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Lamb and Pomegranate Shawarma

Cook Time
1 hr

Marinate Time
4 hrs

Total Time
5 hrs

For the easiest prep and biggest hit of flavor, slather the meat with tangy pomegranate-molasses marinade ahead of time; ditto for the tahini dressing. Then it’s quick to grill! Slice the lamb, mix it with mint, pomegranate seeds, and the dressing, and set it out with lettuce and warm pita breads.

Lamb and Pomegranate Shawarma

Iain Bagwell
 Pomegranate Marinade (recipe below)
 1 ½ lbs lamb chops* (loin, sirloin, or shoulder, 1⁄2 to 11⁄2 in. thick), fat trimmed
 1 medium red onion, sliced into 1⁄4-in.-thick rings
  cup pomegranate seeds
 ¼ cup mint leaves, torn
 4 pita breads, cut in half (briefly warm on grill if you like)
 3 cups roughly chopped lettuce
 Tahini Dressing (recipe below)
Pomegranate Marinade
 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 1 tbsp minced garlic
 1 tsp ground cumin
 1 tsp kosher salt
 ½ tsp freshly ground pepper
Tahini Dressing
 6 tbsp sesame tahini
 ¼ cup lemon juice
 ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tbsp water
 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
 2 tsp minced garlic
 ½ tsp kosher salt
  tsp cayenne
Pomegranate Marinade

In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, minced garlic, ground cumin, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.


Put marinade and lamb* in a resealable plastic bag, seal, and squish to mix. Chill at least 4 and up to 24 hours.


Heat a grill to high (450° to 550°). Grill lamb and onion rings, turning once, until onions are slightly softened and charred and lamb is medium-rare (cut to test), 7 to 13 minutes total. Transfer to a board and let rest 5 minutes. Roughly chop onions. Cut meat from bones and thinly slice.


In a bowl, combine lamb and any juices, onions, 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, and the mint. Set out a platter with lamb, pita, lettuce, tahini dressing, and the remaining pomegranate seeds for build-your-own sandwiches.

Tahini Dressing

In a bowl, whisk together sesame tahini, lemon juice, extra-virgin olive oil, water, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley, minced garlic, kosher salt, and cayenne.

*Lamb chops vary in size and tenderness, with loin being smaller and more tender but also more expensive.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size Per Sandwich with Marinade and Dressing

Amount Per Serving
Calories 1037Calories from Fat 655
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 74g114%

Saturated Fat 21g105%
Cholesterol 91mg31%
Total Carbohydrate 54g18%

Dietary Fiber 5g20%
Protein 39g78%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.