chicken bowls served with pita

Shawarma-Inspired Chicken Bowls

These shawarma-inspired bowls are packed with flavor and super customizable! Most meal components can be prepped ahead of time for an easy dinner.

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shawarma chicken bowls served with pita

These Shawarma-Inspired Mediterranean Chicken Bowls are one of my go-to summer dinners. They’re filling, nourishing, and most importantly delicious. They also come together very quickly with just a little bit of planning ahead.

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is a popular method of preparing meat in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern culture. Thin slices of meat are stacked in a cone shape and roasted on a spit. I’m guessing you don’t have a spit readily available for slow roasting meat, so we’ll be pan frying the chicken instead. However, these bowls are made with ingredients like tahini, hummus, and pickled veggies that are often served with Shawarma.

shawarma chicken bowls with pita bread

Chicken Ingredients

Chicken: I prefer to use chicken breast for this dish, but chicken thighs will work too!

Lemon Juice: Fresh squeezed, always. This will give our chicken marinade some brightness.

Garlic: Lots of it.

Turmeric, Cumin, Smoked Paprika, Red Pepper Flakes, Salt, and Black Pepper: The Mediterranean-inspired spice blend that our chicken will marinate in. Honestly, this mixture is to die for.

Olive Oil: For pan-frying the chicken. Be sure to use the full two tablespoons so the chicken properly browns.

chicken bowl with arugula and pickled onions

Shawarma Bowl Ingredients

The ingredients below are simply ideas for how to build your perfect bowl. Take what you want, leave what you don’t.

Cucumber Tomato Salad: This simple salad adds so much flavor to these bowls.

Easy Pickled Onions: To add some brightness. Pickled onions are one of my favorite secret weapons for making everything taste better.

Tahini Sauce: Shawarma is commonly served with tahini, so this one feels like a must.

Arugula or Greens of Choice: I will choose arugula every single time, but feel free to sub in your favorite.

Grain of Choice: Pick your favorite! Freekeh is my top pick, but rice and quinoa work too.

Feta Cheese: Feta elevates everything in my opinion. Use plant-based feta to keep this bowl dairy-free.

Hummus: Honestly, you can’t beat homemade hummus, but we don’t always have time for that. Pick your preferred store-bought hummus!

Naan or Pita Bread: There’s nothing better than scooping up a big bite with warm and toasty pita bread.

pickled onions in jar
cucumber tomato salad in bowl with serving spoon

Meal Prep Tips & Tricks

The ingredient list may feel daunting, but most of it can easily be made ahead of time! Here are my best tips for making this an easy dinner.

  • Make the cucumber tomato salad and grain of choice up to 2-3 days ahead of time and store in the fridge.
  • Whip up the tahini sauce and pickle the onions up to a week in advance (they will both last about two weeks in the fridge!).
  • Pick and choose your favorite ingredients. You don’t have to do it all! For me, the absolute must-haves are arugula, tahini sauce, pickled onions, and pita bread.

I hope these Shawarma-Inspired Bowls become your new favorite weeknight dinner. Feel free to leave a rating and review, ask a question, or just say hi! It always makes my day to hear from you. You can also find me on Pinterest, Instagram, and TikTok.

More Easy Summer Dinners

chicken bowl with pickled onions, arugula, and tahini sauce
chicken bowls served with pita

Shawarma-Inspired Mediterranean Chicken Bowls

These shawarma-inspired bowls are packed with flavor and super customizable! Most meal components can be prepped ahead of time for an easy dinner.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Levantine, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 4


  • large frying pan


For the Chicken:

  • 1 lb chicken breast
  • juice of one lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

The Rest of the Bowl:


  • Marinate your chicken! Add chicken, lemon juice, garlic, turmeric, cumin, sea salt, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, and black pepper to a Ziplock or Stasher bag. Give everything a shake so it's well-combined. You can marinate for as little as 5 minute or up to a couple hours.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add marinated chicken and sear for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown before flipping over and cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until completely cooked through. You can use a meat thermometer to be sure the chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165° F.
  • While your chicken is cooking, you can make your tahini sauce and cucumber tomato salad if you haven't done so ahead of time.
  • Assemble! Add arugula, cucumber tomato salad, and tahini sauce to a bowl and top with chicken and any other toppings you desire (feta and pita bread are a must for me). Enjoy!


Storage: Chicken and cucumber tomato salad should be stored separately and will keep refrigerated in an airtight containers for up to 5 days. Tahini sauce and pickled onions should be stored separately and will keep refrigerated in airtight containers for up to 2 weeks.
Meal Prep: To make this recipe super simple, you can make the tahini sauce, cucumber tomato salad, and pickled onions a couple days a head of time so they’re ready to go!
Keyword arugula, chicken, cucumber tomato salad, dairy-free, feta cheese, gluten free, hummus, mediterranean, mediterranean bowls, nut-free, pickled onions, pita, shawarma, tahini

Photography by Hope Agresti

1 Comment

  1. 5 stars
    this bowl was such a refreshing summer lunch but yall…. this chicken is too die for and everything about this was so good. I will be making this chicken for many other dishes in the future

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