How to Make Oven-Baked Chicken Schwarma

Fragrant spices make this easy Mediterranean chicken and rice dish pop with flavor

THIS.

I made it once. Then ate the leftovers.

I made it again. Then ate the leftovers.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Guys, this is sooo schwarma-y good.

Schwarma

Schwarma is an old Middle Eastern cooking technique where meats are stacked in a large cone shape and twirled on a rotisserie. The meat is sliced off in thin layers as it cooks. If you’ve eaten gyros, it’s like that.

I’m the first to admit this is not the REAL schwarma. But I didn’t need to feed an Ottoman army. I also didn’t have the huge rotisserie. But I did have some spices and I started playing with my food.

How to make Chicken Schwarma

spice- and lemon-rubbed chicken
cut chicken in half to speed cooking time

Cut boneless chicken breasts or thighs in half lengthwise to speed cooking time. Rub with spices, olive oil and lemon juice, then bake. Toast rice with spices, then simmer. Pile it on a plate with a creamy yogurt sauce and lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. And Chicken Schwarma or Turkish chicken and rice is on the table.

2 plates with chicken with rice and creamy yogurt sauce

Chicken and Rice

From fried rice to Mexican Arroz con Pollo to soup, chicken and rice shows up in many cuisines. The variety of spices and rice makes it unique to a culture, but around the world, we agree it’s comfort food.

This recipe uses basmati rice. A fragrant and nutty long-grain rice, the grain is more slender than regular white rice. Jasmine rice would also work. In this recipe the rice is toasted with butter and spices, before adding cooking liquid.

Turkish Chicken

Turmeric, cumin, oregano, ginger, cardamom, saffron, paprika, and pepper contribute the flavors in Middle Eastern food. Blend pinches of each (or some) to use what you have and still make a yummy dinner.

While the chicken marinates, get the rice going. When you set the 18-minute timer on the rice, pop the chicken in the oven.

Stir together a creamy yogurt dressing to drizzle. It’s easy and quick with yogurt, mayonnaise, olive oil, and lemon juice.

A handful of lettuce with tomato and cucumber scattered on your plate and you’re there for THIS.

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How to Make Chicken Schwarma

Oven-baked chicken is fragrant with spices that make this easy dish pop with flavor. Plan for leftovers! It’s good!

  • Author: Judy Barbe
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Oven and stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Ingredients

Scale

Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

Rice

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water

Yogurt Sauce

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper 

4 cups shredded lettuce

20 grape or cherry tomatoes

Hot sauce (optional)

 

Instructions

Oven Heat to 375℉.

Chicken  Cut chicken in half horizontally. You’re making a thin piece, like a cutlet.

Combine cumin, oregano, coriander, paprika, ginger, salt and pepper with olive oil and lemon juice. Rub into chicken. Set aside for 15 minutes (or up to 4 hours).

Bake chicken 15-20 minutes, or until 165 ℉.

Rice In 4-quart saucepan, over medium heat, heat oil with spices, cook 1 minute. Stir in rice, cook 1 minute. Pour in chicken broth, water or combination of both. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover. Let rice cook for 18 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Remove from heat.

Yogurt Sauce In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, mayonnaise, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Assemble Divide lettuce and tomatoes on plate, add a scoop of rice and chicken. Drizzle sauce over. Splash on hot sauce.

Notes

Use the spices you have to flavor the chicken. If you’re missing one, you can still make the recipe.

Keywords: chicken and rice, Turkish, schwarma, Mediterranean, yogurt sauce, easy dinner

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