Easy Chicken Shawarma Bowl

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Today we’re serving up an easy chicken shawarma bowl. Like Instant Pot chili and this vegan cilantro quinoa bowl, it’s a great one pot meal that works great as a family dinner. We’ll show you below how to make it and then you can add in whatever variations you like.

easy chicken shawarma bowl

We recently discovered the Chicken Shawarma Bowl.  I think we’ve mentioned before the restaurant that serves them near my hometown;  We literally order chicken shawarma bowls from them every time we visit!  I have also just discovered you can order online for easy pick-up. Perfect! Because I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to go into a restaurant with 3 young kids…not always the easiest task to pull off! But the restaurant in question is similar to Subway or Chipotle in that you can walk up to the counter (or order online!!) and pick and choose the toppings you want on your shawarma wrap, bowl, or salad.  If you are vegan, there are plenty of options (hello falafel!!).  If you like meat, sure, double up on meat.  If you don’t like hummus, skip it.  Etc.  It’s basically the concept we frequently execute for dinner at our house: Batch prep a ton of ingredients (rice, chicken, roasted veggies, lettuce, dressing, etc), then everyone can assemble their own meal (well, kids need a little help assembling, but we’re getting there).  It tends to work out well because everyone gets to customize to their own tastes, and isn’t like the days we prepped 2-3 different meals every night (yes, we fell into that parenting pitfall–it happens to the best of us).  Plus, we tend to make enough to have for at least another 2-3 meals. So try out this Easy Chicken Shawarma Bowl Recipe with your family!

Wikipedia describes Shawarma  as ” a LevantineArab[1][2] meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, buffalo meat, or mixed meats are placed on a spit (commonly a vertical spit in restaurants), and may be grilled for as long as a day.” But who has their own spit, let alone a day of free time? 🙂 Certainly not many of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t come up with a modified modern version of a classic recipe that still features a lot of the great flavors that make it so popular.

Our Easy Shawarma Recipe starts with marinated chicken; We marinate chicken in a curry type marinade for at least several hours before grilling. This chicken then gets cubed and will become the protein in our Shawarma Bowls. Important note: For those practicing vegan and vegetarian lifestyles, it’s super easy to skip the chicken altogether or sub in a vegetable. We sometimes will swap out chicken for roasted cauliflower and we love our roasted cauliflower shawarma bowls as well! Now, maybe we’re crossing the line where we should be calling it a shawarma bowl as shawarma bowls traditional feature a meat preparation but, isn’t this what cooking is all about? At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you call it…it matters that it works for you and your family or your dinner guests.

For the base of our Shawarma Bowls we love to use turmeric rice. You could also use another type of rice or a grain like quinoa (sometimes we do!). For this step we love using our rice cooker. It just works. Just add your rice and stir in your turmeric or seasoning of choice. There’s not a lot to it and honestly why make it harder than it has to be> We are all for being adventurous in the kitchen and sometimes trying more complicated techniques, but time doesn’t always allow for that and sometimes it’s just not necessary! So “keep it simple silly” also applies on lots of occasions.

turmeric rice

Turmeric Rice

The next important component of this dish is pickled red cabbage. Like all the component of this dish, you could sub out this ingredient with something else, but why would you? It’s so good. We’re relatively new to the art of pickling, but this step isn’t hard and we love this pickled red cabbage so we’ll definitely be investigating pickling more in the future. And..ya know…maybe we’ll actually make pickles.

pickled red cabbage

Pickled Red Cabbage

Finally, the last component of these Easy Chicken Shawarma bowls  that really deserves mentioning is the lemon tahini dressing. We absolutely love this stuff and feel like it really makes this dish sing! Be careful, you’ll want to pour this over everything. Hey, we won’t stop you. Go crazy.

lemon tahini dressing -what is tahini

Lemon Tahini Dressing

To finish off your Easy Chicken Shawarma Bowl recipe just throw in the other ingredients that make sense for you. We like to add lettuce, olives, red onions, and Feta (Feta makes it Betta!).

So try this out and let us know in the comments below what you think and what variations you come up with for your own shawarma bowls.

easy chicken shawarma bowl

Chicken or Cauliflower Shwarma Bowls

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  • Grilled curry chicken
  • Turmeric rice
  • Pickled red cabbage
  • Lemon tahini dressing
  • Lettuce
  • Roasted red peppers
  • Olives
  • Red onion
  • Feta


  • Layer ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!

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