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Easy & Healthy Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls

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.

plate filled with sliced chicken shawarma on a bed of cous cous with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and grilled artichoke hearts, with some naan bread and slices of lemon.

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!

Chicken Shawarma Bowl in a bowl with couscous, cucmbers, tomtaoes, homemade naan and a lemon wedge.

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!

Pounding - Flattening Chicken Breasts.

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. 

Marinated Chicken in Baggie.

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.

FREEZING TIP

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.

Spoonful of garlic lemon sauce going onto Grilled Chicken Shawarma bowl.

Try it with your favorite grain –  rice pilaf, brown rice or quinoa as well! Simply follow the instructions on the box!

box of Near East Roasted Garlic and Olive OIl Couscous.

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.

grilling artichoke hearts for chicken shawarma.

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.

Shawarma Chicken Breast with grill marks.

Look at those beautiful colors, courtesy of the turmeric and curry powder!

Squeezing a lemon onto  a bowl of grilled chicken shawarma.

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. 

Slicing Shawarma Chicken for bowls using knife on cutting board.

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.

Plate filled with grilled chicken shawarma with artichoke hearts, cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese and fresh naan.

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
Yield: 4-6 bowls

Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinate Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

A simple marinated and grilled chicken dish that is easy to dress up or down. Serve with couscous, rice, pilaf or quinoa. Add chopped fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and artichoke hearts and drizzle with an amazing garlic yogurt sauce. Low Carb, Keto, Gluten Free options!

Ingredients

Shawarma Chicken Marinade

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • 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

Instructions

Prepping the Marinade for Chicken Shawarma

  1. 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.
  2. 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 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

Notes

TIP #1 | If you are tight on time, purchase store bought Tzatziki sauce (usually found near the hummus and salsa) in place of the yogurt sauce. Give yourself permission to do that sometimes!

#2 | If you are freezing marinated chicken, squeeze out as much air and lay as flat as possible and freeze. When ready to grill, simply remove from freezer and allow to thaw in fridge overnight or on the counter for a couple hours.

#3| If making more than one batch to freeze for later, place your chicken in separate baggies in 1 lb (more/less depending on family size) increments, simply multiply your marinade ingredients according to the number of batches.

This recipe is adapted from Skinny Taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6 bowls

Serving Size:

1 bowl

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 698mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 5gSugar: 7gProtein: 18g

The nutritional information is estimated and may not be entirely accurate.

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kathleen

ABOUT KATHLEEN

I enjoy sharing easy recipes that are wholesome and delicious. I am fed by my faith, family, friends & food! Welcome to my kitchen! Read more...

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