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Mediterranean Diet and Skillet Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Easy, no fuss and one skillet recipe of chicken shawarma for you to enjoy this restaurant and street delicacy from the comfort of your home.

Some of you might argue about Mediterranean and Skillet chicken shawarma being in the same line. It is true that chicken shawarma is considered more middle eastern than Mediterranean but then I ask how does it matter? You must have heard about Mediterranean diet being the best diet that is out there (read about it here) with people following this diet living longer and healthier lives.

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Grad school introduction

I had no idea about mediterranean or middle eastern food when we first moved here. I think first time I tried falafel or babaganoush was at a popular pita joint. Then at various social events of the International Student Association at our university. Our advisor was from Turkey and she was an amazing cook and taught me more about their diet. Remember this Baklava recipe? Yup, inspired by her!

Skillet Chicken Shawarma

Based on whatever I have learnt about this healthy eating lifestyle, this diet consists of lot of plant based foods, rich olive oil, whole grains and lesser focus on meat. Protein in form of eggs and poultry are predominant, along with some lamb and lot of fish. Chicken Shawarma is one of those dishes that are more popular worldwide along with staples like hummus, tzatiki and falafel.

Mediterranean food in India

During my last trip to India, I was happily surprised to see trend of Mediterranean diet catching up there. Almost every food court had a place offering these choices as well as there were several Mediterranean/middle eastern restaurants. A much better trend to latch on to than processed and fast food. The spices that I use in this recipe are based on the memory of my taste buds. Some common Indian spices (have you seen my post on Indian spices?) with a definite hint of cinnamon.

Irrespective of if you consider Chicken Shawarma Mediterranean or middle eastern, this skillet chicken shawarma is sure to impress. Tuck it inside a pita or serve over a salad, a rich, flavorful and healthy protein rich option is ready for you.

Recipe run down

The chicken marinade is the key to this dish. I would suggest marinating the chicken for at least an hour, but the longer the better. Another important consideration is the choice of chicken parts used. I used chicken breasts because that is what is popular in our house but I will definitely recommend using boneless skinless chicken thighs for the chicken shawarma. The beauty of this dish is that it is a one pot dish, or may I say one skillet..hah! Choose an oven proof skillet (I use this one), cast iron is recommended.
Start by searing the chicken in extremely hot skillet along with some red onions, garlic and lime (or lemons). Finish it in the oven and serve with a salad or wrapped in a pita with a drizzle of tzatziki (recipe here).

Here is your handy dandy printable

5 from 9 votes

Skillet Chicken Shawarma

Easy, no fuss and one skillet recipe of chicken shawarma for you to enjoy this restaurant and street delicacy from the comfort of your home.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Chicken Shawarma
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Marination 1 hour
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Author Vaishali


  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (or thighs)
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil good quality
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tesp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/2 lime/lemon juiced
  • 1 red onion cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic smashed
  • 1 lime/lemon cut into thick wedges
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To Serve

  • 8 whole wheat pocket pitas
  • Tzatziki
  • Greek salad


  1. In a deep bowl (like this one""), whisk together 4 tbsp olive oil, all the spice powders, salt and pepper and lime juice.

  2. Add the chicken and mix so the chicken pieces are coated with the marinade. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  3. While the chicken is marinating, use this recipe to make tzatziki and prep your salad (if making).

  4. After the chicken has been marinating for 45 minutes, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F or 230 degrees C. Prep the onions, garlic and lime/lemon wedges.

  5. Set a Cast Iron or other Oven proof skillet on high heat.

  6. Add remaining 2 tbsp olive oil and chopped onion, garlic and lime wedges. Add the marinated chicken. The pan should be hot so that you can hear a sizzle when the chicken touches the hot pan.

  7. Sear the chicken for about 2 minutes per side and then turn the heat off.

  8. Move the skillet to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes. I always use Thermometer to check if the temperature at the thickest part of the chicken is 165 degrees F.

  9. Remove the chicken breasts from the oven and cover the skillet loosely with foil. Allow chicken to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.

  10. Squeeze the juice from roasted lime wedges on to the chicken. Serve the shawarma tucked inside a warm pita pocket or over a salad drizzled with tzatziki (recipe here). Those caramelized onions and garlic are a must!

Recipe Notes

You can also grill the marinated chicken instead of the oven method to make chicken shawarma. See grilling instructions here.

Store the leftover chicken shawarma in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


I hope you give this melt in your mouth chicken shawarma a try at home. If you do, please share your pictures of the dish on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest) and tag The Kitchen Docs.

Love – Vaishali.

Other Similar Recipes

Falafel with Tzatziki

Grilled Chicken Bowls

Baklava Bites


  1. wander women abroad

    April 9, 2019 at 11:28 am

    OMG this looks so good! I want to eat this right now

  2. Danielle

    April 9, 2019 at 11:30 am

    This looks seriously amazing. I’m going to try this this weekend!

  3. Yonnah M at

    April 9, 2019 at 11:34 am

    Wow it looks so good. I used to love chicken shawarmas before I stopped eating meat.

  4. Ashli Ferguson

    April 9, 2019 at 11:46 am

    AHH all of this is making me starving!! It’s almost lunch time and I want to eat this chicken haha I am saving these for sure!

