These Chicken Shawarma Meal Prep Bowls are delicious as lunches for the week, and the shawarma seasoning tastes just like a restaurant's!
How to make this recipe
Preheat your oven to 400 F. While preheating, mix your marinade together and coat your chicken in it for 10-15 minutes.
Add your veggies lettuce, pickled cabbage/turnips, hummus and pitas to each bowl.
Saute chicken on a large skillet for 3-4 minutes each side, then place in oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
Slice chicken once cooled and divide among your meal prep bowls!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – Any neutral oil like sunflower, vegetable or peanut oil will work well in place of olive oil.
- Chicken thighs – Chicken breasts are a great alternative that will offer a leaner finish.
- Romaine lettuce – Iceberg lettuce or a blend of your favourite mixed greens can be used instead of romaine lettuce.
- Plum tomatoes – Cherry tomatoes will be the closest alternative to plum tomatoes in this recipe.
- Red onion – If you don't have red onions on hand, yellow onions are a good replacement.
- Parsley – Parsley brings out an authentic flavour from traditional shawarma dishes. If you would prefer not to use parsley or if you're in a pinch, you can leave it out.
- Pickled turnips – Pickled turnips are an iconic taste in shawarma plates and wraps. If you can't find turnips or would prefer not to use them, pickle red cabbage instead for a similar effect.
- Hummus – Tahini, baba ghanoush (made from eggplant), or garlic sauce are popular substitutes for hummus.
- Lemon wedges – Lime is an alternative option for this.
- Pita – If you're looking for an alternative to pita bread, I love to use pita chips for added texture but similar taste. Or if you want a lower carb meal, remove this altogether.
- Olive oil – See notes above for olive oil substitutions.
- Lemon juice – Fresh lemon juice is preferred but bottled lemon juice/lime juice can also work.
- Garlic – Use fresh minced garlic or jarred minced garlic.
- Cumin – Ground coriander can be used instead of cumin.
- Chili powder – An additional mixture of the other spices in this recipe can be used to replace chili powder.
- Turmeric – If you don't have turmeric, you can replace this with curry powder.
- Paprika – Cayenne pepper or additional chili powder can be used instead of paprika.
- Nutmeg – Garam masala, mace, allspice are all good alternatives to nutmeg.
- Cinnamon – Extra nutmeg, allspice or cassia can be used in place of cinnamon.
Storing and reheating
Storing your shawarma meal prep bowls are easy in theory but there is one thing to watch out for! Make sure to store the chicken separately from the rest of the bowls as it is the only component that you would want to warm up in the microwave. The reason why I say this is because microwaved salads aren't typically a fan favourite. Now, this may be an unpopular opinion, but if you don't like to warm up your food and eat it straight from the fridge feel free to store it altogether.
If you're storing your chicken separately from your salads, this is what reheating will look like for you. Take the desired amount of chicken from the container it's stored in and warm it up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until it reaches your temperature of choice. Once you've done this, add your serving of chicken to your shawarma meal prep bowl and enjoy!
Note: if you're using pita bread or pita chips as an add-on to your bowl, keep this stored separately until you're ready to eat. The salad may make your pita bread soggy, which isn't ideal!
Freezing this meal
If you love chicken shawarma, you'll be happy to hear that you can freeze the meat in this meal for up to 3 months if cooked or up to 9 months if raw and marinated. That means an easy shawarma bowl whenever you're in the mood for one! If you're freezing the cooked meat, you will want to make sure the chicken has cooled to room temperature then divide the leftovers into portions and place them into airtight meal prep containers or freezer-safe bags. To freeze raw meat that has been marinated, place your chicken into an airtight container or a freezer-safe bag.
More chicken meal prep lunch bowls
Meal prep tools for this recipe
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls to store each serving individually for easy lunch prep
- I get all my free-range chicken from Butcher Box, conveniently delivered to me frozen
- Get a meat thermometer to make sure your meat is cooked through
- Use these Ziploc bag holders if you're marinating the chicken then freezing it
Chicken Shawarma Meal Prep Bowls
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 1 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled red cabbage or pickled turnips (this is the secret to shawarma!)
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 1 pita, cut into 8 triangles
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large bowl, mix shawarma marinade ingredients together, stirring well to combine. Add chicken and toss to coat, then marinate 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, parsley, cabbage/turnips, hummus, lemon wedges and pitas to each bowl.
- In a large oven-safe skillet, heat a bit of olive oil over med-high heat. Add chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes each side, then place in oven and cook for another 10 minutes.
- Slice chicken once cooled and divide among each meal prep bowl. Eat all bowls within 5 days!