These Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Shawarma Bowls are a plant-based spin on the classic Middle Eastern street food, chicken shawarma. Instead of wrapping everything in a pita, here we serve it overtop nutritious, fluffy quinoa and alongside sautéed veggies and roasted crispy chickpeas for added nutrients. My homemade vegan tzatziki sauce, hummus and tahini sauce all pair perfectly with this flavorful plant-based and gluten-free dish.
Vegan Shawarma Bowl
If you love the Middle Eastern flavor of shawarma then you will absolutely love this plant-based version that features cauliflower, chickpeas, red bell peppers and onions overtop fluffy quinoa. I love to pair it with generous helpings of tzatziki sauce, hummus (or tahini sauce) and fresh parsley. These nutrient-rich Vegan Shawarma Bowls are full of incredible savory, sweet and spicy flavors and fluffy, crispy, hearty, creamy textures. This entree has got it all and it is beyond satisfying. My husband absolutely loves when I make this dish.
How to Make Vegan Shawarma Bowls
In this vegan shawarma bowl, cauliflower is tossed in extra virgin olive oil and a traditional shawarma spice mix that involves paprika, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, salt and pepper. Together they create a sweet, savory and slightly spicy flavor profile that is incredibly addictive. You could also add garlic powder, cayenne, ground cloves or coriander depending on how you like your shawarma but I find the first four spices to be just perfect. After everything is evenly coated the cauliflower gets roasted at a high temperature in the oven until perfectly golden brown and crispy. Here, you don’t want to overcrowd your pan or overlap the cauliflower florets or they will steam and be soggy.
While the cauliflower roasts, I also like to make the crispy chickpeas. I follow this recipe with one small change: instead of smoked paprika I use regular paprika. This is important because smoked paprika does not pair with this shawarma recipe. Although other elements of this dish can be prepared in advance, I recommend preparing the crispy chickpeas just before serving for best results.
I love the addition of the chickpeas in these bowls because they add plant-based protein, dietary fiber and complex carbs. They are also an excellent source of folic acid. They will digest slowly (keeping you fuller longer) and are satisfying without making you feel stuffed. Plus, they offer a hearty texture that goes well with this dish.