Sheet-Pan Chicken Shawarma with Lemon-Tahini Drizzle

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sheet pan chicken thighs: sheet pan chicken shawarma with lemon tahini drizzle
Kristen Kilpatrick/The Defined Dish

Shawarma is as satisfying to eat as it is to say, thanks to a blend of heady spices and roasted vegetables. But Alex Snodgrass, author of the new cookbook The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes, just made the Middle Eastern dish even more appealing by streamlining its cooking time and cleanup.

“There isn’t a busy weeknight that doesn’t love a good sheet-pan meal,” the Defined Dish blogger writes, and we tend to agree. “Throw it all on a sheet pan, toss it in the oven and let it cook away while you tend to other important business…it’s just too good to be true. This Middle Eastern–inspired feast is a total keeper and is going to have you hooked at first bite.”

Why’s that, you ask? “The whole meal comes together in less than 45 minutes,” she continues, “and is packed with some of my favorite warming spices, which are also used a lot in Middle Eastern cuisine, like cumin, cinnamon and paprika, making this meal rich and decadent.”

In case you were wondering, it’s also paleo-friendly and gluten-, dairy- and grain-free. If you ask us, it was love at lemon-tahini drizzle.

Excerpted from The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes © 2019 by Alex Snodgrass. Photography ©2019 by Kristen Kilpatrick. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.



2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and sliced ½ inch thick

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Grated zest of ½ lemon (1 teaspoon)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (from ½ lemon)


1 medium red onion, sliced (about 1½ cups)

2 medium red bell peppers, cut into ¼-inch slices (about 3 cups)

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets (4 cups)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano

Lemon-Tahini Drizzle

2 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)

1 garlic clove, minced

½ teaspoon honey (optional; omit for Whole30)

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for serving

1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Make the Chicken: Place the sliced chicken in a large bowl with the olive oil, garlic, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss to coat evenly and set aside.

3. Make the Veggies: On one of the prepared baking sheets, place the red onion, red bell pepper and cauliflower florets. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano. Toss to coat evenly.

4. On the other prepared baking sheet, spread the chicken mixture into a single even layer.

5. Transfer both sheets to the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are just tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

6. Make the Drizzle: Meanwhile, in a small jar or container, combine the tahini with 2 tablespoons warm water, the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and honey. Shake until well combined and set aside until ready to serve.

7. When the chicken is done, remove the chicken and veggies from the oven. Distribute the veggies and chicken among six plates, garnish with chopped parsley and drizzle with the lemon-tahini mixture. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Note: If you have leftover lemon-tahini drizzle, it will likely harden when you store it in the fridge. To thin it for serving, add about 1 tablespoon warm water and shake it. 

Nutrition Facts
  • 358 calories

  • 21g fat

  • 11g carbs

  • 32g protein

  • 5g sugars

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Note: The information shown is Edamam's estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.

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