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Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Course: Recipe


Prep Time


Cooking Time


Cost Per Meal/Person


This is from the New York Times website in March 2015. This is probably our family’s favorite recipe and our go-to meal to cook when people come over.

The recipe says it makes 4-6 servings. I make 1.5 times the original recipe and then it easily makes 6-8 servings. I calculated the cost using 7 servings.

Notes about the recipe:

I use bottled lemon juice instead of squeezing two lemons, about½ cup. I don’t roast onions with the chicken. Instead we thinly slice red onion and put it on top of the pita.

I also don’t cook the chicken for additional time in a large pan after it is roasted (as it says in step 3). I just slice it thin when it comes out of the oven and serve like that.

We put it on a piece of naan bread w/ homemade tzatziki sauce, chopped tomatoes, red onion, lettuce and a drizzle of hot sauce.


  • 3 lemons, juiced

  • 3/4 cups olive oil plus 1 tablespoon

  • 9 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced

  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt

  • 3 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tsp ground cumin

  • 3 tsp paprika

  • 3/4 tsp turmeric

  • Pinch of ground cinnamon

  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

  • 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • Homemade tzatziki sauce:
  • 2 cups plain greek yogurt

  • 1 cucumber, seeded & diced

  • 1 TBS red wine vinegar

  • Salt, to taste

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 TBS olive oil


  • Prepare a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon and red pepper flakes in a large bowl, then whisk to combine. Add the chicken and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.
  • When ready to cook, heat oven to 425 degrees. Use the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to grease a rimmed sheet pan. Add the quartered onion to the chicken and marinade, and toss once to combine. Remove the chicken and onion from the marinade, and place on the pan, spreading everything evenly across it.
  • Put the chicken in the oven and roast until it is browned, crisp at the edges and cooked through, about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest 2 minutes, then slice into bits. (To make the chicken even more crisp, set a large pan over high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan, then the sliced chicken, and sauté until everything curls tight in the heat.) Scatter the parsley over the top and serve with tomatoes, cucumbers, pita, white sauce, hot sauce, olives, fried eggplant, feta, rice — really anything you desire.

Total Cost of Meal

  • 3 lb boneless chicken thighs= $6
    7 pieces naan bread = $3.50
    Greek yogurt= $2
    Cucumber, tomato, red onion = $2
    Oil, spices, garlic, lemon juice, etc= $1.50
    Total: $15 (for 7 people)
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