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+ servings

Chicken Shawarma

Crispy and delicious chicken shawarma served in bowls with salad and a creamy tahini dressing. Don't forget to check out our step by step photos and tips above!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 628kcal



  • 1 Tbsp. cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom
  • 5 chicken leg quarters
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil


  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp. cumin
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp. warm water
  • Sliced English cucumber halved romaine wedges, quartered cherry tomatoes, feta cheese,
  • parsley leaves cayenne pepper, and pita bread, to serve


  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a small bowl, stir together cumin, garlic powder, pepper, allspice, salt, smoked paprika,cinnamon, and cardamom.
  • Place chicken on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, rubbing to coat evenly.
  • Using your fingers, gently loosen skin from meat. Sprinkle outside of chicken liberally with spice blend. Rub remaining spice blend under skin.
  • Bake until chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and cumin.
  • Whisk in warm water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dressing is smooth and reaches desired consistency.
  • When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin, and set aside.
  • Pull meat from the bones; discard bones. Chop chicken. If desired, pour drippings form baking sheet into a medium skillet, and heat over medium heat.
  • Add pulled chicken and skins (if desired) to skillet; cook until crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain chicken, and discard drippings.
  • To serve, divide chicken mixture among four bowls. For each bowl, tuck in 1 romaine wedge half, and about half a cup each cucumber and tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing; sprinkle with feta, parsley leaves, and cayenne, if desired. serve with pita bread.


  • Chicken legs are a great choice for this recipe, because they render a good amount of flavorful fat during roasting. If you’d like to use chicken breasts instead, reduce the cook time to about 25 minutes; chop and serve.
  • The spice blend can be made up to a week ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.
  •  Adding the chicken skins to the skillet with the chicken is totally optional; I like the extra flavor punch you get from the crispy skins, but if you’re looking to trim fat out of your diet, this is an easy step to skip.
  • Tahini brands vary greatly when it comes to thickness; you made need to add additional warm water to help the dressing get to a good drizzle-able consistency. Dressing can be made 3 days ahead; thin with additional warm water to loosen, if necessary.
  • Assemble these bowls with any mixture of vegetables you desire. I used two heads of romaine lettuce, about 16 cherry tomatoes, and 2 English cucumbers.


Calories: 628kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 49g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 177mg | Sodium: 1352mg | Potassium: 649mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 828IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 6mg