Easy Chicken Shawarma Bowls
If you love street food, chances are you’ve enjoyed Chicken Shawarma. The mixture of flavors and textures is second to none and pretty much addictive. No, we don’t have a spit to layer meat and fat on for that delicious flavor, but with chicken fajita meat, all you need is a quick spice rub (leave it on as long as you can up to overnight) + a few minutes in a hot skillet and you’ve got your own #makeyourowntakeout version of Shawarma!
If you’re following the #Septemberwhole30, this Whole30 friendly bowl is filled with the chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, pickled onions, roasted potatoes and tahini sauce.
1 1/2 lbs organic pasture raised chicken breasts cut into 1/2" strips (or you can use chicken thighs or pre-cut chicken fajita strips)
Avocado or olive oil (for cooking)
2 tsp. Magic Salt (or make your own with 3 parts salt, 2 parts granulated garlic and 1 part pepper)
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. corinader
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. granulated onion
2 Tbsp. avocado oil (or olive oil)
1/3 cup plain yogurt
2-3 Tbsp. tahini (or sesame seed butter)
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. dill weed
Sea salt and black pepper (to taste)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Tahini, hummus, tzatziki, kalamata olives, tomato, onion, cucumber, etc. for serving
Shawarma Spice Rub
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Chicken Shawarma Spice Rub
Combine all spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly (store in an airtight container).
Tahini Yogurt Sauce
Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Chicken Shawarma Bowls
Rub the chicken with the spice mixture and let it stand at room temp for as long as possible while prepping everything else--if more than 30 minutes, place spice rubbed chicken in the fridge. You can let it hang out for up to 12 hours without a problem as long as it’s refrigerated.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add enough avocado or olive oil to evenly coat the bottom of the skiller
Using tongs or your hands, add the chicken to the skillet a little bit at a time. Leave behind as much of the marinade as possible. Spread the chicken in a single layer so that each piece will brown evenly.
When chicken begins to turn opaque, flip over and continue to cook. Use a metal spatula to break apart any pieces of chicken that don't lay evenly in the skillet.
Add 1/2 cup of water to the skillet to gather up any spices that are stuck to the bottom of the skillet and to create a thick coating of the spice rub on the finished chicken.
When chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, remove from skillet and prepare to serve.
For Whole30'ers, the chicken with the spice mixture and let it stand at room temp for as long as possible while prepping everything else or if more than 30 minutes, place it in the fridge. You can let it hang out for up to 12 hours without a problem as long as it’s refrigerated.
If you’re not doing a Whole30, serve the Shawarma dinner-style with rice and a mixed salad of cucumbers, olives, onions, tomatoes and feta. Or make it into a bowl with hummus, salad (like above) and tzatziki.
Like I said the options are endless and with a bowl of this Chicken Shawarma prepped in your fridge you can have several happy meals!
Follow Christi on Instagram (@healthyhappyrealcf) for a forthcoming bean-free hummus recipe that WILL be Whole30 friendly and will fool even the most die-hard hummus fan.
Christi Flaherty is a Whole30 Certified Coach, Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist with NANP and founder of HealthyHappyReal.com. Her writing has been featured on eHow and Livestrong as a healthy cooking expert and she was a featured blogger with FoodBuzz. Christi coaches GenX women using the Whole30 approach to help them reach health goals, find food freedom and fall in love with cooking and eating real food. Find her Paleo and Whole30 friendly recipes and coaching information at Healthy Happy Real.