Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Grey circle with the letters GFA grey circle with KF
Prep Time
12 hrs
Cook Time
30 mins
Calories
389

Loaded with fluffy quinoa and fresh vegetables, these easy Chicken Shawarma Bowls are a healthy and flavorful weeknight dinner that everyone will adore. Tender chicken breasts are marinated in a sweet and spicy seasoning blend, then grilled to perfection and tossed into a bowl with the veggies, quinoa, and a homemade garlic yogurt sauce.

Want more nutritious dinner bowls to feed your family? Make these Blackened Shrimp Quinoa Bowls with Avocado Crema next!

Healthy Chicken Shawarma Bowls with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

The flavor that’s packed into these chicken shawarma bowls is unmatched! You get the ultimate blend of spicy, sweet and savory goodness in every single bite. The chicken is marinated overnight to make it extra tender, juicy and flavorful, and the simple garlic yogurt sauce compliments it beautifully.

When you factor in the fresh veggies and the fluffy quinoa, you have yourself a seriously healthy dish. These gluten-free dinner bowls are packed with protein and vitamins to fill you up and fuel your body with nutrients. You’ll want to make them on a weekly basis!

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. It refers to any kind of meat that’s seasoned with rich spices like coriander, cumin, cinnamon and cardamon, then slow-roasted on a rotisserie. This recipe will help you make delicious chicken shawarma on the grill! It’s just as juicy and flavorful as traditional chicken shawarma, only it’s much easier to make.

Shawarma is typically stuffed inside of pita bread along with vegetables and sauce, but this dish is served over a bed of lettuce instead. If you’re not gluten-free, feel free to grab your favorite pita and serve it up the old-fashioned way.

Two chicken shawarma bowls on a countertop beside a bowl of yogurt sauce and a bowl of quinoa

Recipe Ingredients

Without further ado, let’s go over the ingredients you’ll need to make these chicken shawarma bowls.

For the Chicken Shawarma

  • Chicken Breasts: Boneless and skinless.
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Garlic Powder: This adds depth of flavor and brings out the other seasonings.
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Salt & Pepper: Added to taste.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed is always best.
  • Olive Oil: A couple tablespoons of olive oil will help the spice rub stick to the chicken.

For the Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • Greek Yogurt: Be sure to use plain Greek yogurt to avoid adding an unwanted flavor to the sauce.
  • Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
  • Garlic Cloves: Pressed or finely minced.
  • Cumin
  • Salt & Pepper: To taste.

For the Bowls

  • Quinoa: Cooked.
  • Diced Cucumber
  • Zucchini: Sliced lengthwise.
  • Sliced Cherry Tomatoes
  • Sliced Romaine Lettuce

How to Make Chicken Shawarma Bowls

There are a few steps involved with preparing this meal, but everything is super easy and straightforward. Once your chicken is marinated, the bowls come together in minutes!

Marinate the Chicken

  1. Combine Marinade Ingredients: Add the cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, sea salt, lemon juice and olive oil to a small bowl. Use a spoon to mix it all together.
  2. Marinate Chicken: Add the chicken breasts to a large Ziplock bag and pour the spice blend over the chicken. Close the ziplock bag, mix the marinade around in the bag with your hands, then refrigerate the mixture overnight.

Make the Sauce & Grill the Chicken

  1. Combine Sauce Ingredients: Add the greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic cloves, cumin, salt and pepper to a small bowl. Use a spoon to stir everything together.
  2. Prep for Grilling: Heat the grill to medium-high heat, about 375-400°F. Spray the grill grates with cooking spray.
  3. Grill Chicken & Zucchini: Place the marinated chicken onto the grill along with the zucchini slices. Grill the zucchini for 2-3 minutes per side. Cook the chicken shawarma for 5-7 minutes per side, until the breasts are no longer pink. Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes, then slice it.

Assemble the Bowls

  • Distribute Ingredients Among Bowls: Add half a cup of the sliced romaine, half a cup of the cooked quinoa, 1 zucchini slice, 1/4 cup of the cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the diced cucumber and 3-4 ounces of sliced chicken to each bowl.
  • Add Sauce: Top with a dollop of the garlic yogurt sauce and enjoy!
A close-up shot of a chicken quinoa bowl topped with a dollop of homemade yogurt sauce

Can I Make These in Advance?

If you’d like, you can make the yogurt sauce, cook the quinoa and slice up the veggies when you marinate the chicken so that everything is ready to go the next day. Each component should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge.

Tips for Success

Want some extra advice for making these hearty chicken quinoa bowls? Check out the tips and tricks below.

  • Make it Hotter: If you want your chicken to be extra spicy, you can add a little bit of cayenne pepper or chili powder to the spice rub.
  • Marinate the Chicken Overnight: Don’t skimp on the marinating time! Letting your chicken soak in the spice blend overnight will help it absorb all of those amazing flavors.
  • Grease the Grill Grates Well: Be sure to coat the grill grates with cooking spray to prevent the chicken from sticking. If you don’t have cooking spray, rub the grates with a dishrag soaked in olive oil.
  • Let the Chicken Rest Before Slicing It: You want to let your chicken sit for about 5 minutes before you cut into it. This allows the juices to redistribute, infusing even more flavor into the meat!

