There really isn’t anything better than this healthy, filling, chicken shawarma bowl recipe! It’s so good, we made it two weeks in a row (and will likely continue to do so). This recipe has turmeric rice, marinated chicken shawarma, bell peppers, red onion, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, feta, and homemade tzatziki.
There’s a lot going on in this recipe, but with preparation it comes together quickly! This meal only takes about 30 minutes to make if you do the chopping and marinating beforehand. Did I mention it’s a sheet pan meal? The chicken and roasted vegetables cook together on the same pan, and you can easily make the turmeric rice while they’re cooking in the oven!
If you’re a fan of sheet pan meals (and who isn’t?), here are a few of my other favorites:
How to Make This Chicken Shawarma Bowl Recipe
Marinate the Chicken
First, mix together the Greek yogurt, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika, fine sea salt, coriander, onion powder, cinnamon, and black pepper in a large bowl. You can also combine these ingredients in a ziploc bag.
Then, pound out the chicken until it’s 1/2 inch thick (about half the distance between your first and second knuckle on your middle finger, if you don’t have a ruler on hand). This will break down the fibers in the meat, making it more tender. The chicken will also bake evenly when it’s all the same thickness. If you don’t have a meat tenderizer to pound the chicken, use a rubber mallet. I’ve done this many times when I don’t have a meat tenderizer on hand! I usually cover the chicken with plastic wrap so I don’t have to worry about meat juice getting all over it.
You can also slice the chicken breasts lengthwise (like a hamburger bun). Either way, you want the chicken to be thinner in order to shorten its bake time. This will keep the chicken moist, and give the chicken the same bake time as the vegetables. However, I do prefer to pound chicken instead of slicing it to control its thickness and to make the meat even more tender.
Prepare the chicken either way, and then completely cover it in the marinade. Cover the bowl (or seal the bag if using a ziploc), and let it sit in the fridge for at least an hour, but ideally between 4-8 hours.
Make the Homemade Tzatziki
First, finely grate about half of an English cucumber. There should be about 1/2 cup with most of the excess liquid squeezed out. Pick the dill leaves off of its large stem and roughly chop enough for one tablespoon. To save yourself some time later, chop up enough dill to add some to the turmeric rice as well (one tablespoon). Then mix together the Greek yogurt, grated cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, chopped dill, olive oil, and salt. Cover the tzatziki and refrigerate it until serving.
This homemade tzatziki is the star of the meal! I don’t recommend subbing it out for store-bought tzatziki. Making it yourself gives the tzatziki a fresh flavor that can’t be beat.
Bake the Veggies and Chicken
After the chicken is done marinating, preheat the oven to 425° Fahrenheit and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Add the sliced bell peppers and red onion to the baking sheet and toss them with olive oil, sea salt, and black pepper until they are evenly coated.
Spread the vegetables out evenly on the baking sheet and place the marinated chicken in a single layer on top. Rub any extra marinade into the chicken for extra flavor. Cooking the chicken on top of the vegetables will let the vegetables soak up some of the marinade’s flavor.
When the oven is done preheating, bake the chicken and vegetables for about 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° Fahrenheit. Let the chicken sit for about 10 minutes before cutting it into slices to preserve the meat’s moisture. Cutting against the meat’s grain will also keep it tender.
Cook the Turmeric Rice
While the chicken and vegetables are baking is the perfect time to cook the rice. First, melt the butter in a large sauce pan on medium heat. Once melted, add the minced garlic and let it simmer for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Then mix in the rice, turmeric, oregano, cumin, and salt. Mix it all together, coating the rice in the spices and cook for about one minute, toasting the rice.
Next, add the lemon juice and vegetable broth, mix everything together, and turn the heat up to high. Once the liquid has reached a rolling boil, cover with a lid and turn the heat to low. Let the rice simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork, and gently mix in the fresh dill and parsley.
This recipe makes enough rice for eight servings. However, they are small servings to make room for all of the other additions to this meal. If you’d like large portions of rice with your meal and still want to have enough for eight servings, I recommend either making 1.5x or 2x the amount of rice.
Assemble Your Chicken Shawarma Bowl
Now that everything is prepared and cooked, you can assemble the bowls. First, add the rice to your bowl, and top it with the sliced chicken, cooked vegetables, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, feta cheese, tzatziki, and fresh parsley.
How to Simplify these Chicken Shawarma Bowls
These bowls have a lot going on! Here are some suggestions to quickly throw this meal together at dinner time:
- Put the marinade together in advance. Usually 6-8 hours before cooking the chicken works best. The longer the meat sits in the marinade, the more tender and flavorful it will be.
- Cut up all of the veggies beforehand. I’ll admit, There are quite a few vegetables in this recipe. I thought about leaving some of them out to simplify things, but I just couldn’t do it-I love them all, and they go together perfectly. You can cut them up earlier in the day, or even the night before. Just make sure to store them in the fridge until you’re ready to start cooking.
- Make the tzatziki beforehand as well. I typically throw this together when I chop the vegetables and refrigerate until I serve the meal.
If you do these three things beforehand, this meal comes together in about 30 minutes, making it the perfect meal for a busy weeknight.
If you try out this this chicken shawarma bowl recipe, I’d LOVE to hear about it. You can leave a comment below the recipe box, or if you post a picture on Instagram, be sure to tag me! Getting any feedback on my recipes is both rewarding AND helpful as I write and edit recipes in the future. Enjoy!