Chicken Shawarma

On the menu tonight – Chicken Shawarma! What the heck is Shawarma you ask? It is a really popular Middle Eastern dish cooked on a vertical rotisserie. As the meat cooks, it’s sliced off and served on pita bread accompanied with cucumber, tomato, and tahini sauce among other things. It is SOOO Good! There are so many spices that add a depth of flavor you aren’t going to find at your local fast food joint.

Not many of us have a vertical rotisserie, so you can make this either on the grill or in the oven. Check out the recipe below and make your version of Shawarma!

Chicken Shawarma

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By Patrick Dulmage Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Chicken Shawarma


  • 4 chicken thighs (with or without bone and skin)
  • 2 red onion, quartered and then separate the layers
  • 2-4 Portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/8 or 1/4 wedges
  • 8 oz Shitake mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon (zested and juiced)
  • 6 – 8 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • For Serving:
  • Pita bread, warmed/toasted
  • Tomato cubed
  • ½ cucumber (preferably seedless), cubed
  • Tahini (for spreading on the pita)
  • Tzatziki sauce



In a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, and the spices. Mix well.


Add the chicken, onion and mushrooms to the bowl and mix to coat them.


Transfer to a one gallon zip lock bag and put in the fridge for at least two hours, overnight would be better.


You can prepare this a couple of ways, on a vertical rotisserie (if you have one!), on skewers and grilled, or on a sheet pan in the oven. Preheat the rotisserie, grill, or oven. If cooking in the oven, preheat to 450 degrees.


If cooking on the grill or rotisserie, begin skewering the mushrooms and onions, alternating Portobello, onion, shitake. Keep them tight on the skewer. Skewer the chicken separately as it will take longer to cook. Or simply grill the chicken pieces whole and then slice later.


Once on the grill, be sure to turn the skewers every 3-4 minutes to ensure each side gets grilled. Remove after each side has been grilled and veggies are cooked through.


If cooking in the oven, simply put the chicken on a small sheet pan. Spread the mushrooms and onions evenly on a large sheet pan. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove and flip the veggies with a spatula.


Cook for an additional 15-20 minutes and remove the veggies.


Let the chicken continue to cook an addition 15-20 minutes.


While the veggies are cooking, warm the pita. If you’re grilling, toss the pita in any open spot. I love those toasty, charred bits from grilled pita. Otherwise put in the oven or microwave oven to warm through.


Cut the pita in half and then spread a little tahini inside.


Fill the pita halves with the mushroom/onion mixture along with some cucumber and tomato.


Top with a little tahini sauce and enjoy!


Tahini sauce is as simple as taking some tahini paste, adding some water, and lemon juice.

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