Spicy Beef Bowl Recipe with Tangy Chipotle Lime Sauce

Spicy Beef Bowl Recipe with Tangy Chipotle Lime Sauce

Looking for a spicy, flavour-packed bowl recipe? Look no further! Our spicy beef bowl recipe with tangy chipotle lime sauce will become your new favourite. It’s loaded with marinated beef, lots of veggies, and a little bit of rice for a crave-worthy meal perfect for sharing. Don’t want to use beef? No problem – this recipe is versatile enough to work with your preferred protein. Keep reading for all the delicious details, and get ready to cook up a storm!

Spicy Beef Bowl: What’s Inside?

This spicy bowl recipe is loaded with bold, flavourful ingredients that are sure to satisfy your cravings. I’ve included chipotles in adobo, cajun seasoning, and pickled jalapenos in the marinade for the beef and the chipotle lime sauce. These spicy ingredients add a ton of flavour to the dish. If you’re looking for an extra kick, add half a habanero pepper to the marinade and sauce. From the marinated beef to the standalone jalapenos, every ingredient in this bowl is carefully chosen to deliver maximum flavour and spice. Keep reading to learn more about this recipe and how to make it at home.

Marinating The Beef

Making the spicy beef marinade

This spicy beef marinade is packed with bold, flavourful ingredients to boost your meat’s taste. One of the key players in this marinade is chipotles in adobo sauce – have you heard of it? It’s a Mexican condiment made from smoked and dried jalapeno peppers that have been rehydrated and canned in a sauce made of tomato, vinegar, and spices. In addition to the chipotles, you’ll also need cajun seasoning, pickled jalapenos, olive oil, and salt. Just toss all these ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have either of these appliances, it’s no problem – finely chop the chipotles and jalapenos by hand and mix them with the other ingredients. This marinade works well with various proteins, including beef, chicken, pork, salmon, or tofu. Use your favourite, or mix it up and try something new! Keep reading to learn more about using this marinade in the spicy beef bowl recipe.

Preparing the beef

For this spicy beef bowl recipe, I recommend top sirloin, but sirloin tip, inside round, or top round would also work well. Sirloin is a lean cut of meat that comes from between the loin and the round or rump of the cow. It is often used for grilling but can be tough if not prepared correctly. To make it more tender, it is best to pound the meat thinly and then slice it across the grain into thin strips. This helps shorten the muscle fibres and makes the meat more enjoyable and easier to eat.

Marinating the spicy beef

Put the sliced top sirloin in a medium mixing bowl or zip-lock bag. Add the marinade to the beef and mix well to ensure all the beef is coated. Cover the beef and put it in the refrigerator for a minimum of two hours and a maximum of twenty-four hours. Any less than two hours and the meat isn’t going to pick up much of the marinade’s flavour. Any longer than a day, the meat will start to cure, making it tough.

Tangy Chipotle Lime Dressing

While the beef is sitting in the marinade, take a minute to make the dressing. The chipotle lime dressing combines Greek yogurt or sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, chipotle in adobo, sugar, and salt. Put all the ingredients in a small blender and blitz until smooth. Again, if you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can chop the chipotles as fine as possible by hand and mix them with the other ingredients.

What to do with leftover chipotles?

If you find that you have leftover chipotles in adobo sauce, don’t worry – there are plenty of ways to put them to good use! One option is to chop or purée the remaining chipotles and freeze them in an ice cube tray. This way, you can easily pop out a few cubes as needed the next time you want to add a spicy kick to a recipe. Another option is to mix the leftover chipotles with mayonnaise or sour cream to create a spicy condiment for sandwiches or burgers. You can add them to scrambled eggs or omelets for a spicy breakfast or use them to marinate chicken, pork, or tofu before grilling or roasting. Finally, you can mix the leftover chipotles with melted butter or oil to create a spicy drizzle for roasted vegetables or seafood. These are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless with a bit of creativity and some leftover chipotles in adobo sauce! You could also try these delicious Chipotle Lime Turkey Tacos.

Cooking The Spicy Beef

Before you start cooking the spicy beef, you should get your ingredients prepped and ready to go. This includes cooking the rice and sweet potato (or using leftovers from the night before), defrosting frozen corn or opening a can of corn niblets, and of course, making the Tangy Chipotle Lime Sauce.

