These delicious Shawarma-Spiced Baked Chicken Wings are marinated in a shawarma-inspired spice mix before being oven-baked and served with a lemon tzatziki dipping sauce.
Background on Shawarma Seasoning
Traditional Shawarma refers to a Middle Eastern dish consisting of thinly sliced meat that is slow-roasted to tasty perfection. It is one of the most popular street foods in the world!
The spice blend used can vary based on region, but the spices typically found in Shawarma include coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric and paprika.
How Shawarma is served also greatly varies depending on the region and the dish- usually it is served with grilled veggies, tahini or pickled vegetables!
My take on these Shawarma-Spiced Baked Chicken Wings is an ode to my love for the flavors of Shawarma. Although it is not a traditional application, I bet it will make you want to stop next time you see a food truck selling Shawarma!
Purchasing the Chicken Wings
For this recipe, I used 1.5 lbs of chicken wings. If you are going to be increasing or decreasing (I easily could eat 1.5 lbs of these wings to myself… just saying!) then be sure to adjust the marinade recipe as needed.
When you buy chicken wings at the store, they may not come separated. This means that the drumstick and the wingette will be attached and you will have to separate them yourself. To do this, you’ll want to pat the chicken dry with a paper towel and using a very sharp knife, find the joint that separates the drumstick from the wingette. Cut through the joint and then separate the small wing tip from the wingette. You should be left with the drumstick and the wingette ready to be marinated!
How to Make the Marinade
The Shawarma-inspired marinade that I am using in this recipe is savory, earthy and filled with spice- but it is not very “hot”.
I included coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, salt, black pepper, cinnamon and a bit of cayenne pepper. If you want the chicken wings to be spicier, you should add another ½ tsp of cayenne!
Once the spices have been added to a large bowl, add the juice of 1 lemon and ½ cup of olive or avocado oil. Whisk the marinade together well, and add the chicken wings, stirring to coat. Allow the chicken wings to marinate for at least 30 minutes!
Instructions for Baking the Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Wings
Once the chicken wings have been marinating, remove from the fridge and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. I prefer to bake chicken wings on a wire rack so that there is air flow on all sides, therefore resulting in a crispier wing.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil, and using tongs, remove the chicken wings from the marinade. You will want to make sure excess marinade drips off of the wings before they are placed on the baking sheet, as it may burn in the oven if it is dripping onto the sheet.
Bake the chicken wings for 35-40 mins, or until crispy on the outside and cook through. If desired, turn the broiler on high and broil for 2-3 minutes to crisp the skin of the chicken even more. Just make sure to keep an eye on it, as they can definitely easily burn.
Making the Lemon Tzatziki Dipping Sauce
To make the dipping sauce for the Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Wings, combine all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and whisk together. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.
The Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Wings are best served fresh out of the oven and garnished with cilantro, red onion, tomato!
Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Wings
- 1.5 lbs chicken wings
For the Shawarma Marinade:
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil or avocado oil
- 1 lemon
For the Lemon Tzatziki Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 lemon
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried dill
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl, mixing to combine. Stir in the chicken wings to coat. Let marinate for 30 mins- a few hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or tin foil and set a metal baking rack on top of the baking sheet.
- Using tongs, lay the chicken wings on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the chicken wings are crispy and cooked through. Keep an eye to make sure extra marinade isn’t dripping onto the baking sheet during baking and burning.
- If desired, finish the wings off by turning the broiler on high for 2-3 minutes (keep an eye on them!) to get the skin crispier.
- To make the dipping sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. Add salt and pepper to taste.