This healthy Chicken Shawarma couldn’t be easier to make with options for the slow cooker, instant pot, or grill. With just 218 calories and 1 Weight Watchers SmartPoints, it’s the perfect option for a pita sandwich, meal prep bowl, or salad.
As someone who absolutely loves a good chicken shawarma pita, it has always remained one of those dishes that I thought was better left to the experts. Living in Los Angeles, we are lucky that there are a ton of great places to get it so up until a few weeks ago when a reader requested a chicken shawarma recipe, I hadn’t really considered giving it a try. However I am so happy I did. Not only is it really easy to make, it’s much healthier than the take-out version. Plus its made with a handful of spices you probably already have at home. Dinner win.
Now to be fair, this is more like shawarma flavored chicken. We are missing the vertical spit that it is traditionally cooked on for hours where it picks up tons of flavor from cooking in its own fat and juices. But I promise you, this is still really, really good. It’s got all the right flavors and couldn’t be simpler to make. I plan on cooking it in the slow cooker and Instant Pot during colder months and then throwing it on the grill when its hot.
Ways to Cook Chicken Shawarma
- Slow Cooker Chicken Shawarma: This is probably the version I will make the most often since I can toss everything into the crockpot and forget about it. My plan will be to marinate the chicken the night before and then toss it in the slow cooker around lunch time so it’s ready for dinner.
- Instant Pot Chicken Shawarma: The more I use my Instant Pot, the more I like it. Normally for chicken breast, I like to set a manual timer for between 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the breasts. Then I let it natural release. You could also use the chicken setting.
- Grilled Chicken Shawarma: Once it is warm outside, I can’t wait to make this dish on the grill. It will add some smokiness and help get the crispy outside on a traditional chicken shawarma.
- Getting it Crispy: If you opt to cook it in the slow cooker or Instant Pot, you may miss that crispy outside. You can still get it using the broiler to crisp it up or lightly frying it in a skillet.
You can’t talk about Chicken Shawarma without talking about the toppings. Whether you are making traditional pita sandwiches, meal prep bowls, or salads – it won’t taste like a real shawarma without some extras.
Toppings and Sides for Chicken Shawarma
- Tabbouleh: There are all kinds of different tabbouleh recipes out there. One of my favorites is this Quinoa Tabbouleh with Lentils, which is a heartier version of the traditional barley based salad. I love making up a batch of this and serving the chicken right on top.
- Garlic sauce: Traditional Lebanese garlic sauce is made with a combination of garlic and canola oil, and although it is really delicious, it’s also super high in calories and fat from all the oil. I like to make a garlic yogurt sauce instead. This one is really delicious and much lighter.
- Hummus: Hummus isn’t traditionally served with shawarma, but many people like to add it. You could make homemade hummus, this artichoke one is delicious, or use store bought. Drizzling tahini is also an option.
- Israeli Salad: This cucumber and tomato salad is a great option for a pita topping or side dish. My favorite version is this chopped Israeli salad with lemon and fresh herbs.
- Heat: I love a little but of spice with everything. For shawarma I love using store bought harissa. Also Trader Joe’s has a MIddle Eastern cilantro and jalapeno hot sauce called Schug that’s killer. You can find it near the hummus and pesto.
- Grains: If you aren’t wrapping the shawarma in a pita, then rice is the next traditional option. You could also use quinoa or cauliflower rice.
Healthy Chicken Shawarma Meal Prep
This is a great recipe for meal prep. Make up a big batch on Sunday and then pack it for quick weekday lunches. Usually I will pack a couple with grains, cucumbers, tomatoes, and yogurt sauce on the side. The others I will pack up to make quick pita sandwiches.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/chicken-shawarma-slow-cooker-instant-pot-or-grill
This healthy Roasted Eggplant and Quinoa Salad with Feta is one of my favorite salads to make. I love the earthy, tender eggplant and the paprika and honey vinaigrette is so good. Plus it is vegetarian, gluten free, and has just 350 calories or 10 Weight Watchers Smartpoints.
Do you like eggplant? I feel like it is one of the most misunderstood ingredients around. Many people think they hate eggplent but usually it is because they have never had it cooked correctly. It’s either bitter, really mushy, or cooked with a skin that is barely edible. However, I beg you not to give up on eggplant just yet. Not only is it delicious, it’s really good for you. Eggplant is packed with fiber, folate, vitamin B1 and copper. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate and vitamin K, and some really beneficial phytonutrients.
