Shish Tawook Chicken

4.78 stars average

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Shish Tawook chicken, a traditional Lebanese dish, becomes juicy and tender from a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice and garlic.

Shish tawook chicken.

If I could eat one food every single day for the rest of my life, it would be Lebanese food, without a doubt. Shish Tawook Chicken (also spelled shish taouk), a native dish of Lebanon and Syria, is marinated chicken breasts that are typically grilled on skewers. Since we live in Michigan where the grill is covered in snow 75% of the year, for most of the year we sauté the chicken in a pan with a little olive oil. I’ve also broiled the chicken in the oven which works well, too.


  • Chicken breasts: Large, moist, and meaty part of the chicken that is easily accessible and affordable. Chicken thighs would work as well.
  • Lemon juice: Bright and acidic, it works as a great natural tenderizer for meat.
  • Lemon zest: Fresh, intense citrus flavor without any of the bitterness.
  • Garlic: Nutty, earthy, and strong flavor that pairs well with lemon.
  • Olive oil: A great addition to any marinade to add volume to help coat the chicken.

How to Make Shish Tawook Chicken

Grating garlic

Start your Shish Tawook Chicken by using a microplane to freshly grate your garlic into a large bowl.

Adding olive oil to bowl 1

Next drizzle in the olive oil.

Zesting a lemon

Then, using a zester or microplane, freshly zest one lemon into the bowl.

Liz juicing a lemon

Juice the same lemon used to zest, and add it to the bowl.

Adding seasoning to bowl

Add in some salt and pepper for taste, then give it a little whisk.

Stirring chicken in marinade

Add your cubed chicken to the bowl, and stir until evenly coated in the marinade. Let sit in the fridge for at least 20 minutes, but you could do this the night before as well.

Grilling chicken in skillet

When ready to cook, preheat a large skillet over medium high heat and add a bit of olive oil. Add the chicken along with any remaining marinade to the pan, and cook until lightly brown.

Garnishing shish tawook chicken.

Serve your Shish Tawook Chicken garnished with fresh parsley, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the difference between chicken shawarma and chicken tawook?

The biggest difference is that chicken shawarma uses warmer spices, and usually more of them than chicken tawook.

Is shish tawook healthy?

It’s relatively low in calories and fat, making it a great healthy recipe to add to your dinner rotation.

How do you store leftover tawook chicken?

Kept in an airtight container in the fridge, leftovers will keep for up to 4 days.

Shish tawook chicken.

More Lebanese REcipes

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Liz eating shish tawook chicken.

If you need some inspiration, leftover Shish Tawook Chicken tastes delicious wrapped in a pita with cucumber laban and hummus. Let me know how you like it in the comments!

Your fork is waiting.

Lebanese chicken tawook 2

Shish Tawook Chicken

4.78 stars average
Shish tawook, a traditional Lebanese dish, becomes juicy and tender from a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice and garlic.
PREP: 10 minutes
COOK: 7 minutes
TOTAL: 17 minutes


  • 20 ounces boneless (skinless chicken breasts – cut in cubes)
  • 1 juice and zest of lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh parsley to serve


  • Place chicken breasts cubes in a glass bowl or large resealable plastic bag.
  • Add lemon juice, zest, grated garlic, salt and pepper to the chicken toss until chicken is evenly coated with marinade. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or up to overnight.
  • Heat pan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken to the pan along with all of the marinade. Sauté chicken, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Serve with fresh minced parsley on top.

Last Step:

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Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 1.5gProtein: 28.8gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4.9gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 869mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.4g
Did You Make This Recipe?Post a pic and mention @thelemonbowl or tag #thelemonbowl!

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81 responses to “Shish Tawook Chicken”

  1. julia Avatar

    My favorite—pinning!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yay I knew you’d like this one!

  2. ashley - bakerbynature Avatar
    ashley – bakerbynature

    Uh YUM! I’m coming over for dinner like, SOON!!! xo

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Will you bring me some olive oil gelato for dessert? :)

  3. Alyssa (Everyday Maven) Avatar
    Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    Love how simple this is and full of flavor!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Simple is the name of the game!

  4. Polly @ Tasty Food Project Avatar
    Polly @ Tasty Food Project

    I love how this recipe is so simple and easy! I normally have all of these ingredients stocked up so I will pin this recipe for later. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes this is always my backup plan too – I always have the ingredients on hand!

  5. Amanda Avatar

    This looks awesome!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      See, I don’t just make smoothies!

      1. Amanda Avatar

        Well da. You make chicken and smoothies. Now if you post something like a chilled mint cucumber soup my mind would REALLY be blown.

  6. Caroline@Pickledplum Avatar

    So simple yet so delicious and healthy! I will marinade it overnight to get maximum flavor, thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Let me know what you think Caroline!!

  7. Christie - Food Done Light Avatar
    Christie – Food Done Light

    I love the flavor in this dish. My husband will absolutely adore it. I need to make it for him ASAP.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It is one of my husband’s favorites!

  8. Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough Avatar
    Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough

    I had no idea lemon tenderized meat! The more you know… ;)

    Anywho, this chicken? Yeahhhh, I need it in my life like yesterday.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Yes girl!!! I’ll swap you marinade tricks for baking tips – haha.

  9. KalynsKitchen Avatar

    My kind of food, this sounds wonderful.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You would love this Kalyn!! Low carb and SO tasty. xo

  10. Renee @ Bendiful Blog Avatar
    Renee @ Bendiful Blog

    Ohhh this looks like the perfect dinner dish for tonight!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Let me know what you think Renee!!