Easy & Healthy Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls
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Easy Grilled Chicken Shawarma is out of this world! I mean who wouldn’t love chicken marinated in bright, healthy Mediterranean spices, then grilled to tender tasty perfection. A low-carb, delicious, healthy and filling meal, a recipe that is on repeat in our home!
Delicious bright Mediterranean spices flavor an easy to make marinade, my favorite type of meal! Paired with fresh tomatoes, crispy cucumbers and drizzled with a garlic sauce makes this out of this world delicious.
If you are into easy chicken marinades, you have to try my Copycat Chipotle Chicken, Coconut Lime Chicken or this Blackberry Grilled Chicken Salad with Fried Goat Cheese.
Served atop a bed of couscous (or keep it gluten free using quinoa or rice), topped with crisp cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, artichoke hearts and drizzled with a light garlic yogurt sauce and homemade naan will take it over the top!
I love recipes like Shawarma Chicken; with only a few minutes prep, you can have multiple freezer meals. In fact this recipe is on repeat in our family! It’s that GOOD! It’s so fresh, bright and is bursting with Mediterranean colors and flavors.
A heart healthy recipe using simple marinade ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard!
Making Shawarma Marinade
Double or triple the recipe for the marinade or just the spices; freezing once you’ve added the chicken. Cut your breasts in half, lengthwise (not necessary with thighs). Then place your chicken breasts in a sturdy gallon baggie (I like freezer baggies, they are a bit thicker).
Using a meat mallet (I’ve had this one forever!) Pound chicken until they are all about 1/2 inch thick. Try boneless, skinless chicken thighs too!! Sooo tender!
In a small bowl combine the marinade ingredients. Olive Oil, Lemon Juice, garlic cloves, cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, red pepper flakes, kosher salt (my favorite), and pepper to taste; mix well.
Meal Prep Tips
If making multiple batches of Chicken Shawarma, place pounded chicken in separate baggies in increments large (or small) enough to feed your family. Or simply make your spice packets ahead of time then you just need to add lemon juice and oil to marinate!
Then multiply your marinade ingredients according to the number of batches/pounds. Example: 2 batches = 2 lbs chicken = double the marinade.
Squeeze out as much air from the baggie before sealing, then squish marinade around to evenly coat the chicken. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, up to overnight in the fridge or freeze.
Lay as flat as possible in freezer, simply remove from freezer and allow to thaw in fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple hours when ready to grill.
EASY GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE
Make the Garlic Yogurt Sauce! 4 ingredients, easy, packed with flavor recipe! Or substitute with Tzatziki sauce!
Once your shawarma chicken has hung out in the marinade 30 minutes or longer, fire up the grill or grill pan to medium heat and prep your toppings for your bowls. But first, if you want a grain with this meal, get that started.
I love serving this dish over couscous, mainly because I like saying it! “Just a little grain of couscous”…pretty sure that was from a cartoon my kids watched when they were little.
Try it with your favorite grain – rice pilaf, brown rice or quinoa as well! Simply follow the instructions on the box!
If you are using a grill pan (I love my Lodge Grill & Griddle pan), toss your artichoke hearts onto the grill for a few minutes as well.
Not necessary, but enhances the flavors a bit. If you still want to do this and you don’t have a grill pan, try using a sheet of foil on your outside grill. This step is completely optional.
How to Grill Shawarma Chicken
Over medium-high heat, grill chicken breasts for 3-4 minutes (thighs 4-5 minutes) until it no longer sticks to the grill. Turn and grill an additional 3-4 minutes, remove chicken and allow to rest on a plate for 5 minutes.
Look at those beautiful colors, courtesy of the turmeric and curry powder!
How to Build a Shawarma Bowl
- Slice, dice or shred some cucumbers
- Halve or dice some tomatoes
- Crumbled feta or goat cheese
- Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
- A squeeze of lemon
- Artichoke hearts, quartered (marinated or in brine)
- Sliced red onion or try Pickled Red Onions
- Sliced Kalamata or other Greek olives
After your meat has rested, slice thinly and lay on top of grain.
In individual bowls or plates, lay sliced Shawarma Chicken on a bed of couscous (or other grain); toss on cucumbers, tomatoes and artichoke hearts, feta cheese crumbles and drizzle some of that delicious Garlic Yogurt Sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (I like flat leaf for this), cilantro and a wedge of lemon.
Serve as pre-made bowls or allow everyone to assemble their own, like a taco bar. Don’t forget the pita bread or try my homemade naan! Oh those flat breads, I could so easily live in the Mediterranean!
