This flavor-packed veggie shawarma puts a twist on the traditional Middle Eastern dish by replacing the meat with colorful vegetables for a 100% plant-based meal. Seasoned cauliflower, green beans, and chickpeas are the heart of this dish, with a delicious homemade garlic aioli sauce to top it off.
I shared plenty of mouthwatering cauliflower recipes that will put a smile on the whole family’s face. But if you want more Middle Eastern inspiration, try these meaty vegan gyros, these vegetarian falafel gyros with tzatziki sauce, or this falafel sandwich with maple dijon tahini dressing.
❤️ Why you’ll love it
While classic Eastern Mediterranean Shawarma typically consists of thinly sliced chicken, lamb, or beef and comprises numerous aromatic herbs and spices, including cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, and paprika, you can absolutely enjoy this staple without the meat.
In my veggie shawarma recipe, I replace the meat with deliciously seasoned cauliflower, chickpeas, and green beans and top it with a creamy, homemade garlic aioli sauce. It is 100% plant-based and 100% irresistible!
There are many reasons why I love this vegetarian shawarma recipe. First and foremost, it is straightforward to make. You only need a sheet pan and 30 minutes time to serve it.
It is incredibly flavorful, packed with fresh veggies and warm spices. You can also easily customize it to your liking with different vegetables, herbs, and spices of your choice. There are also a few different ways to serve shawarma, giving you a brand-new dish each time!
Last, but not least, I love that this recipe is easy on the pockets (which is why I have included it among the budget-friendly recipes in my Winter Vegan cookbook). All components are simple ingredients you can pick up at any local grocery store or already have at home.
🧾 Key ingredients
This recipe uses a variety of simple veggies, spices, and herbs that you can easily find in your pantry or neighborhood grocery store.
Cauliflower is the star of the dish, replacing the typical meat used in shawarma. I prefer using fresh cauliflower, but you can also use frozen if you want.
Green beans, chickpeas, and onions help give the dish extra texture and protein. The quickest and easiest is to grab frozen green beans and canned chickpeas.
Shawarma spice – Oregano, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and soy sauce (tamari for gluten-free) make up the shawarma seasoning. If you do not have smoked paprika, regular paprika will do just fine. You can also use store-bought seasoning to save time.
Garlic aioli sauce – Combining vegan mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, and minced garlic will make a creamy and delicious sauce to drizzle over the shawarma once it is done.
🛒 You can find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Choose a non-stick baking sheet that will provide enough space to spread the vegetables in one layer. I recommend using a simple sheet pan if you have one lined with non-stick parchment paper. It is easy to clean up afterward.
Making veggie shawarma
Thaw the frozen, pre-cooked green beans and cut them into inch-long pieces (approximately 25mm).
Mix the oregano, smoked paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, soy sauce, olive oil, and lemon juice in a small bowl.
Add the cauliflower florets, green beans, chickpeas, onion slices, and the seasoning to a large bowl. Use a spatula to spread it evenly over the vegetables.
Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet in one layer.
Roast them for 30 minutes in a 400 F (200 C) preheated oven.
Add vegan mayo, olive oil, lemon juice, and minced garlic in a separate smaller bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well.
Pack your bowl with fresh veggies like lettuce, olives, cucumber, or tomatoes.
💡 Expert tip
Chopping evenly is important. When preparing a sheet pan meal, you need to ensure that the cooking time of the ingredients is the same. Chop cauliflower into small florets or even half florets to match the 30-minute roasting time of the chickpeas and the green beans.
One of the great things about this veggie shawarma recipe is that you can mix and match different vegetables depending on what you have available to you. We love to add roasted broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, or even sweet potatoes to the bowl.
A bed of fresh greens is equally important such as arugula, romaine lettuce, spinach, or kale.
The variety of spices in this recipe gives the shawarma a burst of Mediterranean flavor. It is even better with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. If you like heat, add some cayenne pepper to the mix!
🥣 Serving ideas
I love serving this shawarma bowl with garlic aioli sauce the most. But I can show you several delicious sauces that go great with it. Like my tangy vegan tzatziki sauce, fresh lemon herb tahini, or spicy and sweet maple dijon tahini dressing.
Once finished, serve it over grains such as white rice, quinoa, couscous, farro, millet, or riced sweet potato to make a complete meal.
You can also place it on top of pita bread or flatbread and top it with sauce to make a delicious and filling wrap.
For the most flavorful dish, squeeze some fresh lemon juice on top right before serving.
❄️ Storing tips
In the refrigerator: When storing the leftovers, it is essential to keep the veggies and sauce in separate containers to prevent the veggies from becoming soggy. The vegetables will last up to five days, while the garlic aioli sauce lasts up to 10 days.
In the freezer: I do not recommend storing this veggie shawarma in the freezer as the vegetables, especially the fresh ones, will become soggy after they thaw.
Reheating: Reheat the vegetables in a skillet over the stovetop until warm. You can also reheat them in the microwave.
You can easily make the shawarma seasoning and garlic aioli sauce a few days before. You can also roast the veggies in a sheet pan the day before and reheat it in the skillet before adding fresh, uncooked ingredients.
I recommend serving shawarma hot and fresh from the oven. But they are tasty as leftovers for the next day’s lunch.
More Middle Eastern recipes
I have plenty of cauliflower or chickpea recipes, but if you are looking for some delicious Middle Eastern meals, I can highly recommend the below:
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- Thaw pre-cooked frozen green beans and cut them into inch-long (25 mm) pieces.
- To make the seasoning, mix oregano, smoked paprika powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari), 4 Tbsp of olive oil, and 1 Tbsp of lemon juice in a small bowl.
- Take a large bowl and add cauliflower florets, green beans, cooked or canned chickpeas, and onion slices.
- Add the seasoning and spread it evenly over the veggies with a spatula.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 C).
- Spread the vegetables evenly and in one layer on a non-stick baking sheet and bake them for 30 minutes.
- Add vegan mayo, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbsp of lemon juice, and minced garlic in a smaller bowl to make the garlic aioli sauce. Season them with salt and black pepper. Mix well.
- Assemble your shawarma bowl by adding fresh vegetables like lettuce, olives, cucumber, or tomatoes. Serve it with pita bread.