You guys, I am crazy about this chicken shawarma. Served over hummus and pita, this recipe is savory and oh so delish! 

Ben won’t even consider trying it.  I just don’t know what to do with him. He’s scared of anything new and “weird”; but what he doesn’t understand is that he is completely missing out.  I mean, who doesn’t love roasty-toasty chicken that has been seasoned to perfection with lemon, cumin, paprika and turmeric?!  I just can’t figure out how that is scary in the least.

Overhead shot of Hummus and Chicken Shawarma on white plates

And hummus?  Just forget it {unless it’s Chili Hummus}.  How can garbanzo beans, garlic {which he LOVES – he puts it in recipes where it just doesn’t belong}, olive oil and tahini be weird?

Chicken Shawarma with Hummus and Pita Recipe

Okay, I guess we didn’t grow up eating these things but I just want him to be a little more adventurous in the food department.

So, I discovered Chicken Shawarma at our favorite little restaurant in Appleton called Chicago Grill.  I don’t think many people even know it’s there, which is super sad, but somehow we discovered it and are now regulars.  I’m pretty sure we are on a first name basis with these people, and I guess I secretly love it.  They have [the best] Chicago dogs, tamales {they have this dish called the Mother-In-Law that is a beef tamale in a hot dog bun smothered in chili, sport peppers and tomatoes… I die}, stuffed grape leaves, Philly cheese steaks, baba ghannough, falafel, Greek salad, gyros, the-best-hummus-of-your-life and Chicken Shawarma.  I usually order the hummus and shawarma plate with freshly baked pita, and I seriously can’t get over how good it is. Sometimes I will go back the next day for another order because I can’t stop thinking about it.

Is that weird?  Probably, but I don’t care.

Overhead shot of hummus in a white dip bowl and a side of salt in a small white dish.
Hummus and Chicken Shawarma in a white plate with pita and greens

How to make restaurant-quality chicken shawarma at home

I’ve wanted to try making Shawarma at home for quite some time, and I finally took the plunge.  I was a little concerned that without the special rotisserie I would totally ruin it {and we can’t disrespect the shawarma}.  But it’s actually quite simple to achieve the crispy-outside and juicy-inside chicken in a really hot oven at home.  SCORE.  You just have to marinade it in delicious seasonings and olive oil {be patient, my friends}, crank up the heat and let it go.  And while it’s cooking, you can whip up the-best-hummus-of-your-life, toast a pita or two and have restaurant-quality Chicken Shawarma with Hummus and Pita. Yum!

I will tell you that I still have plans to visit my favorite little Chicago restaurant regularly.

Hummus and Chicken Shawarma

Because you can never have too much of all this.


Chicken Shawarma with Hummus & Pita

Hummus and Chicken Shawarma

Your own restaurant-quality shawarma and easy smooth hummus with pita.

  • Author: Julie Andrews
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 5 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8 1x
  • Category: Dinner, Entree
  • Method: Stove-Top, Baking
  • Cuisine: Middle Eastern



  • Zest and Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 34 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (or paprika)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • Pinch of nutmeg, cloves and/or cinnamon
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (or more, as desired)
  • 1-pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat


  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Zest and juice of 1-2 lemons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of paprika
  • ½ cup olive oil

Pita + Toppings

  • Whole grain pitas (I like Ezekiel)
  • Cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, capers, cilantro, plain Greek yogurt, parsley, tzatziki, lemon juice


  1. Whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Place spices in a small skillet and heat to medium-high. Toast the spices, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Whisk the toasted spices in the bowl with lemon and olive oil to make a marinade.
  2. Thinly slice chicken thighs and combine with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight (the longer, the better).
  3. When ready to roast the chicken, preheat oven to 425°F. Remove chicken from the marinade and place on a greased baking sheet. Roast for 16-18 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and starting to crisp on the edges.
  4. While chicken roasts, prepare hummus. In a food processor, combine garbanzo beans, tahini, garlic, lemon zest and juice, a pinch of salt, pepper and paprika. Place the lid on the food processor and pulse while slowly drizzling in the olive oil. Continue until hummus is smooth. Add more oil, if necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings. (I like a lot of lemon juice and garlic!)
  5. Spread hummus on toasted pita bread and top with chicken and desired toppings. Enjoy!


Cooking Tip: You can use chicken breast instead of thighs, but I would recommend marinating for at least 6 hours and roast for only 10-12 minutes.


  • Serving Size: 1/8 of recipe
  • Calories: 415
  • Sugar: 3g
  • Sodium: 594mg
  • Fat: 30g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 26g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 17g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 17g
  • Cholesterol: 53mg

Keywords: sauce, easy, oven, skillet, marinade, marinated, healthy, tasty