These easy Musakhan Rolls are a playful spin on the famous Palestinian Musakhan. This easy Musakhan recipe starts with my go-to musakhan chicken spice blend and heaping piles of tangy sumac onions. These epic Musakhan rolls are weeknight-friendly, super easy, & so satisfying⏤You'll be obsessed!
My go-to Musakhan recipe, with a modern twist! It’s my go-to because it results in chicken that is juicy, rich in flavour, & perfectly browned-yet-tender, thanks to the fast-yet-flavorful middle eastern chicken marinade⏤absolute perfection! Plus, it only requires simple staple ingredients & it’s super quick & easy to throw together.
What are Musakhan rolls?
Musakhan Rolls as known as "sumac chicken rolls," are a modern take on the classic Palestinian Musakhan recipe. A heaping pile of tangy-sweet sumac onions and thinly sliced spiced chicken is rolled up in a thin bread & toasted to crispy, crunchy perfection.
It's a quick & more uncomplicated version compared to the traditional recipe, made with a thicker bead known as tandoor bread. The bread is soaked in chicken broth, then covered with sumac-flavoured onions, spiced chicken, and fried nuts.
Musakhan Rolls Recipe Overview
Most wrap recipes tend to be high-maintenance projects. Between prepping the protein & all the fillings that make wraps so satisfying, it’s easy to spend ages making dinner and cleaning up after. These Musakhan wraps may seem like a high-maintenance project, but I promise they're much less work than a burrito.
This Musakhan recipe consists of 3 main components…
- Chicken, of course! My go-to middle eastern chicken marinade is massively flavorful despite being really quick to throw together – whisk up a simple marinade for chicken & bake until golden & tender. Simple!
- Sumac onions. Simply chop up some red onions and saute until tender. Toss in the sumac for that classic crave-worthy lemony tartiness.
- Wrap it all up. Assemble the wraps with Saj bread and lightly toast for that perfect crunchy bite! Convenient, easy, & flavorful weekly staple for your family!
How to make :
Prep a quick chicken marinade. Mix up the marinade with spices, (7 spice, cardamon, safflower, & cinnamon) garlic, lemon, and olive oil. The spices & garlic create a big punch of Middle Eastern flavour, and the lemon juice brightens & tenderizes.
Bake the chicken. Place the marinated chicken breast on a baking sheet, then bake for 18-20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the chicken cool enough to handle. Shred the chicken, then place it back onto the baking pan & let the chicken soak up all the juices.
Chop & season the onions. While the chicken is baking, start the onions. Heat pan, add olive oil and the onions cook until soft. Add the sumac and cumin. Once the chicken is ready add the chicken and fried almonds.
Now, you’re ready for Musakhan assembly⏤the whole cooking process takes 30 minutes, tops!
HOW TO ASSEMBLE:
- Load on the toppings. Place a heaping spoonful of the chicken onion on the lower edge of the Saj bread. Be sure to spread the toppings out across the base ingredients rather than simply spooning them into the middle.
- Tuck & roll. Pull the lower side of the bread up, then roll the edge nearest to you over the musakhan fillings. It’s helpful at the beginning of rolling to make sure the edge of the bread is tucked tightly over the filling as you roll it up. This maneuver can be tricky – just take your time & have fun with it!
- Base & Bake. Lightly brush the baking pan with oil. Place the musakhan rolls on the baking dish and brush the tops with oil. Alternatively, you can skip oiling the bread if you're using a panini press.
What is the best bread for Musakhan rolls?
The best bread for this recipe is Saj/Marouk bread. It's paper-thin and crisps up beautifully for this recipe. You can find this style of bread at most middle eastern stores; however, I know not everyone has the luxury of having a local Middle Eastern store in their neighbourhood.
Here are the best substitute bread products for this recipe:
- Pita bread
- Tortilla (my least favourite for this recipe)
- Egg roll & spring roll wraps
Avoid phyllo dough for this recipe; it's too dry, and the texture isn't the best for this recipe.
Recipe tips and tricks
Meal prep tips! Get a head start on your Musakhan by doing a little prep ahead of time. You can…
- Slice the onions up to 3 days in advance.
- Prep the marinade ahead of time to make dinnertime even more effortless. Mix up the marinade & store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. At dinnertime, simply give it a shake & pour it over the chicken 30 minutes before baking. Easy-peezy!
- Use a store-bought roastery chicken for quick & easy assembly.
- If you want to use egg roll wraps, you'll need to seal the wraps with a flour paste and fry them for the best results.
- For this recipe don't use thick bread like naan or Greek pita bread.
- When using the baking method you must brush the rolls lightly with oil.
- Roll the bread tightly around the filling so it doesn't fall out.
Check the Recipe Notes, below, for full meal prep guidance!
More recipes with sumac
- Sumac Chicken Fatteh
- Sauteed Chard with Onions & Sumac
- Middle Eastern Roasted Chicken
- Winter Grain Bowl
- 3 Saj bread cut in half
- 4 chicken breast
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon 7 spice
- ½ tsp cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cloves ground
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg ground
- ½ teaspoon American saffron (safflower)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 lemon juiced
- 4 garlic cloves mashed into a paste
- 4 large onions chopped or sliced
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup sumac
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ cup almond slivers
- In a large bowl, add all of the marinade ingredients. Mix well. Add the chicken breast, & make sure all of the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover & chill the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Remove the chicken from the fridge and place it on a baking pan.
- Bake the chicken for 18-20 minutes or until the temperature reaches 160ºF.
- Let the chicken cool enough to handle, then shred all of the chicken breasts and place all of the shredded breasts back onto the baking pan. Mix the pan juice into the shredded chicken. Set aside until onions are finished cooking.
Sumac Onion Preparation
- Heat a large skillet pan on medium-high. Then add the olive oil & almonds. Toast the almonds until lightly golden. It's important to remove the almond before becoming brown, as they will continue cooking from residual heat. Once the almonds have been removed, add the onions and saute until soft and transulant.
- When the onions are softened, add the sumac & cumin. Cook for 5 more minutes, then remove from heat. Add in the chicken & almonds, then mix everything.
Assembling the Musakhan Rolls
- If using the Saj bread: Cut down the middle so you have 2 folded halves.
- Place 3-4 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on the edge of the bread, tuck in the filling, and roll. Place the seam side down once finished rolling. Do this until your mixture is all rolled up.
- Make sure the edge of the bread is tucked tightly over the filling as you roll it up. You don't want the filling to fall out.
- Preheat your oven to 350 ℉ (180 ℃). Grease the baking pan with olive oil and line up your rolls. Brush with olive oil. Bake until the tops are golden (about 15 to 20 minutes). Garnish with more sumac.
- Preheat your panini press. Close the press until the tops are golden (about 5 minutes). Garnish with more sumac. (no need for oil)
- Storage & Reheating: Store leftover musakhan rolls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat in the microwave until warmed through.
- 10-15 Minute Meal Prep: Nearly all of the active prep work comes from prepping the chicken & onions. Prep them in advance to cut down on active prep required at dinnertime – it takes 10-15 minutes, tops! The filling can be stored 3 days in advance.
- Prepare The Chicken Marinade according to Step 1 of the Recipe Directions, above. Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The day you’d like to make musakhan, all you have to do is toss the chicken into the marinade – so easy! Marinate in the refrigerator (covered) for up 12 to hours. (5 minutes active prep) or for at least 10-15 minutes at room temperature.
- For a Speedy Version: Skip marinading & cooking the chicken, use a roastery chicken instead. Remove all the chicken from the bones, then add it to the cooked sumac spiced onions. A 30-minute musakhan meal on your table!