With that said, let’s talk about the proper way to cook eggplant. We will start with the most popular variety, the large purple eggplants you see in the grocery store. There are a few tricks to making sure these eggplants come out delicious. First of all, I would recommend removing all or most of the skin. The skin can be tough and bitter. If you want to leave some skin on, you can leave some thin strips of skin, while peeling away most of it. Secondly, you will want to salt your eggplant and let it sit for at least 20 minutes in a colander. This removes some of the natural bitterness from the eggplant.
If you don’t want to go through the extra steps above, then look for baby eggplant or Japanese eggplant. Both have a thinner skin and are naturally less bitter.
Best Ways to Personalize this Vegetarian Roasted Eggplant and Quinoa Salad
- If quinoa isn’t your favorite grain, you could swap in brown rice, farro, barley, or couscous. You could also use cauliflower rice for a low carb option. This also makes an amazing pasta salad.
- For more protein consider adding some chickpeas, black beans, or grilled chicken. Shrimp is also yummy in this salad.
- If you want to pack in even more veggies, I recommend adding in some cherry tomatoes, asparagus, or lightly sauteed kale.
- Swap out the cheese to mix up the flavor combination. Goat cheese, gorgonzola, or ricotta salata all work well.
- To boost the Mediterranean flavors in this recipe, I like to add in olives. Sometimes I also add canned artichoke hearts, sundried tomatoes, or hearts of palm.
Looking for more main dish salad recipes?
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/roasted-eggplant-and-quinoa-salad-with-feta
This Chicken Enchilada Bubble Up dish couldn’t be more delicious. You will never believe that it only has 235 calories and 5 Weight Watchers SmartPoints per serving. Packed with chicken, bell peppers, tomatoes, and cheese all smothered in enchilada sauce and baked with biscuits. Come on – you know you can’t wait to try it.
Bubble ups are some of my favorite dishes to make and my family absolutely loves them. Lately I have been on a hunt to find enchilada sauce and that was the original inspiration for this recipe. But I was surprised at how difficult it was to find here in Canada. Luckily after consulting my good friend Google, I learned that in many stores here it is called taquera sauce. It tastes very similar and is much easier to find.
So back to the bubble up! All my bubble ups start with biscuit dough. I like to use the 7.5 oz. packages of small biscuits, which I then cut down into smaller pieces. This helps to ensure the dough cooks through completely. Then I cover the biscuit dough with a mixture of chicken, diced bell peppers, tomatoes, and enchilada sauce. I also add some extra chili powder, which is completely optional depending on the spice level of your enchilada sauce. Then the cheese! Because every good enchilada has cheese. Once this bakes in the oven, I like to top it with cilantro and diced avocado. You can add any toppings you like.
Fun Ways to Personalize Your Chicken Enchilada Bubble Up
- Chicken is my go to protein for this dish but I imagine it would work with other proteins as well. You could try lean ground chicken or beef. You could also use black beans for a vegetarian option.
- Since enchilada sauce can be hard to find in Canada, I used taquera sauce, which is the closest option I could easily find. If you are in the states, you could use red or green enchilada sauce. You could also use a taco sauce.
- Toppings! Consider trying my favorites of cilantro and avocado. You could also add olives, jalapenos, onion, or queso fresco.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/chicken-enchilada-bubble-up
A healthier version of Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta that is all made in one pot in under 30 minutes. Tender mushrooms and chicken breast in a creamy Parmesan sauce all with pasta – there isn’t a dinner much better than that in my mind. With just 437 calories (9 Weight Watchers SmartPoints), this is comfort food without the guilt.
I have been really into one pot pasta dishes the last few weeks. I think it is a symptom of feeling stressed and overwhelmed. By the end of the day, I want a meal that I can make in less than thirty minutes and something that is seriously comforting. And this creamy chicken and mushroom pasta delivers. It is so easy to make and you won’t believe how delicious the sauce is without using a ton of heavy cream.
The key to making a thick and creamy sauce without using tons of heavy cream is to cook the pasta in just enough broth to create a sauce. The broth cooks down and combines with the natural starch in the pasta to create a flavorful, surprisingly creamy sauce. Then by adding just a touch of half and half and some Parmesan cheese, you take the sauce to the next level. I am talking a smooth, garlicky, cheesy sauce that is delicious. Especially with the chicken and earthy mushrooms. Yum.
