Chicken Shawarma with Rainbow Couscous

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Spiced chicken is skewered and roasted to make this delicious Chicken Shawarma that is low in fat but high in flavor. It is served up with rainbow couscous full of veggies, jalapeños, and fresh herbs and it makes a great weekend dinner. If you follow Slimming World this recipe is FREE!

I’ve got more delicious Slimming World Chicken Recipes for you to enjoy – right-click and open these other recipes in a new tab so that you can read them after this one.

A plate of couscous and vegetables, topped with a a skewer of chicken shawarma. Text overlay says"Chicken Shawarma with Rainbow Couscous". Similar photos of the recipe/dish from various angles are used throughout and with different text overlay unless otherwise described.

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Chicken Shawarma

The full ingredients list and instructions are found in the printable recipe card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through so that you don’t miss any tips or substitution suggestions and to ensure that you have all the ingredients and equipment required as well as understand the steps and timings involved.

According to Wiki, shawarma is a dish in Middle Eastern cuisine consisting of meat cut into thin slices, stacked in a cone-like shape, and roasted on a slowly-turning vertical rotisserie or spit. Originally made of lamb or mutton, today’s shawarma may also be chicken, turkey, or beef.

So, those big rotating elephant legs (as I like to call them!) that you see in kebab shops – that’s pretty much what shawarma is.

And you may have also seen those recipe videos on social media showing you how to make them at home. Well, this is the low fat version! And it tastes amazing!

The spiced chicken is served with a rainbow couscous salad and accompanies the chicken shawarma perfectly. If you want to throw in a wrap or some pita bread, be my guest, but I actually don’t think you need to. This dish is one of our favorites and gets a 10/10 on the delicious scale!

This recipe for Chicken Shawarma serves 4 and is Free when Food Optimising.

Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Ingredients Used in This Recipe

For your convenience, I’ve linked any specialized ingredients needed for this recipe to Amazon below.

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Amazing Chicken Shawarma Recipe

Recipe Tips

  • You can use metal or wooden skewers to hold the chicken together during cooking.
  • If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before using them. This will prevent them from burning in the oven.
  • You could try this recipe using lamb, beef, turkey, or pork – just remember to use lean meat with all visible fat removed if you want to keep it low in fat.

How Do I Make Chicken Shawarma with Rainbow Couscous?

Just check out the printable recipe card below with full ingredients and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

Recipe for Chicken Shawarma

Chicken Shawarma with Rainbow Couscous

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Spiced chicken is skewered and roasted to make this delicious Chicken Shawarma that is low in fat but high in flavor.


For the Chicken Shawarma

  • 10 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

For the Rainbow Couscous

  • 200g (1½ cups) plain dried couscous
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250ml hot water or chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 250g (8 oz) red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 250g (8 oz) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

To Serve

  • Sliced pickled jalapeños
  • 200g (¾ cup) fat-free Greek yogurt
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. To make the chicken shawarma, place the chicken in a bowl.
  2. Mix together the spices, lemon juice, and garlic and pour over the chicken. Toss to combine well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight if possible.
  3. To cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
  4. Open the chicken thighs and stock on top of each other on a chopping board and push through four skewers evenly spaced apart and all the way through the meat layers. If using wood skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes in water.
  5. Place the skewered chicken into a roasting tin and spray with low-fat cooking spray. Roast for 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Chicken Shawarma Skewer
  6. To make the rainbow couscous, pour dried couscous in a large bowl and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
  7. Pour the hot water or chicken stock over and cover the bowl. Leave for 10 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  8. Stir the vegetables, lemon juice, and vinegar into the cooked couscous and season to taste.
  9. Slice cooked chicken into four kebabs and serve with the rainbow couscous. Add jalapeño slices, yogurt, and parsley on top if using. Enjoy!


Slimming World Syns per serving: FREE when Food Optimising.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 590Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 346mgSodium: 700mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 77g

This site uses Nutritionix to provide estimated nutrition. Nutritional information is always approximate and will depend on the quality of ingredients used and serving sizes. If you need exact calories and macros, please do your own calculations.

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About Slimming World

Slimming World’s Food Optimising plan is a healthy, flexible approach, based on everyday foods, to help people lose weight without ever going hungry. It’s a practical, family-friendly plan that fits easily into everyday life and doesn’t require complex weighing and measuring or obsessive calorie counting. Slimming World

Disclosure: I am not affiliated with Slimming World in any way other than being a member and following their Food Optimising plan. This recipe may have been adapted from a Slimming World magazine or book. If you are reading this blog post or printing this recipe the chances are you already follow SW and know all the ins and outs of how it works. Please check with your consultant, in your member pack, or online at Slimming World’s website for full and up-to-date details about the plan as it may be updated from time to time in line with the latest nutritional information. I am not a doctor or dietician, or providing medical advice and hold no responsibility for the complete accuracy of calorie counts and nutritional information. And where applicable, Syns in Slimming World friendly recipes. I advise you to check your own resources if you are using recipes to lose weight. All weight-loss programs should be followed on advice from a doctor.

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