Once everything is ready, it’s time to cook the beef. You have a few options here – you can skewer the beef and cook it on the grill for a delicious, smoky flavour, or cook it in a pan on the stove. If you opt for the latter, heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add a teaspoon or two of cooking oil. Cook the beef in two batches, wiping the pan out between each and making sure it heats back up before adding the second batch. Once the beef goes in the pan, let it sit for a minute or two, flip it, and cook for another minute. You don’t want to overcook the beef, so aim for a medium-rare to medium doneness. Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside while you cook the second batch.

With everything prepped and the spicy beef cooked to perfection, it’s time to assemble your spicy bowl and dig in! Enjoy!

Assembling The Spicy Beef Bowl

Assembling your spicy beef bowl is easy and fun! Start by adding half a cup of cooked rice to the bottom of two bowls. You can use any kind of rice you like – white, brown, jasmine, basmati. The list goes on. Next, top the rice with shredded lettuce, diced bell peppers, corn, spicy beef you cooked earlier, sweet potato, pickled jalapeno, and Tangy Chipotle Lime Sauce. You can add as much or as little of each ingredient as you like, depending on your personal preferences. Finally, top the spicy bowl with thinly sliced green onions and a sprinkle of cilantro for a fresh, aromatic finish.

With everything assembled and ready to go, it’s time to dig in and enjoy your delicious spicy bowl! You can eat it as is, or add your favourite hot sauce or salsa to give it an extra spicy kick. Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy your spicy bowl as much as I do!

Wrap Up

Whether you’re looking for a hearty lunch or a light dinner, this spicy beef bowl recipe is sure to satisfy you. One of the great things about it is that it’s highly customizable – you can try it with different proteins like pork, chicken, salmon, or tofu, or add in other ingredients like black beans, red onion, or cheese. The chipotle lime sauce is also excellent on sandwiches, especially with grilled chicken, or even on these Fish Tacos With Mango Salsa. The point is, the components of this spicy bowl recipe are versatile, so you don’t have to worry about the leftovers going to waste.

Thank you for coming to my blog and reading this post. I appreciate your support and I hope you continue to enjoy my content. Until next time!

Spicy Beef Bowl

Spicy marinated beef, rice, and vegetables with chipotle lime sauce make this spicy beef bowl one to remember.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Marinading Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Canadian, Mexican
Keyword: Bowls, Spicy, Spicy Bowl
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly



Spiced Beef Marinade

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp chipotle in adobo
  • 1 tbsp pickeld jalapeno
  • 1/2 lb sirlon beef pounded thin
  • 2 tsp cooking oil

Spicy Chipotle Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp chipotle in adobo
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Spicy Bowl

  • 1 cup cooked basmati rice
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 tbsp pickled jalapeno
  • 1/2 cup canned corn niblets
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 24 cilantro leaves


Spiced Beef

  • Put the olive oil, chipotle, jalapeno, and cajun seasoning in a blender and blitz.
  • Thinly slice the beef and combine it with the marinade. Cover it and put it in the fridge for 1 to 2 hour.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cooking oil and the beef. Brown on both sides then remove the meat from the pan and set it aside.

Spicy Chipotle Sauce

  • Combine all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth or, mince chop the chipotles and mix with the yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, and lime juice.
  • Taste the sauce, and season with salt to taste.
  • Use the sauce right away or cover and store in the fridge for up to four days.

Spicy Bowl

  • Divide the rice among two bowls.
  • Add the lettuce, corn, bell peppers, green onion, jalapeno, and beef in the bowl. Top the bowl with the sauce, and cilantro then serve.


Substitute the beef with chicken, pork, or tofu and keep the recipe as is. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Soon To Be Famous Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl

Soon To Be Famous Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl

This Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl is all the things you love about a clubhouse sandwich but without the danger of skewering the roof of your mouth with a rogue frilly toothpick. And, it’s got quinoa, so it must be healthy, right? This is the perfect use of that leftover easter turkey or the stuff from Christmas you’ve got buried in the freezer. You can even cook some fresh turkey for this like I did. Either way, if you like clubhouse sandwiches, you’re going to love this. Let’s get to it.

