Chicken Shawarma

Chicken shawarma is a Eastern Mediterranean dish, where traditionally chicken is packed on a spit with onions, tomatoes and spices and roasted until juicy. However, I find marinating the chicken over night still does the trick. Shawarma is also served with a garlicy (very garlicly) sauce, pickled turnip (see below-needs to be done 3 days in advance) and veggies. This meal takes a little prepare, but worth it!

Serves 4


Chicken marinade:

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks (1 inch cube)

1 large white onion, chopped roughly

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 tsp each of dried oregano, thyme, cinnamon

2 bay leaves, crushed

zest of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1/2 lemon

olive oil

salt and pepper

Pickled Turnips:

1 turnip, cut into matchsticks

1 small beet

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of vinegar

1 tsp of sugar

1/2 tsp of salt

Garlic Sauce:

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 tsp of coarse or Kosher salt


1/2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of lemon juice

1 cup of full fat mayo (not Miracle whip)


thick Pitas

lettuce, shredded

tomato, diced

dill pickles, sliced into matchsticks - these are absolutely necessary


*The pickled turnips need to be done at least 3 days in advanced. In a pot, place your beet and cook (8-10mins, until tender). In a separate pot, add the turnips and cover with water. Cook for 5 minutes or until slightly tender - turnips need to still have some crunch to them. In a sterilized jar, place the drained turnip and the small beet. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. If you need more liquid to cover all the vegetables, add a little bit more water. Let the turnips sit for at least 3 days before eating.

Step 1: In a large glass bowl, add the cubed chicken, onion, garlic, seasonings, lemon zest and juice, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Mix together and season with salt and pepper. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

Step 2: In a large frying pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Once heated, add the marinated chicken. Cook the chicken pieces until fully cooked, roughly 15 minutes.

Step 3: While the chicken is cooking, make the garlic sauce: begin by making the garlic paste. If you have a mortar and pestle, place the garlic and coarse salt and bash until creamy. If you don't have a mortar and pestle, in a food processor, add the garlic and salt and whizz around. Add the oil and lemon juice next, mix around. Season with a little bit of black pepper. Now add this to the mayo and mix around. Taste test. Does it need more lemon? Salt? Place in a bowl until use.

Step 4: In a large frying pan over medium heat, add a little bit of oil. Place one thick pita in at a time and heat on each side for 1-2 minutes. Directly after taking the pita off the frying pan, add the garlic sauce. This is an important step! Now add your shredded chicken, lettuce, tomato, dill pickle, pickled turnips and top off with more garlic sauce. ENJOY!