Chicken or Shrimp Shawarma – Enjoy the Exotic Flavors of the Middle East

I have to admit, I had never had shawarma before.  I know it is a middle eastern dish but had never prepared it.  But in my search for low-calorie, flavorful main dishes, I decided to give this one a try.  This recipe is full of flavor, very low in calories and FAST to put together.

Shawarma 3

Chicken Shawarma

1 rounded teaspoon ground cumin

1 rounded teaspoon ground cardamom

1 rounded teaspoon ground coriander

2 rounded teaspoons paprika (I used smoked)

3/4 t cayenne pepper

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 T olive oil

3 T fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper

Mix all the above ingredients together in a large gallon size zip lock bag.

Shawarma Marinade 1

Add chicken (I used skinless, boneless chicken breast) and coat the chicken well (think massage).  Place in the fridge for about 4-6 hours.  You can let it marinate overnight.

Yogurt Sauce

Mix together 1 cup plain yogurt, juice of half a lemon, 1 1/2 t ground cumin, 2 finely minced cloves of garlic, salt and pepper.   Refrigerate until ready to use.  (This is also awesome as a veggie dip!)

Shawarma 2

Grill the chicken until the temperature measures 165 degrees in the thickest part of the breast.  Remove from the grill and cover with aluminum foil.  Let rest for 10 minutes then cut into strips.  Serve with fresh grilled veggies, grilled flat bread, and the Yogurt Sauce.  Delicious Middle Eastern feast.

NOTE:  My family loved this recipe.  In fact, my son who is the worlds biggest “picky eater” went back for seconds and thirds!  I call that a win!  He also asked if I would make it the next night with shrimp.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  **Also, I think I would double this recipe of spice marinade if I was doing more than 2 breasts or 4 thighs, or 6 legs.  There isn’t a lot of the marinade so increase accordingly.

I also tried shrimp shawarma as an appetizer for Saturday night.  It was wonderful too!  I did triple the marinade recipe and it worked perfect.  This is definitely going to be a “go-to” recipe at our house for times when we have guests over or just looking for an “appetizer and wine” night.

Shawarma 4


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