This middle eastern inspired Chicken Shawarma recipe is easy to make from home, it’s healthy and packed with awesome flavor.

It’s been way to0 long since I’ve shared a “bowl” recipe with you all, but this is my favorite way to serve dinner! (You can browse my other bowl recipes here). Some of my favorites include Sweet Pork Burrito Bowls and Grilled Hawaiian Chicken Teriyaki Bowls.

Chicken Shawarma bowls including a base of jasmine rice topped with marinated chicken, cucumber, tomato, red onion, hummus and tzatziki sauce.

With this bowl, you’ve got your grains, veggies, protein and a healthy sauce all wrapped together in a delicious dinner. Most of the elements of these Chicken Shawarma bowls can be prepared ahead of time, including marinating the chicken shawarma, chopping the vegetables and making the sauce, so that dinner is a breeze! This middle eastern inspired Chicken Shawarma recipe is easy to make from home, it’s healthy and packed with awesome flavor.

What is shawarma?

Shawarma is a way of preparing meat in middle eastern culture where meat is roasted (typically on a revolving spit)  and then cut into thin slices. It’s similar to gyros (or doner kebabs) but the preparation, marinade and type of meat can vary. Meat used in shawarma recipes is typically lamb, chicken, or beef.

I wish that I had a revolving spit to roast an entire chicken, but for this recipe we’re using marinated chicken thighs and roasting them in the oven. It’s not completely authentic but it tastes amazing, and works for those of us wanting to imitate chicken shawarma made from home.

How to make chicken shawarma step by step:

Start by making the shawarma marinade which is a mixture of lemon juice, olive oil and spices.  Marinate the chicken thighs for at least an hour.

Next, cook jasmine rice according to package instructions.  Then make the tzatziki sauce (directions follow).  Place the marinated chicken along with some slices of red onion on a baking sheet and bake them for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through.

Chicken thighs marinating in a bowl to make chicken shawarma, next to another photo of a sheet pan with the cooked chicken and onion.

How to make Tzatziki sauce:

Tzatziki sauce is really easy to make and adds a delicious creaminess and flavor as the main sauce for your chicken shawarma dinner.

To make tzatziki, peel and dice a small peice of english cucumber. Add it to a bowl with plain greek yogurt, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, garlic and chopped dill. Stir the sauce together and season with salt and pepper.  Tzatziki sauce can be made one day in advance.

A bowl with the ingredients for tzatziki sauce including greek yogurt, diced cucumber, dill, garlic and lemon juice, next to another photo of the bowl with everything mixed together to make tzatziki sauce.

Now you’re ready to assemble the chicken shawarma bowls! Add a spoonful of rice to your bowl, top it with chicken and onions, add some tomatoes and cucumber, a dollop of tzatziki sauce and hummus and finish it off with some chopped parsley and feta cheese.  Dig in!

A white bowl filled with jasmine rice, chicken shawarma, cucumber, tomato, tzatziki sauce and hummus.

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Recipe

Chicken Shawarma bowls including a base of jasmine rice topped with marinated chicken, cucumber, tomato, red onion, hummus and tzatziki sauce.
Prep 20 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 50 mins
Save Recipe

Ingredients
  

  • 5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 lemons , juiced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
  • pinch ground cinnamon
  • crushed red pepper flakes , to taste
  • 1 red onion , roughly chopped

For the Bowls:

  • 1/2 cup hummus , or whole chickpeas
  • 1 English cucumber chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes , halved
  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
  • fresh parsley leaves , chopped, for garnish
  • feta cheese crumbles , for topping, optional

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 small piece English cucumber , peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions
 

  • Mix the shawarma marinade ingredients together and marinate the thighs for at least one hour or overnight. 
  • Cook the jasmine rice according to package instructions. Make the tzatziki sauce by combining all the ingredients in a bowl. 
  • When ready to cook the chicken, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a baking pan, remove the chicken from the marinade and place the chicken thighs and chopped red onion on the pan. 
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes or until baked through. Allow the chicken to rest for a few minutes before slicing thinly. 
  • To serve, add a scoop of cooked rice to the bottom of your bowl. Top with chopped chicken and red onion, a few cucumbers and tomatoes, and a scoop of tzatziki sauce and hummus. Top with fresh chopped parsley, feta cheese, a little crushed red pepper, if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 544kcalCarbohydrates: 54gProtein: 29gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 91mgSodium: 573mgPotassium: 703mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 586IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 115mgIron: 3mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    By far the best chicken shawarma I’ve ever made. This one is going into a regular rotation. Easy but FULL of flavor.

