Shawarma sandwich or wrap is made with Shawarma spiced meat, and is eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush, taboon bread, tomato, and cucumber. Toppings include tahini, hummus, pickled turnips and amba. Cut the beef or chicken into chunks In a bowl, rub the meat with the spice, sprinkle a bit of olive oil then rub again, cover and let marinate overnight in the fridge. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, then gently bake at 270-300F for 2 hours. shred the meat on a cutting board and serve hot.

Ingredients: Allspice, Coriander, Cumin, Garlic, Cayenne Pepper, Black Pepper, Cardamon, Cinnamon, Cloves, Ginger, Paprika and Turmeric.

Shawarma despite having Turkish roots, Shawarma is a creation from the Middle East, likely from somewhere in the Levant. Some people have tried to compare a gyro with Shawarma, but when compared there are many differences. The main difference between shawarma and gyro is the meat. Unlike gyros, the packed-down shawarma meat can be anything from chicken to lamb to veal to goat.

Shawarma and gyros are also prepared quite differently. Shawarma is more about the flavor of the meat and its seasonings that it is about the toppings on and around it.  Shawarma meat is typically marinated all day in seasonings and spices like our Niblack Shawarma Spices and they often include garlic, turmeric, dried lime, cinnamon, and cardamom, giving it a warm and zesty full-flavor profile. Shawarma does typically get served like a gyro with toppings like tahini, tabbouleh, and hummus. However, Shawarma never has tzatziki as it would apparently adulterate the perfectly marinated meat.

If you aren’t yet familiar with shawarma, we’ve heard some say, “think of it as tacos al pastor’s older and wiser Arabic brother.” This is a popular spit roasted meat dish and is likely to have originated from 19th century Turkey. The  name name Shawarma comes from the Turkish word cevirme which means “turning.” It is believed that shawarma gained popularity in the US around the same time as gyros.


How to make Chicken Shawarma at home (Step-by-Step)

  1. Have Niblack Shawarma Spice Blend on hand!
  2. Cut up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs into small bite-size pieces (you can use chicken breast if you like)
  3. Spice the chicken up, make sure to coat the chicken well with the Niblack spice mixture.
  4. Add onions, lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. If you have the time, cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight (if you don’t, you can skip the marinating time, it will still be very tasty!)
  5. When ready, lay the chicken shawarma on a large sheet pan and bake in 425 degrees heated oven for 30 minutes or so (you can check a bit earlier as ovens do vary.)

This chicken shawarma recipe can serve 4 to 6 people. 

Beef Shawarma

The goal with the beef shawarma dish is to tenderize the beef with the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, fresh garlic, and the Niblack Shawarma spice blend and let it marinate for 1-2 hours. Don’t marinade for longer than two hours since the acidity may toughen the meat. You can also toss some sliced onions and lemon zest on top, but this part is optional.