Authentic Lebanese chicken shawarma is an easy oven-baked chicken recipe made with thinly sliced chicken, tomatoes, onions, shawarma seasoning, salt, and vinegar.
Chicken shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern street food. Make a shawarma wrap with shawarma, Lebanese garlic sauce (toum), french fries, and pickles. Or, serve this juicy chicken as a chicken shawarma plate alongside Lebanese rice.
Another popular Lebanese chicken recipe is chicken shish tawook (grilled chicken kabobs). And if you are looking for a flavor-bomb chicken recipe, try this chicken biryani rice or this Bengali chicken curry.
What You Will Love
I am half Lebanese and hold chicken shawarma close to my heart. I hate to say it, but most chicken shawarma recipes on the internet are not the real deal. If you are reading this post, you have stumbled onto an authentic Lebanese shawarma recipe.
This oven-roasted chicken shawarma is simple, easy, and delicious. It's the perfect way to make Lebanese shawarma at home without the typical vertical spit shawarma setup. The thing I like the most about this recipe is the juicy chicken. Sometimes, traditional shawarma is a bit dry.
Make this sheet pan chicken shawarma in a large batch and turn it into several different meals: shawarma wrap, shawarma salad, or a shawarma plate. It's an excellent meal prep recipe to reheat throughout the week.
- Chicken: Use boneless skinless chicken breast, chicken tenders (or chicken strips), or boneless skinless chicken thighs. My preference is chicken tenders.
- Shawarma seasoning: Shawarma seasoning can vary quite a lot. Buy shawarma seasoning from Amazon, Middle Eastern grocery stores, or make your own. I like Plant Based Folk's shawarma blend. Some Lebanese shawarma recipes just combine Lebanese 7 spices (a popular Lebanese spice mix) and allspice.
- Tomatoes: Use Roma tomatoes, beef steak, tomatoes on the vine, or even cherry tomatoes.
- Onion: I prefer white onion, yellow onion, red onion, or brown onion.
- Garlic paste: Make garlic paste using fresh garlic cloves.
- Vinegar: I prefer apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar or red wine vinegar also works.
- Salt and black pepper to taste
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
How To Make Lebanese Chicken Shawarma
Preheat the oven to 425 ℉ (220℃).
Slice the chicken into thin strips and add the chicken pieces to a bowl. Measure the salt, garlic paste, shawarma spice, and vinegar. Mix until the sliced chicken is fully coated in spices. Marinate the chicken pieces for a few minutes or overnight.
Slice the tomatoes and onions using a sharp knife. Set aside.
Mix the marinated shawarma chicken, sliced onions, and sliced tomatoes in a baking dish. Bake the chicken shawarma at 425 ℉ (220℃) for 40 minutes. Halfway through, mix the shawarma once.
The chicken shawarma is done when the chicken is cooked through. There should be some juices on the bottom of the pan.
Serve baked chicken shawarma with vermicelli rice or in a chicken shawarma sandwich. On Lebanese pita bread, slather garlic toum sauce. Top with chicken shawarma, french fries (or roasted batata harra), and pickles. Wrap tightly.
Baked Batata Harra Fries
Please leave me a comment if you try this! I made baked batata harra fries simultaneously with the chicken shawarma (in a separate baking dish). Both chicken and fries cook at the same time. Talk about a flavor explosion!
Peel and cut potatoes into fries. Coat the fries with some olive oil in a large bowl. Add garlic paste, red pepper flakes, chopped cilantro, and salt. Mix well. Lay on a parchment paper baking sheet without overcrowding the pan. Roast for 40 minutes at 425 ℉ (220℃).
Tips and Tricks
- Make toum garlic sauce while the chicken is roasting in the oven. Toum is essential for this popular dish.
- Experiment with your favorite shawarma spice blends. Make your bulk shawarma blend, try different store blends, or use Lebanese seven spices. Tweak the recipe to suit your favorite flavor profiles.
- Lebanese flatbread is thin and flexible. It's the perfect bread to use for shawarma wraps. I prefer to store my Lebanese pita in the freezer so it doesn't dry out. I reheat it in the microwave one pita at a time (about 15 seconds).
Variations and Substitutions
- Substitute equal parts fresh lemon juice for vinegar.
- Make it spicy by adding some red pepper flakes.
- Beef shawarma is equally delicious but usually served with a tahini sauce. I'm working on a delicious beef shawarma recipe with my Aunt, so keep your eyes out for it soon!
Store shawarma in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat in a microwave, oven, or air fryer.
Method for freezing raw shawarma: Batch prepare shawarma by slicing and marinating a bulk quantity of chicken. Store the raw marinated thin slices of meat in a freezer bag. When ready to prepare, defrost the meat.
Typically, Lebanese shawarma is either beef or chicken that's marinated in shawarma spices.
Greek gyros and Lebanese shawarma have a lot in common. They are both made on a rotisserie spit and then wrapped into a flatbread. Both shawarma and gyros differ in flavor.
This baked chicken shawarma recipe has no added oils or fat. However, it's normally served with toum, that is high in fat.
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Authentic Lebanese Chicken Shawarma
- 3 lbs sliced chicken chicken tenders, chicken breast, or chicken thighs (see note 1)
- 3 medium tomatoes Roma
- 1 medium onion
- 4 tablespoon shawarma seasoning see note 3
- 6 crushed garlic cloves
- 6 tablespoon vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Batata Harra Fries (Optional)
- 2 medium potatoes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoon garlic paste
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425 ℉ (220 ℃).
- Slice the chicken into thin strips. Mix the garlic paste, shawarma seasoning, vinegar, and salt with the chicken. Let the chicken marinate for a few minutes while slices the tomatoes and onion.
- Slice the onion and tomatoes thinly.
- In a large baking dish (9" x 13"), mix the marinated chicken shawarma, sliced onions, and sliced tomatoes. Bake the chicken shawarma at 425 ℉ (220 ℃) for 40 to 45 minutes. Mix the shawarma once halfway so the meat cooks evenly.
- Slather toum garlic sauce on large Lebanese pita bread. Lay chicken shawarma, french fries (or baked batata harra fries), and pickles. Wrap tightly and enjoy!
Batata Harra Fries (Optional)
- Peel and slice the potato into fries. Coat the fries in olive oil. In a large bowl, mix garlic paste, chopped cilantro, salt, and fries.
- Lay the potatoes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a thin layer without over-crowding the pan. You might need two large baking sheets, one for each potato.
- Bake the french fries at the same time as the chicken. Bake at 425 ℉ (220 ℃) for about 40 to 45 minutes.
- Use boneless skinless chicken: either chicken breast, chicken thighs, or chicken tenders.
- Make chicken shawarma into a wrap, salad, or bowl.
- Some homemade Lebanese shawarma recipes use Lebanese 7 spices + allspice instead of shawarma mix (that's how my family makes shawarma). It tastes different than what you might find at a restaurant. Substitute 4 tablespoon shawarma mix for 3 tablespoon Lebanese seven spice + ½ tablespoon allspice.