Allergy-Friendly Chicken Shawarma Skewers

Shawarma is popular street food in Mediterranean countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Israel. It’s spit-roasted meat typically served with hummus and various condiments. I cook the warmly spiced meat on double skewers and then separate them – for a more authentic experience at home. The outside becomes nicely charred while the cut part reveals the tenderness inside. You can use metal or wooden skewers to make this recipe, but wooden skewers must be thoroughly soaked in advance. Photo by Andrew Grinton

Makes: 4 servings + 1 1/2 cups hummus
Free of: gluten and all top allergens


Shawarma Platter

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, flattened and quartered
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 8 pearl onions
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 4 gluten-free, allergy-friendly pitas, quartered
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup baby dill pickles, quartered
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced


  • 28 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. For shawarma skewers, place chicken pieces in a large resealable bag. Add oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, salt and fennel seeds. Press air out of bag and seal. Massage chicken to coat with marinade. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat a barbecue to medium-high.
  3. Thread pearl onions onto 8 metal skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak first), one per skewer.
  4. Using 2 skewers, thread each chicken piece onto both skewers lengthwise to create an attached double skewer. Repeat process with pieces to create 4 double skewers. Add 1 cherry tomato to the end of each single skewer.
  5. Place skewers on barbecue and close lid. Cook until chicken reaches temperature of 165° F, 8-10 minutes per side.
  6. Remove to a cutting board and slice down middle of each double skewer to separate skewers. Place skewers on a serving platter and arrange pita quarters, lettuce, dill pickles and red onion on platter.
  7. For hummus, place chickpeas, oil, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor. Pulse a few times, and then process until smooth.
  8. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl and serve alongside shawarma platter.

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