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Cooking Shawarma with Max Lanosga

Updated: Jul 12, 2020

Join Max to learn how to cook this Middle Eastern staple with this funny, casual tutorial!

Here's the recipe:



1/2 pound chicken thigh, 1/2 pound chicken breast

1 Tsp. Cumin

1 Tsp. Paprika

1/2 Tsp. Allspice 

1/2 Tsp. Turmeric 

1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon 

1/4 Tsp. Garlic Powder

Cayenne, Salt, Pepper to taste

6-10 Cloves of Garlic

Heaping Tablespoon of Greek yogurt

Olive Oil

Cooking oil 


1. Cut chicken into large chunks - generally, thighs in half and breasts in thirds 

2. Combine chicken, spices, salt/pepper, olive oil, crushed garlic, yogurt to a large bowl and thoroughly coat the chicken pieces 

3. Let marinate for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight (the longer it marinates, the more flavorful it will be)

4. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees 

5. Place chicken on baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through (no need for it too be fully cooked, the chicken is cooked more later on)

6. Slice chicken thinly against the grain (variation in size is ok! Larger pieces will be a little juicier and smaller pieces will be a little crispier)

7. Preheat 1-2 Tablespoons of oil (preferably not olive oil as this has a lower smoke point - we used canola) in a cast iron skillet

8. Place sliced chicken and crushed garlic into pan flat (you should hear a sizzle when the chicken hits the pan)

9. Cook on one side until edges are crispy (3-5 minutes roughly)

10. Flip and cook on other side for 1-2 minutes - be careful not to dry it out

11. Serve and enjoy on pita or rice; some toppings that go well with this are sliced red onion, tomato, cucumber, olives, pickles, and lettuce

* note- this makes 2-3 servings; if you double the chicken remember to double the spices! 



1 Cup of Greek yogurt

Half Lemon (juiced)

Half Cucumber (diced)

2 Cloves of Garlic (diced)

1 Tsp. Dried Dill

Salt and Pepper

Herbs of your choice (mint, cilantro, chives, rosemary all work...try your favorite!)


1. Dice herbs, cucumber, garlic

2. Mix all ingredients into bowl

3. Serve with your shawarma

If you enjoyed this video, check out Max's tutorial for shakshuka!

Born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana with two younger brothers, Max is an American University graduate with degrees in Arabic language and International Affairs. Since graduation in 2018, Max has continued to study Arabic at the Middle East Institute and currently works with Jill Grant & Associates LLC, a DC-based firm practicing environmental, American Indian and administrative law. 

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