Roasting Turkey Legs

The first step in making this delicious quinoa clubhouse bowl is to roast off some turkey legs. As I said in the introduction, if you have leftover turkey, use it for this. I didn’t, so I cooked some. Toss three turkey drumsticks with two teaspoons Italian seasoning, two teaspoons olive oil, half a teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Roast the turkey for about 40 minutes at 375°f or until the legs’ internal temperature reaches 165°f. Once the turkey is cooked, let it rest until it is cool enough to handle, then pull all the meat off the bones.


While the turkey is in the oven, rinse and drain one cup of quinoa, then put it in a pot with two cups of water and half a teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, put a lid on the pot, turn the heat to low and cook for twenty minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let it rest for five minutes before serving.


Along with the turkey and the quinoa, cook a few bacon strips because a club without bacon is no club I want to be apart of. Put the bacon in a pan, put the pan on medium heat, and cook until brown. Flip and cook until brown and crisp on the other side. My bacon got a little darker than I usually like it, but it still tasted delicious, and it was very crisp. Once the bacon is crisp, take it out of the pan and drain it on a paper towel. Wait until the bacon is cool enough to handle, then crush it into bits.


I went about as simple as you can go with the croutons for this clubhouse bowl. You can toss them with seasoning and oil and bake them if you want. You can even cube the bread and toast it in the pan with the bacon grease after the bacon is cooked. I just toasted the bread in the toaster then cut it into cubes. Why overcomplicate it when you don’t have to?


You can’t have a clubhouse without tomatoes, right? Cut two dozen grape tomatoes in half. That’s it. While your at it, thinly slice or shred about a half a head of iceberg lettuce and grate one cup of cheddar cheese.

Did you know that I wrote a cookbook? It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for Men (of course, it is for everyone). Get your copy today at Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here, or wherever fine books are sold.

Making The Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl

Start the bowls by putting the quinoa down and pushing it to one corner. Put the tomatoes to the left of the quinoa, followed by the lettuce. Place the turkey to the right of the quinoa, followed by the bacon bits and croutons. Put the cheese in the middle of the bowl and top with a squeeze of mayonnaise.

Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl

Everything you love about a Clubhouse sandwich but in a bowl with quinoa.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Course: Lunch, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Canadian
Keyword: Bowl series, Clubhouse, Salad Bowl
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly



  • 3 turkey drum sticks
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt

Bacon Bits

  • 4 strips bacon


  • 2 slices bread

Other Ingredients

  • 2 cups sliced iceberg lettuce
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 24 halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise



  • Heat your oven to 375°F
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the turkey with the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss to completely coat the turkey in the seasoning.
  • Put the turkey on a parchment-lined sheet and roast in the oven for 40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the turkey reaches 165°f when tested with a probe thermometer.
  • Take the turkey out of the oven and let it cool until you can handle it with your hands. Pull the heat off the legs and discard the bones and cartilage.


  • Rinse and drain the quinoa under cold running water.
  • Put the quinoa in a medium pot with the water and salt.
  • Bring to a boil on high heat, put a lid on the pot, turn the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Bacon Bits

  • Put the bacon in a frying pan and put it on the stove over medium heat.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes or until the bacon starts to brown, then flip and cook for another few minutes until the bacon is crisp.
  • Take the bacon out of the pan and put it on a paper towel to drain.
  • Once the bacon is cool enough to handle break it into small pieces into a bowl.


  • Toast the bread in a toaster until very crisp.
  • Let the bread cool then slice into 1 cm x 1 cm cubes.

Clubhouse Bowl

  • Divide the quinoa among four bowls and push to one corner.
  • Put the grape tomatoes beside the quinoa. Place the lettuce beside the tomatoes followed by the croutons, and turkey. Put the cheese in the center of the bowl. Top with mayonnaise.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Wrap Up

I have always been a fan of Clubhouse Sandwiches, and now I am a big fan of this Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl. It really gave me the experience of eating a clubhouse, but without all the mess and extra bread. If you want to cut the carbs back even further, get rid of the croutons. You can also upgrade this bowl a bit by adding some avocado chunks and/or dill pickles to the mix. Of course, you can also flavour the mayonnaise by mixing it with minced roasted red pepper or sundried tomato, pesto, or chipotle to add a little extra flavour. I know that this Quinoa Clubhouse Bowl may seem really basic, but give it a try; I think you’ll be surprised at how delicious it is. Thanks for reading, and remember to share this on Facebook and/or Pinterest if you enjoyed it.

