Flavorful grilled chicken shawarma drumsticks are going to become a summertime favorite! With the flavors of chicken shawarma that you know and love, you’ll be putting this recipe into regular rotation!
Why you’ll love it: The drumsticks are so flavorful and easy to make.
How long it takes: prep time 10 minutes, grill time 20 minutes, 30 minutes to 6 hours to marinate
Equipment you’ll need: small bowl, ziploc bag or large bowl, grill
Servings: 6 (2 drumsticks each)
We moved to the Grand Rapids area of Michigan about two years ago. It’s the place I called home for the majority of my life and we absolutely love it here. The food scene is great in Grand Rapids, with new restaurants popping up frequently and many restaurants where you’ll find a two hour wait because they’re so hot.
However, we came from the East side of the state, a more diverse area, full of fantastic ethnic food, Middle Eastern in particular. Ben grew up in Dearborn, Michigan and also worked there for four years. Dearborn has a very large Arab American population, so the food is authentic and so delicious.
Before I married Ben and moved to that area, I had little to no exposure to this type of food. Now, it’s my favorite. I crave fattoush like other people crave ice cream. Lebanese red lentil soup is what I desire when I have a sore throat, and losing the ability to keep hummus in the house when we found out about N’s allergy to sesame was a very sad day (although my tahini-free hummus helps satisfy the craving!). Not to mention delicious tahini sauce, which is most definitely a no-no these days.
Chicken shawarma, shish tawook, and chicken kofta are some of my favorite ways to enjoy chicken. Oh, and I love tabbouleh, cucumber tzatziki sauce, and fattoush! So many favorites these days from living there for 8 years.
I try to bring these flavors into my recipes frequently because I love them so much, and I know they’re popular with a lot of you, too! These grilled chicken shawarma drumsticks are perfect for summer grilling and they’re so easy to make with less than 30 minutes hands-on time.
About these drumsticks
The base of this flavorful marinade is lemon and olive oil, accentuated by the spices you’d expect in shawarma: Garlic, paprika, turmeric, pepper, cumin, coriander. If you like things on the spicy side, try adding a pinch of cayenne to the marinade.
Make It Your Own
- Cook them in an air fryer. Marinate as instructed and cook the chicken drumsticks in your air fryer instead of grilling them.
- Bake the drumsticks. You can make the marinated drumsticks into a sheet pan dinner. Take a look at this recipe, herb roasted chicken drumsticks, a sheet pan dinner that includes potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions.
- Use a different cut of chicken. Chicken thighs or boneless skinless chicken can be substituted. Grilling time may be slightly different.
Storage & Reheating Tips
- Refrigerate: Leftover chicken drumsticks can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Place cooled drumsticks into freezer-safe container or bag. They’ll keep for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheat: Individual portions can be reheated in the microwave at 50% power until warmed through. Don’t overheat them because they tend to get tough in the microwave. Larger amounts can be wrapped in foil and heated in a 350°F. for ten to fifteen minutes or until hot.
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this chicken drumstick recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #33. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne, optional
- 12 chicken drumsticks (4 to 5 pounds)
- fresh cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired for serving
- In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt, turmeric, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne.
- Add marinade to drumsticks (I use a zip-top bag but a bowl or baking dish would work as well). Let marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
- When ready to grill, heat grill to medium heat. Remove drumsticks from marinade, letting excess drip off. Place drumsticks on grill and cover grill. Grill for 18 to 20 minutes, turning once, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Serve immediately, garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges, if desired.
- Nutrition Information calculated with 1 tablespoon olive oil since most of the marinade is discarded.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.