Chicken Shawarma Bowl – 30 Minutes Or Less

May 6, 2019 | Bowls, Chicken and Poultry, Quick Meals, Recipes

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.

Chef's Notes Logo

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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