Remember, there are new Chef’s Notes posts every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and you can subscribe below, so you never miss one. Have a great weekend

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Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl

Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl

Today marks the beginning of a brand new series here at Chef’s Notes. Over the next eight Friday’s I will share with you recipes, instructions, and tips on how to make delicious “salad bowls.” Today, we’ll make a Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl. This bowl has three main components—the rice, which has beans and bell peppers in it. There is a salad with a delicious homemade dressing. And of course, there is the cajun chicken. I absolutely loved this Cajun Chicken Bowl, and I am very excited to share it with you. So, let’s get to it.

Rice and Beans

This bowl is built around the Cajun chicken, so I wanted to keep that Cajun feel throughout the dish. To do that, I made Cajun-style rice and beans. As any regular reader of this blog will know, the French have a combination of ingredients called Mire Poix (onion, carrot, and celery) they use as a base for soups, sauces, and just about everything else. Cajun cooking has a similar combination that is the foundation of their flavour called the Holy Trinity. The only difference between the Holy Trinity and Mire Poix is that the Holy Trinity substitutes carrots for bell peppers. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference in flavour that small change makes. The rice and beans can be made a day ahead, then reheated in the microwave or on the stove.


The rice and beans ingredients are a quarter cup each diced green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and celery. Half a cup of diced onion. One teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. One teaspoon of kosher salt. One cup of jasmine rice, rinsed and drained. One and a half cups of water. And one 398ml can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed.

Making The Rice and Beans

Start the rice and beans by heating a two-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery and bell peppers and cook for three to four minutes or until the onions soften. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme, cook for thirty seconds, then add in the rice and cook for one more minute. Add the beans and the water, bring the pot to a boil, put a lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low, and let the rice simmer for seventeen minutes. Then, take it off the heat and let it rest for five minutes before serving.

Cajun Rice and Beans

The perfect side dish to any Cajun meal and a key componenet to my Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Cajun, Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl, Rice and Beans
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 398 ml can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Heat a 2-quart pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil, onion, celery, and bell peppers. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  • Add in the thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds before adding the rice and cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Put a lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 17 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. Take the lid off, fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Salad

While the rice and beans are cooking, make your dressing and salad. The salad is a pretty standard type of garden salad with lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. However, the dressing is a take on a classic Cajun remoulade. Cajun remoulade differs from French remoulade only sightly. These differences are mostly based on regional ingredients. If you don’t know what remoulade is, don’t worry, you’ve had it before. Remoulade is essentially a fancy precursor to tartar sauce. Cajun remoulade tastes more like Thousand Island Dressing than tartar sauce, and that’s what we’re making today. Of course, you can just use store-bought dressing if you’d like, but I encourage you to make this at least once.

Making The Dressing

To make the Cajun remoulade combine a quarter cup of mayonnaise, one teaspoon hot sauce, one tablespoon ketchup, one teaspoon dijon mustard, one tablespoon finely chopped gherkins, one tablespoon minced chives, a quarter teaspoon kosher salt, and a teaspoon or two of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients and let them sit for ten minutes before using.

Making The Salad

As I said, the salad itself is basic. It is a combination of iceberg lettuce, about three cups once it’s chopped—half a cup of quartered grape tomatoes. A quarter of an English cucumber cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin. And about a quarter cup of thinly sliced red onion. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the Cajun remoulade.

Garden Salad with Cajun Remoulade

A simple salad tossed with a delicious dressing. Serve it as a side or as part of the Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Cajun, Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl, Salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


Cajun Remoulade Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped gherkins or sweet relish
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice


  • 3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion


Cajun Remoulade Dressing

  • Mix all ingredients and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, top with the Cajun Remoulade Dressing, and mix.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cajun Chicken

Finally, the star of the show, the Cajun Chicken. I cooked one very large chicken breast for two people. If you buy smaller chicken breasts, you will want one for each person. The rice and the salad should make four portions, so you will want enough chicken for four portions too.

The first step is to flatten your chicken breast. The easiest way to do that is to put the breast in a zip-top bag, but don’t seal it all the way. If there is any air stuck in there, the bag may pop when you hit it, so leave one corner unseeled. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet or a heavy pot until it is about a centimetre thick.

