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Shawarma-Spiced Chicken Foil Packets

Will Coleman
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
10 mins

Chef notes

These vibrant Middle Eastern-inspired foil packets bring a pop of color and flavor to your dinner table. They’re the perfect warm-weather dinner that cooks quickly on the grill. The best part? They’re a complete meal, thanks to a combination of chicken, brown rice, cherry tomatoes, bell pepper and red onion and are as easy to clean up as they are to make. 

This recipe calls for a homemade shawarma spice blend, which may sound fussy but stick with us here. To make it, simply combine ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and paprika in a small bowl. The benefit of making your own spice blend is you can guarantee its freshness. Spice blends that are premixed from the grocery store have often been sitting around for awhile and can sometimes be dull and musty in flavor. You’ll only need half of the homemade blend for this recipe, so store the remainder in an airtight container in your spice cabinet for up to a couple of months and you’ll have another easy dinner practically at the ready.

After grilling these foil packets, the result is moist chicken, tender vegetables and rice that has soaked up the spice-kissed juices. Be careful when you open each packet, as all the steam that is trapped inside will quickly escape. While the Greek yogurt, lemon, and freshly torn mint are optional garnishes for these packets, they’re encouraged as they bring brightness to each bite.

Swap Option: For vegetarian-friendly foil packets, use 10 ounces of shiitake mushrooms in place of the chicken.


For the Spice Blend
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
For the Foil Packets
  • 1-1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup pitted and sliced green olives
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (8.5-ounce) microwavable brown rice packages (about 3 cups)
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
  • 1 lemon, sliced, for garnish (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons torn fresh mint, for garnish (optional)
Fulfilled by


For the spice blend:

In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients until well-combined.

For the foil packets:


Preheat the oven or grill to 425 F.


In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken, olives, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, onions, lemon juice, olive oil and 1/2 the shawarma spice blend.


Place four 18-by-12-inch pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil on the counter. Divide the rice into four servings and evenly place it in the middle of the foil. Top with the chicken and vegetable mixture, followed by a sprig of thyme.


Bring the two opposite ends of the foil together and fold twice to seal, then fold in the other sides, creating leak-proof packets. Place the foil packets onto a baking tray and place them into the oven or directly onto the grill, close the grill and cook for 20 minutes.


Carefully open the packets (hot steam will escape). Top each packet with Greek yogurt, lemon slices and torn mint, if desired.