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Main Course

Chicken Shawarma with Serrano-Garlic Yogurt Sauce

I’m a big fan of authentic chicken shawarma — a classic middle eastern style street food. Traditionally, to make shawarma, meat is cut into thin slices, stacked, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie. But, at home, in the absence of a vertical rotisserie, I use skewers and the grill. This recipe is very quick and easy to make. It’s my go to for summer grill cookouts and always a hit around here. The serrano, garlic yogurt sauce elevates this recipe to a whole new level. Serve it with pita and hummus or with a side of rice for a delicious, low-fat meal that is oh, so satisfying.

Chicken Shawarma with Serrano-Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6
Calories 215 kcal


  • 2 lbs Boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into bite size chunks


  • 2 tbsp Hot red pepper powder
  • 2 tbsp Ground cumin
  • ½ tsp Ground turmeric
  • 6-8 cloves Garlic grated
  • 1 Lemon juice and zest
  • 2 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Ground black pepper

Optional skewer add-ons

  • 4 Shallots halved
  • 1 Bell pepper (any color) cut in 1-2 inch cubes

Jalapeño garlic yogurt sauce

  • 1 cup fat free greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • 3 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • In a bowl, combine the chicken with all the marinade ingredients. Toss to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
  • Set your grill to medium-high heat. Take skewers and thread the chicken pieces on.
  • Grill the skewers until chicken is lightly charred and cooked through. About 10 to 12 minutes. During the same time, thread the shallots and peppers on to a skewer, if using, and grill for 2-3 minutes per side.
  • To make the sauce, blend together the yogurt, serrano, garlic and lemon juice. If the sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water until desired consistency is achieved. Season with salt. Taste, adding more of the lemon as desired.
  • Serve the chicken shawarma drizzled with the sauce over a pita bread or with rice on the side.


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