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Easy Mediterranean Bowls With Homemade Tzatziki

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 3


For the pickled onion

  • 1.5 cup apple cider vinegar any clear vinegar will work
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 TBSP granulated sugar plus more to taste
  • 1 TBSP salt plus more to taste
  • 1/2 red onion sliced

For the chicken

  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne optional
  • pepper to taste
  • 3 TBSP olive oil divided
  • 16 oz chicken thigh chopped into bite-sized pieces

For the rice

  • 3/4 c rice
  • 1-1/2 c water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt to taste

Tzatziki, toppings and veggies

  • 1 large cucumber chopped in half
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried dill sub 1 TBSP fresh chopped dill
  • 1 lemon chopped in half
  • salt to taste
  • 1-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
  • 2 pitas chopped, optional


  • Prepare the pickled onion: Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a small pot and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, add the sliced onion to a heat proof jar (canning jars work great!) and pour the boiled liquid over them. Press the veggies into the liquid with a wooden spoon so they're completely covered. If there's not enough liquid, add equal parts water and vinegar to the jar until the onions are fully submerged. Let them sit at room temp for about an hour, then move them to the fridge. Picked veggies can keep for at least a week in the fridge!
  • Season the chicken: To a large bowl, add the paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, cumin, cayenne if using, and pepper. Mix, then add half of the olive oil, followed by the chopped chicken. Use a fork to toss the chicken in the spices.
  • Make the rice: To a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat, add the rinsed rice, water, cumin and salt and bring to a boil uncovered. Once boiling, stir once, then cover and turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. No peeking! After 15 minutes, remove from the heat and leave covered for another 15 minutes to steam. Then, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
  • Cook the chicken: Preheat a cast-iron skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat, then add the remaining oil. After about a minute (less if you start to see the oil smoking), add the seasoned chicken. Depending on the size of your pan, you may need to do this in batches. Cook the chicken on each side for 5 minutes over medium heat, until it's golden in color and firm to the touch. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Make the tzatziki: Using a grater, shred half of the cucumber. Then strain it using a mesh sieve to remove excess moisture, and add it to a bowl. Add the yogurt, dill, juice from half a lemon and salt to taste. Mix and adjust salt as needed.
  • Chop the remaining half of the cucumber and slice the remaining half of the lemon into 3 wedges.
  • Assemble: I recommend keeping the chicken and rice (which can be reheated in the microwave or on the stove) separate from the pickled onion, cucumber, tomato, tzatziki and pita (not to be reheated) by using divided meal prep containers or separate containers. This meal can also be eaten cold if you'd like to add everything to one container. Keep tzatziki and pita on the side until you are ready to eat!