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Chicken Shawarma - Home Cooked Meal for the Win!

I always have a difficult time deciding on what to cook for my loved ones, but when special holidays come up, I like to try something new. One of our fav Middle Eastern dishes is Chicken Shawarma – a must-have every time we go to Toronto. This time, I decided to try my hand at it and it was delicious!! My husband and kids enjoyed every last bite, it was definitely a savory hit home – mom for the win! Enjoy ☺

See below to make your own Chicken Shawarma, Rice and Garlic Sauce



2lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs

6tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2tsp cumin

2tsp paprika

1tsp all spice

¾ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp garlic powder

¼ cinnamon

1 pinch of cayenne

Salt and black pepper

3tbsp plain Greek yogurt (this makes the marinade creamier and helps the spices really soak in, but this is optional)


  • Place whole pieces of boneless skinless chicken thighs in a large bowl (you can pre-cut the meat into smaller bites, but I like cutting the chicken once it’s cooked).

  • In another bowl, whisk ¼ cup olive oil, the spices, ¾ tsp salt and ¼ black pepper and yogurt. Once the mixture is smooth, pour the marinade over the chicken thighs. Mix thoroughly so that the chicken thighs are evenly coated.

  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and the place the chicken in your refrigerator to marinate for at least one hour or preferably overnight.

  • When you’re ready to bake, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F and spray your baking pan with nonstick cooking spray before placing the chicken in the pan. Evenly space the chicken thighs and let it bake for about 30 minutes, turning the chicken thighs once halfway through cooking. You want to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked through.

  • Once out of the oven let the chicken thighs cool slightly and use a sharp knife to slice the meat into small bite size pieces.

  • You can also grill the chicken thighs on medium heat so that the meat stays tender and savors all the juices. If you do go this route, again let the meat cool a little before slicing into smaller pieces.

This recipe was slightly adapted from another Chicken Shawarma recipe. To see the original recipe, click here.



2 cups washed Basmati Rice

2tbsp oil

1tsbp butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1/2tsp garlic paste

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

1 cardamom pod

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2tsp cumin powder

¼ tsp black pepper powder

¼ tsp cinnamon powder

Salt to taste

1tbsp chopped coriander


  1. If you have a rice cooker, place all the ingredients into the pot and add 4 cups of water (typically its double the amount of water to rice ratio). Then flip your switch for your cooker to begin. Stir the rice 10 minutes into cooking so that the spices are mixed in well. Your rice cooker should automatically shut off once the water has evaporated.

  2. If you are cooking the rice in a stock pot, heat the oil and butter and add the onions to fry until they are translucent.

  3. Lower the heat, then add your garlic paste, all spices listed and your rice. Quickly stir so that it does not burn, then add 4 cups of water. Cover the pot and lower the heat so that the rice simmers, be sure to stir every now and then to make sure your rice is cooked evenly.

  4. When there is a little water left in the pot, turn the heat down to the lowest temperature so that the rice cooks slowly for about 10 minutes. Once all the water is gone fluff the rice up.

This recipe was slightly adapted from another Shawarma Rice recipe. To see the original recipe, click here.



4 cloves of garlic

2-3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp plain Greek yogurt

1 tbsp fresh cream

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp olive oil or melted butter

½ tsp red chili powder (this is optional, you can add if you prefer spicy)

Pinch of salt


Add all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You will need to add salt to taste and of course the red chili powder if you like your sauce spicy. Note, this sauce can be pre-made and will keep in your fridge for up to a week.

This recipe was slightly adapted from another Garlic Sauce recipe. To see the original recipe, click here.

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