Enjoy a homemade Cava bowl in the comfort of your kitchen and for a fraction of the price with our recipe for harissa honey chicken cava bowl topped with hot harissa vinaigrette. This spicy chicken bowl with rice and greens is bursting with freshness and bold flavor.
This Cava copycat bowl starts with a bed of greens and rice topped with harissa chicken thighs, feta, pickled onions, cucumber, avocado, hummus, and our Cava copycat harissa vinaigrette.
I will guide you through how to make the harissa marinade, various ways to cook chicken thighs, and the assembly of the bowl. We make this recipe weekly as it's one of our favorite Cava copycat recipes!
What is Harissa?
Harissa is a chili paste made from a blend of roasted hot peppers, garlic, cumin, and coriander. Harissa offers a fiery kick coupled with a hint of smokiness which gives it a rich and earthy depth of flavor.
Originating in Tunisia, harissa is a vibrant and bold North African seasoning often referred to as Tunisia's national condiment. It's used as a condiment, marinade, or flavor enhancer for many dishes including meats, vegetables, and grains.
You can find harissa powder and harissa paste in most grocery stores.
Why We Love this Recipe
This recipe was inspired by the harissa avocado bowl at Cava. I love to eat Cava bowls, but it can get expensive at $13 a bowl so I decided to start making my own for a fraction of the cost.
- Fresh & Healthy: Full of fresh ingredients, perfect for a well-balanced meal.
- Cheaper: Making a harissa honey chicken cava bowl at home will save you money!
- Delicious: The crave-worthy flavor combinations in this bowl will keep you coming back for more.
- Versatile: Customize the bowl ingredients to your liking or cook the harissa chicken recipe with a side of veggies to make this a meal on its own.
Harissa Honey Chicken Ingredients
Use this simple marinade with harissa paste, honey, olive oil, and spices to make harissa honey chicken thighs. Marinate chicken thighs for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Spices: cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- For the bowl: chicken thighs, spinach, basmati rice, feta cheese, pickled red onions, cucumbers, avocado, hummus, and homemade harissa vinaigrette.
You can also use pan fried panko chicken as a substitute for harissa chicken in this salad, if you prefer.
Make Harissa Honey Chicken Cava Bowl
Once the chicken has marinated, this dish comes together quick and easy. Have this harissa honey chicken cava bowl on your table for lunch or dinner in under 30 minutes.
Step 1: Combine harissa honey marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Step 2: Coat chicken thighs with marinade. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours before cooking. The longer, the better!
Step 3: Cook harissa chicken thighs any way you like, such as in the air fryer, oven, crockpot or stovetop.
Step 4: Make harissa vinaigrette in a salad dressing shaker or container with a tight fitting lid. Set aside until ready to use.
Step 5: My favorite part - assembly! Assemble your homemade cava bowls starting with spinach and basmati rice in the bottom of a salad bowl. Top the bowl with sliced chicken thighs, feta cheese crumbles, sliced cucumbers, pickled red onions, avocado cubes, and a dollop of hummus. Drizzle the vinaigrette on top for the finishing touch.
More Ways to Cook Harissa Honey Chicken
Spicy harissa chicken is cooked on repeat in our kitchen. Our favorite way to cook boneless chicken thighs is in the air fryer. You will find directions on how to do that in the recipe card.
If you don't have an air fryer or want to cook harissa chicken in a different way, try one of these cooking methods:
Oven: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place marinated chicken thighs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Stovetop: Add marinated chicken thighs to a skillet on medium heat. Cook smooth side down for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until chicken is no longer pink and has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF.
Slow Cooker/Crockpot: Add marinated chicken thighs to a slow cooker and cook on high heat for 3 hours or low heat for 5 hours.
Cava is a fast-casual restaurant serving fresh Mediterranean bowls, salads, and pitas.
An easy harissa substitute can be siracha, chili oil, gochujang, or chipotle peppers in adobo.
Leftover honey harissa chicken should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and used within 3-4 days. Heat chicken in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute to reheat.
Store spinach, feta, pickled onions, and hummus in their original containers and use within the date on the package. Keep sliced cucumber in an airtight container and consume within 2-3 days.
Store leftover vinaigrette in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Hungry for More?
If you try this recipe or any recipe from Happy Honey Kitchen, please rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Enjoy!
Harissa Honey Chicken (Copycat Cava Bowl)
- 2 lbs. chicken thighs boneless and skinless
- 2 Tablespoons harissa paste
- 2 Tablespoons honey
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- basmati rice cooked
- cucumber sliced
- feta cheese crumbles
- pickled red onions
- harissa vinaigrette recipe linked in post and notes
- Combine marinade ingredients, expect chicken, in a bowl and mix well. Add chicken thighs and coat thoroughly in marinade. Marinate chicken thighs in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Place chicken thighs in air fryer basket in a single layer. Cook in air fryer at 380°F for 14 minutes, flipping halfway through. You may need to cook in batches. Let chicken rest 5 minutes before slicing.
- To assemble bowls, add desired amount of spinach and basmati rice to the bottom of a salad bowl. Top with sliced chicken thighs, feta, cucumbers, pickled red onions, avocado, and hummus. Drizzle harissa vinaigrette on top.
- Harissa Vinaigrette Recipe
- To speed up the cooking process, we use microwavable rice and store-bought hummus and pickled red onions.
- Other cooking methods for chicken thighs:
- Oven: Preheat oven to 400ºF. Place marinated chicken thighs in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Stovetop: Add marinated chicken thighs to a skillet on medium heat. Cook smooth side down for 5-6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until chicken is no longer pink and has reached an internal temperature of 165ºF.
- Slow Cooker/Crockpot: Add marinated chicken thighs to a slow cooker and cook on high heat for 3 hours or low heat for 5 hours.
- Nutrition facts are for harissa honey chicken thighs.