Marinated in a tasty yoghurt and spice sauce, this chicken shawarma bowl recipe will make your mouth happy! It features fresh, crisp veg, a bold feta flavour, creamy hummus and juicy chicken, all packed into a wholemeal pitta. With five servings, you’ll have lunches set for the entire week (or a satisfying meal for the family)!
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Typical chicken shawarma is made by cooking chicken with additional oil, which causes the dishes to be quite heavy and loaded with fat. In this chicken shawarma bowl version, I don’t use any oil (besides the fat which naturally cooks out of the chicken skin). So, it’s lower in calories than the restaurant option.
I’ve also packed a good amount of fresh veg, including tomatoes and cucumber, into each shawarma bowl for added nutrients. The wholemeal pita bread helps keep the fibre high to make the meal more filling.
The chicken, hummus, and feta cheese in these chicken shawarma bowls boost the protein content, which can also help curb hunger. That means you can knock out your chicken shwarma bowl cravings and enjoy a nutritious meal simultaneously!
If you want to boost the nutrients of this meal even more, you can add a salad to the side of this shawarma bowl recipe. A few of my favourite salad pairings include my Rainbow Grain Bowl, Pomegranate Halloumi Salad or the Vegetarian Halloumi Caesar Salad.
Using a fattier cut of the chicken yields juicier chicken shawarma pieces. You can also use chicken breasts, chicken thighs, or tenderloins for this chicken shawarma bowl recipe. Aim to keep the skin on for extra juicy meat, though you can help cut the fat by using boneless skinless chicken thighs.
I’ve included wholemeal pittas in this recipe, as they help provide more fibre than regular pittas. However, you can also use regular pittas if desired, though the recipe will feature less fibre and may not be as filling.
Hummus is a great source of protein in the dish, and it also adds flavour to the recipe. Any type of hummus, such as garlic, bell pepper, or black bean hummus, will work.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
You can easily turn this chicken shawarma bowl into a gluten-free recipe using a gluten-free pitta to replace the wholemeal pitta. The other ingredients in each shawarma bowl are naturally gluten-free.
These shawarma bowls can also be turned into vegetarian/vegan bowls. Start by using tofu instead of chicken as the main protein. You’ll need to add oil (like olive oil) for this swap since the tofu does not produce any naturally. Use a dairy-free unsweetened yoghurt and dairy-free feta cheese as replacements, and you’ll have a vegan version of this dish in no time! As a note, you won’t need to cook the tofu as long in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 200°C FAN.
3. Next, place the chicken legs onto a baking tray and pop in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, baste the chicken legs in the juices/chicken fat to maximise crispiness. Cook for another 15- 20 minutes (Image 3).
4. When your chicken is ready, allow to cool slightly (Image 4).
Then shred it off of the bone and mix the pan juices into the chicken for the best flavour. Toast your pittas and slice in half. Add a handful of lettuce, cucumber, tomatoes and red onion into the bowl. Add a dollop of hummus, the shredded chicken, a sprinkle of feta, coriander and optional chilli flakes. Use any leftover yogurt to add an extra drizzle on top. Enjoy!
Marinate your chicken for as long as possible.
Marinating the chicken for this chicken shawarma bowl is necessary, as it helps keep the meat juicy and provides additional flavour. The longer you marinate the chicken, the more the chicken shawarma marinade can soak into the meat. However, don’t marinate for more than 24 hours, as the marinated chicken can turn mushy.
Season the elements of your salad bowl.
For a more flavourful dish, ensure you season the veg before putting it into the pitta. You can use the same spices as you’re using in the marinade to boost the taste. Or, keep it simple and season the veggies with salt/pepper.
Skip the runny yoghurt.
Runny yoghurt does not mix well with this chicken shawarma bowl recipe. It’s best to use a thicker yoghurt since it will stay on the chicken and not drip off into the pan.
Try adding lemon juice to the chicken shawarma.
When assembling the chicken bowls, you can squeeze a small amount of lemon juice on each bowl for an extra tangy flavour.
Here are some easy chicken tray bake recipes for you to try ;
A chicken shawarma wrap is made with chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, onion, and a pitta. Usually, it also has a yoghurt sauce called toum.
Typically, cooked chicken shawarma is served with french fries, couscous, yellow rice, hummus, or falafels.
However, adding a side or dessert can make a shawarma chicken bowl more filling. I enjoy pairing this chicken shawarma recipe with options like this Whipped Feta Dip with Harissa or Aubergine Fries.
Chicken shawarma has protein, carbs, and nutrients from the veg, so it provides you with many vitamins and minerals necessary for your diet. The restaurant version is typically high in fat and calories, so it’s best in moderation.
However, my chicken shawarma bowl recipe contains less fat and calories per serving, making it a healthier swap to the restaurant version.
There are a few differences between gyros and shawarma, such as they come from different cultures. A gyro is Greek, while shawarma is Middle Eastern. The flavours are also quite different, as they use different spices.
If you tried this Chicken Shawarma Bowl recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x