Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls


We’re loving this recipe for healthy Chicken Shawarma Quinoa Bowls with a super easy hack for creating make-ahead lunches for work or school. The flavors are out of this world!


  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 chicken breasts boneless/skinless
  • 1 clove garlic smashed and minced
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil divided
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 naan flatbreads toasted or warmed slightly

The Veggies:

  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1/2-3/4 bell pepper red or green
  • 1/2 English cucumber 
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1-2 TBSP fresh chopped parsley

Tahini sauce:

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 clove garlic smashed and minced
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 TBSP warm water
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp paprika



  1. First rinse and drain your quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve. Bring a medium saucepan to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water. Stir as it toasts for just a few minutes. This step is optional but really adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa! Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.

  2. While the quinoa cooks, prep your veggies! Chop onion, bell pepper, cucumber, and parsley. Mince your garlic and slice grape tomatoes in half.

  3. Pat chicken dry with paper towel, then place a dry paper towel on top. Using a meat mallet or heavy pan, pound to 1⁄4-inch thickness.

  4. In a large shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag, combine cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne pepper with juice of 1⁄2 lemon, minced garlic, and 1 TBSP olive oil. Add chicken and coat with the spices. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

  5. Snag your now-fluffy quinoa from the pot and give it a little fluff with a fork. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

  6. Remove chicken from marinade and season both sides with 1⁄2 tsp salt and black pepper as desired. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan from naan over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add chicken. Cook until chicken is cooked through (165 degrees F), approx 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and allow to rest while you prep your quinoa bowls.

  7. Combine onion, bell pepper, cucumber, tomatoes, and parsley in a bowl and dress with juice of one lemon and 2 TBSP olive oil. Season if desired.

  8. For the tahini sauce, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, and minced garlic. Slowly add warm water, whisking well until thin and saucy. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.

  9. Slice your chicken into thin strips or chop into bite-sized pieces.

  10. Now let’s toss it all together! You can plate the veggies and chicken on top as pictured above or toss the quinoa with the veggies first for goodness in every bite! Dress with tahini sauce and dig in!

Quick Notes:

  • Gluten-Free: I’ve got your back! Simply snag your favorite GF flatbread in place of the naan or pita bread or simply skip it altogether!
  • Vegan + Vegetarian Chefs: Skip the chicken and make your favorite swap! My Roasted Shawarma Chickpeas are AMAZING in this dish! Pan-fried tofu would also taste awesome with this shawarma seasoning blend or you could also roast some chopped yukon gold potatoes in olive oil and the shawarma-style spices and top your quinoa bowls with it.
  • Paleo Peeps: skip the carbs and you’re good to go! You can even add some roasted or sautéed veggies to your plate if you’d like!



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