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Shish Tawook Chicken

    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

    4.76 stars average
    Shish tawook, a traditional Lebanese dish, becomes juicy and tender from a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice and garlic.
    PREP: 10 mins
    COOK: 7 mins
    TOTAL: 17 mins
    Servings: 4


    • 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.


    Calories: 160kcalCarbohydrates: 1.5gProtein: 28.8gFat: 5.3gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4.9gCholesterol: 75mgSodium: 869mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.4g

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    Check out more Lebanese recipes on my Pinterest board!


    Liz DellaCroce

    Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families. Click Here To Subscribe to my newsletter:


    1. Made this last night because I had everything on hand. It was super easy and really tasty! Adding it to my list of go-tos! I have no idea what it should be served with so we just had it with roasted beets, corn on the cop, fresh peaches, and some fresh bread. I’m sure that’s not traditional but it was awesome!

      1. Oh I’m so thrilled you made it and enjoyed it Melissa!! And I LOVE what you served it with!! We typically serve it with salad and rice but honestly your menu sounds even better this time of year!

    2. I made this for dinner last night – a double batch, in fact! We loved the tang of the chicken and I appreciated how quick and easy it was. I did add a few shakes of red pepper flakes because my family enjoys a bit of heat. Otherwise we followed the directions exactly. The leftovers would be fantastic on a salad or in a pita with tomatoes and cucumber. Thank you for such a great recipe, Liz!

      1. This comment has made my day, Dara! And I’m laughing to myself because in all truth, I almost always add chili flakes too!!! Or sriracha. ;) Too funny!! Glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully you have some leftovers for a pita today with hummus. :)

    3. You speak my husband’s language with this one! His absolute favorite dish from a local Middle Eastern restaurant we love is shish tawook. If I made it at home? He’ll be in heaven. Not sure why I never did, but he’ll be thrilled if I add this to the rotation. This looks great and I have to admit I’d do it just to get the leftovers with labneh on pita – yum!

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