A Spicy Perspective

Best Beef Shawarma Recipe

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Authentic Beef Shawarma – This easy recipe shows you how to turn tender flank steak and wholesome ingredients into irresistibly bold, spicy, and delicious homemade shawarma wraps.

Close view flatbread naan beef shawarma wrap topped with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and tzatziki sauce.

Why We Love this Recipe

Who doesn’t love a hearty handheld meal? We have an awesome Chicken Shawarma recipe on the site and thought we would offer a beef variation as well.

These amazing Beef Shawarma wraps are popular street food, like the Middle East’s version of burritos, tacos, or sandwiches. They include heavily spiced marinated meat, served on pita bread, or various forms of flatbread, and then topped with fresh tomato and cucumber salad, and often tzatziki sauce, or another yogurt-based sauce.

Shawarma vs Gyro: What’s the Difference?

Shawarma looks similar to Greek gyros, but there are some distinct differences. Gyros consist of a ground spiced meat that is cooked and then shaved thin. Shawarma consist of full pieces of meat that are rubbed or marinated with a heavier spice mixture, so the rub surrounds the protein on all sides.

Both are delicious, and we also have recipes for Lamb Gyros, but if you want a dish that really packs a punch in the flavor department, go with this shawarma!

Top down slices of beef shawarma on a serving platter.

Ingredients You Need

For the Shawarma Beef Marinade:

  • Beef flank steak – look for a cut of beef that is lean with little fat
  • Shawarma Spices – ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, salt, turmeric, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and ground cinnamon
  • Olive oil – or other preferred oil like avocado or canola oil
  • Lemon – zested and juiced (or vinegar)

For the Shawarma Wraps:

  • Flatbread – or naan
  • Tomatoes – chopped
  • Cucumbers – chopped
  • Red onion – chopped
  • Parsley – or mint leaves, chopped
  • Tzatziki sauce – store-bought or homemade
  • Lemon wedges – optional, to garnish
Side view platter with strips of steak shawarma.

How to Make Beef Shawarma

Set the flank steak out on a large cutting board. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the beef and use a meat mallet to pound and tenderize the steak, until it’s an even ¾ to 1 inch thick.

Large piece of flank steak with plastic wrap, pounded thin with a mallet.

Then slice the steak into four pieces. This helps the seasoning penetrate into the beef better, and makes it easier to handle while cooking.

Large piece of flank steak cut into 4 quarters, on a cutting board.

Set out a baking dish, large enough to hold the steak, and a small bowl to blend the shawarma spice mix. Combine all the spices for the dry rub in the bowl and mix well.

Bowl with blend of spices and metal spoon.

Then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the beef pieces turning them so the spices coat the beef on all sides, even the edges.

4 sections of flank steak in a baking dish, coated in shawarma spices.

Then, in the small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix well and pour over the top of the Shawarma Beef. Turn the beef again to make sure the oil and lemon juice are exposed to all sides.

Cover the baking dish and marinate for at least two hours. Place in the refrigerator to keep cold.

Marinade added to the baking dish with 4 pieces of spiced beef.

Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and parsley. Place them all in a mixing bowl and toss. Cover and refrigerate.

Then make the tzatziki sauce and cut lemon wedges for serving.

Get the Complete (Printable) Best Beef Shawarma Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

When the steak is well marinated, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 400°F. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest for five minutes, then sliced it into thin strips, against the grain.

Top down slices of beef on a serving platter for shawarma or gyro.

Assembling Tips

To serve, place several beef strips on a piece of warm flatbread.

Flatbread on plate with slices of beef.

Top with the cucumber salad.

Beef shawarma on naan, topped with chopped cucumbers and tomatoes.

Add a dollop of tzatziki sauce, and serve with a lemon wedge on the side.

Alternatively, you can serve it with dairy-free tahini sauce or hummus for a more savory and slightly sweet flavor.

Close view flatbread naan beef shawarma wrap topped with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and tzatziki sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does beef shawarma taste like?

The steak is seasoned with a vibrant combination of cayenne pepper and lots of deep, bold spices like turmeric and cumin. Shawarma with beef is quite spicy (vs gyro meat), and the fresh veggies and tzatziki sauce balance out the heat.

What is shawarma served with?

Traditionally these Middle Eastern wraps are served with rice or fries on the side. We suggest pairing this steak shawarma recipe with Falafel, Lebanese Rice or Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and fresh hot Harissa French Fries.

How long do leftovers last?

Grilled beef will keep well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

The meat also freezes well! Transfer to a plastic zipper bag, and squeeze out all of the excess air. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Close view hand holding flatbread naan beef shawarma wrap topped with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and tzatziki sauce.

Looking for More Delicious Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:

The Best Beef Shawarma Recipe + VIDEO

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinate Time: 2 hours
This easy recipe shows you how to turn tender flank steak and wholesome ingredients into irresistibly bold, spicy, and delicious homemade beef shawarma wraps.
Servings: 12 wraps (6 servings)

Ingredients

For the Shawarma Beef –

For the Shawarma Wrap –

  • 12 flatbread or naan buy the small 6-inch pieces
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped cucumbers
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or mint leaves
  • 1 cup tzatziki sauce
  • Lemon wedges optional

Instructions

  • Set the flank steak out on a large cutting board. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the top of the beef and use a meat mallet to pound and tenderize the steak, until it’s an even ¾ to 1 inch thick. Then slice the steak into four pieces. (This helps the seasoning penetrate into the beef better, and makes it easier to handle while cooking.)
  • Set out a baking dish, large enough to hold the steak, and a small bowl to mix the dry rub. Combine all the spices in the bowl and mix well. Then sprinkle the mixture over the top of the beef pieces turning them so the spices coat the beef on all sides, even the edges.
  • Then, in the small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Mix well and pour over the top of the Shawarma beef. Turn the beef again to make sure the oil and lemon juice are exposed to all sides. Cover the baking dish and marinate for at least two hours. Place in the refrigerator to keep cold.
  • Meanwhile, chop the tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, and parsley. Place them all in a mixing bowl and toss. Cover and refrigerate.
  • Then make the tzatziki sauce and cut lemon wedges for serving.
  • When the steak is well marinated, preheat the grill to medium-high heat, about 400°F. Grill the steak for 4-5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Allow the steak to rest for five minutes, then sliced into thin strips, against the grain.
  • To serve, place several beef strips on a piece of flatbread. Top with the cucumber salad and a dollop of tzatziki sauce. Served as a lemon wedge.

Video

Notes

Shawarma can also be served with tahini sauce instead of tzatziki if you prefer a dairy-free option.
Grilled beef will keep well for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
The meat also freezes well! Transfer to a plastic zipper bag, and squeeze out all of the excess air. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 2wraps, Calories: 629kcal, Carbohydrates: 65g, Protein: 40g, Fat: 22g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 93mg, Sodium: 1657mg, Potassium: 628mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 550IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 164mg, Iron: 3mg
Course: Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Author: Sommer Collier

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