Chicken Shawarma Pizza is a Middle Eastern-inspired pizza that combines marinated spiced chicken shawarma topped with mozzarella cheese along with green olives, bell pepper, and red onion on a pizza crust, which is baked until golden and crisp. This pizza is eaten and served either with yogurt garlic sauce or ketchup.
Pizza is becoming one of the world's most popular and favorite foods among people which is found in most countries like the United States and other Asian countries. Originally from Italy, its widespread popularity has led to diverse variations across cultures. For instance, in the Middle East, there's a local version called Manakish. It's a flatbread made of dough and served with toppings like cheese, meat, or vegetarian options such as zaatar.
In Arab countries, one of the most adored street foods is shawarma, available in beef or chicken. During my time in Kuwait, I noticed an interesting culinary innovation – the introduction of shawarma on pizza menus. Traditionally served as a sandwich or with rice, transforming it into a pizza is a noteworthy innovation.
Fusing my love for both pizza and shawarma, I made my own chicken shawarma pizza by mixing Italian and Arabian cooking styles. It may not be traditional, but I promise it is the most delicious pizza I have ever made.
Here are the ingredients I need to make my delicious chicken shawarma pizza recipe:
To make the dough, the ingredients is basically the same when making any bread, arabic flatbread or other pizzas:
- White Flour
- Salt and Sugar
- Instant Yeast
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red Onion: I thinly sliced and sauteed for a few minutes to slightly caramelize the onion. I prefer to serve onion that is not raw since when baking, this will add sweetness and a pleasant texture to the pizza.
- Bell Pepper: I am using green bell pepper which will add vibrant color and add a mildly sweet taste to the pizza.
- Mozzarella Cheese: The cheese is a must in all pizza recipes since it will give a stretchy, gooey texture when baked.
- Green Olives: The olives are sliced which will give a slightly salty or tangy taste to the pizza.
- Pizza or tomato sauce: You can use either a prepared pizza sauce that is sold in the grocery or use a homemade tomato sauce & mix it with Italian seasoning herbs.
- Yogurt Garlic Sauce: The sauce will serve as a complement to the pizza, which you can either drizzle directly on it or serve as a side.
III. For Chicken Shawarma
- Spices: The spices I used for marinating the chicken shawarma include cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Chicken: I am using boneless chicken breast
- Yogurt: This will help tenderize the chicken and make it moist and juicy.
- Lemon: This will add a mild acidic flavor and help tenderize the chicken as well.
- Olive Oil: The oil will enhance the flavor of the chicken by adding richness and nutty flavor during marination.
Step by Step Instruction
I. Making the Dough
- The first thing to do is stir to mix yeast, brown sugar, and warm water in a glass.
- Next, I poured the yeast-water mixture into the bowl, where I add the flour and salt.
- First, I give it a quick stir using the wooden spoon, and then I use my hand to knead the flour.
- Add the olive oil and continue to knead till it turns into soft and fluffy dough. The olive oil is what makes the dough not rubbery.
- After that, I cover it with the plastic wrap and I leave it for 1 hour till grew in size. While waiting for the dough to grow, you can use that time to focus on baking the chicken and the pizza sauce.
II. Baking the Chicken
- The first thing to do is marinate the chicken breast with different spices, yogurt, lemon, and olive oil. And then I leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour in the refrigerator to help absorb the flavor
- Next, I transferred it into the baking tray with the foil below to prevent the chicken from sticking to it. After that, I transfer it into the oven and let it bake for 30 minutes at 200 C or 400 f.
- Once the chicken is baked, transfer it to the upper rack and then broil the chicken for up to 10 minutes to brown and crisp the meat.
- Once done, slice into smaller pieces. Set it aside
III. Assembling the Dough
- Once the dough grew in size, remove it and then divide into 2 pieces.
- Next, I use the rolling pin to make a round shape, it doesn't matter how many inch but for me it is between 10-12 inches width.
IV. Topping the Pizza
- By using the pizza dough, spread it first with the tomato sauce, followed by grated mozzarella cheese.
