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Chicken Shawarma with Attitude

Chicken Shawarma with Attitude

Spicy. Earthy. Floral. Decadent. Healthy.

Chicken shawarma lives life by its own rules, and won’t be pigeonholed by anyone.

And, while it seems like it should be an “all hands on deck” type of meal that needs a ton of prep, it’s pretty much the easiest meal to put together after a busy day that you can imagine.

All you have to do is just cut up the chicken. And even when you’re exhausted, you can manage that, right?

Well, if you can’t, no worries. Just throw the whole thin chicken breasts on the pan, and call it a done deal!

Easy, peasy. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

For a couple of years I’ve been trying to create “bowls,” for the two of us, but somehow it kept seeming to be even more work than a meat and potato meal.

Until of course, it just happened naturally without any forethought. And what a joyful bowl that turned out to be!

Chicken shawarma, done.

Pickled onions hanging out in the fridge looking all stunning and flavorful, done.

Some hummus in a plastic container looking all hopeful like, “Pick me for something other than a sandwich for lunch!” Done.

And finally, some cucumbers and tomatoes that were looking too cool for school on the shelf in the fridge.

And that my friends, is what I call a “natural bowl experience.”

I didn’t make any sauce for the chicken, because that seemed like what the hummus was going to do effortlessly. Why stand in its way?

So, if you have some chicken and just a few spices kicking around your kitchen, spicy, flavorful, joyful bliss is right around the corner!

Chicken shawarma with attitude

Notes: I really love the char on this chicken. To me, it makes the whole thing pretty magical. But, if you don’t want it quite as charred, cook the chicken at 400 for 20 minutes or so.

Also, if you’re keeping the chicken breast whole, I’d recommend cooking it at 400 until it reaches 165 degrees with a meat thermometer, about 20-25 minutes.  Then crank the heat to broil on high for a couple of minutes to get that great char.

Chicken Shawarma with Attitude

Chicken Shawarma with an Attitude

Spicy. Earthy. Floral. Decadent. Healthy.
This chicken shawarma lives life by its own rules, and won’t be pigeonholed by anyone! It's perfect in a bowl with hummus, pickled onions, and cucumber and tomatoes.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4
Author Launie Kettler


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper


  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Fit a large, rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, coriander, cumin, cardamom, paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
    Chicken schwarma with an attitude ingredients
  • Place the chicken in a large, resealable plastic bag.
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken.
  • Work the bags with your hands until each piece is coated.
  • Refrigerate while oven is preheating.
  • Place chicken on prepared sheet pan in a single layer.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until chicken is charred and registers 165 degrees.
  • Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days
  • Toreheat, just place in a 200 degree oven until warmed through.

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