Middle Eastern chicken shawarma will be your favorite way to cook chicken on a weeknight, flavored with bold spices of turmeric and cumin, lots of bright lemon juice and savory garlic. Serve chicken shawarma bowls with quinoa, hummus and creamy tahini.
Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Oh do I have a treat for you! One of the most popular recipes from my First cookbook is finally making an appearance on the site. Everyday chicken shawarma is the recipe you'll find in The Weeknight Mediterranean Kitchen and it's a major keeper!
I've done so many variations, roasted and grilled, served chicken shawarma on a salad and wrapped in a pita. There is no wrong you can do.
Here's what's in the chicken shawarma bowls:
- Sliced chicken shawarma
- Cooked quinoa
- Beet hummus or your favorite hummus
- Yogurt Tahini Sauce
- Turkish sumac onions, gives a bright pop and sharpness to all the earthy flavors
- Pita bread
- Chopped tomatoes or cucumber or roasted vegetables would be fantastic
- Very quick pickled cabbage
Chicken Shawarma Marinade Ingredients
Once you have the homemade shawarma sauce down, you can use it in all sorts of variations, such as salmon shawarma or beef shawarma. I also have an idea to try this with hearty cauliflower.
- Olive oil
- Lots of chopped garlic cloves
- 2 whole lemons, zested and juiced
- Sumac: it's ok if you don't have any, its bright like lemon and you can omit this in a pinch.
- Aleppo pepper flakes or red pepper flakes
- Spices: allspice, cumin, paprika, turmeric and cinnamon
Other Tips When Making Shawarma
- Add to a platter for a chicken shawarma plate with fries or roasted potatoes.
- Add chicken to a Greek salad or Fattoush salad
- You can cook chicken shawarma on the grill, roast in the oven or pan fry on the stove top.
- If using chicken breasts, either pound a bit to tenderize the meat or cut into tenders.
Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Yogurt Tahini Sauce
Quick Pickled Cabbage
- ½ of a small red cabbage shredded or sliced thin
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Start with the chicken marinade and pat dry the chicken thighs with paper towels. Use scissors or shears to remove any excess fat and add chicken to a large bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the olive oil, garlic and spices together and pour mixture over chicken, turning it so everything is coated evenly. Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour to overnight.
- Once you're ready to cook, remove chicken from the fridge for at least 20 minutes and pre-heat a skillet or grill pan to medium-high heat.
- Remove chicken from marinade, letting any excess drop off and cook chicken on the first side for about 5 minutes or until deeply charred, then flip over and cook on the other side for another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
- Remove chicken to a cutting board and let rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into it, then slice chicken on a diagonal.
- To make the tahini yogurt sauce, add all ingredients to a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more water for desired consistency, similar to honey that you can drizzle.
- For the pickled cabbage, add cabbage, lemon juice, parsley and salt and pepper to a bowl and mix to combine.
- For serving, add quinoa and hummus to a shallow bowl along with pickled cabbage, cherry tomatoes and sliced chicken shawarma. Garnish hummus with olive oil and za'atar and bowls with chopped parsley. Serve with pita bread and lemon wedges and a good drizzle of yogurt tahini sauce.