Chicken Shawarma Barley Bowl
with 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!
Went with brown rice, skipped the beets, added cucumber and a little hot sauce. Delicious!0 Helpful
This was tasty, it felt fancy, and different members of my family ate different amounts of the components to their own liking. My 4 year old ate familiar pistachios and tasted new barley (and skipped the veggies this time around, but at least I didn't have to make her a separate meal!) Also, I wasn't sure what the beets were for, but then it turned out their sweetness really added a different and pleasant flavor to the mix!0 Helpful
This was pretty good but nothing amazing. Liked the yogurt sauce and the smell of the spice on the chicken. Went rice instead of barley based on the reviews here. Would make again but would probably change up the veggies and and maybe pan fry the chicken?0 Helpful
It was okay. Barley takes forever to cook, but we saved time by using the Instant Pot0 Helpful
Just meh.0 Helpful
We skipped the beets and substituted eggplant. The chicken was good and we always love a good yogurt sauce!0 Helpful