Chicken Shawarma with Hummus and Pita

You can make chicken shawarma at home! Marinated chicken thighs in olive oil and spices, sliced and roasted until tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the edges. Served with easy homemade hummus, herbs and fluffy pita. It’s delicious!

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.

How to make chicken shawarma at home

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

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30 thoughts on “Chicken Shawarma with Hummus and Pita”

  1. Jules! This looks fab…come on Ben!! I think the four of us need to go to Chicago Grill soon! I want to eat this now!! 🙂

  2. I just made these (okay, my husband cooked and I ate them) and they were fabulous! Seriously wanted to go back for more and more but sadly my stomach isn’t the black hole it wants to be. Thanks for a keeper!

  3. Hello everyone!

    Doner kabab and shawerma are the same. Doner kabab (döner kebap) absolutely belongs to Turkish cuisine and we all know how it looks and tastes. Shawerma is the Arab version of doner kebap (in this context döner means rounding. Shawerma is also a Turkish word and its original spelling is “çevirme” which also means “turning” (in Turkish, letter ç sounds as sh as in the beginning of shawerma).
    Gyro is the Greek name of doner kabab. Turks and Greeks share many foods and doner kebap is one of them. Actually, Greeks got it from Turks and presented as Greek food, which is certainly wrong.

    Döner kebap should be shreded very thin and long. This is the main and the most important feature of doner kebap. When it is served on a special and eliptic pita bread (pide) with two table spoonful of yogurt on the side and melted butter and special tomato sauce drizzled on it, it is called “Iskender kebap” which is a very famous, extremely delicious, and authentic Turkish food.

    How do I know all these? Because I am Turkish and lived in Arab countries for years. Thanks.

    1. Hi Nalan,

      Wow! Thank you so much for the history about shawarma and doner kabab! That is so interesting, and certainly new information to me. I hope you enjoy this rendition!!


  4. Hey Julie!

    Yes, isn’t that fabulous? We all learn from each other and I truly appreciate it. believe me I copied and pasted your recipe and I will absolutely try it. My family is a great consumer of yogurt so I make yogurt at home in big ice-cream buckets. Also, we usually consume pita bread (whole wheat…that darker kind). I have all kinds of Turkish, Middle Eastern, and Indian spices (We are crazy about spicy food). Only think I don’t have is “time.” 🙁 Once I get it (I don’t know where I can find it) I will absolutely try your recipe. It sounds soooo yummy!!!

    Thanks a lot!


    1. Wonderful! Yes, time is always an issue! I promise this recipe is quick and simple. No special equipment necessary :).

      Thanks so much for chatting with me and sharing info with all of The Gourmet RD readers! I hope to hear from you soon!


  5. Your shawarma looks mouthwatering! I just happened across your page via Pinterest. Now usually I just scroll down to the recipe, but the word Appleton caught my eye! We can’t have the shawarma at Chicago Grill because it’s not Muslim kosher. 🙁 But we always have the falafel and it is so good! We went to a new restaurant called A Taste of Chicago and I wasn’t impressed. Anyhoo, it’s nice to meet a fellow cheesehead blogger!

  6. Mmmmmm…… I live in the Southwest, and last weekend I had a Chicken with Hummus plate at a place called Pita Jungle, which specializes in healthy, organic food. I’m a huge fan of hummus as it is, but this was so delicious that I couldn’t freaking *believe* it, so I’ve been poking at recipes ever since. Yours looks the closest to what I ate; I’ll be cooking it tomorrow evening, and I have every expectation that it’ll be DELICIOUS. Thanks hugely!

  7. Ohh Julie, my husband used to be the same with trying new things. He’s Dutch and comes from a VERY Dutch household (ie potatoes, meat and veg all cooked to death) and I come from an Israeli family so hummus is a BIG thing for us. But stay patient! The other day (having been together almost nine and a half years) I was happily eating my toast with hummus tomatoes and cucumber when he suddenly grabbed the container of hummus! Shock, awe and nearly a fainting spell obviously ensued but the point is: miracles do happen! 😉

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