Grilled Chicken Shwarma with Peppers & Onions

Grilled Chicken Shwarma with Grilled Vegetables

My favorite eat-out lunch is easily anything Mediterranean.  Luckily, in the Chicago Loop where I work, there seems to be more Mediterranean lunch spots than Starbucks.  And nearly every one of these restaurants makes some variety of Chicken Shwarma.  While the spices may vary, it’s typically always marinated and grilled.  This is what I’ve attempted to make at home

Grilled Chicken Shwarma with Grilled VegetablesThe best part is, this is super easy and requires few ingredients.  Lemon Juice and Olive Oil make up the base for the marinade.  Garlic, curry powder, salt and pepper round it out.  I’ll also add in a little turmeric and cayenne pepper as well.  I like to let this set for at least an hour to let the garlic flavor bloom, but that’s not essential.  Reserve some of the marinade for the vegetables.

If you plan on marinading overnight, cut back on the olive oil and replace it with vegetable oil.  If you’re using legit olive oil, then it will thicken and congeal in the cold of your refrigerator.  But don’t cut back on the garlic.

Prep your chicken by cutting it up into pieces that are at least a half-inch thick so that they don’t fall through the grill grates.  Place them in a suitable dish for marinating.

The grilled vegetables are an essential side.  I usually slice up a red pepper, a green pepper, a red onion and a few carrots.  Toss them together in a bowl with a bit of the marinade.  I love this wire mesh pan for grilling.  With a grill over low to medium-low, it’ll take about 20 minutes to cook them thoroughly.  Be sure to toss them regularly on the grill so they don’t burn on the bottom.

Peppers, Onions and Carrots in a Wire Grill Basket

What’s it great with?  Hummus, naturally!


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Grilled Chicken Shwarma
Super easy chicken shwarma made with a tasty lemon and garlic marinade
Prep time:
30 minutesCook time:
30 minutes

Total time:
60 mins

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 2 pounds Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1 Bulb Garlic (crushed)
  • 2 Teaspoons Curry Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Green Pepper
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  1. Mix together the oil, juice, garlic, curry, turmeric (and optionally a pinch of cayenne pepper) in a bowl. Keep about 1/2 cup separate for the vegetables
  2. Slice the chicken into strips and allow to marinade (as little as 10 minutes up to overnight)
  3. Cut up the vegetables and place into a separate bowl and toss with the remaining marinade
  4. Grill the vegetables over medium for about 20 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat up and grill the chicken for about 8-12 minutes until fully cooked.


  1. Looks good! How spicy is it?

  2. Leave out the cayenne and not spicy at all. It's a kid friendly dish, for sure.

  3. Tony, sorry to disagree with you on the addition of curry powder…this will turn the chicken into nothing like authentic chicken shawarma. I usually add a dash of cardamom powder, allspice and little cinnamon are added as the main spices to the meat used. Also, the only vegetable added to the sandwich or dish is fresh tomato wedges, thinly sliced onions mixed with sumac. Tahini sauce goes better with it than Hummus. Curry powder is not used in Levant cooking. My recent post الدُّقة -Duqqa- Dugga- Dukka (Spice Mix Dip)

  4. Wow, that's great feedback, thanks so much for sharing! I'll definitely try out different spices, and sauce, next time I make this. Thanks for taking a moment to share.

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