- Next, I added the chopped chicken, sliced green olives, partially sauteed onion, and then green bell pepper. Add a few drops of mozzarella cheese again above it.
- Transfer to the oven and let it bake for 15 minutes at 200 C.
- Lastly, either drizzle it with yogurt garlic sauce or serve on the side and you are done.
Notes: To know how to make the yogurt garlic sauce recipe, you can just click the link, which is discussed in the separate post.
- Chicken Shawarma Tacos- A Mexican inspired taco using Arabian spices which consists of chicken shawarma, red onion sumac, tomatoes, and lettuce drizzle with tahini sauce.
- Chicken Shawarma Rice- A shawarma rice recipe that consists of baked chicken, salad vegetables and yellow rice that is drizzled by garlic white sauce.
- You can use tahini sauce instead of yogurt garlic sauce
- You can substitute green olives with black olives
- Use other toppings like mushroom, tomatoes, or eggplant
- Instead of chicken, you can use other type of meat like lamb or beef.
- Use other type of Mediterranean cheeses like halloumi, feta or goat cheese instead of mozzarella cheese
Tips and Hints
- For convenient, you can use prepared pizza sauce and pizza dough that is sold in the grocery store.
- To have stronger flavor, it is best to marinate the chicken overnight.
- You can use pita bread instead of pizza dough if you prefer purely Middle Eastern dish.
- Preheat your oven well and bake the pizza at a high temperature for a crisp crust and properly melted cheese. Keep an eye on it to prevent burning
- It is best to sauté or partially cook ingredients like onions, or bell peppers you're using as toppings since this will adds a better texture to the pizza.
Here are other delicious related recipes to try making at home:
📋 Recipe Card
Chicken Shawarma Pizza Recipe
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- ¾ to 1 cup of water
- 3 tablespoons of instant yeast
- 1.5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts adjust based on size and preference
- ½ teaspoon of cumin
- ½ teaspoon of coriander
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon of cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon of turmeric
- ½ teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons of plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Salt and black pepper
- 10 pieces of green olives sliced
- 2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup of sliced red onion sautéed
- ½ cup of sliced bell pepper
- ½ to 1 cup of pizza or tomato sauce
Making the Dough
- Start by mixing yeast, brown sugar, and warm water in a glass, stirring them together. Then, transfer this yeast-water mix into a bowl containing flour and salt.
- Initially, I blend the ingredients in the bowl with a quick stir using a wooden spoon. Afterward, I use my hands to knead the mixture until it forms a soft and airy dough. Adding olive oil during this process prevents the dough from becoming tough.
- Once the dough is ready, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for an hour to rise. During this time, you can focus on preparing the chicken and pizza sauce
Baking the Chicken
- Begin by marinating the chicken breast with a blend of spices, yogurt, lemon, and olive oil. Allow it to rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour for better flavor absorption.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) and prepare a baking tray lined with foil to prevent sticking. Place the marinated chicken onto the tray and bake it for approximately 30 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, move it to the upper rack of the oven and broil for an additional 5 to 10 minutes until the meat achieves a golden-brown crispiness.
- After baking and broiling, slice the chicken into smaller pieces and set it aside
Assembling the Dough
- After the dough has risen, take it out and divide it into two equal parts.
- Using a rolling pin, shape each portion into a round form, aiming for a width of approximately 10 to 12 inches
Topping the Pizza
- Start by spreading the pizza dough with a layer of tomato sauce, then sprinkle it generously with grated mozzarella cheese.
- Layer the chopped chicken, sliced green olives, partially sautéed onion, and green bell pepper on top. Add another sprinkle of mozzarella cheese over the toppings.
- Transfer the prepared pizza into the oven and bake it at 200°C (approximately 15 minutes).
- After baking, either drizzle the pizza with yogurt garlic sauce or serve it on the side for a delightful finishing touch.
- This recipe is good for 2 medium pizzas which can serve around 4 to 8 people, considering 2 to 4 servings per pizza.
- For better understanding of the instruction, you can look at the pictures under the step by step post.