This article was updated on the 11th of August 2023 for clarity and freshness.
If you’re wondering what to serve with your shawarma, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I list 45 of the most popular side dishes for shawarma.
In a rush? Here’s the short answer.
The best dishes to serve with shawarma are pita bread, mujaddara, tabbouleh salad, chickpea salad, and falafels. You can also serve marinated feta, lamb koftas, and roasted Greek lemon potatoes. For healthier options, try grilled veggie skewers, roasted broccolini, or pickled red cabbage.
Ready? Let’s jump right in.
Middle Eastern favorites
Planning on serving shawarma for a get-together? Go all in with the Middle Eastern theme and whip up these classic dishes. Tabbouleh is a good choice if you want to add a fresh, crisp bite.
Serving shawarma at your next barbecue? Stick to its Middle Eastern roots and grill some lamb koftas to offer variety.
Lamb koftas are made with a spiced meat mixture that has been formed into logs, patties, or balls. These logs are usually served on skewers, making them instant crowd-pleasers. And they only take 15 minutes to cook, so your guests can keep coming back for more.
Pro tip: follow Taming Twins’ lead and whip up a quick yogurt dip for your lamb koftas. You can also use the yogurt dip for your shawarma.
Falafels are excellent finger food that you can bring out alongside your shawarma wrap.
They’re crisp, fluffy treats made with chickpeas, spices, and fresh herbs. And have I mentioned they’re completely vegan? (Hey, vegan shawarma lovers!).
Falafels are traditionally deep-fried, but this recipe from Life Made Sweeter cooks them in an air-fryer instead. This method requires less oil, making the falafels healthier.
And the best part? These air fryer falafels are quick and easy to make – you can have them ready to serve in less than 20 minutes. And here are some more suggestions on what else you can have with falafel.
Tabbouleh is the epitome of fresh salads. It’s a Levantine classic that features bulgur wheat, tomatoes, cucumbers, and lots of parsley and mint. Then it’s all dressed with a vibrant lemon sauce.
It’s light and fresh and boasts a bright flavor that will provide a refreshing contrast to boldly-spiced shawarma.
Psst… tabbouleh is best enjoyed chilled, so prepare it ahead of time and allow it to cool in your fridge for at least 20 minutes.
Want to switch things up? Ditch the pita bread and serve your shawarma alongside mujaddara instead.
This is a classic Middle Eastern comfort food made with rice and lentils that have been seasoned with warm, flavorful spices and topped with fried onions. It’s fragrant, flavorful, and packed to the brim with fiber, protein, and vitamins.
Comforting and healthy — my favorite combination!
Psst.. make lots of crispy onions to go with your mujaddara for more crunch.
Dolmeh Felfel is the Persian version of stuffed peppers.
It’s a hearty dish featuring peppers stuffed with flavored rice and beef. They take some time to make because you have to simmer the stuffed peppers for about 45 to 60 minutes, but trust me – they’re worth the wait. The long cooking time ensures the flavors meld and develop better.
Serve them alongside your shawarma meat for an eye-catching dish worthy of an Instagram post.
Middle Eastern chickpea salad
Not a fan of chickpeas? Well, this chickpea salad may change your mind.
The key lies in tossing the chickpeas in a mix of cumin, allspice, and cardamom, then pan-frying them. They’ll transform into tasty little morsels that you won’t get enough of (I like saving some to have as a snack the next day).
Another game-changer for this salad is its zesty lemon dressing that brings a fresh, tangy bite to contrast the bold spices.
Marinated feta is the easiest side dish you can put together to go with your shawarma. This cheese is salty and tangy on its own, but soaking it in the marinade takes its flavor up a notch.
Recipe creator Nagi starts with a basic mixture of olive oil and herbs and then adds chili peppers. These bring a spicy kick that complements the creaminess of the feta, but you can leave them out if you’re not a fan of spicy food.
Shawarma meat is typically served in pita bread, but why not think outside of the box with other starchy sides? I love a creamy mash for a creamy bite. But you can also go the tangy route with roasted Greek lemon potatoes.
One of the most common ways to serve shawarma is with soft pita bread. You can either cut the pita bread open and create a pocket for your shawarma…
Or you can keep it simple by topping the pita and rolling it over itself.
