This Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma is a delicious mixture of small chicken thighs pieces roasted to perfection; served on a bed of couscous!

Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma spread

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Friends, this easy, healthy homemade chicken shawarma is a delicious weeknight meal. We love chicken recipes in general, but this is a big fan-favorite around here.

Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma

The secret is in the simple shawarma spice mixture, which you use to marinate the chicken thighs. You can serve this chicken in a “bowl” with couscous, or you can even add the chicken to a pita pocket for a shawarma sandwich (like a gyro). The roasted veggies are amazing, too!

Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma with sweet potatoes

All you need are these ingredients:

  • Chicken thighs
  • Lemons
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon + cumin + paprika + salt + white pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Sweet potato + bell pepper + red onion
  • Chicken broth
  • Butter
  • Parsley
  • Couscous

What is Chicken Shawarma?

Chicken Shawarma is made with chicken, but Shawarma is a Levantine Arab (middle Eastern) dish consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted.

Originally it was made with lamb, mutton or chicken, but today you will find recipes with  beef, veal, or even turkey!

making veggies for Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma

What does chicken shawarma taste like?

Shawarma is a marinated recipe with fabulous seasonings and spices like garlic, cinnamon, paprika, cumin, and even cardamom. It has a complex flavor both warm and tangy.

How do you serve chicken shawarma?

Serve in a bowl with couscous. Also optional to serve like a gyro, with toppings like  tahini, tabbouleh, and hummus. [Follow this easy recipe, How to cook Couscous.]

Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma

Want to make shawarma  sauce?

It’s optional to serve shawarma  sauce on your chicken shawarma  bowl. Make a garlic yogurt (use plain Greek yogurt) shawarma sauce with a small amount of lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper.

It’s the perfect light and tangy topping that really complements the rest of the flavors of the shawarma bowl.

bowl of Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma with sweet potatoes

Easy hospitality tips

Today I’m sharing a few hospitality tips for the fall season soon upon us!

  1. Arrange your schedule to make time for a meal in your home. Take something off your plate, or plan well ahead to get the date on the calendar. We’ve found the more we simplify our life overall, the more time we have for others.
  2. Think about who you want to get to know. We just had a brand new couple over for dinner. The night was full of rich conversation – things to think about, ways to grow more, challenges to be better people.
  3. Cook a simple meal. Ask your guests to bring a side salad and a bottle of wine or other drink.
  4. Serve an easy dessert. Our friend had an egg and dairy allergy, so I served this cake. Perfection! You can make the whipped cream with coconut cream (non-dairy). Or, you can always just skip dessert!

deconstructed spread of Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma

Perfect fall Chicken Shawarma recipe

This recipe is roasted, in small pieces, with yummy spices of cinnamon, cumin, and paprika.

Add in the veggies, and roast together. Serve on couscous!

It’s a delightful recipe to serve to guests, and with sweet potatoes, perfect for fall!

Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma with sweet potatoes
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Get the Recipe:

Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
marinate chicken: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Yield: 4
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  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 3 lemons, juiced
  • 3 tsp garlic
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ c. olive oil, + 2 Tbsp.
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup couscous
  • ½ tsp. salt
  •  optional toppings:  tahini, tabbouleh, and hummus


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  • Combine cumin, cinnamon, white pepper, paprika, garlic, 1/4 c. olive oil, and lemon juice in a large bowl.
  • Tenderize the chicken thighs, cut in small pieces, and place them in marinade. Refrigerate and marinate for at least an hour.
  • Chop vegetables into large chunks and add them to the chicken marinade.
  • On a large bakig sheet, evenly drizzle the remaining olive oil. Spread the chicken and vegetables over the oil.  Bake for 20-30 minutes.
  • In a lage sauce pan, bring broth, butter, and salt to a boil. Add couscous, stir, and cover for 5 minutes. When cooked,fluff with fork.
  • Place the cooked couscous in a bowl; add chopped parsley.
  • Remove veggies and chicken from oven.
  • Cut chicken into thin strips, and quickly fry in a hot pan for a few minutes, just long enough to sear the outside.
  • Evenly divide couscous on 4-5 plates; add the chicken and vegetables and serve! Optional to serve with  tahini, tabbouleh, and hummus.


Originally posted Oct 2016.
Cuisine: middle Eastern
Course: Main Course
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Lemon Garlic Chicken Shawarma