Vegan Shawarma with Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas

These scrumptious vegan shawarma bowls check all the boxes—colorful, full of tasty textures, and loaded with flavorful veggies. The centerpiece of this dish is the tender cauliflower and chewy chickpea jumble that’s coated in warm Mediterranean spices and roasted to perfection. Refreshing slices of cucumber and crunchy bell pepper add freshness while a simple tahini dressing brings the Turkish-inspired recipe to life. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over everything and take your taste buds on an international vacation without leaving the kitchen!

By Shelli McConnell,

  • 1.4k


  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika (sweet or hot)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 2-lb. head cauliflower, cut into florets (6 cups)
  • 1 15-oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed, drained, and patted dry
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 1 medium cucumber, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 2 medium bell peppers, any color, cut into bite-size strips
  • ½ cup slivered red onion
  • Fresh cilantro leaves
  • Lemon wedges


  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl stir together ¼ cup of the lemon juice and the next nine ingredients (through black pepper). Add cauliflower and chickpeas; stir to coat. Spread evenly in prepared baking sheet. Roast 35 minutes or until cauliflower is browned on edges, stirring once.
  • In a small bowl stir together tahini, the remaining 2 tablespoons lemon juice, the cayenne, and 3 to 4 tablespoons water. In bowls arrange rice, cauliflower mixture, cucumber, pepper strips, and red onion. Drizzle with tahini mixture. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and serve with lemon wedges.

Comments (37)

(5 from 23 votes)

Recipe Rating

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I love this dish as a springboard. I add lots of stuff to the tahini dressing (more lemon, garlic, ginger, salt, maple syrup etc.) I like to add shredded carrots and pickled onions to the finished dish.


Something was a bit off about this recipe, but I was able to craft it into something a lot better. I wish I hadn't put the maple syrup in the marinade, and next time I would make a better rounded shawarma marinade by adding things like ginger and allspice. I ignored the tahini part of the recipe altogether and mixed together some garlic, tahini, lemon, salt and water, which was super tasty. And then I topped the whole dish with an ample sprinkle of sumac which helped quite a bit. I wouldn't use this recipe again, but it did give me some good inspiration, and now I really want to find a legit shawarma marinade. :)


All easy and tasty except the tahini dressing. I used Minimalist Baker’s recipe and added nutritional yeast and garlic powder. Much more flavour!


This is sooo delicious! Made it for the second time and it is just a good as the first. REQUEST: Please provide the link so we can add this to the FOK Meal Planner. I want to mark it as one of my Favorite recipes!


Just made this and it is amazing! I had riced up some cauliflower the day before and used it in place of the florets. I also turned the cucumbers into a sort of kimchi and put that on top. So very good!!


Absolutely love the flavors and the consistency of the chickpeas after roasting was refreshingly different. Pretty easy to do also. I just need to figure out the best roasting method that doesn't make as much of a mess in the pan.

Jil Winburn

Easy and flavorable! Thank you!

Cori T.

Very tasty! Great flavor. The veggies on top are so refreshing. I didn't really like the tahini mixture (subbed almond butter) so I just put a little avocado on top.

Karen D

This recipe was absolutely delicious! I peeled the chick peas and tossed those with cauliflower and broccoli on hand into the marinade. Used the air fryer as mentioned in another post. Very flavourful with the cucumbers, peppers, cilantro and tahini dressing. (Added a bit of cumin and paprika to the dressing). It was a hit!

Katy Rich

This was so good. Great flavors and crunch from the fresh veggies. Be sure to cover your whole pan with parchment paper all the way up the sides or the liquid runs all over and it burns on the pan anyway. Even with that, we loved this!


I made this for my family, there wasnt a drop left. Thank you FOK.

David Blake

This is amazing, definitely adding this into the rotation!

Ellen Louise Puglisi

Excellent recipe, with good instructions. I am putting it in my recipe rotation. I did make extra tahini sauce. Thanks.

Barry Walker

Looks very tasty


How many serving is this?!




First time making this, it was a hit with my non vegetarian family. Next time I will prep what I can ahead of time. Tasty, you can make this again and mmm this is good we’re the comments!! My complements to the chef !

Nikki Odorisio

Made these as written and also in air fryer at 390 for 15 min which worked great too. Added a little red wine vinegar and a little extra paprika and cumin for our own taste preferences. Very tasty and easy. My husband is a cauliflower fan and said , I didn't know cauliflower could be this good"




I LOVED the flavor of the marinade for the cauliflower and chickpeas. It infuses the cauliflower a lovely citrusy flavor. I used Almond Butter for the sauce, per other recommendations and did add a pinch of cinnamon and 1/2 Tbsp of maple syrup. My husband and I really enjoyed it!


Why cant this be added to the meal planner?


I would love to add this to my meal planner, but it doesn't seem to give that option

Suzanne Mosesso

Excellent! Followed the recipe exactly. Tastes amazing. Will be making it again.

Henrietta Aline Wolf

Do you know the calories in 1 bowl?


Fast and easy! Comes together great. I made a tahini mustard sauce from another recipe book, but otherwise, it was fabulous!


What can be used instead of tahini?

Katie Beebe

I was wondering the same. I might try peanut butter


My granddaughter is allergic to tahini sesame seeds we sub with almond butter also cashews we sub with macadamia nuts


So good! Do you have nutrition facts?

Megan Edwards

Hi Logan, We're so glad you liked the recipe! We’re currently looking into adding nutritional information to our recipes for the future. Please stay tuned for updates!

Jaclyn Ormerod

What can we replace the chickpeas for ?


Beans of your choice?


tofu or beans

Darlene Ralicki

Made this FOK recipe tonight - I used tomatos instead of red bell pepper. Easy and so delicious! And I absolutely love the app.

Rene Knigge

Very easy to make, great comfort food. Made a bit extra tahini sauce :)

Jet Speet

Lovely! The tahinimixture was a bit bitter. I added some more lemonjuice. Delicious!


Good call on adding more lemon in the tahini mixture, mine was bitter as well. The flavors are delicious, and I used quinoa for the base! Very refreshing meal!

About the Author

Headshot of Shelli McConnell

About the Author

Shelli McConnell

Shelli McConnell graduated with a bachelor of science in consumer food science and a minor in journalism from Iowa State University. She began her career as a home economist in the Better Homes & Gardens test kitchen before moving into an editorial position within DotDash Meredith. She has since freelanced for 25 years and has served as an editorial project manager for many books and magazines, including three editions of the Better Homes & Gardens New Cook Book. She has also developed thousands of recipes for publications including Forks Over Knives magazine; Eat This, Not That!; Diabetic Living; Better Homes & Gardens; The Magnolia Journal; and more. McConnell loves to entertain and inspire, so when she’s not in her office, she’s usually in her kitchen. Find her on LinkedIn.
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