Let me start by saying that I love chicken shawarma in all its forms, whether as a bowl, sandwich, or salad. This chicken shawarma bowl is no exception. The marinade for the chicken is nostalgic to the flavor of shawarma I enjoyed on many occasions in the Middle East. All the components of this dish come together to create the perfect bite of food. I can have this meal on repeat and always look forward to it. It is comparable if not better than what you will get in any Arab restaurant!
What’s great about this recipe is that it is so easy to put together and it is healthy! You will not feel guilt eating the entire bowl of this! You can also save yourself some time by marinating the chicken a day ahead which will yield an even more flavorful chicken. The yellow rice with pickled cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and garlic sauce work so well for the perfect chicken shawarma bowl. It is also super flexible, as you can mix and match fixings to your liking! I list several options below. This is your chicken shawarma plate; you can customize it. The star of this recipe is the chicken shawarma itself!
What is in the Chicken Shawarma Marinade?
Nowadays, you can buy shawarma seasoning in any Arab supermarket but I still prefer to mix my own. Here are the spices you will need: Seven Spice, Cumin, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Smoked Paprika, Chili Powder, Garlic Powder, Salt and Pepper.
To these seasonings, you will also be adding both olive oil and lemon juice to add moisture and more flavor. You can marinate your chicken the day before or just an hour in advance. You will be left with a very flavorful aromatic chicken that tastes like authentic chicken shawarma.
Chicken Shawarma Bowl Fixings:
This is what’s awesome about this bowl- you can customize it with whatever fixings you prefer. It is easy to mix and match based on what you have available at home! I’ll share with you the most popular options:
- Sauce– you need a sauce to tie all the components together, and my preferred sauce is always garlic when it comes to chicken shawarma. If it were beef shawarma, I would pair it with a tahini sauce, which would be more compatible. But yes, it must have a creamy garlic sauce, in my opinion. I share different versions of a garlic sauce in the recipe card, but you can always use pre-made garlic sauce known as toom or make your own.
- Rice- isn’t a must, but I think this carb choice ties the bowl together. If you want to make this low-carb or keto, you can skip out on the rice and go extra on the veggies. Another great carb would be a pita or a wrap. The chicken shawarma with the fixings is fantastic in a sandwich, pictured below, with a side of fries!
- Veggies– this bowl is on the healthier side as it incorporates a lot of veggies. To name a few: pickled cucumbers or even pickled turnips(this, to me, is a must)- you need a pickling acidic element to the bowl. Then, thinly red onions offer a sharpness to the bowl that I also find necessary! Tomatoes and lettuce are also great additions to the bowl. You can always make my Arabic salad, Tahini salad, or Fattoush salad as options too. You can even pair it with batata harra-a spicy potato side.
- Creamy hummus would be a great addition too that is protein-forward. If this chicken shawarma isnt for you, try my falafel recipe that goes fabulously with hummus.
How to make Chicken Shawarma Wraps?
Let’s say you were in the mood for a chicken shawarma wrap; this is how I would do it! Grab a piece of flour tortilla since that is readily available. But traditionally, shrak or markouk bread is used. Smear a large helping of Toum, a thick garlic creamy spread often sold in Arab restaurants, whole foods, and Trader Joe’s. On top of that, add the cooked chicken shawarma; the exact recipe you would be using to marinade the chicken shawarma for the bowl is perfect for this wrap too. Add slices of Arab pickled cucumbers and fries, then wrap and press the sandwich. I promise you-IT IS DELICIOUS!
The next time you are craving a plate of chicken shawarma; make this healthy chicken shawarma bowl! Save your money and make it at home where you know exactly what you are putting into your body!
Please leave a rating and review below if you do try my recipe. I also love to see your creations on my Instagram page, so feel free to share them!
Be sure to check out my Chicken Shawarma video below! For the best viewing experience, watch the video in full-screen mode!
Chicken Shawarma Bowl
Chicken Shawarma Marinade
- 2 lbs Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless, cut tino 1 inch cubes you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or a mixture of the two.
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 1.5 tsp Salt you can always add more salt if needed after cooking the chicken.
- 1/2 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp Cumin
- 1 tbsp Seven spice
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Tumeric
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Garlic powder
- 1/2 Lemon's juice
- 1/2 cup Toom (garlic sauce) you can buy this in whole foods or trader joes or from any Arab restaurant.
- 1 tsp Dried Mint
- 1/2 Lemon's juice
- Sprinkle of salt
- Water to thin it out
- 1 cup Jasmine rice soaked and rinsed
- 2 cups Vegetable Broth
- 1 tsp Turmeric
- 1 tsp Salt
Fixings to the bowl
- Lettuce. shredded
- Tomatoes, diced
- Arabic Pickled Cucumbers, diced this can be found in any Arab store
- Red onions, thinly sliced
- Batata Harra (spiced potatoes) optional
- Hummus optional
- Salads- Arabic salad, Tahini salad, or Fattoush salad (all on my website linked in the blog post)
- First, combine the ingredients for the chicken marinade and toss the chicken in this until evenly coated. Then, you should place it in the fridge to marinate for at least an hour or overnight.
- Take the chicken out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to come to room temperature.
- In the meantime, cook the rice. In a pot, combine the rice, turmeric, salt, and vegetable stock. Bring this to a boil then simmer, covered, for about 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- Also, prepare the garlic sauce by combining the prepared garlic sauce, lemon juice, salt, dried mint, and enough water to slightly thin it out. ** Alternatively, you can keep the prepared garlic sauce as it is. If you have a hard time finding garlic sauce, you can combine yogurt with crushed garlic cloves, lemon juice, dried mint, and a tad of water to thin it out instead. You can even add a bit of tahini paste to that.
- To cook the chicken; heat a non stick skillet with a tbsp of oil. Add the chicken to the pan but be sure not to overcrowd the pan. You want to achieve a golden brown color and sear on the chicken. This brings a lot of flavor.
- Cook the chicken for approx. 8 minutes. Four minutes on each side and check the center to ensure it is completey white thoughout and therefore, cooked.
- To assemble the bowl, add a scoop of rice, followed by all the fixings to your liking and of course the chicken drizzled with the garlic sauce!