  5. cendu

    April 9, 2019 at 1:27 pm

    I looooove Mediterranean food so much! So flavorful and colorful as well. This looks delicious and not too difficult either. Yum Yum!

  6. Jordan dorleus

    April 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm

    This looks so good! I would try it but would prefer it meatless

  7. Neil Alvin Nicerio

    April 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    5 stars
    Now this one I’ll surely try. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe and procedure. 🙂

  8. Shubh

    April 10, 2019 at 5:12 am

    yum yumy mouth watering dish. I want to eat that right now. I am gonna try out this recipe sooner. Chicken time 😀

  9. Hackytips

    April 10, 2019 at 7:06 pm

    I’m a vegetarian but it looks yum.

  10. maysz

    April 10, 2019 at 9:09 pm

    5 stars
    Wooow! I love chicken recipes and this recipe looks yum I feel starving at this moment Lol! YUMMY

  11. siennylovesdrawing

    April 10, 2019 at 10:20 pm

    very informative recipe sharing here, learnt some useful & new knowledge, thanks for sharing this. cheers, siennylovesdrawing

  12. The Crumby Vegan

    April 11, 2019 at 7:03 am

    This looks great but do you have any ideas on how to do a vegan alternative? 🙂

  13. Ellen

    April 11, 2019 at 8:49 am

    Yummy! I love chicken so this would be awesome to make!

  14. aisasami

    April 11, 2019 at 9:57 am

    5 stars
    I never had Shawarma before, can you find it easily in countries like Japan?

    1. Vaishali

      April 11, 2019 at 10:06 am

      You might be able to find the ingredients since these are fairly generic. Do you have any restaurants that serve Mediterranean/Middle eastern food?

  15. Dallas Newborn Photographer

    April 11, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    5 stars
    This recipe looks excellent. I can’t wait to try it as Mediterranean food is my favorite.

  16. Ogbugbu Ejiroghene

    April 11, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    you just made me really hungry, i love what i see

  17. Elizabeth O

    April 12, 2019 at 9:16 am

    5 stars
    That dish looks so good. I can see everyone enjoying it at a garden party. 🙂

  18. Chesz Cee

    April 12, 2019 at 10:28 am

    I see. So Mediterranean foods are similar to Middle East recipes.

    1. Vaishali

      April 12, 2019 at 11:06 am

      In my opinion, yes! A geographer might disagree..:P

  19. Jessy George

    April 14, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Great pictures! Well written I like Mediterranean food.

  20. Beth

    April 14, 2019 at 9:12 am

    This looks so tasty! I can’t wait to try it. I appreciate the beauty of the photos and the fact that you include links to recipes for the companion dishes, like the tzatziki sauce. Yum!

  21. Angela Greven | Mean Green Chef

    April 14, 2019 at 9:44 am

    5 stars
    This looks totally delicious, I love the bright freshness of Mediterranean dishes and this is perfect! Thank you so much for sharing, pinned too! 🙂

  22. Sheila

    April 14, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I’m pinning to try this week! Your pictures made my mouth water… I wanted to eat my phone!

  23. Darcy

    April 14, 2019 at 11:57 am

    YUM!!! Chicken Schawarma is one of our favorite meals in our house. This recipe looks perfect. I’m excited that it’s about to hopefully be spring in Minnesota finally so we can start grilling things. Your photos are beautiful, too. Thanks!

  24. Abu Zaid

    April 17, 2019 at 2:46 am

    This is nice recipe and foods, I hope my wife can make foods for me

  25. Viano Dee

    July 17, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    Everything in me tells me I’d love this particular recipe. I’m love shawarma but this particular one feels like it’ll be everything. I’m so saving this recipe.

    1. Vaishali

      July 17, 2019 at 10:26 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Viano

  26. Heena

    July 18, 2019 at 12:03 am

    Mouth watering pics of Chicken Shawarma. The dish looks so delicious. I am loving this recipe. Will try making this soon. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Bryony Shaw

    July 18, 2019 at 7:25 am

    5 stars
    Fantastic blog post thankyou for sharing!

  28. Jen @ Jenron Designs

    July 18, 2019 at 7:44 am

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness we love Shawarma, and I am happy to add an authentic recipe to my collection.

  29. Amy

    July 18, 2019 at 8:18 am

    This looks so delicious! I definitely want to make this!

  30. Tracy @ Cleland Clan

    July 18, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I love one-dish/skillet meals because of the easy clean up. This looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it.

  31. Jenn ~ onehoppymomma

    July 18, 2019 at 6:11 pm

    This is also a perfect recipe for someone like me that eats low carp!

  32. Janay

    July 18, 2019 at 9:59 pm

    This looks so yummy and sounds so good! I’m going to try to make this Sunday!

  33. Paulette

    July 18, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    5 stars
    I eat a lot of chicken so this looks so delicious, definitely something I need to try.

  34. Suzanne

    July 19, 2019 at 5:59 pm

    This looks SO good. The roasted vegetables look amazing too. I’m definitely going to try making this, it seems like an easy recipe, and my bf will love it too.

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