Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma


This Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma is all of my dinner dreams come true! This Middle Eastern inspired chicken is boasting with a delicious blend of spices, it’s perfectly golden brown with a tender interior and crisp edges and it’s so easy to make.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

It starts out with a a bright and earthly well spiced lemony marinade. Meaning total flavor infusion, no boring chicken here.

Then it’s roasted to golden brown perfection and served over pita or rice along with all of your favorite toppings.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Next time I think I’ll go with some basmati brown rice for a healthier alternative to the wrap but for the first time trying it how could I resist homemade pita bread?

Really though this would even be good without the heavy carbs and just go with roasted veggies instead. But don’t forget the feta.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

And like I mentioned in the recipe a dark heavy baking sheet really does make a difference here. I don’t recommend using them for cookies and other baked goods because they over-brown things but that’s what we want here – some browning. (You can get them on Amazon, of course).

A dark roasting pan should work well too. If you don’t have either of those a regular aluminum baking sheet works too you just won’t get as much browning.

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Try this soon! I’m slightly obsessed and can’t wait to make it again!


Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma

5 from 11 votes

This Middle Eastern inspired chicken is boasting with a delicious blend of spices, it's perfectly golden brown with a tender interior and crisp edges and it's so easy to make!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp each salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 lbs trimmed boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Optional serving suggestions

  • Warm pita bread* or flour tortillas or cooked rice
  • Tahini yogurt sauce**
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Diced cucumbers
  • Chopped lettuce
  • Chopped red onion
  • Feta cheese


  1. In a mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, salt and pepper.

  2. Place chicken in a gallon size resealable bag, pour marinade over chicken then seal bag while pressing out excess air.

  3. Rub marinade over chicken, transfer chicken to refrigerator and allow to marinate at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. 

  4. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Brush a rimmed 18 by 13-inch, preferably dark coated, baking sheet with 1 Tbsp olive oil. 

  5. Remove chicken from marinade and space evenly apart on baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven until cooked through and edges are crisp, about 30 - 40 minutes. 

  6. Remove from oven and allow to rest 2 minutes then cut into bits. Serve in pita or with rice along with desired toppings. 

  7. *For the pita bread you can find my recipe here, you'll only need 4 so halve the recipe and make 4 8-inch pitas. 

  8. **For the tahini yogurt sauce: add 2 Tbsp tahini to a small mixing bowl then use the back of a spoon to press tahini against bowl to smooth. Mix in 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp minced parsley, mint or cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  9. Recipe source: chicken inspired by my Grilled Moroccan Chicken and NYT

Oven Roasted Chicken Shawarma - it's is all of my dinner dreams come true! This Middle Eastern inspired chicken is boasting with a delicious blend of spices, it's perfectly golden brown with a tender interior and crisp edges and it's so easy to make. #chicken #recipe #healthyrecipe #chickenshawarma


  • Wende: What would the cook time be for chicken breast? January 10, 2018 at 5:38am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Medium chicken breasts will probably be about 20 minutes but as always just check the temp – to 165 in the middle. I do highly recommend trying the thighs sometime though, I didn’t use to like chicken thighs but now I love them. January 11, 2018 at 2:56pm Reply

  • Jennifer: I can’t wait to make this. One of my favorite foods. January 10, 2018 at 5:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it! January 11, 2018 at 12:03pm Reply

  • Sheila Lynch: Great cooking site! January 12, 2018 at 3:33pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Sheila! January 12, 2018 at 6:18pm Reply

  • Deborah: This recipe is absolutely delicious! It was tastier than the Chicken Shawarma I order at our local Middle Eastern restaurant. I did use boneless breast which I cut in half lengthwise as they are so big. Cooking time was 25 minutes. Using dark pan for cooking did brown them beautifully. I cooked then at 400 degrees in my convention oven. January 14, 2018 at 5:31am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad you liked this recipe Deborah! I appreciate your feedback! January 14, 2018 at 8:54am Reply

  • vivian: This was a well-liked and simple dinner for a casual Saturday night. Dressed it up with all the fixings, and it went over really well with my family. Thanks for another great recipe! January 14, 2018 at 7:44am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m happy to hear your family enjoyed this Chicken Shawarma Vivian! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! January 14, 2018 at 8:52am Reply

  • Meredith Masten: This was delicious! My whole family loved it. I did use chicken breast instead of thighs. January 15, 2018 at 4:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad your family liked it Meredith! Thanks for leaving a review! January 16, 2018 at 9:41pm Reply