There are all kind of ways to switch up the flavors in this recipe. I have suggested a few below to give you some ideas, but the possibilities are endless.
Ways to Personalize this One Pot Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Pasta
- Protein: There are all kinds of options for protein in this dish. I reached for chicken breast since that is the traditional option, but chicken thighs would work as well. You could also use chicken or turkey sausage – so good. Shrimp would work too. For a vegetarian option, use chickpeas or white beans and swap in vegetable broth.
- Add tomato: If you love having tomatoes with your pasta, you could add a drained can of diced tomatoes or fresh cherry tomatoes to the mix.
- Spice: There are very few recipes where I don’t add just a touch of heat. If you like spice, I would recommend adding some red pepper flakes to the mix while you saute the onions.
- More veggies: To kick up the nutrients in this dish, consider adding some more veggies. Spinach, asparagus, or broccoli are my favorite options.
Looking for more one pot pasta dishes?
Article source: http://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/one-pot-creamy-chicken-and-mushroom-pasta
These Ranch Turkey Burgers will knock your socks off! They are seriously the easiest burger ever and have so much yummy ranch flavor. Plus they are good for you, packed with protein, and have just 3 ingredients.
This simple turkey burgers are the perfect way to liven up a traditional turkey burger without reaching for tons of ingredients. In fact, you just need two other ingredients to make a flavor packed burger that your whole family will love. They are easy, filled with so much yummy ranch flavor, and always a crowd pleaser. No bland, boring turkey burgers here.
Now before we go further, let’s talk about using store bough ranch seasoning. It isn’t the healthiest option around, but it is quick, convenient, and affordable. Unfortunately store bought ranch seasoning usually has lots of sodium and normally contains both MSG and maltodextrin. It also contains some other preservatives and hard to pronounce ingredients. Depending on your diet and health needs, this may be a deal breaker for you or you may not mind. No judgment, just choose the option that is best for you. For a healthier option, you can make your own ranch seasoning at home. It tastes just as good and is made with natural ingredients, many of which you may already have. It just takes a little longer.
Variations of this Ranch Turkey Burger
- Cheddar Turkey Ranch Burger: Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese to the mixture. Add 57 calories and 2 points per burger.
- Bacon Turkey Ranch Burgers: Cook 4 slices of center cut bacon. Then chop and add them to the burgers. Add 25 calories and 1 point per burger.
- Garlic and Ranch Turkey Burgers: Add 1-2 minced garlic cloves to the burger mix. This really kicks up the garlic flavor if that’s your thing.
- Beef Ranch Burgers: Substitute lean ground beef for the turkey for a beef version of this recipe. This adds 32 calories and the recipe is 4 Weight Watchers Freestyle points per patty.
- Chicken Ranch Burgers: Swap out the turkey for lean ground chicken. If it is 99% lean of ground chicken breast, the calories and points stay the same.”
- Vegetarian Ranch Burgers: Here is a yummy version using chickpeas instead of turkey.
- Buffalo Ranch Burgers: Since buffalo and ranch go together like peanut butter and jelly, you may have the awesome idea to add some buffalo sauce to this recipe. Personally I like adding it after the burger has cooked directly on the bun itself. If you add it to the burger mixture, you may need to add some breadcrumbs so that the burger stays together.
Tips for Making the Perfect Turkey Burger
- If you are worried about your turkey burger being dry, there are a few ways you can add moisture. One of my favorite ways is to add 1/2 cup grated onion or zucchini. This adds flavor, veggies, and moisture to the burger. You could also use a higher fat ground turkey.
- Serve this as a traditional burger in some low calorie or whole wheat buns. You could also wrap it up in lettuce, serve it on portobello or sweet potato buns, or chop it up and toss it in a salad.
- Make a small indent with your thumb in the center of each burger before cooking. This helps to keep the burger from getting round like a hockey puck.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/healthy-ranch-turkey-burgers
Easy and delicious Parmesan Roasted Broccoli that makes a great side dish for virtually any meal. You’ll be shocked at how good broccoli can taste when it is roasted and coated in a little Parmesan cheese.
This is the broccoli recipe I make for people who say they don’t like broccoli. Turns out most of them have never had delicious, nutty, roasted broccoli. It truly is a completely different vegetable when its roasted and has so much more flavor than when it is steamed. This version take simple roasted broccoli made with olive oil, salt, and pepper to another level when it is finished with fresh lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. So good, so easy, and the way to make anyone love broccoli.
