Whip up this easy marinade for a tasty, fresh, healthy dinner! This recipe is on our menu at least every other week, sometimes more often.
Grilled Chicken Shawarma Bowls feature, out of this world tasty and tender chicken breasts, marinated in bright spices, grilled, sliced and served atop a bed of couscous (or keep it gluten free using quinoa or rice) and topped with crisp cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, artichoke hearts with a light garlic yogurt sauce.
I love recipes like this one; make a boat load and prep them for lunches or quick dinners all week long, freeze some for another dinner or just make enough for your family. It’s so very fresh, bright and is bursting with Mediterranean colors and flavors.
A heart healthy recipe using simple marinade ingredients that you probably have in your pantry!
Marinating Shawarma Chicken
Let’s start by marinating the chicken; oftentimes, I make double or triple batches of the chicken and freeze once I’ve got the marinade made, then freeze in separate baggies.
Cut your breasts(or thighs) in half, lengthwise. 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 the chicken breasts until they are about 1/2 inch thick, make sure they are all even.
Try boneless, skinless chicken thighs too!! Just as delicious!
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; whisk until combined.
Note | If making multiple batches, place your chicken in separate baggies in increments large (or small) enough to feed your family. Then multiply your marinade ingredients according to the number of batches/pounds. Example: 2 batches = 2 lbs chicken = double the marinade. Using a bowl with measurements makes it easier, simply divide volume by the number of batches made.
Squeeze out as much air from the baggie before sealing, then squish that marinade around so it coats the chicken. Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, up to overnight in the fridge.
TIP | For freezing, 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.
MAKING YOUR GARLIC YOGURT SAUCE
Make up your yogurt sauce (or use store bought Tzatziki sauce instead, I’ve used this many a time). In a small bowl (or container) combine yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and sea salt.
Refrigerate until ready to use.
Once your chicken has hung out in the marinade for an hour or more, fire up your grill to medium heat and start assembling the ingredients 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 like saying it! “Just a little grain of couscous”…pretty sure that was from a cartoon my kids watched when they were little.
I really like Near East products as they are not filled with nasty stuff and are easy to prepare when trying to put a quick meal on the table. But it’s delicious with 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 the grill. This step is completely optional.
GRILLING YOUR SHAWARMA CHICKEN
Over medium-high heat, grill your chicken for 3-4 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!
While your chicken is grilling; prep your toppings:
- Slice, dice or shred some cucumbers
- Halve or dice some tomatoes
- Crumble some feta cheese
- Chop some fresh parsley
- Sliced Lemons
- Artichoke hearts, quartered (marinated or in brine)
After your meat has rested, slice thinly against the grain.
In individual bowls or plates, lay sliced breasts of chicken across a bed of couscous, place some cucumbers, tomatoes and artichoke hearts, sprinkle on a few feta cheese crumbles and drizzle on some of that delicious yogurt sauce. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley (I like flat leaf for this) 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 give my homemade naan! Oh those flat breads, I could so easily live in the Mediterranean!
This recipe has been adapted from the Skinny Taste
FOLLOW THE FRESH COOKY ON PINTEREST
You’ll feel so good after eating this, that you might even have calories to burn, try this amazing Key Lime Pie for dessert!
If you enjoyed this recipe, give these other quick and fresh meals a try!Print
A simple 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.
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 small container plain Greek Yogurt (about 7–8 oz)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 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)
Marinated Chicken for Shawarma
- Slice chicken breasts in half, lengthwise.
- Place chicken breasts 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 all ingredients until combined.
- Pour marinade over chicken in the baggie, squeeze out the air and seal.
- Squish the marinade to completely cover all fo the chicken.
- Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour up to overnight or freeze for later use.
For the Yogurt Sauce
- In a small bowl or container, combine the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and salt. Stir until combined, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Grilling Chicken & Assembling the Bowls
- Once chicken has marinated and you are ready to grill, heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Prepare couscous, quinoa, brown rice or rice pilaf according to package directions.
- Grill chicken for 3-4 minutes (it 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 a plate, covering and allowing to rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice it thin, against the grain.
- Serve over prepared couscous or other grain.
- Garnish with sliced cucumbers, fresh tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta cheese.
- Drizzle chicken with yogurt sauce and serve immediately with a lemon wedge and chopped flat leaf parsley.
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 the 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 (or less if you’re family eats less) increments, simply multiply your marinade ingredients according to the number of batches.
This recipe is adapted from Skinny Taste.
Keywords: Shawarma Chicken Bowls, easy recipe, low carb, healthy bowl, easy weeknight dinner, freezer friendly, marinade