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Easy Authentic Shawarma Completely From Scratch

This is better than the one in the Avengers.

This is better than the one in the Avengers.

Shawarma Meat

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6-8


  • 3-4 pounds (1.3-1.8kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs

    • Alternatively you can mix in a few skin on, deboned chicken thighs for added flavor)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (15g) Kosher salt

  • 1 ¼ tablespoons (8g) sweet paprika

  • 1 teaspoon (0.5g) turmeric powder

  • 1 teaspoon (5g) granulated sugar

  • 1 tablespoon (8g) ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4g) ground cinnamon

  • 2 teaspoons (3g) ground cardamom

  • 1 teaspoon (2g) ground black pepper

  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced

  • 10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • 1 large tomato

  • 1/3 cup (78ml) extra virgin olive oil


  1. Place the chicken in a large mixing bowl, add all the spices, and mix until well combined and thoroughly coated.

  2. Place a chicken thigh on a cutting board and top with a few slices of onion and garlic. Slide the chicken thigh onto the skewer of your vertical grill (shawarma grill) and repeat with another piece of chicken. This time skewer the chicken so it lays in the opposite direction as the first one, this will help create an even stack of meat.

  3. Repeat this process until you have stacked all the meat with layers of onion and garlic between each piece of meat.

  4. Skewer the tomato on the very top.

  5. Place the skewer in the vertical grill, light it up and cook on low for about 1 hour or until the chicken is charred on the outside and cooked through.

  6. Slice some of the chicken from the skewer and add to a piece of homemade flatbread. Garnish with your favorite side dishes. Enjoy!


Prep and Rising Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Makes 10 flatbreads


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (10g) instant yeast

  • 1 cup (236ml) lukewarm water, (around 95℉ / 35℃)

  • 1 tablespoon (15g) granulated sugar

  • 2 tablespoons (24g) extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing

  • 2 teaspoons (8g) Kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup (175g) plain yogurt

  • 3 1/2 cups (525g) all-purpose flour, plus more for bench flour

  • Cooking spray


  1. In a small bowl whisk together the yeast, water and sugar until combined. Next, whisk in the olive oil and salt followed by the yogurt until everything is incorporated.

  2. In a large bowl, add half of the flour. Whisk in the yeast mixture until a loose batter forms and then add in the remaining flour. Stir together with your hand until it becomes a rough dough.

  3. Knead by hand, in the bowl, for 3-5 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Place in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  4. Punch down the dough and divide into 10 evenly sized pieces, around 91 grams each. Roll each piece into a ball, cover with a clean, damp towel and let rest for 10 minutes.

  5. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and roll each ball into a 7-inch circle.

  6. Heat a 10-12-inch sauté pan over medium low heat.

  7. Lightly brush one side of a flatbread with olive oil and place that side down in the hot pan. Cook for 1-1 ½ minutes or until the dough begins to bubble on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Brush the top side of the flatbread with more oil before flipping and cooking on the second side for another 1 1/2-2 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove to a plate and cover with a clean towel to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining dough.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Serves: 8


  • 3 cups (700ml) white distilled vinegar

  • 1 cup (240ml) water

  • 2 teaspoons (10g) granulated sugar

  • 1 ¼ tablespoons (18g) Kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon (2g) cumin seeds

  • 1 tablespoon (3g) coriander seeds

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick

  • 3 red Fresno chilies, thinly sliced

  • 2 English cucumbers, thinly sliced


  1. In a medium saucepan over medium high heat bring the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a boil.

  2. Place a piece of cheese cloth down and add the cumin and coriander seeds to the center. Wrap the cheesecloth around the spices and tie tightly with kitchen twine.

  3. Place all the veggies into a heat-proof container, add in the sachet, and pour the hot vinegar over top. Place plastic wrap over the pickles to keep them submerged and cool to room temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate until ready to use.


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6-8


  • 2 1/2 cups (220g) medium grain rice

  • 2 ½ tablespoons (35g) unsalted butter

  • 1/3 cup (60g) orzo

  • 2 1/2 cups (600ml) chicken stock


  1. Start by washing and rinsing the rice three times, or until the water runs clear. Drain the rice one last time.

  2. In a large sauté over medium heat melt the butter. Once melted, stir in the orzo and toast, while stirring, for about 2 minutes or until deeply golden brown. Stir in the drained rice and toast for 1 additional minute.

  3. Add the toasted orzo and rice to a rice cooker. Pour in the chicken stock and turn your rice cooker on. Once the rice is cooked, keep warm in the rice cooker until ready to serve.


Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Serves: 6-8


  • 1 1/4 cups (120g) garlic cloves, cut in half and germ removed

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons (7g) Kosher salt

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons (52g) lemon juice

  • 3 cups (700ml) vegetable oil

  • 1/4 cup (59ml) ice water


  1. Place the garlic and salt in a food processor and pulse a couple of times until finely minced.

  2. Next, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and process until a paste forms. Add another tablespoon of lemon juice and process until smooth and fluffy in texture.

