Shish Tawook chicken, a traditional Lebanese dish, becomes juicy and tender from a simple marinade of fresh lemon juice and garlic.
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
Start your Shish Tawook Chicken by using a microplane to freshly grate your garlic into a large bowl.
Next drizzle in the olive oil.
Then, using a zester or microplane, freshly zest one lemon into the bowl.
Juice the same lemon used to zest, and add it to the bowl.
Add in some salt and pepper for taste, then give it a little whisk.
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.
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.
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.
More Lebanese REcipes
- Classic Hummus with Toasted Pine Nuts
- Garlicky Greens with Caramelized Onions (Hindbeh)
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma
- Lebanese Hushwee Rice
- Roasted Garlic Hummus
Did you try this recipe and love it? The next time you make it, snap a picture and share it to your socials! Tag @thelemonbowl and #thelemonbowl so we can admire and share your meal.
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.
Shish Tawook Chicken
- 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.
Check out more Lebanese recipes on my Pinterest board!
I with the other responders. The color and the flavor make this both a fun and tasty dish. Good job.
Thank you so much Carol!
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!
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!
WOW! This lebanese chicken is calling my name! No, really, did you hear that? lol! Definitely am going to be making this asap, all the lebanese recipes I’ve made from you are so good!
haha I do hear it! MAKE ME! PHI! MAKE ME!
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!
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. :)
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!
Oh my gosh I hope he loves it!!!! Yay!! And yes, I ALWAYS make a double batch for the sandwich the next day!
The Hub and Kidzilla loved this. So easy and so good…I think this will end up a regular item on our rotation. Leftovers tonight!
Oh I’m so thrilled!! Thanks for reporting back!
I need something simple, healthy and tasty for dinner tonight. This is what I’m making! I’ll be sure to report back. :)
I can’t wait to hear what you think! We eat this at least once a week. :)
This looks amazing! I need to make it soon!
I can’t wait to try this! I love Lebanese food and this sounds like such a great weeknight meal. Pinning for later!
Let me know what you think!!
Add lemon to almost anything and I will be happy! This sounds amazing and I totally share your love of lemon!
That is the absolute truth. Thank you Sophia!!
The first sentence of this post is why you are the COOLEST person ever!!!
Aww I heart you!!!
Yay I knew you’d like this one!
Uh YUM! I’m coming over for dinner like, SOON!!! xo
Will you bring me some olive oil gelato for dessert? :)
Love how simple this is and full of flavor!
Simple is the name of the game!
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!
Yes this is always my backup plan too – I always have the ingredients on hand!
This looks awesome!!
See, I don’t just make smoothies!
Well da. You make chicken and smoothies. Now if you post something like a chilled mint cucumber soup my mind would REALLY be blown.
So simple yet so delicious and healthy! I will marinade it overnight to get maximum flavor, thanks!
Let me know what you think Caroline!!
I love the flavor in this dish. My husband will absolutely adore it. I need to make it for him ASAP.
It is one of my husband’s favorites!
I had no idea lemon tenderized meat! The more you know… ;)
Anywho, this chicken? Yeahhhh, I need it in my life like yesterday.
Yes girl!!! I’ll swap you marinade tricks for baking tips – haha.
My kind of food, this sounds wonderful.
You would love this Kalyn!! Low carb and SO tasty. xo
Ohhh this looks like the perfect dinner dish for tonight!
Let me know what you think Renee!!