While you can buy pita bread at grocery stores, homemade pita is unmatched. The texture and flavor is so much better. It’s also a breeze to make – you only need five ingredients, and most of them are likely already in your pantry.
After making this delicious homemade pita bread, you’ll never look at the store-bought stuff again.
Roasted Greek lemon potatoes
You’ve never had roasted potatoes quite like this. They don’t come out extra crispy because they’re soaked with a lemon-flavored broth, but their flavor more than makes up for this.
The spuds come out of the oven soft and fluffy with a punchy, lemon-herb flavor that’ll knock your socks off. Finish them off with a generous sprinkling of fresh herbs, and serve with your shawarma for a hearty meal.
Garlic buttered noodles
Butter noodles and shawarma aren’t a traditional combination, but I’m here to tell you they work like a dream. The warm, bold flavors of shawarma are just what you need with the rich, creamy goodness of the noodles.
Recipe creator Natasha keeps this traditional and uses classic egg noodles, but you can go with any pasta you like. I’ve made this with spaghetti, fettuccine, and bowtie pasta before and they all turned out nice.
Fries go well with absolutely anything – including shawarma, of course.
And you don’t even need to deal with deep-frying them. You can get ultra-crispy fries by baking them in the oven with this recipe. The trick is to soak the potatoes in hot water before baking them to ensure they crisp up nicely.
Plan ahead and prepare a double batch of these oven-baked french fries. They’re going to be popular (I know from experience).
For days when you want a crispy side dish that doesn’t involve potatoes, try these halloumi fries instead.
Halloumi is a Mediterranean cheese that doesn’t melt easily, so you can fry or bake it like you would regular fries.
Whether you bring them out as an appetizer or a side dish to go with your shawarma, these halloumi fries will be a massive hit among your guests.
Psst… don’t forget the dipping sauce for these halloumi fries. You can whip up a spicy mayo, but they also go great with your shawarma’s garlicky yogurt sauce.
Shawarma wraps can be a meal on their own, but you can never go wrong serving them alongside a veggie side for an added nourishing boost. Veggies also help make sure the meal doesn’t get too heavy.
Grilled veggie skewers
Since you’re already firing up your grill for your shawarma, go ahead and toss on a couple of veggie skewers for a delicious and healthy side dish.
Grilling releases the veggies’ natural sugars and adds a lovely smoky flavor that goes perfectly with your shawarma.
Vegetables that are best for grilling include:
- Bell peppers
Whip up a quick sauce to drizzle over your skewers (or use the garlic yogurt sauce you’ve made for your shawarma), and you’re good to go.
Pickled red cabbage
Take your shawarma to the next level with this pickled red cabbage.
It’s a simple and flavorful addition that brings an extra oomph to your main dish. Just imagine the sweet-tangy flavors melding with the warm spices of your shawarma — it’s heaven in a bite.
And another great thing about pickled red cabbage is that the bulk of the work lies in letting your cabbage mixture sit in your fridge and develop its flavors. So you can chill out and relax while you wait for your pickled red cabbage to be ready.
Roasted broccolini with tahini sauce
Looking for an easy warm veggie side dish to go with your shawarma? This roasted broccolini has your back.
This broccoli hybrid gets even sweeter under the high heat of the oven, and its ends also get lightly crisp, making each bite satisfying. But what elevates this simple side dish up a notch is the addition of the tahini sauce, which brings a creamy nutty twist that’ll have you coming back for more.
What To Serve With Shawarma (45 Ideas)
- 1 portion pita bread
- 1 portion tabbouleh
- 1 portion marinated feta
- 1 portion roasted Greek lemon potatoes
- 1 portion grilled veggie skewers
- 1 portion mujaddara … and more
- Prepare your shawarma according to your favorite recipe.
- In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
- Side dishes include: pita bread, mujaddara, homemade fries, middle eastern chickpea salad, falafel, grilled veggie skewers, marinated feta, pickled red cabbage, tabbouleh salad, lamb kofta, dolmeh felfel, roasted greek lemon potatoes, and halloumi fries.
- Serve immediately and enjoy.