Save time and money, and add incredible flavor to all your favorite meals with this Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend!
If there’s one thing you can count on in Middle Eastern cooking, it’s an abundance of warm, flavorful herbs and spices. From Middle Eastern Chicken to Middle Eastern Beef Chili, and every recipe in between nothing is short on flavor. Most commonly, you’ll find recipes calling for a shawarma spice blend.
While you can find pre-made varieties in the ethnic section of some local grocery stores, we’ve found it’s much easier and cost-effective to just make our own. Naturally, we knew we had to share it with you!
We’ve tried and tested this homemade shawarma spice more times than we can count, adjusting the ratios until it’s perfect for all your recipe needs. Even better, you can whip it up in minutes and keep it on hand for easy cooking!
What Is Shawarma?
Shawarma is a popular street food that can be found throughout the Middle East and is particularly prevalent in Egypt. Served in a variety of ways, it can be made with chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey. You can even find shawarma spiced cauliflower!
No matter the main ingredient, the protein used in shawarma recipes is typically slow-roasted on a spit and seasoned with a shawarma spice blend. Once it is fully cooked, tender, and juicy, it is sliced into thin strips. Then, it’s served on a plate with tabbouleh, hummus, and other fixings or stuffed in pita bread for a shawarma sandwich.
What’s In a DIY Shawarma Spice Blend?
Chances are, you already have everything you need to make your own DIY shawarma seasoning. However, if not, the ingredients needed are affordable and easy to find at your local grocery store. Plus, when you have everything stocked, you can easily make a batch of this homemade shawarma spice blend when you run out! Here’s what you need:
- Ground Cumin – This distinct spice has a notable warm flavor with hints of lemon and peppery undertones.
- Ground Coriander – Made from ground cilantro seeds, coriander is warm, spicy, and slightly sweet.
- Garlic Powder – Everything tastes better with garlic! Its savory flavor provides the perfect complement to the rest of the ingredients.
- Paprika – Use regular paprika for a hint of spice. Or, opt for smoked paprika for a richer taste.
- Onion Powder – Not found in your typical pre-made shawarma spice blend, onion powder adds an extra kick and just a hint of sweetness.
- Turmeric – A staple in Middle Eastern cooking, this bright spice adds a slightly bitter, earthy taste.
- Cinnamon – Used for a hint of sweetness to balance out the savory spice.
- Ground Cardamom – The least common ingredient on the list, the flavor is slightly minty with a peppery kick.
- Cayenne Pepper – Use as little or as much as you’d like to pack a bit of heat.
- Allspice – Included for extra warmth.
How to Make Shawarma Seasoning
If you’ve got a few minutes, you can whip up this DIY shawarma seasoning. Seriously, it takes 5 minutes tops and is the perfect addition to meat, veggies, and bread.
- Combine. Add all the spices to a medium bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Store. Transfer the shawarma seasoning to an airtight container or jar, and keep it stored in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Ensure your seasoning blend stays fresh by labeling your container and marking the date the seasoning was made.
*Pro-Tip: Transform the shawarma seasoning blend into a marinade by mixing it with olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk it all together, and rub it over your favorite meat. Let it soak for at least 2 hours or up to overnight, and enjoy super flavorful protein!
Ways to Use This Easy Shawarma Spice Blend
There’s not much this homemade shawarma seasoning doesn’t pair well with! If a recipe calls for a seasoning, chances are shawarma spice will work. Some of our favorite shawarma recipes include our Air Fryer Chicken Shawarma Wrap and our easy Shawarma Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner.
However, it also tastes great sprinkled over popcorn or roasted chickpeas, added to grains like rice or bulgur pilaf, and mixed into pita bread dough. Or, use it as a spice rub on whole roasted chicken and sprinkled over roasted veggies.
More DIY Recipes
If you enjoy this Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend Seasoning, you won’t want to miss out on more of our DIY recipes below.
Homemade Shawarma Spice Blend Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon coriander
- 1 Tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- Optional: 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Add all the spics to a medium bowl.
- Whisk to combine, and transfer the mixture to a sealable jar.
- Store at room temperature for up to 6 months.