Servings: 2-4

This is not shawarma. Shawarma is multiple meats, roasted on a spit. But the spice mix is reminiscent of meats cooked with the shawarma method. I’m only slightly familiar with Middle Eastern food (as an occasional consumer, seldom as a cook), but most of the “make shawarma at home” recipes used a nearly identical list of spices. In any case, it tasted great, so I’m keeping the recipe.



  • 1/2 Cup Olive oil
  • 1/4 Cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 2 Tbsp Garlic powder or 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Paprikia
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon


  • 2 Pounds of chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 Onion, sliced


  • Assemble and mix marinade
  • Cut chicken into smaller (2×2 or smaller) chunks
  • Put chicken in a re-sealable bag or an appropriate container with marinade for 1+ hours
  • Put sliced onion in the bottom of an Instant Pot
  • Place chicken and marinade on top
  • Add 1/4 cup of water
  • Cook on manual for 8 minutes on high pressure
  • Natural release for 10 minutes
  • Optional, but highly recommended:
    • Heat a turn or two of vegetable oil in a heavy skillet, get medium-hot
    • Set Instant Pot to Keep Warm
    • Brown chicken for a minute or two per side in the skillet
    • Return chicken to Instant Pot, and mix together with onions and sauce
  • Serve over rice or pitas or salad. Goes well with tomatoes and cucumber
  • Also goes well with Tahini sauce, Hummus, or even a yoghurt sauce.
  • I made a garlic sauce by blending 5 cloves of garlic, 1 cup of Olive Oil, 1/3 a cup of lemon juice, and an egg white. Blend until smooth.