Make it Cajun

I used a store-bought Cajun seasoning becasue it is quicker than making a homemade one, and it’s delicious. I didn’t actually measure the amount of Cajun seasoning I used, but I would say about three tablespoons. I also added about a half teaspoon of kosher salt to it. Then, I rolled the chicken around in it. In retrospect, it would have made more sense to mix the salt, and Cajun seasoning then add it to the bag I used to pound the chicken and give it a good shake. All well. Next time.

Cooking the Cajun Chicken

The Cajun seasoning is really only half the equation of getting that kind of authentic Cajun taste. The other part of the equation is butter. The butter is going to brown and help to flavour the chicken. That’s very important for the overall flavour of the dish.

To cook the Cajun chicken, heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in two tablespoons of butter and one of olive oil. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add in the chicken and cook for about three minutes before flipping and cooking for another minute. Finish the chicken in a 375°f oven for about twelve minutes or until it is cooked. Take it out of the pan and let it rest for five minutes before cutting it.

Cajun Chicken

A delicious cajun chicken recipe and the key ingredient to the Cajun Chicken Rice Bowl.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl, Chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Preheat your oven to 375°f
  • Put the chicken breasts in a zip-top bag and seal all but one corner.
  • Pound the chicken using a meat mallet or heavy pot until the breasts are 1 cm thick.
  • Mix the Cajun seasoning and salt, then add to the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and shake to coat the chicken in the seasoning.
  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the butter and olive oil. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add in the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken, cook for 1 more minute, then put the pan in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  • Take the chicken out of the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl

Okay, the three components are ready. We have the rice and beans, the salad with Cajun remoulade, and of course, the Cajun chicken. Now, it is time to put it all together. Start by putting the rice and beans in four bowls, top with the salad. Thinly slice the chicken and put that on top of the salad. Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy.

The Wrap Up

In all honesty, I didn’t intend to make a Cajun Chicken Salad bowl. Originally, this post was going to be a Chicken Shawarma bowl. But, just before I started cooking, I realized that I made a Chicken Shawarma bowl on the blog already, way back in May of 2019. I don’t like repeating myself, so I had to come up with something on the fly. I came up with the recipe you just read, and I have to tell you that I couldn’t be happier with it. The Cajun Chicken Salad bowl is loaded with flavour and is something I will be making again in the very near future. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

I can finally announce that I have written a cookbook. It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for men (of course, it is for everyone). It officially goes on sale on March 16th, but you can preorder it now from Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here.

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Chicken Shawarma Bowl – 30 Minutes Or Less

Chicken Shawarma Bowl – 30 Minutes Or Less

What is Chicken Shawarma?

Chicken Shawarma is typically layers of spiced chicken breast stacked on a vertical spit and roasted rotisserie style. As the chicken cooks it is sliced off and served on pita with lettuce, pickled turnip, dill pickles, tomato,
tabbouleh, cucumber, and sauce which is often garlic mayo.

I love Chicken Shawarma. It used to be my go to after a long night of work or if I was out with friends for the evening. But then, two years ago when I found out I couldn’t eat gluten anymore I had to stop eating them, along with a lot of other things. That’s when I started eating Shawarma Bowls.

What is a Shawarma bowl?

A Shawarma bowl is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Everything you would find in a Shawarma, but rather than being wrapped up in a pita it is served in a bowl with rice. This is a great alternative to the traditional Shawarma. It makes a really delicious and healthy dinner as long as you go easy on the garlic mayo.

Today’s version…

The version of this I am going to show you today is a bit different than what you might find in a restaurant. First of all, the chicken isn’t cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Secondly, I opted not to include the pickled turnip. I left the turnip out because it didn’t make sense to tell you to make or buy pickled turnip that you would likely only use once. And finally, rather than making actual tabbouleh (which has gluten in it) I just add some chopped parsley to the mix.

The Shawarma spice mix that I make for this is not traditional. I used madras curry powder with the addition of a few more ingredients for the simple reason that it is easier and more accessible than stocking 10-15 different spices just to make this. The seasoning may not be traditional, but it tastes pretty close, and it is really delicious.

Alright, that is enough preamble. This is…

Chicken Shawarma Bowl in 30 Minutes or Less

4:15 pm

I started cooking at 4:15 pm.

Now, for whatever reason I when this was all said and done, I went to download the pictures from my camera to my computer and realized that the first 20 pictures or so didn’t save. That means I don’t have any pictures of making the spice blend or spicing the chicken or anything. Sorry about that.

