Chicken Shawarma

This simple chicken recipe first appeared in the NYT, and was SCD legal from the start. We made a few minor modifications to keep it more aligned with our son’s taste.
Chicken Shawarma
Chicken Shawarma with Cauliflower Rice






  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Prepare a marinade for the chicken. Combine the lemon juice, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, and spices in a large bowl, then whisk to combine.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into 1-2 inch pieces. Add the chicken to the bowl and toss well to coat. Cover and store in refrigerator for at least a 2 hours, and up to 12 hours.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 serve.


  1. Goes well with cauliflower rice.
  2. For fancy plating, dress with a dollop of SCD yogurt and fresh chopped parsley


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