Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls

Homemade chicken shawarma bowls

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi

These are the BEST homemade chicken shawarma bowls of all time and they’re SO easy to make!

Chicken shawarma bowls with flavorful chicken on a bed of fluffy rice, fresh and colorful salad and all the fixings

Ok, I always look forward to dinner. But THIS meal. This is one of my favorites.

If you’re a fan of “Chipotle style” restaurants, where you can create your own bowls or sandwiches, this recipe is for you and yes they are the BEST chicken shawarma bowls ever. If you’ve tried my chicken shawarma recipe, you know this marinade is heavenly. All the rest of the components really work as a powerhouse of flavor in each bite and I just know you’re going to love it as much as we do!

Ingredients for chicken shawarma bowls

What makes these the best chicken shawerma bowls of all time? These key ingredients are what really make this recipe pop.

The chicken: This marinade is what I use for my chicken shawarma sandwiches. Honestly, nothing beats this combination of spices and flavors. It mimics the chicken shawarma at one of my favorite Arab restaurants in Jacksonville and it just can’t be beat!

For this recipe, you can use boneless skinless chicken thighs or chicken breasts.

The rice: I like using basmati here. Lately I’ve just been preferring to use basmati because I like the texture. But I also thought it was fitting here because that’s the rice I usually find when I get a shawarma bowl from any restaurant. This rice is similar to the one I make for my sayadieh (which if you haven’t tried, it’s AMAZING) with a few less spices. We really want the shawarma to shine here.

Simple and fresh salad for chicken shawarma bowls

The salad: Every good bowl needs a salad. Not only does it bring a delicious, fresh flavor, but it also adds texture from the fresh veggies and lots of color which is eye catching and appetizing. This salad is similar to my simple Middle Eastern salad, just a touch different.

The cucumber mint yogurt: This is one of my favorite aspects of the chicken shawarma bowl. I load this sauce on like it’s nobody’s business. It’s very similar to tzatziki, with a few key differences. We use mint instead of dill (I like to use dried mint but fresh works as well), instead of grating the cucumber, we very finely dice it up. I also don’t add lemon juice. When you make this, you may get hooked – you’ve been warned.

All the toppings: Yes, you can pick and choose what you want to add. But I suggest adding as much as you can based on what you have/like. The pickles are a MUST for me. So are the sumac red onions. If you like a spicy kick, definitely go for the shatta (A Palestinian hot sauce that goes perfect with the flavors of this shawarma bowl. You can find this at most Arab grocery stores. If you can’t find it, sriracha or sambal also work).

Each component for this bowl is so easy to make and once it’s all prepared, you just create the bowl as you like. I can’t wait for you to give this recipe a try!

A person holding a bite of a chicken shawarma bowl with a fork

When you make these homemade chicken shawarma bowls, comment down below and rate this recipe to let me know your thoughts! Also share a picture or tag me on Instagram @thebitewithjackie, I love seeing your remakes!

A person holding a bite of a chicken shawarma bowl with a fork

Homemade chicken shawarma bowls

Who needs CAVA or any other take out when you can make this?
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings 6


For the chicken shawarma:

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cloves garlic grated
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each: cardamom, turmeric, paprika, cumin, sumac, garlic powder, onion powder, allspice, coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Neutral oil for cooking

For the yellow rice:

  • 2 cups basmati rice rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon neutral oil or ghee
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the simple salad:

  • 2 Persian cucumbers finely diced
  • 2 tomatoes finely diced
  • ½ red onion finely diced
  • 2 bell peppers any color, finely diced
  • 5 radishes finely diced
  • ½ bunch parsley finely chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest from 1 lemon
  • Handful of dried mint crushed finely
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the cucumber mint yogurt:

  • 2 cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 Persian cucumber finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • Small handful fresh or dried mint crushed or finely chopped

Additional optional toppings:

  • Shatta Arab hot sauce
  • Hummus
  • Toum garlic sauce
  • Feta cheese
  • Lettuce chopped
  • Pita chips
  • Thinly sliced red onions sprinkled with sumac
  • Pickles


  • Start by adding the chicken to a bowl, along with the rest of the chicken ingredients. Mix well, let this marinade for at least an hour or up to overnight.
  • Prepare the salad by combining all ingredients together. If making this salad a day in advance, don’t add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper until you’re ready to serve.
  • Combine the ingredients for the cucumber mint yogurt. Set aside – this can be made a day in advance.
  • Make the rice. Add the oil or ghee to a pot over medium high heat. Add the rinsed rice to the pot and mix to coat the grains with the warm oil. Add in the spices, mix again and toast for another 30 seconds before adding in just enough water to cover the rice by ½ inch. Bring this to a boil, then down to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 20 minutes or until soft and fluffy.
  • Add the neutral oil to a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the chicken in batches 3-4 minutes per side, flipping halfway through – you want it to be golden with a slightly crisp exterior and still juicy on the inside. Remove to a plate and continue cooking the remainder of the chicken. Slice the chicken into strips before serving.
  • Assemble your bowls! The best part of the meal. I start with a bed of rice and some chopped lettuce. Add some of the sliced chicken shawarma, a couple spoonful’s of the simple salad and a generous dollop of the cucumber mint yogurt sauce. Add as many of the toppings listed as I want/have on hand and enjoy!
Keyword Chicken Shawarma, Chicken Shawarma Bowls

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  1. Would you share the recipe for Arabic pickles, pls? They are much better than dill pickles, imo, for shawarma.

    1. I LOVE Arabic pickles, I’m working on creating a recipe for it. The main issue is that small, wild cucumbers are typically used for Arabic pickles and they’re almost nonexistent to find in the states.

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