Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Golden Butter Fries and Garlic Sauce.
Bringing you all some summery vibes with this Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Golden Butter Fries and Garlic Sauce. These middle eastern-inspired chicken skewers are the homemade “street food” you need in your life. Spicy marinated grilled chicken skewers, served with homemade golden fries, creamy garlic white sauce, and summer cherry tomatoes. This grilled chicken shawarma is simple to throw together, full of fresh ingredients, colorful, super flavorful, and so delicious. The perfect summer grilling recipe to serve any night of the week…or at your next backyard BBQ.
When it comes to summer recipes I tend to favor the fruity, produce heavy recipes over the meaty grilling recipes. You all know I love a fruit-based dessert, a simple summer pasta…with all the cherry tomatoes, crostini with strawberries, or a dinner full of zucchini.
Over the past almost 8 years of HBH, I haven’t shared very many recipes requiring the grill. But with July 4th this weekend I really wanted to share an easy grilling recipe. Enter this chicken shawarma. Chicken shawarma is a classic middle eastern style street food. Traditionally, it is thinly sliced, stacked on a rotisserie, and roasted. But today we’re making it at home and on the grill, with crispy golden oven fries plus the best garlic sauce.
This isn’t your traditional July 4th cookout recipe, but honestly, nothing about this year’s celebrations are going to be traditional. So, I thought we’d break away from the average ribs and BBQ chicken. Very typical of me, I know, but I like to keep things fresh and never boring. That, and my brother has been sending me a lot of messages hinting that I need to make more recipes for the grill…because it’s summer and “the people” love grilling recipes.
I actually took his advice, which I normally hesitate to do, but it all turned out pretty darn good.
The details on this grilled chicken shawarma.
Start with the chicken. If you’re unfamiliar with Chicken Shawarma, it’s a simple middle eastern dish that can be made using either poultry, beef, or lamb and is served in or on a pita with a savory yogurt sauce. The chicken is marinated in a mix of middle eastern spices…garlic, lots of lemon, and olive oil. It’s traditional to roast the chicken, but I went for skewers on the grill. You can certainly roast the chicken if you prefer not to use the grill, either works. But the grill adds a nice flavor and chars on the outside while staying juicy on the inside.
For marinating, I toss the chicken with smoked paprika, cumin, turmeric, garlic, lemon, and red pepper flakes. I like to let the chicken marinate while I get everything else together. I’m not sure about you guys, but I can never plan ahead enough to cook a recipe requiring a long marinating time.
It almost never happens, so I usually just do a quick “marinade” of fifteen to thirty minutes. It works.
While the chicken marinates, make the fries.
Golden butter with a little garlic and lots of flaky sea salt, so good. In fact, if you make only one thing from this recipe, maybe it should be these fries. They are delicious. If you love golden rice, but you love potatoes even more, than you’re going to LOVE these fries. They’re hard to stop eating.
Yes, you need to turn your oven on to make these fries (or if you have an air fryer you could certainly air fry them). I promise these fries are so worth it.
There are a few tricks you need to know when it comes to these golden fries.
First, one of the keys here is adding just the right amount of turmeric and garlic. You want flavorful, but not overpowering.
My other tip to these for these crisp oven-baked fries is to be sure not to overcrowd the baking sheet. If you have too many potatoes crowding the pan, the fries will steam instead of crisp. So, if you need to…use two baking sheets…do not overcrowd! It’s better to have extra space on the baking sheet than a pan full of soggy fries. Trust me.
And lastly, add a little butter. The butter adds that richness that the deep frier adds. For whatever reason, it really helps to highlight the turmeric on the fries.
So simple…SO GOOD.
Finish it up and put it all together.
And then finally, the garlic sauce. It’s simple, plain Greek yogurt or avocado mayo, lemon, grated garlic, and salt. But here’s another little tip. The garlic used for the golden fries is roasted whole instead of chopped. If you love a roasted garlic flavor, I highly recommend smashing the roasted garlic cloves into a paste and stirring them into the white sauce. The roasted garlic will add a rich, more in-depth flavor that is so delicious.
Once the fries are close to being ready, and the garlic sauce is made, grill the chicken, and then put it all together. I serve the fries and chicken the classic way they’d do it on the street, with fresh naan/pita, tomatoes, cucumber, and shredded lettuce. I also use homemade naan, but feel free to use your favorite store-bought pita or flatbread.
Last up, add a very generous amount of that garlic sauce…which my oldest brother says is key. He also says to use mayo, never yogurt, in the sauce. Oh, and to crumble on some feta too, because why not?
And you know what I love about this recipe?
It’s not just a grilled chicken recipe. Nope, it’s so much more.
It’s an all-in-one meal, there’s even a little salad…if you count the tomatoes and lettuce that I say are “for serving”. It’s all just really good food. The chicken is tender, flavorful, and extra juicy due to the marinating. The fries are pretty much just addicting, and the creamy white sauce really ties it all together.
Just add that naan and the vegetable toppings and you”ll have a complete dinner. I love an all-in-one style recipe that makes getting dinner together simple and easy!
Looking for other summer grilling recipes? Here are some favorites:
Lastly, if you make this grilled chicken shawarma with golden butter fries and garlic sauce, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Grilled Chicken Shawarma with Golden Butter Fries and Garlic Sauce
Simple to throw together...the perfect summer recipe to serve at your next backyard BBQ!
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite size chunks
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 6 cloves garlic, grated
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 shallots, halved
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt or avocado mayo
- 1/2 cup mixed herbs, such as mint and dill, chopped
1. In a bowl, combine the chicken, 1/4 cup olive oil, the paprika, cumin, turmeric, 4 cloves garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, crushed red pepper, and a large pinch of salt. Toss to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.
2. Meanwhile, make the fries. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the potatoes on a large baking sheet and toss with olive oil, turmeric, cayenne, smashed garlic cloves and a large pinch of salt. Spread the fries in an even layer. Do not overcrowd the pan, if needed, divide the fries between 2 baking sheets. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 minutes more. Add the butter, toss, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes. You want the potatoes to be tender, yet crispy.
3. To make the garlic sauce, combine the yogurt, 2 cloves grated garlic (see note), and 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice. Season with salt. Taste, adding more of the lemon as desired.
4. Set your grill, grill pan, or skillet to medium-high heat. Take skewers and thread the chicken pieces on. Grill the skewers until lightly charred and cooked through, turning them occasionally throughout cooking, about 10 to 12 minutes total. During the same time, grill the shallots for 2-3 minutes per side. Alternately, you can roast the chicken at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
5. In a bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, the mixed herbs, and a pinch of salt. Add the shallots, tossing to coat.
6. Serve the chicken topped with garlic sauce and herb oil. Add the fries on the side with naan. Enjoy!
Roasted Garlic Cloves: you can use the roasted garlic cloves from the golden fries in the garlic sauce instead of raw garlic for an added depth of flavor to the sauce.
Naan: I love serving this with my favorite Garlic Butter Naan
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