Though chicken souvlaki and chicken shawarma may have different origins and slightly disparate ingredients, they both feature garlicky, lemony marinades perked up with various herbs and spices. I love them both, and since they share some common ground, I decided a souvlaki/shawarma mashup was in order. After marinating chicken thighs in a mixture of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, fresh oregano, cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes, I roasted them at high heat in the oven along with some pickled red onions tossed in the marinade. They emerged sticky, tangy, and with a slight char. Folded up in warm piece of naan (slightly unorthodox but nonetheless delicious), slathered with hummus and topped with crunchy cucumbers, a hefty splash of hot sauce and yogurt, and a few more pickled onions, it was truly one of the best things I’ve eaten in a while.


  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh minced fresh oregano, or ½ Tbsp dried
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • ¼ cup pickled red onions, plus more for serving
  • Hummus
  • Hothouse cucumbers,
  • sliced into rounds or strips
  • Flatbread of choice
  • Hot sauce
  • Sour cream or yogurt


  1. Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl except for pickled onions. Add chicken, stirring to coat, and marinade chicken in mixture in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and place chicken on pan. Toss red onions in remaining marinade mixture and reserve.
  3. Cook chicken for 20 minutes, then add the pickled onions and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven, cover with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  4. To assemble wraps, spread hummus on lavash or naan (or other flatbread), then dot with sliced cuke rounds or strips, and fresh pickled onions. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces, and place on top, making sure to include some of the roasted pickled onions. Drizzle with yogurt or sour cream and a few lashings of hot sauce.

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