Serving Suggestions

A chicken shawarma bowl is a wholesome meal that needs no side dish to complete it. Nevertheless, let’s go over some tasty pairing ideas!

  • Pair with Brussels Sprouts: Any vegetable side dish would make a great partner for this entree. Crispy Garlic Parmesan Brussles Sprouts are my current obsession!
  • Serve with a Smoothie: These Tropical Green Smoothies are insanely refreshing! Made with fresh spinach, banana, frozen pineapple and more, they go great with these chicken shawarma bowls.
  • Pair with Corn: If you’d like a side dish that sticks with the grilling theme, I highly recommend making this Classic Corn on the Cob. It couldn’t be easier!
  • Make a margarita: Want to add a special sip on the side? This Skinny Margarita is super easy to make!
An overhead shot of a chicken shawarma bowl on a gray kitchen countertop

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

If you expect to have leftovers, don’t assemble all of the bowls right away. It’s best to store everything separately. The chicken, the sauce, the quinoa and the veggies should all be refrigerated in airtight containers. Assemble and enjoy your bowls within 2 days for the best results.

Reheat the chicken and the zucchini on a greased grill over medium heat. The chicken will need about 5 minutes per side, and the zucchini will need about 2. Reheat the quinoa over the stove, adding a splash of water to compensate for lost moisture. Fluff up the quinoa before adding it to the bowls.

Can I Freeze These?

While I don’t recommend freezing the sauce or the sliced veggies, you can definitely freeze the cooked chicken and quinoa. Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer bag for up to 4 months. Place the quinoa into a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 8 months. Thaw frozen ingredients in the fridge before reheating them.

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An overhead shot of a chicken shawarma bowl on a gray kitchen countertop

Chicken Shawarma Bowls

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 12 hours
  • cook_time Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 12 hours 30 minutes
  • yield Yield: 4 1x
  • category Category: Dinner
  • method Method: Oven
  • cuisine Cuisine: Middle Eastern

Description

Loaded with fluffy quinoa and fresh vegetables, these easy Chicken Shawarma Bowls are a healthy and flavorful weeknight dinner that everyone will adore. 

Scale

Ingredients

For the Chicken Shawarma

  • 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the Garlic Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed (or finely minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste

For the Bowl

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups sliced romaine lettuce

Instructions

Marinate the Chicken

  1. To a small bowl add cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, sea salt, lemon juice and olive oil. Use a spoon to mix all the spices together.
  2. Add chicken breast to a large ziplock bag, pour the spice blend over the chicken. Close the ziplock bag, mix the spice blend around in the bag using your hands and refrigerate chicken overnight.

Make the Sauce & Grill the Chicken

  1. To a small bowl add plain greek yogurt, lemon juice, garlic cloves, cumin, salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to stir everything together.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat, about 375-400°F. Spray grill grates with cooking spray or rub down with olive oil soaked rag. Place marinated chicken on grill along with zucchini slices.
  3. Grill zucchini for 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Grill chicken for 5-7 minutes per side, until they are no longer pink. Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes to let the juices redistribute then slice.

Assemble the Bowls

  1. Add 1/2 cup cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup sliced romaine, 1 zucchini slice, 1/4 cup of cherry tomatoes, 1/4 cup diced cucumber, 3-4 oz. of sliced chicken.
  2. Top with a dollop of the garlic yogurt sauce.

Notes

  • To Store: If you expect to have leftovers, don’t assemble all of the bowls right away. It’s best to store everything separately. The chicken, sauce, quinoa and veggies should all be refrigerated in airtight containers. Assemble and enjoy your bowls within 2 days for the best results.
  • To Reheat: Reheat the chicken and zucchini on a greased grill over medium heat. The chicken will need about 5 minutes per side, and the zucchini will need about 2. Reheat the quinoa over the stove, adding a splash of water to compensate for lost moisture. Fluff up the quinoa before adding it to the bowls.
  • To Freeze: Wrap the chicken in plastic wrap and store it in a freezer bag for up to 4 months. Place the quinoa into a freezer-safe container and store it for up to 8 months. Thaw frozen ingredients in the fridge before reheating. I don’t recommend freezing the sauce or the sliced veggies.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bowl
  • Calories: 389
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Sodium: 568 mg
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 43 g
  • Cholesterol: 85 mg

Keywords: chicken shawarma, shawarma spicy, chicken bowls, healthy dinner ideas

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Two images of a chicken quinoa bowl on a countertop with fresh chopped parsley

Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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11 Responses
  1. Debra Daniel

    Hey,

    Thank you for shawarma recipe, I really really like the way you explained it, Me and my family like shawarma when we ate it in asian restaurant so i’m going to try this one in upcoming weekend where we set together once in a week so this will be amazing can you please tell me if i use persian saffron in it ? Because i have purchased saffron in good that is why thinking to make a twist in it, this will be perfect or not give me some suggestion

    Thanks
    Debra

    1. Krista Rollins Professional Photos-5
      Krista

      Hey Debra, I can’t wait to hear what you think. I actually didn’t use safron in this recipe, but I think it would make a great addition!

  2. Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    This is the type of meal I could eat every night of the week and never get tired of. It’s got everything!

  3. Erin Dee

    This bowl is filled with everything I love! Definitely can see this happening for dinner!

    Have a great time in Vegas!

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