Lamb Shawarma Recipe -
Lamb Shawarma Recipe
  • READY IN ABOUT 13 hrs

Lamb Shawarma

Recipe by  

"This is a wonderful Middle Eastern dish that I was introduced to by a friend of mine from Lebanon. This recipe yields an absolutely amazing tasting and tender final product. Shawarma can be used in pitas, be put on fattoush, on hommus, or eaten plain."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 8 shawarmas Change Servings
  • PREP

    30 mins
  • COOK

    20 mins

    12 hrs 50 mins


  1. Place the yogurt, water, lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, onion, and garlic into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the salt, black pepper, cumin, nutmeg, clove, mace, and cayenne pepper until evenly blended. Mix in the lamb strips to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
  2. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Cook the lamb strips in a single layer in batches until the fat melts and the meat has browned and is no longer pink on the inside, about 5 minutes, turning occasionally.
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Reviews More Reviews

Aug 04, 2010

I was hesitant to make this recipe cause it wasnt reveiwed by anyone yet and i never cooked lamb before but i was so glad i tried it. It was soooo good. I had to make the marinade twice cause the first time i made it, it was way to hot and i actually like to eat hot things. So the second time i made it i reduced the cayanne pepper to 1/8tsp and it was perfect. I also tried the lamb 12hrs in the marinade and then 24 and definately the 24hrs was best.

Feb 11, 2011

Made the full recipe for the sauce with the addition of 1/4tsp. allspice. However only used 1lb of Dall Sheep (game meat) cut into bite sized pieces. It was lovely. The yogurt, like buttermilk, tenderized the meat, seasoning imparted great flavor. It was not overpowering like some spice blends. Made it into gyro-like sandwiches, but would be great in couscous, chopped salads, or as Kebabs! Other reviewers have noted to cut back on cayenne if you aren't into "hot." I'd agree. Only used 1/2 tsp of cayenne and it was just the perfect amount of spicy without inducing tears and sweat. Thanks for the recipe!

Aug 17, 2011

The flavor is to die for! However, I do have some suggestions. I would double the recipe for this much meat. It was barely enough to coat 2 1/2# of meat, and I still had to add some water after a few hours because the top layer of meat was drying out. Also, I would cut the salt in half or delete it altogether. I used 1 tsp. for 2 1/2# of meat and it was still too salty. I doubled the garlic as I didn't think I'd be able to taste it at the suggested amount, and it was perfect. I also used Thai hot peppers instead of cayenne, substituting 4 peppers per teaspoon -- I chopped them up with the garlic and onion. It was pretty warm, but I like that! With the recipe doubled for the amount of meat, the spices were just right, very fragrant and the meat was so tender from the yogurt. I marinaded for 12 hours and it was terrific. The last comment I have is that I might try grilling the meat next time because in the skillet, when the marinade boils, the yogurt curdles. Overall, I think this recipe is flexible and forgiving, and the flavor combination is exotic and thoroughly enjoyable!

Feb 04, 2011

I made this yesterday and it was divine! I was attracted to this recipe because of the many spices/herbs. And the smell of the marinating meat was a great indicator of how it was going to taste. I only had half a pound of lamb, but I did not scale down the sauce to a tenth -- I like sauces with my food. Also: I did not use a tablespoon of salt -- I used just a teaspoon and it was fine. If I had 5 lbs of meat, I probably would use more. Finally, I only had whole spices. I guessed on the conversions and tossed them all in the grinder. And because my lamb was *very* thinly sliced (paper thin), I only left this in the marinade for about 3 hours. My cayenne was probably old -- I used a full teaspoon and the dish was not hot. . I'm sure if I let it sit overnight, the flavors would be intense, but I was hungry and did not have the foresight to refrigerate this the night before. I did not have this as a shawarma, but as a dish of meat and sauce over bulgur. If I do decide to have shawarma, I might just scrape off the extra marinade before I grill this. This dish was superb!

Mar 03, 2011

Smelled exactly like I remember shawarma smelling when I lived in the Middle East! And I was very happy to find that there are no obscure ingredients in this recipe. It was fun making this at home, but it's hard to slice the meat thinly, and lamb is SO expensive... I think we'll stick to the professionals when we want shawarma.

Nov 28, 2011

Loved it! I fed it to my roommates and friends, and everyone ate seconds and thirds. I didn't have lamb, so I used steaks instead, and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!!

Jun 30, 2011

Great flavor. We made this and had it in a pita with tomatoes, spinach, yogert, and feta cheese. My husband said this was an exciting dinner with great flavor.

May 22, 2011

this was really different for us, but delicious and super-easy. i followed the directions exactly and wouldnt change a thing. served it with "shirazi salad" from this site, which was a great combination.


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  • Calories
  • 376 kcal
  • 19%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 3 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 115 mg
  • 38%
  • Fat
  • 26.8 g
  • 41%
  • Fiber
  • 0.4 g
  • 1%
  • Protein
  • 29 g
  • 58%
  • Sodium
  • 966 mg
  • 39%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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