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Cauliflower Shawarma

Greenletes / Recipes / Dinner / Cauliflower Shawarma

This Cauliflower Shawarma is packed with flavor and can be added to just about anything for a quick and easy lunch or dinner!

Is it just me, or does anyone else find that towards the end of the week they have a cauliflower head lurking at the back of their vegetable drawer? I’m not sure about you, but I really hate throwing out vegetables, so I often find myself trying to come up with creative ways to use whatever I have left over.

That is why I am so excited to share my Cauliflower Shawarma Recipe with you!

‘Shawarma’ is typically a Middle Eastern dish consisting of all those aromatic spices we know and love, like turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and more! Shawarmas are usually filled with some kind of meat such as chicken, beef or lamb – but I’ve decided to put a plant-based twist on the classic dish and use cauliflower instead! 

These cauliflower shawarmas are not only delicious, but they offer a nutritious punch due to the many health benefits of the cauliflower and spices incorporated. What I also love about this recipe is how fun it is and that you can get super creative as to what you want to serve your cauliflower shawarma with. This recipe is really easy to make, especially if you make the spice mixture ahead of time!

Why you need to make this

If you’re trying to get creative as to what you can do to make simple ingredients into a delicious plant-based meal, then you need to try this recipe! I love how easy this recipe is and yet still so tasty – it really hits the spot for me. 

You know I’m all about quick and easy recipes that don’t sacrifice flavor or nutrients, but that are still healthy. I feel like this recipe showcases exactly that!

Why is cauliflower good for you? 

Cauliflower is one of the most underrated vegetables out there, when in actual fact it has a pretty impressive nutrient profile, is low in calories and offers many health benefits. Cauliflower contributes a high amount of protein for the number of calories it has. One cup of cauliflower contains 2 g of protein and only 25 calories.

Cauliflower is also a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin K and contains compounds that contribute to anti-cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Health benefits of spices

Did you know that spices also offer incredible health benefits? Not only do they add tremendous amounts of flavor and taste, but they are renowned for their health properties. Some of their health benefits include (but are not limited to), antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, improve heart health, control blood sugar and protect against health-related diseases.

I’ve used a lot of different spices in this recipe, which may look intimidating at first glance, but trust me, it will be so worth it both taste and health wise. 

Ingredients to make this dish

To make this, you’ll need to gather a head of cauliflower and a bunch of spices. Here’s the ingredient list:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

How to make Cauliflower Shawarma

Here’s how to make it: 

  1. Combine all the spices in a small bowl and set aside.
  1. Add the cauliflower to a large bowl and pour oil on top. 
  2. Add the spices to the cauliflower and toss well to coat. 
  3. Lay out the cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. 

Ingredient Swaps & Substitutions 

One of my favorite things about vegan meals is that you can make easy swaps and substitutions. Here are some of my favorite ways to switch up this recipe!

  • Vegetable oil: You can swap with olive oil or avocado oil 
  • Cardamom: If you don’t have cardamom on hand, you can substitute with cinnamon or nutmeg 
  • Smoked paprika: You can also use any other kind of paprika you have 

Serving Suggestions 

The best part about this cauliflower shawarma is that it can be served in so many different and interesting ways while still being so tasty. Some of my top recommendations are: 

  • Build your own Buddha bowl with pearl couscous (or any other grain or legume), diced cucumber, red cabbage and avocado slices
  • Add to a taco or pita bread with hummus and fresh herbs 
  • Use as a side dish– I think it would be delicious if you added pomegranates and a tahini dressing
  • Incorporate into your favorite plant-based salad 
  • Top it with tahini!

Cauliflower Shawarma

Cauliflower coated in Middle Eastern spices we all know and love.

Course Main Course
Keyword cauliflower
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 108 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the cumin, smoked paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, ginger, cardamom, salt and cayenne. Set aside
  3. Add the cauliflower to a large bowl and pour oil on top. Add the spices to the cauliflower and toss well to coat.
  4. Lay out the cauliflower on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Toss in the middle of cooking.
Nutrition Facts
Cauliflower Shawarma
Amount Per Serving
Calories 108 Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Fat 8g12%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 192mg8%
Potassium 491mg14%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 292IU6%
Vitamin C 70mg85%
Calcium 53mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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I’m Natalie Rizzo, an NYC-based Registered Dietitian.

My mission is to help everyday athletes fuel their fitness with plants.

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