Cauliflower Shawarma
Cauliflower Shawarma
5 from 1 vote
Unlock the flavours of the Middle East with this vibrant Cauliflower Shawarma recipe. Perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking to add a twist to their meals, this dish combines spices, vegetables, and tahini sauce for a delightful experience.
Cauliflower Shawarma

Cauliflower Shawarma, a tantalizing dish that has taken the culinary world by storm, is a vegetarian twist on the traditional Middle Eastern shawarma. Bursting with flavors and textures, this recipe is a delightful fusion of spices, herbs, and the earthy goodness of cauliflower. But where did this mouthwatering creation originate?

The roots of shawarma can be traced back to the Ottoman Empire, where it was originally made with succulent strips of marinated meat cooked on a vertical spit.

Over time, this delectable dish spread across the Middle East, captivating taste buds with its aromatic blend of spices and tender meat. However, as the popularity of plant-based diets soared, a new variation emerged – Cauliflower Shawarma.

This vegetarian adaptation offers a delightful alternative to meat lovers and veggie enthusiasts alike. By replacing the meat with cauliflower florets, this recipe not only caters to those seeking a meatless option but also adds a unique twist to the traditional flavors. The cauliflower absorbs the marinade beautifully, infusing it with its own distinct taste and texture.

Preparing Cauliflower Shawarma may seem daunting at first, but fear not! While it requires a bit of time and effort, the recipe itself is not overly complicated. With a handful of readily available ingredients and a little patience, you can create a culinary masterpiece that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Cauliflower Shawarma is an absolute must-try. Its rich history, originating from the vibrant Middle Eastern culinary heritage, combined with its delightful flavors and moderate level of difficulty, make it an enticing addition to any kitchen repertoire.

What Ingredients To Use

Cauliflower Florets: These are small, bite-sized pieces of cauliflower that will be the main ingredient in this delicious shawarma recipe. Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that absorbs flavors well and has a slightly nutty taste when cooked.

Olive Oil: This ingredient is used to coat the cauliflower florets and help them crisp up in the oven. It also adds a rich and savory flavor to the dish.

Ground Cumin: Cumin is a spice with a warm and earthy flavor. It adds depth and complexity to the cauliflower shawarma, enhancing its overall taste.

Ground Coriander: Coriander has a citrusy and slightly sweet flavor. When ground, it releases a delightful aroma that complements the other spices in this recipe.

Paprika: Paprika adds a vibrant red color and a mild, smoky flavor to the cauliflower shawarma. It enhances the visual appeal of the dish while contributing to its overall taste.

Ground Turmeric: Turmeric is known for its bright yellow color and earthy flavor. It adds a subtle warmth to the cauliflower shawarma and offers potential health benefits due to its antioxidant properties.

Salt: Salt is a crucial ingredient that helps to enhance the flavors of all the other ingredients in this recipe. It brings out the natural taste of the cauliflower and balances the spices used.

Pepper: Pepper adds a hint of spiciness and a mild heat to the cauliflower shawarma. It complements the other spices and adds an extra layer of flavor to the dish.

Pita Breads: Pita breads are a traditional Middle Eastern bread that will be used as a base for serving the cauliflower shawarma. They are soft and slightly chewy, perfect for wrapping up the flavorful filling.

Red Onion: Red onions add a sharp and slightly sweet flavor to the cauliflower shawarma. They also provide a crunchy texture and a pop of vibrant color to the dish.

Cucumber: Cucumbers add a refreshing and crisp element to the cauliflower shawarma. They balance out the spices and provide a cooling contrast to the warm flavors of the roasted cauliflower.

Tomato: Tomatoes add juiciness and a burst of tangy flavor to the cauliflower shawarma. They bring freshness to the dish and complement the other ingredients perfectly.

Tahini Sauce: Tahini sauce is made from ground sesame seeds and has a creamy and nutty flavor. It adds richness and a velvety texture to the cauliflower shawarma, elevating its taste.

Fresh Parsley Leaves: Parsley leaves are used as a garnish for the cauliflower shawarma. They add a fresh and herbaceous flavor, enhancing the overall presentation and taste of the dish.

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

When it comes to serving cauliflower shawarma, there are several delicious options to consider. Whether you want to enjoy it as a main dish or incorporate it into a larger meal, here are some serving suggestions and pairings to enhance the flavors and create a satisfying meal:

  • Pita Bread: Serve the cauliflower shawarma wrapped in warm pita bread for a classic and convenient option. Add some fresh vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumbers for added crunch and freshness.
  • Rice or Quinoa: Serve the cauliflower shawarma over a bed of fluffy rice or quinoa for a heartier meal. The grains will soak up the flavorful shawarma spices and juices, creating a delicious combination.
  • Salad: Toss the cauliflower shawarma with a variety of fresh greens, such as spinach or mixed lettuce, to create a vibrant and nutritious salad. Top it off with a tangy dressing like lemon tahini or yogurt-based dressing.
  • Mediterranean Mezze Platter: Include the cauliflower shawarma as part of a larger spread, such as a Mediterranean mezze platter. Serve it alongside other Middle Eastern favorites like hummus, falafel, tabbouleh, olives, and feta cheese.
  • Yogurt Sauce: Prepare a creamy yogurt sauce with garlic, lemon juice, and herbs like dill or mint. Drizzle it over the cauliflower shawarma to add a cooling element and balance out the spices.
  • Grilled Vegetables: Pair the cauliflower shawarma with grilled vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, and eggplant. The smoky flavors from the grill will complement the spices in the shawarma and create a satisfying combination.
  • Roasted Potatoes: Serve the cauliflower shawarma alongside roasted potatoes for a comforting and filling meal. The crispy potatoes will add texture and a savory element to the dish.
  • Tahini Sauce: Whip up a creamy tahini sauce with garlic, lemon juice, and a touch of water to drizzle over the cauliflower shawarma. The nutty and tangy flavors of tahini will enhance the overall taste.

