Sheet-Pan Chicken Shawarma And Lemon-Rosemary Potatoes Recipe

Shawarma, originally from the Middle East, is a popular street food dish made from meat (lamb, chicken, or beef, usually) that's roasted on a revolving spit. It's often served with a garlic sauce and can be eaten with pita or flatbread. This recipe offers an adapted, oven-baked version that's easy for weeknight dinners. While the rosemary lemon potatoes aren't necessarily traditional, they add a Mediterranean twist that complements the flavors and adds a hearty side dish. When adapting dishes from specific cultures, it's essential to acknowledge their origins and appreciate the history and tradition behind them.

This recipe provides a nod to the traditional flavors of shawarma while being adapted for simplicity and ease of preparation at home. It's not intended to replicate the authentic street food experience but is an inspired take suitable for a quick weeknight dinner. Piled high with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce, recipe developer Taylor Murray walks us through the preparation.

Gather the ingredients for sheet pan chicken shawarma

The main two ingredients you need for this recipe are chicken thighs and baby potatoes. The thighs should be boneless to make things easier later, but bone-in thighs can work too if needed. For the spices, these can be pre-ground or you can toast and grind them yourself. The baby potatoes will get cooked with lemon zest and some chopped fresh rosemary. The yogurt sauce is a simple combination of full fat Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and a grated clove of garlic. "Greek yogurt is really the best option here, and don't be afraid to use the 5% stuff! It's much richer and thicker in texture," says Murray. A good alternative would be labneh.

To finish the dish, the chicken is piled into a warm pita and topped with sliced Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, and a thinly sliced head of romaine. The tomatoes could be chopped larger tomatoes instead of cherries, if you need to make a swap.

Season the chicken

Start by preheating the oven to 400 F. If you've bought bone-in chicken thighs, ensure they are deboned for even cooking. Also, remove any excess skin or fat if desired. Pat the chicken dry using paper towels. This step ensures the spices and oil adhere properly to the chicken and prevents the chicken from steaming as it cooks.

In a large bowl, place the chicken thighs. Sprinkle the spices, along with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper, over the chicken. Drizzle the chicken with ¾ tablespoon of olive oil. Olive oil not only helps to evenly distribute the spices over the chicken but also ensures that the chicken gets a nice golden color when baking. Using your hands or tongs, mix and toss the chicken thighs until they are evenly coated with the spice and oil mixture. Make sure each piece is thoroughly coated for the best flavor.

Prepare the potatoes

In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with the rosemary, lemon zest, and remaining olive oil. Season with a pinch of salt. This part of the recipe could be adapted for other kinds of potatoes, but the timing might not align correctly. "The trick with sheet pan meals is that everything has to cook at roughly the same time, or you risk overcooking one element," says Murray. If you want to use a different type of potato, consider adding them to the tray about 10 minutes before adding the chicken.

Assemble the baking sheet

Transfer the chicken and potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet. Ensure that the chicken has plenty of room around it to allow enough air to flow around the chicken while it bakes. To get the best golden color, flip all the potatoes so they are cut side down. "The pan conducts the most heat, so wherever the potatoes are touching the pan is what will get that gorgeous brown color we love," says Murray.

Put the tray in the oven and cook, rotating if need be, until the chicken is cooked to 165 F and the potatoes are soft. This should take about 16 to 18 minutes, depending on the oven. When done, remove the tray and allow to cool slightly. Slice the chicken and set aside.

Make the yogurt sauce

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, and grated garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside. If you want to get more creative with this sauce, there are tons of ways to do that. Some chopped fresh herbs like mint or parsley would be nice, as would some different spices, like sumac or cumin.

Put it all together

The next step is to start assembling. Spread a tablespoon or 2 of yogurt on each warmed pita. Top with a few pieces of sliced chicken, then add the sliced veggies. If you want to dress the vegetables, a quick drizzle of olive oil and lemon juice is really all you need. Once all the pitas are topped, serve each with a side of roasted lemon rosemary potatoes. 

If you end up having extra, store the chicken and potatoes separate from the sliced veggies. The vegetables would make the potatoes soggy, and if stored separately, it's easier to just heat up just the parts that need it.

Sheet-Pan Chicken Shawarma And Lemon-Rosemary Potatoes Recipe
5 from 22 ratings
Since most of us don't have a spit readily available in our kitchens, this sheet-pan chicken shawarama with roasted potatoes is the perfect shortcut recipe.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Plate of chicken shawarma
Total time: 31 minutes
  • 1 ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound baby potatoes, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 5 ounces full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 4 pitas
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss chicken thighs with spices and ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add ¾ tablespoon olive oil and turn to combine. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. In a separate bowl, toss potatoes, lemon zest, and rosemary with remaining olive oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter around the chicken thighs.
  4. Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook until the thighs and potatoes are cooked through, 16 to 18 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk Greek yogurt with lemon juice and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
  6. Remove the chicken and potatoes from oven. Let cool slightly. Slice chicken and set aside.
  7. Spread 1-2 tablespoons of the yogurt mixture onto each pita. Divide chicken between the pitas. Top each with the sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. Serve with roasted potatoes.
Calories per Serving 707
Total Fat 36.9 g
Saturated Fat 9.8 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 171.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 57.0 g
Dietary Fiber 9.8 g
Total Sugars 7.1 g
Sodium 1,427.9 mg
Protein 40.3 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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