A traditional Lebanese sandwich recipe, beef shawarma is wrapped in a pita with a creamy, tahini garlic sauce.
We order Lebanese takeout at least once a week, typically on Thursday nights. Fresh, healthy and reminiscent of the Syrian recipes I grew up eating, my kids never complain when Middle Eastern food is on the menu.
In recent months, they’ve started requesting beef shawarma pitas instead of their usual chicken and garlic sauce order. While I’ve been making Beef Shawarma with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce for years, I don’t typically serve it in a pita which got me thinking…why not?
To save time, you can throw the beef in the yogurt/lemon/garlic marinade while the kids are eating breakfast in the morning and let it marinate in the refrigerator during the day. Alternatively, you can let it sit out in the marinade at room temperature for about 30 minutes while prepping the rest of your dinner.
The secret to my beef shawarma is my All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend made with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. The warm spices are the perfect compliment to the garlicky, tangy yogurt and lemon.
If you’re prepping these ahead, serve the tahini sauce on the side to avoid soggy pitas. Life is too short for soggy pitas.
No forks required.
Beef Shawarma Pita with Lebanese Sauce
- 4 whole pitas the thinner the better for rolling
- sliced tomato, lettuce, red onion, pickled turnips, thinly sliced dill pickles optional toppings
- 20 ounces beef sirloin cut in thin strips
- 2 cups plain whole milk yogurt
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 4 teaspoons All Purpose Lebanese Spice Blend
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt or more to taste
- pinch cayenne optional
- Start by marinading the beef shawarma: whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, garlic and spices in a medium bowl. Add in the thinly sliced beef and let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to overnight.
- To cook the shawarma, you can either grill it on high heat for 3-4 minutes per side or saute in a hot skillet until beef is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Note: You'll want to remove excess marinade before cooking.
- While the beef is cooking, whisk together the tahini sauce ingredients in a small bowl: tahini through salt. Check for seasoning and add more salt or cayenne to taste; set aside.
- To assemble, lay the pitas flat and spread a bit of tahini sauce on the middle. Top with beef shawarma and any optional toppings such as onion, pickles, etc. Roll tightly then slice in half to serve.
Photography by Alejandro Photography // Recipe by The Lemon Bowl
Check out my Pinterest board for more Lebanese recipes!