These serving suggestions and pairings are just a starting point. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your favorite way to enjoy cauliflower shawarma. Whether you choose to serve it as a wrap, salad, or part of a larger spread, this flavorful dish is sure to impress!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cauliflower Shawarma?

Cauliflower Shawarma is a vegetarian or vegan alternative to traditional shawarma, where cauliflower florets are seasoned with Middle Eastern spices and roasted until tender and flavorful. It is a delicious and healthy option for those looking to enjoy the flavors of shawarma without meat.

How do I make Cauliflower Shawarma?

To make Cauliflower Shawarma, start by preheating your oven and preparing the cauliflower florets. Toss the florets with olive oil, spices such as cumin, paprika, turmeric, and garlic powder, and a pinch of salt. Spread them on a baking sheet and roast in the oven until golden brown and crispy. Serve the cauliflower shawarma in pita bread or as a filling in wraps, along with your favorite toppings and sauces.

Can I customize the spices used in Cauliflower Shawarma?

Absolutely! The beauty of Cauliflower Shawarma is its versatility. You can adjust the spices according to your taste preferences. Feel free to experiment with different combinations of spices like coriander, cinnamon, chili powder, or even add a dash of lemon juice for a tangy twist.

Is Cauliflower Shawarma gluten-free?

Yes, Cauliflower Shawarma can be made gluten-free. Ensure that the spices and sauces you use are gluten-free, and opt for gluten-free pita bread or wraps if you are serving it that way. Always check the labels of pre-packaged ingredients to ensure they are suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Can I make Cauliflower Shawarma ahead of time?

While it is best to enjoy Cauliflower Shawarma fresh out of the oven for maximum crispiness, you can prepare the seasoned cauliflower ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, simply roast it in the oven until heated through and crispy again.

What toppings and sauces go well with Cauliflower Shawarma?

Cauliflower Shawarma pairs well with a variety of toppings and sauces. Some popular options include diced tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, red onions, tahini sauce, yogurt sauce, hummus, or a squeeze of lemon juice. Feel free to get creative and experiment with different combinations to find your favorite flavor profile.

Can I use frozen cauliflower for Cauliflower Shawarma?

While fresh cauliflower is recommended for the best texture and flavor, you can use frozen cauliflower if that’s what you have on hand. However, keep in mind that frozen cauliflower may release more moisture during roasting, resulting in a slightly softer texture. Make sure to thaw and pat dry the frozen cauliflower before seasoning and roasting it.

Is Cauliflower Shawarma suitable for a vegan diet?

Yes, Cauliflower Shawarma is suitable for a vegan diet as long as you use vegan-friendly ingredients and sauces. Double-check the labels of any pre-packaged items to ensure they are free from animal products or by-products.

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Cauliflower Shawarma

Cauliflower Shawarma

by Nabeela Kauser
Unlock the flavours of the Middle East with this vibrant Cauliflower Shawarma recipe. Perfect for vegetarians and anyone looking to add a twist to their meals, this dish combines spices, vegetables, and tahini sauce for a delightful experience.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Turkish
Servings 4
Calories 246 kcal


  • 1 Cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 4 Pita Breads
  • 1 Red Onion thinly sliced
  • 1 Cucumber thinly sliced
  • 1 Tomato diced
  • 4 tbsp Tahini Sauce
  • Parsley


  • In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, ground cumin, ground coriander, paprika, ground turmeric, salt, and pepper. Mix well.
  • Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl and toss them in the spice mixture until they are well coated. Let them marinate for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 200°C (180°C fan) or gas mark 6.
  • Spread the marinated cauliflower florets on a baking tray and roast them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until they are tender and slightly crispy.
  • While the cauliflower is roasting, warm the pita breads in the oven for a few minutes.
  • To assemble, spread a generous tablespoon of tahini sauce on each warm pita bread.
  • Top with the roasted cauliflower, sliced red onion, cucumber, and diced tomato.
  • Garnish with fresh parsley leaves.
  • Serve your delicious Cauliflower Shawarma immediately.


You can customize your shawarma by adding your favourite toppings like pickles, hot sauce, or hummus.
Feel free to adjust the spice level to your preference by adding more or less paprika and ground turmeric.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 246kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 6gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 306mgPotassium: 305mgFibre: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 336IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Cauliflower, Cooking, Food, Recipe, Shawarma, Vegetarian, Wrap
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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