Chicken Shawarma Barley Bowlwith za’atar cauliflower / garlic yogurt sauce
For this easily customizable grain bowl, roast marinated chicken and cauliflower together on a single sheet pan. Roasting the chicken at high heat helps it to get golden brown and slightly crisp around the edges as a nod to traditional shawarma, which is cooked on a vertical rotisserie.
Smarts: Be sure to set aside 1 cup / 237 mL of cooked barley for Thursday's soup (that's for 4 servings, so be sure to adjust if customizing).
- Barley, pearled and uncooked - 1 1/2 cups
- Garlic - 4 cloves, chopped
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
- Cumin - 1/2 tsp
- Paprika - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
- Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb
- Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped, green and white parts combined
- Beets, pre-cooked - 6 oz, chopped (from produce section or canned and drained)
- Foil - for baking
- Cauliflower florets - 1 lb, chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Za'atar - 2 tsp
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 1 cup
- Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
- Barley - (This makes enough for 2 nights.) Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt water generously and add barley. Simmer for 45 to 55 minutes until tender but not soggy. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Garlic (for chicken and yogurt sauce) / Cauliflower - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Marinate chicken - Combine garlic (portion for chicken), oil (portion for chicken), lemon juice (portion for chicken), cumin, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon in a baking dish or Ziploc bag. Add chicken and toss to coat. Tenderize with a fork to allow more of the marinade to soak into the meat. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to a day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Make yogurt sauce - Combine garlic (portion for yogurt sauce), yogurt, and lemon juice (portion for yogurt sauce). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green onions / Beets - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 450F / 232C.
- Line a sheet pan with foil and brush the foil with some cooking oil.
- Toss cauliflower with oil (portion for cauliflower), za’atar, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on prepared sheet pan.
- Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade) and nestle into cauliflower. Season the tops of the chicken with some salt and pepper.
- Transfer to oven and bake until cauliflower is golden and tender and chicken is cooked through (registers 165F / 74C degrees), 18 to 25 minutes.
- If barley was made ahead, reheat in the microwave. (Reserve 1 cup / 237 mL of cooked barley for Thursday; for 4 servings, adjust if customizing.)
- Move chicken to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.
- Set out chicken, cauliflower, barley, beets, green onions, and yogurt sauce. Let everyone assemble the grain bowls at the table by creating a bed of barley and topping it with other ingredients. Enjoy!
This meal has 70 reviews
Made this one but used fresh roasted beets instead of pre-cooked. Surprisingly, even my picky eater ate it without complaints.
We loved this! We used shredded coleslaw instead of sliced cabbage and we did not cook the cabbage. It was delicious!
I used less garlic in the yogurt sauce, no garlic with the chicken (because my hubby has a sensitive tummy), and used canned beets, and I really liked it. Good blend of flavors and the barley was a nice change of pace for me. My husband was not a fan of the barley so if I make it again, I'll use the garlic in the chicken marinade for me.
Kids loved the barley. We all liked it!
Just so so - it was a little boring and I did not like the yogurt sauce
This was a perfect meal for Whole30. Made exactly as written and it turned out delicious. Will definitely make again!