These chicken shawarma kebabs make a delicious dinner with hardly any work! Marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for a couple hours and then skewer them for grilling. I like to serve them with an easy, creamy garlic tahini sauce, fresh veggies, warmed flatbreads and topped with pickled red onions.
I always love grabbing chicken shawarma from street carts in the city or at a Halal or Mediterranean restaurant. But always thought it was too difficult to make myself. Well when I actually attempted it, I found that its super easy.
Of course I do not have a vertical rotisserie to make it super authentic. But the spices are spot on! And actually, I think this kebab method is as close to the vertical rotisserie that most people can easily achieve at home anyways.
The Secret to Cooking Juicy Chicken Shawarma Kebabs at Home
Traditionally, shawarma is cooked on a vertical rotisserie, where thin slices of meat are stacked into a cone shaped and slow roasted. I tried to be as authentic to this method with the tools that I had at home: skewers and a grill!
Marinate the Chicken. This marination process really helps to tenderize and flavor the chicken. I also prefer to use chicken thighs versus chicken breasts, because I think the cuts are less likely to dry out in the cooking process. Combine yogurt with lemon juice and dry spices. Cut the chicken into small pieces and add it to the marinade. Refrigerate for a few hours, even over night.
Skewer and grill. Once ready to cook, just thread the marinated chicken pieces on skewers and grill. One tip for the skewers is to try to press the chicken pieces together closely on the skewers. You want to grill the chicken slowly so it retains moisture. The further spaced out the chicken is, the faster it will cook and more likely it will dry out.
Once the chicken is grilled, it is important to let the chicken rest for a few minutes. At this point, you can just hand everyone a skewer or remove the chicken from the skewers, or even thinly slice the chicken to better replicate shawarma.
Whip up Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce. This simple sauce requires just a few ingredients and comes together in minutes.
Serve grilled chicken shawarma kebabs with garlic tahini sauce and fresh veggies in a soft flatbread.
Enjoy! These chicken shawarma kebabs are great as is as a low carb dinner or in a flatbread for a hearty hand held sandwich.
Chicken Shawarma Kebabs with Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce
- 2 lbs chicken boneless skinless thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- ⅓ cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground clove
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 1 onion cut into 1 inch cubes
Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ lemon juice of
- ½ cup tahini paste
- ½ Greek Yogurt
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
Additional Ingredients for Serving
- lettuce chopped
- tomatoes thinly sliced
- cucumbers thinly sliced
- flatbreads or naan
- In a large bowl, mix together Greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and all spices to make the marinade. Add chicken and onion, toss everything to coat. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, up to overnight.
- Skewer the marinated chicken on skewers. I like to place the chicken close together to replicate a shawarma spit. Grill the chicken on medium high heat until the temperature reads 165°F. Let the skewers rest for at least 10 minutes before serving
- Serve with tahini sauce (see recipe below), flatbreads, lettuce, tomatoes and cucumbers
Creamy Garlic Tahini Sauce
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients for the sauce until smooth.
- Store in refrigerator until ready to serve.