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Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend

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This Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend works great as a rub or part of a marinade for chicken or beef. By making your own homemade shawarma seasoning mix you control exactly what is going in the spice blend and can adjust it to your tastes. This is a great way to spice up your Mediterranean recipes! 

Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend with steak


I recently shared a recipe for Beef Shawarma and Chicken Shawarma that my family loves to make, especially to use in pita wraps and rice bowls.

One of the key components of that recipe is the Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend that is used in the marinade.

I wanted to share this Shawarma Spice Blend with you guys so you have it on hand and can use it as a rub or in a marinade for chicken or beef. 

When you make a spice mix or seasoning blend at home you are controlling exactly what ingredients are in it.

This is important to me and allows me to also customize the spice blend to my tastes.

If you like a bite more warm flavor in your shawarma then you would add a bit more cinnamon.

Or if you like more spice you would add a small amount of cayenne pepper.

Lets dig in to this delicious spice blend that can be used to make your favorite shawarma. 

Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend with spoon


Shawarma is a classic Arabic dish of meat (chicken, lamb, turkey, beef, or other mixed meats) seasoned and placed vertically on a spit and slow roasted.

Typically the meat is thinly sliced and served with fattoush, tabbouleh, pita bread, tomato, and cucumber and sauces like a Tahini Sauce.

The word “shawarma” is an Arabic rendering of Turkish çevirme ‘turning’, in reference to the rotisserie cooking of the meat, which turns around an axis.

Though considered a Turkish dish by origin, it’s enjoyed through the Middle East and Mediterranean region in various forms {source}.


Of course this is a blend of spices so lets talk about what spices make up this seasoning mix. You are going to love the rich, warm flavors of this spice mix. 

  • cumin
  • coriander
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • turmeric
  • onion powder
  • AllSpice
  • cinnamon
  • black pepper


I like to have this on hand to use as a marinade for chicken or beef.

It can be as simple as combing 1 Tablespoon of this seasoning with 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and let the chicken or beef marinade for 10-20 minutes. 

Use this spice mix to add to chickpeas and then roast them in the oven.

We love Crispy Roasted Chickpeas as a snack and a small amount of this seasoning will go a long way with those crispy little bites. 

If you like yogurt marinades, like in this Tandoori Chicken Recipe  you should try adding the shawarma spice blend to the yogurt.

As an example for 1 1/2 pounds of chicken I would use 1 cup of plain yogurt with 2 or 3 Tablespoons of this spice blend.

From there you marinade the chicken in the fridge for 2 hours. 

Get creative and use this seasoning mix in burgers, on chickpeas that you add to a salad or even as a rub for shrimp, like this Shrimp Shawarma, salmon or even a Vegan Sheet Pan Shawarma meal

Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend with white bowl


Here are some ways I like to use this spice mix:

Toss shrimp in olive oil and the spice mix before grilling

Rub it on fish- it works nicely on cod, salmon, sea bass or any fish really

Use it as a rub for Mediterranean Beef Kabobs or a flank steak

Mix olive oil and shawarma mix and toss chicken tenderloins in it and grill to add to pitas and salads

Sprinkle it on chickpeas before you make crispy chickpeas for snacking

Beef Shawarma in pita wrap

Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend with steak

Shawarma Seasoning

Yield: 3/4 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 Tablespoons cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 3 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons AllSpice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a mason jar or glass jar and mix well. Store in a cool, dry place until you are ready to use.


This mix makes about 3/4 of a cup. Use about 1 tablespoon of seasoning per pound of chicken or beef.

When I do a simple marinade for 2 pounds of chicken or beef I use 2 Tablespoons shawarma spice blend, 2 Tablespoons olive oil, 1 Tablpesoon white vinegar. Allow chicken or beef to marinate for 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

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