These 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!

Several grilled chicken drumsticks, garnished with cilantro and lemon wedges, on rectangular black serving plate.

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. I’m incredibly spoiled and nothing in Grand Rapids holds a candle to the food in Dearborn.

Front view of drumsticks on black serving plate.

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 crave 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 and cucumber tzatziki sauce! So many favorites these days from living there for 8 years.

Closeup front view of chicken drumsticks on black serving platter.

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.

Several chicken drumsticks on black rectangular serving platter.

About these grilled chicken shawarma drumsticks:

Drumsticks are inexpensive, kids love them, and they’re perfect for a busy summer night. Serve them with roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables, rice, salad…basically anything at all. If you don’t feel like grilling, Herb Roasted Chicken Drumsticks & Potatoes is a sheet pan dinner that bakes in the oven.  Or try easy chicken drumsticks in your air fryer for crisp juicy results every time.

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 some cayenne to the marinade.

Overhead of drumsticks on platter, with gray and white plaid cloth, half a lemon and bunch of cilantro in background.

Front view of chicken drumsticks on black serving platter, garnished with lemon wedges and cilantro.

Grilled Chicken Shawarma Drumsticks

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

These 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!


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon, juiced)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, optional
  • 12 chicken drumsticks (4-5 lbs)
  • Cilantro and lemon if desired for serving


  1. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, paprika, salt, turmeric, pepper, cumin, coriander, and cayenne.
  2. Add marinade to drumsticks (I use a zip-top bag but a bowl or baking dish would work as well). Let marinade for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours.
  3. 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 18-20 minutes, turning once, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Serve immediately.


  • Nutrition Information calculated with 1 tablespoon olive oil since most of the marinade is discarded.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 drumsticks
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 433Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 231mgSodium: 533mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 44g sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

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Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Grilled Chicken Shawarma