  • Hannah: Would cooking it in a iron skillet give the same browning that the dark sheet pan does? January 17, 2018 at 6:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m guessing that would work out good as well you may need just a little more oil in the pan, please let me know if you try. January 17, 2018 at 4:28pm Reply

  • Jen: This was SO GOOD! Everyone LOVED it! Even my picky one! :) And chicken thighs… I have never used chicken thighs and I was totally on the fence about using them. But I followed the recipe and they worked well! You surprised me! So for all of you who are reluctant to use the chicken thighs, I say go for it! :) January 18, 2018 at 7:12pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: I used to be the same way. My mom never cooked chicken thighs when I was growing up so I just always went with chicken breasts because that’s what I was used to but now I love chicken thighs and I used them all the time. I’m so glad your family enjoyed this Chicken Shawarma Jen, thanks for taking the time to leave a review! January 20, 2018 at 11:39am Reply

  • Miriam: Looks delish! My husband hates lemon, do you think i could substitute red wine vinegar??? January 21, 2018 at 4:58pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes definitely! Hope you both enjoy! January 21, 2018 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Stacey Christianson: My husband absolutely loved this recipe :) January 21, 2018 at 7:59pm Reply

  • Justine: We loved this so much, we’re putting it in the regular dinner rotation!

    We didn’t follow the recipe exactly, first of all. There was no coriander in our grocery store, so instead, I did a half measure of poultry seasoning, and another half of cumin (I think?). It marinaded overnight and through the day. I also winged the olive oil on the pan rather than measuring out a TB, and might not’ve spaced it “evenly” on the sheet. It was still delicious.

    We did 4 chicken breasts instead of leg meat. I also cut up the chicken before marinading, not after oven baking, but it still turned out tasty. To get it golden brown in the cookie sheet, we went the whole 40 minutes at 425 deg. It was not dried out!

    We did naan bread from Costco instead of pita. I regret nothing! We also made the tahini yogurt sauce at the bottom of the recipe with parsley, and kind of winged it again because we just got 2 cups of yogurt from the grocery store (10 oz, not 8 like the recipe called for). You can kind of play that by taste rather than as strict to the recipe– we were eating that as a dip while waiting for the chicken to cook, so it definitely didn’t suck. We also got cilantro hummus for the shawarma naan tacos and TOTALLY FORGOT the feta cheese. Oops! Thank goodness for leftovers, right??? Not that there’s anything to improve, but next time I think I’ll try making pickled turnips for the toppings. :)

    Thank you for this awesome recipe!! January 30, 2018 at 10:26am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the tips and review Justine! January 30, 2018 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Polly M: As usual you did not disappoint with this one. We just did Shawama over rice which I put 1/4 tsp Turmeric in the water before I cooked it, very pretty yellow rice! Rice, chicken strips and condiments on top with the dressing. I think my guys would like more of a yogurt dressing than the humus so I will try that next time. Forgot the feta but did not think I needed it. Could not believe the left overs! I also was not a fan of chicken thighs but I use them in a lot of my recipes now. So much more flavor the the boneless chicken breasts which tend to dry out. February 6, 2018 at 5:41pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Im’ so glad you and your family liked this Chicken Shawarama Polly! Love your addition of yellow rice! Thanks so much for your review! February 6, 2018 at 8:55pm Reply

  • Louise: This is the third time that I’m making this recipe since it was first posted – that’s how much we all love it here. It is as tasty as any of the chicken shawarma I’ve had from any restaurant in our area. And given that we live in Toronto there are tons of them! The yogurt tahini sauce is a must – I also add sriracha sauce to spice it up. And I have served it over a bed of basmati rice with lentils each time, sauce drizzled on top of the chicken with a bowl on the side for those who want extra. Yum! February 9, 2018 at 9:49am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so happy to hear you’ve been enjoying this recipe Louise! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review! February 10, 2018 at 10:21am Reply

  • Natalie: AMAZING! My whole family loved it, and that says something. I made the pita bread as well as it was so light and fluffy. Wouldn’t change a thing. February 20, 2018 at 3:29pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Natalie! February 21, 2018 at 11:01am Reply

  • Kathrin: It’s so tasty! So glad that I found this page. Everyone is asking for the recipe 😊 March 1, 2018 at 11:39am Reply

    • Jaclyn: So glad to hear it! March 2, 2018 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Pauline lloyd: Loved this recipe it’s defiantly going into my rotation. I served it over brown rice with a Greek salad. March 13, 2018 at 7:10pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: So happy to hear it! March 15, 2018 at 10:22pm Reply

  • Jessica Perrilleon: This was fantastic!!! The whole family loved it and devoured it! I always know I can count on your site for fantastic recipes! Thank you! March 14, 2018 at 8:25am Reply

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