We also can’t talk about this recipe without talking about the crispy roasted garlic slices. They are heaven. Each little slice of garlic gets toasty and brown and seriously yummy. There is a fight for the last one every time I serve this simple side dish. Since we love the garlic so much, I usually add at least two cloves, sometimes more.
Ways to Customize this Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
- Consider this recipe a blueprint for roasting all kinds of veggies this way. Just adjust the cooking time depending on the vegetable. I have made this basic recipe with cauliflower, asparagus. zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and kale. It comes out amazing every time.
- Although I used Parmesan cheese since I always have it on hand, you could try out all different cheeses. An aged gouda would add even more nuttiness to the recipe. Crumbled goat cheese or feta would be super yummy. A mild mozzarella or cheddar may be best for kiddos.
- Although your first instinct is to serve this as a side dish, it is also great for meal prep. I love throwing roasted broccoli in salads, wraps, and quesadillas. I also pair it with eggs all the time to get some greens in at the start of the day.
- Consider adding some heat with red pepper flakes. Just toss the broccoli with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes before roasting. You could add other spices here as well.
- To pack in even more lemon flavor, toss the broccoli with lemon zest before baking.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/parmesan-roasted-broccoli
Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad tastes just like the traditional street food but in an easy to eat, healthier salad that makes the perfect side dish or snack.
If you have never had Mexican street corn before, you are missing out. It is basically boiled or roasted corn on the cob that is smothered in mayo, cheese, chili powder, and lime juice. It may sound strange and I was incredible skeptical, but I have been obsessed since my first bite. It is the best combination of sweet, smoky, spicy, and tangy. Your taste buds will thank you.
The cousin to Mexican Elote is Esquites, which is basically the same thing but the corn has been cut off the cob. Personally I prefer this option since it so much easier to eat and less messy than the cob version. It’s served in a little cup and can be found all over Mexico at street stands, especially at night.
This Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad is inspired by those delicious street bites. It takes all the same ingredients and combines them in the perfect salad. I added some jalapeno and cilantro as well for color. I also toned back the chili powder since my kids would be eating it as well, but you could definitely kick it up with extra jalapeno or chili powder.
The other great thing about this recipe is that fact that it is just 100 calories and 1 Weight Watchers Freestyle SmartPoints. Since corn is one of the new zero point foods on Weight Watchers, it makes it a great option for building Mexican style side dishes. Mexican has always been a favorite of mine, but with corn and beans being zero points, I find myself eating it more often.
A few notes about this Healthy Mexican Street Corn Salad
- You can use fresh, canned, or frozen corn. Personally I find frozen corn has the best flavor unless it is the peak of corn season. Make sure to saute it in butter so that the sweetness has a chance to come through.
- Cotija cheese is a Mexican cheese that has a similar taste to feta. If you can’t find it, you could use feta or Parmesan cheese in the recipe.
- The spice level is really up you. You can kick up the heat with extra chili powder or jalapenos or tone it way down by just using a touch of paprika.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/healthy-mexican-street-corn-salad
This Crispy Baked Pork is so good. You will never believe that it actually a lightened up version of a fried pork cutlet or schnitzel. Made with just a few simple ingredients, it is a meal we eat all the time.
These simple and delicious crispy pork tenderloins will quickly become a go-to recipe in your weekly menus. The basic concept couldn’t be simpler – coat the pork in a thin layer of mustard, press it into some spiced Panko breadcrumbs, and lightly fry. However the thing I really love about this recipe is how many ways you can make it your own. Use a different type of mustard, try a jelly or jam, use Thai sweet chili sauce, swap in eggs or buttermilk, the possibilities are endless. By swapping out the coating of the pork and spicing up the breadcrumbs, you can make so many different dishes.
Now before anyone asks, this can definitely be made with chicken instead. I like making it with pork since it is something we don’t eat as often, but I know there are lots of people who don’t eat pork or may just prefer chicken. Chicken breast tenderloins or sliced chicken breasts will work best for the recipe. It’s also a huge hit for kids. I mean it’s basically a baked chicken tender.
- Dijon mustard and thyme: This is the version I included in the recipe. It’s a classic combination and has just the right amount of spice and punchy herbal flavors.