This recipe has been adapted from the Skinny Taste
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Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Shawarma Chicken Marinade
- 1 pound 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut in half, lengthwise) Try boneless skinless chicken thighs too
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, I like extra virgin
- 1 medium lemon, juiced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- [1 teaspoon cumin]
- [1 teaspoon smoked paprika]
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- [1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder]
- [1/4 teaspoon curry powder]
- [1/8 teaspoon cinnamon]
- [Dash of red pepper flakes]
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- [1 recipe Easy Garlic Yogurt Sauce]
- Couscous, rice pilaf, brown rice or quinoa (cooked) 1 cup serving per person
- Diced or sliced English cucumber
- Diced or halved grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 can artichoke hearts, halved (brined or marinated, grill if time)
- Feta Cheese, crumble on top
- Garnish with chopped, fresh, flat leaf parsley (optional)
- Lemon wedge, squeeze over entire ingredients when serving
- [Sliced Red Onions or Pickled Red Onions]
- Sliced Greek or Kalamata olives
Prepping the Marinade for Chicken Shawarma
- Slice chicken breasts in half, lengthwise. Place chicken breasts or thighs in sturdy freezer baggie (gallon size). Using a meat mallet (or bottom of a wine bottle or large jar) pound each breast to about 1/2 inch thickness. Careful not to puncture the bag.
- In a medium bowl, combine your olive oil, lemon juice and whisk to combine. Add the garlic, cumin, paprika, turmeric, curry powder, cinnamon, red pepper, salt and pepper. Whisk until combined. Pour marinade over chicken in the baggie, squeeze out the air and seal. Squish the marinade to completely cover chicken. Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour up to overnight or freeze for later use.
Grilling Chicken & Assembling the Bowls
- Once chicken has marinated and you are ready to grill, heat grill or grill pan to medium-high heat, oil lightly. Prepare couscous, quinoa, brown rice or rice pilaf according to package directions.
- Grill chicken for 3-4 minutes (4-5 for thigh meat), meat shouldn’t stick once it’s ready to turn. If using a grill pan, grill your artichoke hearts for a few minutes if desired. Remove and set aside. Turn the chicken and grill an additional 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from grill to plate, covering with foil; allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice it thin. Serve over prepared couscous or other grain. Garnish with sliced cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, red onion, olives, etc. Drizzle bowl with garlic yogurt sauce and serve immediately with a lemon wedge and chopped flat leaf parsley or chopped cilantro.
✱ Kathleen’s Tips
The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.
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About Kathleen Pope
Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer
Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.
My whole family is IN LOVE with this fresh and tasty recipe! Thank you!
Thank you so much! I couldn’t agree more!
My family devoured these bowls last night, and I was so happy with the end result. We’ll definitely be making them again.
Thank you Erin, so glad you loved them!
I’ve heard of Shawarma for a long time but once trying this recipe, am a shawarma lover. I agree with you on Meditteranean food. We love it!
Delicious chicken and great tips for meal prep! This is always a hit with my family!
We had a hankering for shawarma tonight, and man, this one delivered! Perfection!
Delicious! Love all of the flavor in this meal. It is fantastic!
Perfect healthy, yummy recipe for my GF life. Everyone can customize their own. It’s always a hit!
Made these for lunch this week and amazing!!!!
This made a wonderful lunch! Tons of flavor without feeling like you’re going into a food comb!
Made these over the weekend and they were fantastic!!
I am totally in love with this bowl! All the tangy flavors and I am totally addicted to the smell of the spices. I might make a perfume out of it!
Just had this for dinner the other night (again) and everyone gobbled it up, so fresh, vibrant and I love the spices on the chicken! I’ll wear that perfume! Thanks Jennifer!
Another winner! This recipe is fresh and easy and delicious!
I am so glad I saw this recipe this morning! I have all the stuff and looking forward to making it this weekend.
Oh my goodness! This was a huge hit! Even though I couldn’t grill (huge down pour today) just put the chicken in the pan it was amazing! I even took a picture as I was happy to make it look good too! Thank you Kathleen you saved my Friday!
I love hearing this Jen!! Thanks so much!! And yes it was indeed a huge downpour!
I can’t wait to try this recipe, it looks fantastic and I am pinning it! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday,444 and hope you have a great week!
It’s light, flavorful and so easy! Thank you Miz Helen!
This sounds fantastic Kathleen! I’m always looking for new ways to prepare chicken so I need to give this a try!
It’s so delish and I think your sugarbird will like it too.
This looks like a nice easy summer meal idea. I’ll be pinning this recipe to make when the weather gets warmer.
I don’t think you’ll be disappointed Harriet. It’s one of our favorites!!
These chicken shawarma bowls were amazing! Another fabulous recipe!
Thank you Becky, so glad to hear you liked the shawarma bowls!!
We made the chicken shawarma bowls tonight. So yummy!!
That makes me so happy Kristina!! Glad everyone liked them!!
YUM! I’m trying this tonight 🙂
Yay!! Let me know what you think.
LOL!! Nice Bob!!