  2. 5 stars
    I didn’t have cucumber so no tsaziki sauce. No hummus either. This did not matter because best chicken thighs I’ve ever had.

  3. 5 stars
    Love love love this recipe! So delicious and flavourful. I add some more red onion with my tomato’s and cucumbers, but still delicious made just as the recipe is.

  4. 5 stars
    Easy and tasty meal, we skip the pita and eat it over rice, parsley, and finely shredded romaine in more of a shawarma bowl. Made it a few times now, my family is fond of spices so I over do it on the marinade and it’s still a favorite. Definitely marinate atleast 12hrs. GREAT meal-prep meal too.

  5. 5 stars
    This was so amazing! The flavors are just unreal! I did not have parsley so I substituted with fresh mint… very delicious. My son is the pickiest of eaters, and he went back for seconds. If you haven’t made this yet, make it!

  6. 5 stars
    Great dish, made it numerous times. Also a great freezer meal! I put everything into a freezer gallon bag (I usually double the recipe) for the chicken to marinade in and put it right into the freezer. I thaw for 2 days in fridge and roast accordingly. Amazing! After a few makes the only thing I changed is I now use whole grain farro to make it healthier and more substantial.

  7. 5 stars
    Seriously good but cheated and used Trader Joes chicken Shawarma but did make my own hummus and followed all the rest. Everybody raved!

  8. 5 stars
    I made the recipe exactly. It was amazing. I will definitely put this in our recipe rotation. Thanks!

  9. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and absolutely loved it. I used shallot rather than red onion (what I had on hand), but kept everything exactly the same. Delicious!

  10. Looks so good, will make it this week for sure. I will leave out the rice (too many carbs) but it should be delicious anyway:)

  11. 5 stars
    Made this tonite. Amazing!! Delicious flavours and textures. Definitely putting this one in the rotation. Fabulous 😋

  12. 5 stars
    We LOVED this dish. My 16 yo daughter said at 10:30 last night, “I can’t stop thinking about that dinner…” It was delicious – all the flavors and textures. I was able to double the chicken without doubling the marinade – it’s a good thing I did… there still weren’t any leftovers. Thanks for another winner, Lauren!

  13. 5 stars
    Made it this week, and based on your suggestion, doubled for leftovers. An absolute hit with our three teenagers, and my husband and I had it for lunch the next several days. Super easy and DELICIOUS!

  14. 5 stars
    This was such a tasty dish. You know when you watch a favourite sitcom and you can’t decide who your favourite character is? That was like this bowl. Everything went so well together.

  15. 5 stars
    Omg. Delicious!! My kids loved this too! The measurements for marinade were perfect! I marinated and cooked in my air fryer on °400 for 10 min and I used breast (cause that’s all I had). I am definitely saving this recipe!! Restaurant quality!!

  16. 5 stars
    Hey,

    Thank you for shawarma recipe, I really really like the way you explained it, Me and my family like shawarma when we ate it in asian restaurant so i’m going to try this one in upcoming weekend where we set together once in a week so this will be amazing can you please tell me if i use persian saffron in it ? this will be perfect or not give me some suggestion

    Thanks
    Debra

  17. 5 stars
    Hi!
    This is so delicious. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe.
    I am looking forward to try some of your other recipes.

  18. 5 stars
    Hi ??
    I have made so many of your recipes and never fail- they are so delicious! My kids and husband love them, too.
    I was nervous cooking with turmeric. I didn’t even have it in my spice rack. I am so glad I did. This is so AMAZING! The marinade is also delicious when used on chicken breasts on the grill.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and love for food/cooking.

    Love from Utah ❤️

    1. What a wonderful compliment– thank you so much Nicole! <3 I'm really happy you enjoyed these bowls, and even happier that you've tried so many of my recipes. Thanks for your kind comment.

  19. 5 stars
    I love your bowl recipes and this was no exception! They are always so well balanced and flavorful! I especially loved the flavor of the chicken shawarma and tzatziki sauce. Please keep them coming 🙂