- Sweet Thai Chili Sauce and shredded coconut: Swap in Thai sweet chili sauce for the musatrd and add some shredded coconut to your Panko breadcrumbs.
- Buffalo sauce and ranch: Use buffalo sauce instead of the mustard and add in some dried ranch seasoning into the breadcrumbs.
- Italian dressing and spice: Use a light Italian dressing to coat the pork and then add some Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes to the breading.
- Eggs and cajun seasoning: Coat the pork in a traditional egg wash and then add lots of Cajun seasoning to the Panko breadcrumbs.
- Barbecue sauce and grill seasoning: Use barbecue sauce to coat the pork and then add some grill seasoning to the breadcrumbs mixture.
- Orange and rosemary: Lightly coat the pork in orangle marmalade and add some rosemary to the breading.
- Pesto and Parmesan: Coat the pork in a store bought pesto sauce and throw some Parmesan into the Panko.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/crispy-baked-pork
This Healthy Kale Caesar Salad totally fulfills my craving for the calorie bomb restaurant salads but is made with a homemade Caesar dressing made with yogurt that’s taste just as good. Pair it with kale or Romaine for a delicious and good for you Caesar salad.
Like everyone, I have been trying to eat more greens this month but am finding myself seeking more variety as we approach the end of the month. And one of the things I have been craving is a restaurant style Caesar salad. One of my favorites is actually made with kale and I love the earthy flavors it adds to the salad, plus I love the added nutritional benefits of kale.
Like any good Caesar, the key to the recipe is the dressing. This healthy caesar dressing starts out with Greek yogurt, Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. Then to add the trademark Caesar flavors, you’ll add garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and anchovy paste. The anchovy paste is optional but if you want authentic tasting Caesar, then you defintiely want to include it. It doesn’t taste fishy at all and just adds a salty, umami flavor that makes a caesar taste like a Caesar. I opted not to include the raw egg, but you could definitely whisk one in as well.
Here are some ways to customize this Healthy Kale Caesar Salad
- If you don’t love kale, you can use Romaine lettuce for a more traditional Caesar salad. I also love using a combination of kale and romaine.
- If you want a vegetarian version, you can leave out the anchovy paste and use a vegetarian Worcestershire sauce. You can replace the Worcestershire sauce with soy sauce as well.
- For a traditional Caesar, add one raw egg to the dressing. If you are worried about the dangers of eating raw eggs, you can use a pasteurized raw egg.
- For a low carb version, use full fat yogurt and leave off the croutons.
Here are some of the products and tools I used for this recipe
- Anchovy paste is a great ingredient to have on hand to add salty, umami flavor to a dish. I use it in salad dressing, pasta dishes, and quick stir-fries. Plus it is key for a good Caesar dressing.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/healthy-kale-caesar-salad
The Best Skinny Ranch will make all your ranch dressing dreams come true without the guilt. This healthier, homemade ranch has just 36 calories (1 Weight Watchers SmartPoints) with ingredients that are natural and good for you.
I have a little bit of a love hate relationship with ranch. Sometimes I love it and can’t get enough and sometimes, depending on the brand, I hate it and find it too sweet and fake tasting. And light and diet ranch – I pretty much never like them. That was until I came across a basic ranch recipe, made a few minor tweeks, and found a skinny ranch I LOVE. Full of fresh herbs and lemon, it tastes great and is perfect for just about anything. The dressing is not as thick as typical ranch, which I actually like. If you want it a little thicker, substitute 1/4 cup light mayo for 1/4 cup of the buttermilk and you will get a thicker dressing.
You can serve this in all the traditional ways. Toss it with your favorite salad, dip in some fresh cut crudite, or make some buffalo chicken and douse it with this skinny ranch. It tastes good on everything. Personally, I love having a container ready in the fridge. I find I always eat more veggies when its around.
- This healthier ranch is on the thinner side and perfect for drizzling. However if you want a thicker ranch, you can substitute light mayo, light sour cream, or more Greek yogurt for some of the buttermilk.
- Depending on your dietary needs, you can make a richer version by using full fat yogurt and sour cream.
- If the garlic flavor is too strong with the raw garlic, use either roasted garlic or garlic powder instead. You can also add in some onion powder for extra flavor.
- For a spicy version, add in some chipotle peppers in adobo or Sriracha. You can also make a buffalo version by adding in some buffalo sauce.
Article source: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/the-best-skinny-ranch