Home " Shawarma - Street Food of the Levant

Shawarma - Street Food of the Levant

Unfortunately, you can't get shawarma on every corner, like kebabs or gyros pita - and you certainly can't get a really good shawarma wrap. So it's all the nicer that you can conjure up the Levant's most popular street food - besides falafel, of course - at home. And it even works without a rotating spit, quite simply in the oven. 🙂

All you need is good meat with a nice fat content. I chose beef, but you can also use lamb. Then you need a little lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and a whole mountain of spices....

"Shawarma loves your spice cabinet"

That's what my mother told me when she went through the recipe for the marinade with me. And it's true! You need at least 10 spices: Cumin, cumin, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper, salt, oregano, paprika and chilli - you have to have them all. But luckily you can get all the spices in any well-stocked supermarket, so quickly mix everything into a marinade and leave the meat to marinate overnight. The acid makes the meat a little tender in the fridge and when it is cooked slowly in the oven for 2 hours, it comes out tender as butter. Tadaaa - you are already a big step closer to your shawarma wrap.

If you like, you can put it under the grill in the oven for the last few minutes - but you don't have to. I put a few mini vine tomatoes on the top rack in the oven for the last 15 minutes. And yes, fries definitely belong in the wrap! Levantines are totally crazy about fries anyway! There is hardly a lunch or dinner without these deep-fried golden sticks. When I was a kid, I often even just put a handful of fries in my pita bread, put ketchup on it and rolled it into a wrap. Meeega delicious, I'll have to make it again sometime...

Since shawarma is so easy to prepare, my mother likes to make it for parties. The meat makes itself - and everyone gets to make their own wrap and was happy.

By the way, if you prefer chicken, you might like the recipe for chicken shawarma. And if you don't eat meat at all, there's also a vegan version.

Recipe for shawarma

Print recipe
Preparation time 30 minutes
Preparation time 30 minutes
Marinating time 12 hours
Total time 13 hours
Servings 6 Wraps
Calories 604


Meat & Marinade

  • 1 Kg Beef should have a good portion of fat or high-fat grain. E.g. roast beef.
  • 120 ml Lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 60 ml Apple cider vinegar
  • 60 ml Olive oil
  • 1 Chili pitted and chopped
  • 1 TSP cloves ground
  • 1,5 Tl Salt
  • 1/2 TSP Cumin ground
  • 1/2 Tl Cardamom ground
  • 1/2 TSP Caraway ground
  • 1/2 TSP Oregano
  • 1/2 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1/2 TSP Nutmeg ground
  • 1/2 Tl paprika powder noble sweet
  • 1/2 Tl Sumac
  • 1/2 Tl Pepper

For the wrap


Meat & Marinade

  • Cut the meat into finger-thick steaks (or have it cut into steaks at the counter).
  • Mix the ingredients for the marinade together in a large bowl, place the meat in the bowl and rub it with the marinade.
  • Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the meat to marinate overnight, but at least for a few hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 150 °C, place the meat in a roasting tin or casserole dish, cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours.
  • Put the washed tomatoes on a baking tray 15 minutes before the meat is ready and grill them on the top shelf of the oven.
  • Cut the meat into fine, small strips.

Shawarma Wrap Building Instructions

  • Prepare the tahini sauce according to this recipe.
  • Fry the fries.
  • Cut the cucumber into quarters.
  • Top the pita bread with the meat, chips, cucumber, some parsley, cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of tahini sauce.
  • Wrap your shawarma wrap.


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Nutritional values

Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 115mg | Sodium: 1143mg | Potassium: 973mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 116mg | Iron: 5mg

By the way, if you want to know how to make the Greek equivalent gyros yourself, then take a look at the blog of Die Frau am Grill.

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  1. Hello Rafik,
    what a beautifully done blog! And finally a recipe for shawarma with meat from the oven (instead of elaborately grilled meat). Until now, we could only get shawarma at a Lebanese restaurant in Heidelberg, but we'll try it at home soon.
    Kind regards

    1. Hello Simone,
      thank you so much for the compliment 🙂 I'm very happy that you like the blog so much.
      I am very pleased that you like the blog so much. I hope you have a lot of fun cooking it again. You are very welcome to report back how you liked the schwawarma.
      Best regards

  2. Hello Rafik,

    I finally got around to trying your shawarma recipe, and it tasted great (actually even better than at the Lebanese restaurant in Heidelberg!) - and it doesn't take much effort at all.

    Only with the flatbread (also according to your recipe) did something go thoroughly wrong: unfortunately, the trick with the magic cooking spoon didn't work for me ... my big son said with a wink "But the biscuit tastes good!". Well, so much for the consistency of my first attempt, the flatbread didn't puff up during baking and became quite compact.

    I followed the recipe (at least I think I did), flattened the patties about 1.5 cm (?) before baking, but didn't let them rise afterwards, and immediately put them in the oven at 225° C, left them in for about 7 minutes until they were slightly brown at the top and edges. Do you have any idea what I might have done wrong? Do I have to let the patties rise again at the end? I would be very grateful for a tip so that the next attempt can start soon.

    Many love greetings

    1. Hello Susanne,

      I'll take the liberty of answering: It sounds like too little heat.
      The flatbread needs as high a temperature as possible, ideally a contact temperature, so that the surface closes quickly and the steam inside the flatbread puffs up.
      In my opinion, the best result is achieved on the grill with a pizza stone, or in the oven by placing a pizza stone or grill pan on the bottom of the oven and preheating it as high as possible for 20 minutes.

  3. Hi Rafik,
    Great blog, I'm really grateful for the great recipes.
    Now I wanted to try the shawarma. Which meat do you recommend, which part of the beef?
    Many thanks and best regards

    1. Hello Lorenz,
      Thank you very much for the flowers. I'm really pleased that you like my blog. I like to use roast beef for the shawarma because it has a fine fat grain.
      I can't wait to see how you like it. And: don't forget the fries 😉
      Best regards

  4. 5 stars
    Hello Rafik,
    Last week I made the shawarma. It tasted great again. My husband was also thrilled.
    And I just marinated the chicken for Musakhan. We'll have that tomorrow. I'm sure it will taste as good as the other things.

    1. Hello Heike,
      Well, that sounds great 🙂 I'm very pleased that you enjoyed it.
      Then I wish you a good appetite. I am sure you will like the Musakhan too 🙂

      Kind regards

  5. 5 stars
    Hello Rafik,
    that was so delicious! Thank you so much for the great recipe. I'm sure it won't be the last time! We have just put the plates away and are absolutely thrilled.
    Thank you !
    Claudia &Günther

    1. Hello you two 🙂
      Thank you so much for your great feedback. I am very happy that you liked it 🙂

      Kind regards

  6. HZey
    I'm also trying my hand at shawarma today. and wanted to ask if I put the marinade in the oven after marinating?
    Best regards

    1. Hey Hans,

      You can definitely add the marinade to the oven. I wish you a good appetite 🙂

      Kind regards

      1. 5 stars
        Thank you for pointing this out,
        It was really really delicious! Thank you for the good recipes!
        Best regards

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