Ready to take your weeknight meal or lunch prep to a whole new level of delicious? Look no further than this flavour-packed Shawarma made with local Canadian turkey, and a few pantry staple spices.
This Instant Pot Turkey Shawarma recipe is sponsored by Turkey Farmers of Canada and we’re encouraging everyone to #ThinkTurkey. As always, all opinions are my own.Jump to Recipe
There’s something about Middle Eastern cooking that I find comforting. It’s such a diverse cuisine, and uses so many bright and warm flavours and ingredients, from lentils to dates, sumac to cumin; I truly do love it all. One ingredient that isn’t synonymous with the Middle East is turkey. To clarify, the country Turkey is most definitely Middle Eastern. The poultry, however, is not.
We like to switch up our proteins to keep things interesting and turkey is a go-to ingredient due to its versatility and availability (guess what friends, you can buy turkey all year round!). I know a lot of people who are of the mindset that turkey is a holiday-only food, but I’m inclined to challenge that. I make meatloaf and curries using turkey all year and I’m always left craving more. Not only is it delicious in all your favourite poultry recipes, but it’s a healthy option, too.
Since it’s fall, and getting chilly out, I’ve been feeling all the warm spices associated with Middle Eastern foods, so I busted out the Instant Pot for the first time this season, and made one of my favourite dishes – Shawarma. All you need is a handful of everyday spices to make a knock-your-socks-off marinade, some Canadian turkey, and your Instant Pot to whip it together in hardly any time at all. Who doesn’t love a quick and easy meal, especially when it’s made with a lean and tasty protein like turkey.
We all need to step up our veggie game, and this Turkey Shawarma bowl will do the trick. Instead of serving the turkey with rice, I prefer packing a bowl full of mixed greens, fresh veggies and a fibre rich carb, such as quinoa. To make it slightly more indulgent, I drizzle a homemade garlic sauce over the works and sprinkle some salty feta to finish it off. I would understand and fully support your decision to be heavy handed with the feta (cheese lovers unite!). The garlic sauce also works great as a dip for veggies, so you can double the recipe and keep some on hand for snacking.
Now that it’s September, everyone is back to work or school, and you may need to think about healthy and nutritious lunch options. This Turkey Shawarma is a great option for that too, as you can prep it all in advance. Simply fill your meal prep containers with the greens and veggies. Keep the turkey separate if you wish to heat it up. If not, throw it all together and call it a day! This year I’m not headed back to work or school, instead I’m home with my two month old baby, so having meals like this prepped and ready to go has been a life saver. It’s saved me from expensive take-out and junky meals-from-boxes, or worse, not eating at all. Keeping healthy is important not just for me, but now for my baby, and incorporating easy and convenient ingredients like Canadian turkey are keeping me on track.
Instant Pot Turkey Shawarma Bowls
A spin on a classic flavourful Middle Eastern dish, using Canadian Turkey and made in the Instant Pot.
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 cups sliced yellow onion 1 large onion
- 2 tbsp minced garlic about 4 large cloves
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 2.5 lbs boneless skinless turkey breast
- 3/4 cup water or poultry stock
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
For the Bowls
- 1 cup dry quinoa
- 8 cups mixed greens
- 2 cups halved grape tomatoes
- 2 cups chopped cucumber
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 Pitas, cut into wedges optional
Add the olive oil, lemon juice, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper into a zip top plastic bag. Shake to combine. Add the turkey breast. Seal the bag and shake and massage the marinade around the turkey. Refrigerate for at least one hour, but ideally, overnight.
Transfer the turkey to your Instant Pot. Add 3/4 cup of water or poultry stock and mix to ensure everything is combined. Close the lid (following manufacture’s guide). Using the Manual setting, set the Instant Pot timer to 15 minutes on high pressure.
Once the Instant Pot cycle has completed, allow for a natural pressure release. This will take about 20 minutes. If you’re in a rush, follow the manufactures guide on how to do a quick release. Remove the lid, and remove the turkey from the pot. Allow to cool slightly, and cut into slices or chunks. For even more flavour, leave the marinade in the pot and turn the Instant Pot on to Sauté. Once the marinate is at a simmer, add the sliced/chopped turkey, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate until ready to use. The longer it sits, the better the flavour.
For the Bowls
Cook quinoa according to package directions.
Add 2 cups of greens to each bowl or meal prep container, along with 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa, 1/2 cup of cucumbers, 1/2 cup tomatoes, a handful of sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons of crumbled feta, half of one sliced Turkey breast, and 2-4 tablespoons of the Garlic Sauce. Serve with pita wedges (optional)