At 4:15 I put 2 cups of water with a big pinch of salt on for the rice, turned the oven on to 350°F, turned the cast iron pan for the chicken on to medium and started making the spice blend.

The spice blend recipe is as follows.

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Shawarma Spice Blend

A simple and delicious, Shawarma Spice Blend 
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 4 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: Chicken Shawarma, Shawarma Spice
Servings: 4
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 tbsp Madras Curry Powder yellow curry
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp Ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/8 tsp Black Pepper


  • Mix all the spices together and use to season chicken breast.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4:19 pm

At 4:19 the water for the rice started to boil so I added the rice to the pot, put a lid on it, reduced the heat to low and set a 15-minute timer.

At this point, I also tossed the chicken breast in the spice blend, added a tablespoon of oil to the cast iron pan and put the chicken in the pan.

4:22 pm

At 4:22 I started cutting the romaine lettuce.

4:24 pm

At 4:24 I flipped the chicken let it cook for a minute and then put it in the oven. I also finished washing and spin-drying the lettuce.

4:27 pm

Now it was time to make the garlic dressing. First I had to purée 4 cloves of garlic.

Once the garlic was puréed I added 1/4 cup of mayo, the juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of salt and pepper. This all got mixed together and set aside.

4:33 pm

By 4:33 pm the garlic sauce was all done. It was not time to start cutting up my vegetables. At this point, the timer for the rice also went off so I removed it from the heat and left it to rest for 5 minutes.

Slicing Red Onion

The first vegetable I cut was the red onion. I cut off the top and bottom of the onion, and then cut it down through the middle. Then I peeled it. Peeling it after it is cut in half is a lot easier than peeling a whole onion. Then I thinly sliced half the onion and saved the rest for another use.

Slicing Cucumber

After the red onion, it was time to slice the cucumber. I used about 1/3 of an English Cucumber. I cut the very tip off, split the cucumber in half lengthwise and then thinly sliced it on a slight angle or on a bias.

Slicing Cherry Tomatoes

After the cucumber, it was time to cut some cherry tomatoes. To cut a pile of cherry tomatoes at one it is easiest to a plate or something on top of them. Make sure the plate has a ring on the bottom to hold the tomatoes in place. Then you just slice right through the middle of the tomatoes. If you are going to do this it is important that you have a sharp knife. If you don’t you can use a serrated knife. Really though, get a sharp knife.

Parsley and pickles

Finally, all that was left was to cut the parsley and the pickles.

4:40 pm

By 4:40 all the vegetables were cut, and the chicken and rice were cooked. It was time to put it all together.

First I had to fluff the rice and put some in the bottom of a bowl. Then I added lettuce, cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, and pickles. At this point, the chicken had rested for a few minutes. I sliced it and add that to the bowl. I topped all of this with some garlic mayo and parsley.

By 4:45 all the pictures were taken and I was happily eating my Chicken Shawarma Bowl.


This is the type of dish that you makes you feel really good after eating it. Not only is it delicious but with all those fresh vegetables you feel like you did something good for your body.

Another great thing about this is that it is great whether the chicken and rice are hot or cold. I made the bowl in the pictures and then the rest got packed up and divided for lunches.

If you have never had a Shawarma, you don’t know what you are missing. Whether you have ever had a Shawarma or not, you will love this dish. Give it a shot.


Chicken Shawarma Bowl

A healthy and delicious Shawarma Bowl that can be made from scratch in under 30 Minutes. 
Total Time: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: 30 minute meals, Chicken, Chicken Shawarma, Shawarma Bowl
Servings: 4
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 lg chicken breast
  • 2 cups cut and washed romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 batch shawarma spice
  • 4 cloves garlic, puréed
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • 1/2 lemon Juice from
  • 1/3 ea cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 ea dill pickles, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 ea red onion, thinly sliced
  • 24 ea cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil


  • Toss the chicken in the shawarma spice, shake off excess. 
  • Heat a cast iron pan or oven safe skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and sear the chicken on both sides.  
  • Put the chicken in a 350°F oven until cooked through. (approx 17 minutes)
  • While the chicken is cooking combine the garlic, mayo, lemon juice, and some salt and pepper. Mix well and set aside. 
  • Once the chicken is cooked, remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes then thinly slice. 
  • Divided the rice amongst four bowls and top with the vegetables, chicken and garlic mayo. Serve and enjoy. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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