Shawarma (Marinated Lamb, Beef or Chicken Slices)

  • Servings: 4

Shawarma is a Levantine meat preparation where slices of lamb, beef or chicken are marinated in vinegar and spices then stacked on a vertical spit. As the spit rotates, the meat is roasted on all sides.
When ready, the meat is shaved off with a knife and served on a platter or a wrap, together with some raw and pickled vegetables and a tahini dressing.

Of course, this home made Lebanese chicken shawarma does not involve the use of a spit.

Usually, the preparation of the chicken shawarma does not include the adding of “shawarma spices” used in the lamb or beef preparation. But I use them in any meat.

You can buy shawarma spices as a ready mix in some supermarkets and middle eastern stores or do the mix yourself by adding in equal amounts the following powders : Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, caraway, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, white pepper, garlic, sage or oregano.

For this recipe I am using chicken thighs. Breasts are equally good. But if you don’t fancy the chicken, then use any other meat.


  • 500g of chicken meat cut into thin slices
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • A splash of red wine (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of shawarma spices
  • 1 tsp of turmeric (healthy supplement)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 medium tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes


Step 1

Mix the chicken slices with all the other ingredients and refrigerate for at least few hours, preferably overnight. NB: the marinade should cover the chicken entirely.

Step 2

Remove the chicken from the marinade (reserve some) and stir fry in small batches, in olive oil, over a medium heat. Do not overcook. This preparation can be made in advance, ahead of your meal.

Step 3

When ready to eat, put the shawarma in an oven dish, add slices of fresh tomatoes and around 2 tbsp of the reserved marinade. Combine and reheat in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Add a knob of butter at the very end.

Step 4

Serve with some raw vegetables (mint, radish...) and some pickled ones (cucumber, turnip, cabbage...) on the side, and a zesty tahini dressing. If you have it, you can use hommos instead.

Step 5

Recipe for the tahini dressing: 1/4 cup of tahini (sesame paste). Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste. 2 cloves of garlic, crushed. Water, as needed to make a creamy like sauce. Combine all and serve with the shawarma.

Recipe Type: Ingredients:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.