  3. With the processor running the whole time, drizzle in 1/2 cup of vegetable oil, followed by the remaining 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice and then another ½ cup of vegetable oil. Continue processing and now alternate between a splash of cold water and ½ cup of vegetable oil until all the water and oil is added. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until ready to use.


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 1 2/3 cups (400g) plain yogurt

  • 1 tablespoon (2g) finely chopped mint

  • 2 tablespoons (8g) finely chopped dill

  • 1 English cucumber, cut into ½-inch cubes

  • 2 cloves garlic, grated

  • 2 tablespoons (24g) extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving

  • Salt, to taste

  • Za’atar, to garnish

  • Parsley leaves, to garnish

  • Flakey sea salt, to taste


  1. In a medium bowl combine the yogurt, mint, dill, all but 2-3 tablespoons of cucumber, garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. Mix until evenly combined.

  2. Place the sauce in a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved diced cucumber, za’atar, parsley, flakey sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Grilled Peppers

Prep Time: 20minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 6-8


  • 2 red bell peppers

  • 4 Anaheim peppers

  • 1 garlic clove, grated

  • 3 tablespoons (2g) finely chopped parsley

  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5g) fresh thyme, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon (0.5g) ground cumin

  • 2 tablespoons (30g) lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt, to taste


  1. Set a wire rack over an open flame. Add the bell peppers and cook until completely charred all over, flipping as needed.

  2. Char the Anaheim peppers as well over the open flame, turning as needed, until they char in spots and have a speckled look.

  3. Add the peppers to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap to steam for 10 minutes.

  4. After 10 minutes, use a paper towel to remove the bell pepper skin. Remove the seeds from the bell peppers and Anaheim peppers and cut into 2-inch pieces.

  5. Place the peppers into a bowl and evenly combine with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt to taste and serve.

Gozleme Pastry

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6-8



  • 2 1/2 cups (375g) all-purpose flour, plus more for bench flour

  • 3/4 teaspoon (7g) fine sea salt

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) warm water

  • 5 tablespoons (75ml) extra virgin olive oil


  • ¾ pound (350g) baby spinach, roughly chopped or torn by hand

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 2 large eggs


  • Rolled pastry dough

  • Filling

  • 10 ounces (283g) crumbled feta

  • 1 cup (14g) parsley leaves

  • 1 1/2 cups (135g) grated Kasseri cheese, (optional)

  • Water, as needed

  • Vegetable oil, for cooking

  • Salt, to taste


For The Filling

  1. In a medium bowl, add the spinach, garlic, and eggs and mix to combine. Squeeze the spinach mixture together between your hands to lightly bruise the spinach. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

For The Pastry

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour and salt. Add the warm water and oil and mix until you get a rough dough.

  2. Knead the dough by hand, in the bowl, for 5 minutes or until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Remove the dough from the bowl and split into 4 even pieces. Roll each piece into an 8 x 14-inch rectangle.

To Assemble

  1. Spread some filling on the lower half of a piece of rolled dough. Top with crumbled feta, parsley leaves and Kasseri cheese.

  2. Fold the top side over the filling, so the top edge and bottom edge meet. Use water, if needed, to help seal the edges together.

  3. Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high. Add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil to coat the pan. Once the oil is hot, add one pastry and cook for 3 minutes, pressing down lightly or until golden brown.

  4. Flip, and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on the second side. Remove from the pan, and repeat with the remaining pastries, adding more oil in the pan as needed.

  5. Slice the finished Gozleme into 3 - 4-inch pieces and enjoy while hot.


Prep and Rest Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 6-8


  • Cooking spray

  • 1 3/4 cups (415g) tahini

  • 3/4 cup (80g) shelled raw pistachios, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 cup (118ml) water

  • 1 pound (450g) granulated sugar


  1. Spray an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Line it with parchment leaving at least a 1-inch overhang on the long sides.

  2. In a medium bowl stir together the tahini and pistachios.

  3. In a saucepan over medium heat add the water and sugar. Bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, increase the heat to high until the temperature reaches 250℉ / 121℃.

  4. Cut off the heat and slowly stream the hot sugar mixture into the tahini while stirring constantly. Stir for 30-40 seconds or until the mixture just begins to pull from the sides of the bowl. Don’t overstir or the mixture will become very dry.

  5. Pour into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it out evenly and garnish with additional pistachios on top.

  6. Cool completely or until it sets and then remove from the loaf pan and cut into slices or squares.


Vetta Samarin Ghosoph
Vetta Samarin Ghosoph
Nov 02, 2022

What can one use intstead of a vertical grill...perhaps a low temp oven? I have a kamado joe charcoal griller, but the heat is from the bottom. Any ideas out there to make this recipe without buying a new appliance?

Luccien Fitzpatric
Luccien Fitzpatric
Nov 04, 2022
Replying to

Plan to try it this weekend without one. What I plan to do is slice the chicken thin and stir-fry it. Although you may yield better results using the Ethan Chlebowski doner kebab method and layering the onions and garlic on top of the chicken while you are blasting on the first side.


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