the marinated chicken which makes it very convenient for future cooking. Simply store the chicken in ziplock bag and stack in the freezer. Move in the refrigerator to thaw overnight and take it out from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking. Do NOT bake frozen chicken as you an end up with uneven cooked chicken.

Tips in Making Chicken Shawarma

  • For juicy chicken, choose chicken thighs
  • Take time to marinate the chicken
  • Stack the chicken to keep the juices inside. If you lay the chicken on the pan, it will be more crispy than juicy
Chicken Shawarma For Two


  • 4 (at least) boneless Chicken Thighs – skin removed
  • 4 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt 
  • 1 tablespoon Shawarma Spice Mix

Shawarma Spice Mix

  • 2 teaspoon Cumin 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper 
  • 2 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger Powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon Garlic powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Flakes 


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
  2. Make the Shawarma Spice Mix: Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl. This makes about 1/4 cup, you only need 1 tbsp for this recipe. Transfer the rest in a sealed container. 
  3. Prepare Shawarma Coating Mix: Pour olive oil in a bowl. Add yogurt, lemon juice, salt and shawarma spice mix. Stir to combine. 
  4. Marinate the Chicken: Wash the chicken and remove the skin and any excess fat. Marinate the chicken in the shawarma coating mixture, making sure both sides are fully coated. Marinate at least 1 hour, overnight recommended
  5. Arrange the Chicken: Thread the chicken in a BBQ skewers and stack the chicken on top of each other, forming a pile of chicken. Transfer the stacked chicken in a cast iron skillet or any oven safe baking dish.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes then remove for the oven and re-arrange the stacking. Starting form the top, move the top piece to the bottom ending with the bottom piece being on the top. This is to make sure that the chicken it cook through. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes. The baking time could vary depending on how thick or thin the chicken thigh. You can stop when each piece is cook through. 
  7. Broil: To give a nice toasted crispy outside, set the oven to broil on LOW for 3-5 minutes or until the outside of the chicken starts to look charred (but not burnt). Leave the oven slightly open when in broil mode as this mode is quite hot. Do NOT leave while broiling, monitor the chicken. 
  8. Shred: Take the chicken out of the oven and use a sharp knife to shred the chicken. You can remove the chicken from the pan and transfer in a chopping board or you can shred it while stacked on the pan. Using a shard knife, cut the chicken to the thickness that you like. 
  9. Serve: You can serve this with rice, salad or as a shawarma wrap. 

Serves 2 – 3

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information was calculated using Veryfitwell Recipe Calorie and Nutrition Calculator. For details about Nutritional Information in this website, please read the Disclaimer page.

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