Beef Shawarma Recipe

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This tender, marinated meat is bursting with warm spices and can quickly be cooked on the stovetop. Make this recipe at home to create the most delicious restaurant-style beef shawarma. With this Beef Shawarma Recipe, you can make an easy beef shawarma sandwich, bowl, or wrap with my homemade Shawarma Bread

Beef shawarma on a platter.

I am so excited to share this recipe today: My favorite Beef Shawarma Recipe! Shawarma is a classic, and this is the best beef shawarma recipe, hands down! My homemade shawarma seasoning is specially crafted for maximum flavor.

The best part? It is easy to make at home. I used to make shawarma all the time, but I stopped for a while. Now that I have made this delicious beef shawarma again, I wonder why I ever stopped. This recipe is amazing!

Beef shawarma is a popular street food, especially in the Middle East. If you’ve never had beef shawarma, you’ve been missing out! Authentic shawarma is marinated (usually chicken or beef) in oil, delicious beef shawarma spices, citrus juice, and then slow-cooked on a vertical rotisserie.

But don’t worry; you don’t need any special equipment to make Lebanese-style beef shawarma at home. You can make your own variation using a skillet with the help of this recipe. And If you love working with sirloin steak, I have some other recipes you can try, too: Cameroonian Soya, Easy Beef Stir Fry, or you can even use top sirloin steak in my Steak Fried Rice recipe.

Freshly made beef shawarma wrap.

Easy Beef Shawarma Recipe

As mentioned, the traditional Middle Eastern street food is made on a vertical rotisserie. Of course, not everyone has the resources or time to make it like that at home! This is when a large skillet can come in handy.

Beef shawarma is surprisingly really easy to make this way. The key is to use a marinade with plenty of beef shawarma spices and to take your time with the marinating process.

However, if you’re short on time, tender shawarma can be made in as little as two and a half hours. I don’t suggest marinating it for less than 2 hours because, at that point, you would be sacrificing quality. But with this recipe, you can start marinating the meat around lunchtime and have it ready to cook for dinner!

Then, when the time comes, finish it off in the skillet. It only takes 15 minutes to complete after marinating.

Ingredients Needed For This Beef Shawarma Recipe

Ingredients for making beef shawarma.
  • Sliced Onions: The sharp flavor of raw onions adds flavor depth to the marinade and pairs well with the meat. Make sure to thinly slice them!
  • Lemon Juice: This ingredient is crucial, as it helps tenderize the beef for shawarma. It also adds a bright, zesty flavor.
  • Olive Oil: You will need some olive oil in the marinade and some to sauté the meat. Olive oil has a nice, rich flavor and a high smoke point, which is excellent for use on the stovetop.
  • Shawarma Seasoning Blend: You will need a variety of spices for the marinade, such as cumin, cayenne, turmeric, and paprika. However, there are others, too, so be sure to check out the recipe card for all of them.
  • Beef: For this beef recipe, I used top sirloin steak. Make sure to cut it against the grain and create similar-sized strips so they cook evenly.

If you want to make shawarma with tender beef, you can marinate it for up to 8 hours, which will help break down the meat and give it more flavor, resulting in homemade shawarma with an impressive texture and flavor!

Recipe Variations

When making this recipe, there are numerous ways you can mix it up. Here are some ideas:

  • Chicken Shawarma: Make your own chicken shawarma recipe by cutting chicken into strips. Use the same marinade and cook it the same way on the stovetop, or you can even grill it!
  • Lamb Shawarma: Use the marinade for lamb instead. Keep in mind that with different meats, the cooking time will not be the same! Nevertheless, the homemade marinade will taste incredible with lamb.
  • Beef Shawarma Recipe With Add-Ins: You can add a drizzle of tahini sauce to the skillet while you cook the meat or even toss vegetables into the pan to cook alongside the beef. I suggest you make the tahini sauce homemade! You can always drizzle more after cooking when you load it into pita bread or a bowl.

