Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Homemade Chicken Shawarma

Lately I've realized that the term "homemade food" needs to be redefined - and that's because our children are much influenced by the foods found in stores, by what they see on the streets and on TV. They won't feel any emotion when told that homemade soup is better than shawarma or a fast food burger. So, the only solution is to offer them the same burger or shawarma, but homemade - with well chosen and cooked ingredients and made according to their taste. I can assure you the reward will be great!

This is how I got to cooking burgers, hot dogs, gyro, all homemade recipes, and now it's time for, of course, the homemade chicken shawarma. I've been doing it for a long time, but it's only now I've taken pictures for the website. I'd say this is the last and the most optimized version, especially if you want to serve it as shawarma wraps and not on the plate, like the gyro.

The toppings are up to you - any kind of meat, veggies, the sauces you like - below I will give you some suggestions, but they are not the only possibility. I use the same technique when making pita bread wraps with tuna or meat, to take them on a picnic or in the garden. Even my little Maria said that 'mum makes the best sandwiches and pita bread', so I hope you'll find the information useful.


Boneless chicken thighs
500 g
or any meat you like - turkey, pork etc.
Olive oil
6 tbsp
Lemon juice
3 tbsp
Garlic powder
0.5 tsp
or 1-2 crushed cloves
Sweet paprika
1 tsp
0.5 tsp
Ground coriander
0.5 tsp
2 tsp
Baharat - arabic 7 spice mix
0.5 tsp
500 g
Thin pita bread
4 pieces
I usually buy whole wheat or graham pita bread
Pickled cucumbers
4 pieces
0.5 pieces
1 piece
Chopped parsley
2 tbsp
and anything else you want
White cabbage
300 g
200 g
4 tbsp

Step by step

Step 1

Firstly, I recommend preparing the meat - it doesn't take very long to cook but then it needs time to cool. 

You can cut the chicken meat (or the one you have) in small bits or you can leave it whole pieces.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 1
Step 2

To marinate, mix it with 3 tbsp olive oil, the juice from 1 lemon, 0.5 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp paprika, 0.5 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 0.5 tsp coriander and 0.5 tsp Arabic spice mix.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 2
Step 3

Now you can roast it quickly in a pan over the heat or in the oven, stir periodically until it's well cooked.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 3
Step 4

Here is one other time when I baked the chicken thighs whole in the oven and used the same spices to marinate.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 4
Step 5

When they are cool, cut them into thin slices.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 5
Step 6

I usually bake the potatoes in a big oven pan while the meat cools. 

I cut potatoes into wedges and I season with olive oil, salt and maybe some turmeric. Then I bake potatoes for about 20-30 minutes in the oven to 200-220 degrees C with the fan option on, which will crisp them up.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 6
Step 7

Until the meat and the potatoes are ready, I prepare the rest of the ingredients: 

- the sauces - here, homemade mayonnaise, mixed with a bit of yogurt and garlic if you like it. And definitely your favourite ketchup, store bought or homemade.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 7
Step 8

- and the toppings: long slices of pickled cucumbers, cabbage salad (chopped cabbage with a bit of oil, salt and vinegar), slices of tomatoes and onions and a bit of chopped parsley.

Here the choice is all yours, for us all these are classic ingredients and they are a must when it comes to shawarma. 


Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 8
Step 9

When everything is ready, we start to wrap the shawarma. 

To stick it all together, I use aluminium foil, it's very efficient and I recommend it. 

Tear up 4 pieces of foil, each one a bit longer than the pita bread diameter.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 9
Step 10

On each piece of foil place a pita bread and spread 1-2 tbsp mayonnaise sauce.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 10
Step 11

On top, add a handful of chopped meat and a few baked potato wedges. 

Notice I place everything on the first half of the pita bread, this will make it easier to wrap.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 11
Step 12

Then I evenly spread over the other toppings - a bit of cabbage salad, pickled cucumbers, tomato and onion slices, chopped parsley etc. 

Kids usually say no to onions, so I customize each shawarma wrap. 

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 12
Step 13

Finally, we add ketchup on top.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 13
Step 14

Now carefully roll the pita bread as tightly as possible, you will get dirty on your hands, so make sure you have a paper towel close to you.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 14
Step 15

Then wrap it tightly in aluminium foil and fasten at the ends.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 15
Step 16

This is the way to make 4 (or more) shawarma wraps and it's better to serve them as soon as possible. 

If you want to take them with you, make sure you drain off the water from the cabbage salad and the pickled cucumbers - we don't want the wraps to be too watery.

Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 16
Step 17

When everybody is ready, I tear up the foil of the upper half of the wrap and the bottom one is meant to keep it all together while eating. 

You unwrap the rest of the foil as you eat. 

And this is how I get the badge for the best mum who cooks modern and trendy food deliciously at home! So, shawarma wraps are excellent if you follow this method, I recommend it. 


Homemade Chicken Shawarma - Step 17
Quantity: 4 pieces
Prep time: 30 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 60 min
Publish date:

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