Shawarma is a delightful Middle Eastern dish that took root in the Ottoman Empire.
Originally made from lamb or mutton, the dish may also consist of beef, turkey, chicken, and veal.
It’s a tasty and versatile street dish you can enjoy as a snack.
You can also serve it as a main dish, but you will need some side dishes to go along with it.
If you love Shawarma and are wondering what to serve with Shawarma, don’t go anywhere.
We will describe the best items to serve with Shawarma below.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Shawarma?
Shawarma is a favorite street food worldwide because it tastes so good.
Hence, many people serve it at BBQs, picnics, and other events.
But it isn’t such a heavy meal and can’t keep you full for a long time.
So, you must include a few side dishes to have a full meal.
The side dishes will be even more worthwhile if you have many guests to serve at the event you’re hosting.
So, check out these yummy dishes below.
What to Serve with Shawarma? 10 BEST Side Dishes
You can serve multiple items with Shawarma, but here we will mention only the ten best.
1. Halloumi Fries
Shawarma and halloumi fries must be one of the best pairings because they taste excellent.
Halloumi is a semi-hard cheese traditionally made from cow, goat, or sheep milk.
It’s a popular cheese for grilling and frying as it holds shape even when cooked in high heat.
Hence, making halloumi fries isn’t a difficult task.
You must use the right ingredients, and your fries will be perfect.
Add a little za’atar to the flour mixture to get that Mediterranean flavor.
Make a spicy yogurt dip to go along with the fries for that ideal meal.
2. Spinach Salad
Shawarma also goes hand in hand with veggie salads.
The fresh dishes sweep away the meat’s richness and refresh your palate.
Spinach salad is one of the varieties you can add to the menu.
There isn’t any cooking involved, and the salad is pretty simple to make.
When you add a creamy balsamic dressing, it will make the salad even tastier.
You can add toasted walnuts, red onion, and cucumber for crunchiness and goat cheese and avocado for the creamy texture.
Top it up with raisins for a sweet taste.
Spinach has the slight bitterness of beet greens, so that the raisins will tone down that taste.
3. Chickpea Salad
Chickpea salad is also a popular dish in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine.
Hence, you won’t get it wrong when you serve it alongside Shawarma.
The salad is one of the tastiest and has several flavors and a crunchy feel.
You can make the salad with canned chickpeas rinsed and drained or dried chickpeas that are soaked and cooked.
Add onion, cucumber, and bell pepper for the crunch and feta for the salty taste.
Drizzle the salad with a lemon-parsley vinaigrette for that perfectly fresh and tasty salad.
If you’re looking for a slight kick, add chopped green peppers but go easy on them.
4. Tahini Sauce
Tahini is a popular dish used as dip or sauce in many places, including Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, South Caucasus, and Levant cuisines.
It’s a versatile sauce made of sesame seeds, and you can serve it alongside Shawarma and many other foods.
Tahini is also a main ingredient in hummus and baba ganoush.
Though tahini is excellent in taste, it doesn’t require many ingredients.
You will need sesame seeds, olive oil, and salt.
But salt is also optional; you can add it only if you want.
If you can’t find sesame seeds, readymade tahini is available in most places.
5. Rice Pilaf
Rice pilaf will be a suitable side dish if you plan to serve Shawarma at dinner.
It’s hearty, and you can satisfy your hunger, and the food will keep you full for a long time.
Rice pilaf has many variants, so you can choose to make your favorite.
If you don’t want to overdo it with meat, make the pilaf only with veggies, herbs, and chicken stock.
It will still taste good, as always.
Carrots, parsnips, onions, parsley, and celery are ideal for making a healthy and delicious pilaf.
Basmati is considered the best rice for pilaf.
But you can also make it with brown rice as it’s more nutritious and contains iron, calcium, and other nutrients.
The list will be incomplete without adding mujaddara, a dish with rice, lentils, and onions.
It’s hearty, tasty, and works nicely with Shawarma.
Mujaddara is a Middle Eastern dish but has recently gained plenty of attention.
Paired with Shawarma, you’ll have a complete meal and diverse flavors without any dish overpowering the other.
Add some fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley to give it a more colorful look.
You may use basmati rice as it has a nutty aroma and a fluffy texture and is also gluten-free.
7. Pita Bread
Shawarma and pita bread? Yes, please.
These two combine very well, and trust us, you’ll want more.
If you serve the bread with Shawarma, you’ll also notice your guests enjoying their food even more.
Pita bread is also part of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine and is a regional staple.
It’s a flatbread, and different types of bread may come under it.
Though made with only flour, water, salt, and yeast, pita is delicious and versatile.
You can consume the bread with many items, including soup, salad, stir-fries, porridge, dips, and sauces.
It’s easy to make pita bread, but if you don’t have much time, you can buy freshly-baked pita from a place that sells it.
8. Grilled Vegetables
Anything roasted or grilled tastes yummy and goes with almost anything.
Serve some grilled vegetables alongside Shawarma.
They will pair exceptionally well and balance the menu.
You can make grilled veggies with various items, which will taste incredible.
Vegetables are available all year round, so that you will find plenty at the grocery store.
Zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, asparagus, mushrooms, onion, parsley, and garlic, along with salt, pepper, and olive oil, will suffice.
Drizzle balsamic vinegar, and your veggies will be yummy.
You can add red chili flakes or chile powder if you want some heat.
9. Pickled Red Cabbage
A bright and colorful food is pleasing to the eye, and that’s what pickled red cabbage is.
It’s a tangy dish you can serve with Shawarma; together, they’ll taste fantastic.
Picked red cabbage may sound like a complex dish and challenging to make, but it’s not.
You make it as other pickles, but you must use the right ingredients for the best results.
Along with red cabbage, you will need red wine, cider vinegar, sea salt, granulated sugar, bay leaves, yellow mustard seed, and black peppercorn.
When purchasing red cabbage, pick those that have a deep maroonish-purple color.
Falafel is made from ground chickpeas or broad beans but may contain both ingredients.
It’s also part of Middle Eastern cuisine and is sold at street food stalls.
But you can also find it in restaurants, and most households cook it regularly.
Falafel is shaped like a ball or patty and deep fried.
It’s often served with Shawarma and other items.
Falafel may contain cayenne pepper, cumin, coriander powder, chili powder, garlic, parsley, dill, and cilantro.
So, it may taste different from one place to another.
The chickpea-bean balls are utterly delicious, but they’re also easy to make.
So, make some and serve alongside the Shawarma and enjoy.
With ten dishes to help you, serving Shawarma shouldn’t be a problem.
Select from the ten what to serve depending on the number of guests, occasion, and availability of ingredients.
You can also try other dishes, such as.
- Lamb kofta.
- Marinated feta.
- Roasted Greek lemon potatoes.
- Corn on the cob.
- Tabouli salad.