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A pan of chicken shawarma and rice topped with mint leaves with a spoon in it.

Skillet Chicken Shawarma with Tahini Sauce

Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Keyword: chicken shawarma recipe
Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
marinating time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4
Calories: 929kcal
This skillet chicken shawarma with rice is an easy one pan dinner. Just a short marinade in the shawarma seasoning yields big flavors! Ready in about an hour.
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Chicken Shawarma and Rice

  • 2.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs about 7-8
  • 2 lemons juiced and zested
  • cup olive oil divided
  • 2 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 ¼ cups basmati rice
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt divided
  • fresh mint to sprinkle on top

Tahini Sauce

  • 3 ½ tablespoon tahini
  • 1 ½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon water
  • pinch kosher salt


Chicken Shawarma and Rice

  • Zest both the lemons, then juice them. Set both aside separately.
  • Smash the garlic with the side of a wide chef's knife and peel it. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, ¼ cup of the olive oil, all of the spices, and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Add the chicken thighs and stir to coat. Let the chicken marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • While the chicken thighs are marinating, dice the onions finely, then make the tahini sauce (see instructions below.)
  • In a large skillet or casserole pan with a lid, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium high. Use tongs to grab the thighs one by one, letting as much marinade drip off as possible, and add to the pan. Reserve the remaining marinade and set aside.
  • Cook the chicken thighs for about 5-7 minutes on each side until golden brown, then transfer to a plate.
  • After removing the chicken, add the onions to the pan with a pinch of salt, and sweat them for about 5-7 minutes until tender and translucent, scraping up any browned bits of chicken and spice from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the rice to the pan and stir to combine with onions, keep moving the rice around the pan for about 1 minute to toast it and coat it with the spices.
  • Add the reserved marinade, the golden raisins and the chicken stock to the pan. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil, continuing to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the chicken thighs and their juices back into the pan, cover and cook for another 5 minutes, until the rice is fully cooked, all of the chicken stock absorbed and the chicken is warmed through.
  • Drizzle with the tahini sauce, top with fresh mint leaves and the reserved lemon zest, and serve.

Tahini Sauce

  • Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. It will look curdled when you first start to stir it, don't worry, just keep going and it will smooth out. It should be the consistency of honey. If it's too thick, add more water and/or lemon juice according to your taste.


  • Don't marinate the chicken much longer than 30 minutes. This is just enough time for the lemon juice to tenderize the chicken without starting to 'cook' it, which can can change the texture.
  • If you'd rather use 'regular' raisins instead of golden raisins, that is fine I just like the look and flavor of the golden ones for this recipe.
  • You can substitute brown rice for the white rice, just adjust the cooking time accordingly, and add the chicken for the last 10 minutes, instead of the last 5.
  • If you don't like mint, you can use parsley to sprinkle on top.
  • Be sure to read the post above for tips about ingredients and more!
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Calories: 929kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 67g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 21g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 274mg | Sodium: 1645mg | Potassium: 1284mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 192IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 6mg