clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
harissan chicken bowl with toppings in yellow bowl

Harissa Chicken Bowls (CAVA Copycat!)

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean-Inspired


These Harissa Chicken Bowls are inspired by the fan-favorite, fast food restaurant. Make your own CAVA-style harissa chicken bowl at home with this crazy-good recipe. It’s loaded with harissa honey chicken with toppings like greens, rice, tomato/cucumber salad, tzatziki, hummus, and a homemade harissa vinaigrette. There’s so much flavor-filled goodness here and it’s super customizable, too!



For the harissa vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup good-quality olive oil
  • 2 (heaping) tablespoons harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon pure honey
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • ¼ cup water, to thin

For the harissa chicken:

  • 1 ½ lbs boneless/skinless chicken thighs, about 56 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons pure honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • Kosher salt, to taste

For the bowl toppings:

  • Basmati rice (or rice of choice), salad mix of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickled red onions, crumbled feta, tzatziki, hummus, fire-roasted corn, avocado, & warm pita bread or pita chips, as desired


For the harissa vinaigrette:

  1. Prep vinaigrette. In a small bowl or mason jar, combine the olive oil, harissa paste, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, garlic, salt- to taste, and water. Stir (or shake) the vinaigrette well to fully combine. Cover and transfer into the refrigerator for flavors to meld for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day.

For the harissa chicken:

  1. Prep the chicken. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Then place the chicken into a large bowl or gallon-sized ziplock bag. Add the harissa paste, honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, worcestershire sauce, and salt- to taste. Use your hands (fitted with disposable gloves, if desired) to massage all of the marinade mixture into the chicken, ensuring the chicken is nicely coated.
  2. Marinate the chicken. Cover the bowl with a lid/plastic wrap or seal plastic bag and transfer to the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes or, more preferably, overnight (for the best results!). If marinating overnight, just be sure to go back and stir/massage the chicken at least once for even flavor marination.
  3. Sear the chicken. After the chicken has marinated, it’s ready to cook. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, working in batches, add the marinated chicken thighs into the skillet- shaking off any excess marinade and discard. Let the chicken sear, undisturbed, until a deep golden sear appears, about 5-6 minutes. Then flip the chicken to continue searing on the other side, about 4-5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and registers at least 165°F when checked with an internal thermometer. Set cooked chicken aside onto a cutting board and repeat process as needed.
  4. Chop chicken. Use a sharp knife to cut the cooked chicken into rough chunks.
  5. Build the harissa chicken bowls & serve: Add the chopped harissa chicken, rice, and greens into shallow bowls. Then top and finish off bowls with your desired toppings: tomatoes/cucumbers, pickled red onions, crumbled feta, fire-roasted corn, avocado, and a scoop of hummus and tzatziki, as you prefer. Then drizzle a desired amount of the reserved harissa vinaigrette over everything. Serve immediately as-is or with warm pita bread (as pictured) or pita chips, it’s extra delicious. Enjoy!


  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.

Keywords: harissa, harissa chicken, chicken bowls, cava bowl, cava harissa, harissa vinaigrette, harissa paste