Substitutions 

  • Lime Juice: Swap the lemon juice with lime juice, and it will have the same effect of tenderizing the meat and adding flavor.
  • Beef Cut: I believe the best cut of beef is top sirloin steak. However, it’s more than okay to use different cuts of beef, like flank steak or ribeye steak.
  • Oil: If you don’t have olive oil, you can use another neutral oil like vegetable oil or canola oil.
  • Pepper: You can use white pepper as a replacement for black pepper if needed.
  • Garlic: Although I definitely suggest using fresh garlic in this beef shawarma recipe, dried garlic powder can work in a pinch.

How To Make This Homemade Beef Shawarma Recipe

Before you make beef shawarma, you’ll need to cut the beef strips and gather ingredients for the meat marinade as preparation.

  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Ensure the shawarma spice blend is evenly distributed.
Onions and marinade ingredients in bowl.

2. Add the beef. Toss the sliced beef with the marinade to coat it.

Marinating beef for beef shawarma in a bowl.

3. Cover and marinate the beef in the refrigerator.

4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef in a single layer.

Cooking marinated beef shawarma in a skillet.

5. Cook the beef until done- about 15 minutes.

Cooked beef in a cast iron pan.

6. Transfer the cooked beef to a plate and cover with foil until ready to serve.

7. Serve this beef shawarma recipe in shawarma wraps or shawarma bowls.

A flatbread topped with beef shawarma, veggies, and sauce.

Use a cast iron skillet or other large skillet to ensure there is enough room for the meat to cook evenly. You don’t want to crowd the pan, and cast iron also prevents it from sticking.

Expert Tips For The Best Beef Shawarma

  • Make ahead: You can cut the beef and place it in the marinade, then freeze it in a resealable freezer bag. Then, when you need a quick dinner, all you have to do is thaw it and cook it!
  • Make sure to continue flipping and tossing the meat while it cooks so that it doesn’t over brown on one side. This will promote even cooking and ensure it cooks in the suggested time.
  • Store leftover beef shawarma in a container with a fitted lid. This will keep it fresh!
  • Serve the meat as shawarma sandwiches or shawarma wraps, or use it in extra healthy recipes like a shawarma bowl with cucumber, tomatoes, pickled onions, sauce, and other assorted ingredients. You can also make a beef shawarma platter to impress your guests!
  • I suggest also making a sauce for beef shawarma. Make sure to make my delicious Shawarma Sauce to accompany it, which is a garlic sauce with mayo and Greek yogurt. Yum!
Beef shawarma wrap with veggies and sauce.

Shawarma Seasoning

My marinade has seasonings that are used in traditional shawarma recipes for a bold and bright flavor. For instance, it includes cumin, coriander, and turmeric, which add earthiness. For some warm spice, it also has cayenne and paprika, in addition to salt, pepper, and beef bouillon powder.

There are plenty of other seasonings you can use for beef shawarma, though. Some ideas include oregano, cardamom, sumac, allspice, or cloves. You can also find premade shawarma seasoning blends. However, I think it is better to make your own custom blend like this recipe since you can control exactly what it tastes like!

Serving

Serve this Beef Shawarma alongside the following:

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Close up image of beef shawarma wrap.

Beef Shawarma Recipe

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How to make Beef Shawarma on the stovetop with just the right balance of flavors. The perfect recipe to make for a dinner party. Just add some pita bread or flat bread, some dice vegetables and shawarma sauce.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients  

  • pounds top sirloin steak cut into strips, against the grain
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Marinade

  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper or ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon beef bouillon powder I use the Knorr Brand
  • ¼ medium onion thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

Instructions 

  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Add the beef and mix it with kitchen tongs, ensuring the marinade coats the beef. Cover and let it marinate for 2 hours in the fridge or up to 8 hours.
  • Heat the two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef in a single layer and cook tossing and turning until done. It takes about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the beef to a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Serve in shawarma wraps or shawarma bowls.

Notes

1. It is important to let the meat marinate so the lemon juice can tenderize it.
2. Substitute other cuts of beef like flank steak or ribeye steak.

Additional Info

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Tried this recipe?Mention @preciouscore or tag #PreciousCore!

About Precious

Welcome to my core! I am Precious Nkeih, the recipe developer and writer right here on my blog, Precious Core. My goal is to show you insanely delicious recipes you can replicate in your kitchen. And I love to tell stories too. Hope you find recipes here that will make cooking easier for you! Check me out on YouTube at YouTube.com/PreciousKitchen.


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