Cauliflower Shawarma Recipe

This cauliflower shawarma recipe features spiced cauliflower and a creamy yogurt tahini sauce; it’s a vegetarian dinner recipe perfect for Meatless Monday!

Cauliflower Shawarma Recipe

Cauliflower has had a major comeback lately. It wasn’t so long ago that it was the lonely last survivor on a party veggie tray, but these days it’s positively sexy. We started roasting cauliflower back when we started this website 9 years ago, and went crazy over the stuff. Roasting makes it tender and almost sweet, and we’ve been using it in recipes for ages. There’s our crispy cauliflower tacos with yum yum sauce, and our Moroccan -spiced cauliflower soup. Basically, we’re junkies. So a cauliflower shawarma recipe? Yes please. And it’s from a cookbook about cauliflower too! Keep reading for the recipe.

Cauliflower Short Stack

About the book: Cauliflower

When we found out our friend Kristin just wrote a Short Stack about Cauliflower, we couldn’t wait to get our hands on a copy. It’s where this cauliflower shawarma comes from. So what’s a Short Stack? Short Stack is a series of small-format cookbooks authored by America’s top culinary talents. Each edition is a collectible, single-subject booklet packed with recipes that offer ingenious new ways to cook our favorite ingredients. The design is spot-on and we’ve seen them in book stores and gift shops. Each subject is written by a different author, and it’s the perfect little gift for someone who loves to cook!

Kristin is a dear friend of ours who we first met in person in Seattle, when we both happened to be in the city at the same time. She’s author of the book Modern Potluck (which we featured here) and an overall incredibly lovely person. Her  volume is just what we imagined: full of inventive, mouthwatering recipes like Wedge Salad with Buffalo Cauliflower and Bacon and Egg Fried Cauliflower Rice. And of course, this cauliflower shawarma recipe.

Order the book: Cauliflower by Kristin Donnelly

Cauliflower Shawarma Recipe

Making this cauliflower shawarma recipe

For our recipe to feature, we chose this shawarma pita. We have a weakness for Mediterranean flavors, so this one was right up our alley! Of course, it was fabulous. Roasted, spiced cauliflower is nestled in a warm pita and then smothered in a cool, creamy tahini-yogurt sauce. It was perfect for a light weeknight meal and would go well with a green salad like this one — though we just ate a whole lot of roasted cauliflower instead!

To make the cauliflower in this shawarma recipe, you’ll mix cauliflower florets with olive oil, coriander, cumin, and paprika. Then pop them in the oven and roast at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes. Once the cauliflower is done, you’ll mix it with chopped cilantro.

This cauliflower shawarma recipe is served with a creamy tahini yogurt sauce: which is very easy to whip up while the cauliflower roasts. Simply mix tahini, yogurt, and lemon juice, then whisk in finely grated garlic clove and salt and pepper. It’s similar to our Lemon Tahini Sauce, which you could use if you prefer a vegan recipe.

What is tahini?

What is tahini? It’s a paste made of sesame seeds, typically used in Middle Eastern or Mediterranean dishes. Tahini is perfect for making creamy sauces for salads and tacos, but it’s also fantastic for desserts like cookies or as a replacement for peanut butter for peanut allergies. We use it in many of our vegan recipes as a creamy alternative to dairy.

Related: Got left over tahini? Here are our 13 Best Tahini Recipes.

Looking for more easy dinner recipes?

Outside of this cauliflower shawarma recipe, here are are few of our favorite easy dinner recipes:

Did you make this recipe?

If you make this recipe, we’d love to hear how it turned out. Leave a comment below or share a picture on Instagram and mention @acouplecooks and @kristincdonnelly.

This cauliflower shawarma recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free bread or pita.

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Cauliflower Shawarma Pita | A Couple Cooks

Cauliflower Shawarma Recipe

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (20 votes, average: 3.95 out of 5)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This cauliflower shawarma recipe features spiced cauliflower and a creamy yogurt tahini sauce; it’s a vegetarian dinner recipe perfect for Meatless Monday!



For the cauliflower:

  • 1 large cauliflower (about 3 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For the tahini yogurt sauce: (for vegan, sub our Best Tahini Sauce)

  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup full-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For serving:

  • Warm pita bread (purchased or homemade), for serving
  • Romaine lettuce, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place a rack in the lower position. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the cauliflower into florets. Chop the cilantro and set it aside.
  3. In a bowl, toss the cauliflower with the oil, coriander, cumin and paprika and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread it out on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, or until browned. Stir and roast until tender, about 10 minutes longer.
  4. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the cauliflower and toss. Let it cool for about 5 minutes, then toss with the chopped herbs.
  5. Meanwhile, make the tahini-yogurt sauce: In a bowl, whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of water. Add more water as necessary to loosen the sauce. Finely grate the garlic over the sauce, then whisk it in; season with salt and pepper.
  6. Pile the cauliflower into pitas and drizzle with the sauce, then serve.


Reprinted with permission from Cauliflower by Kristin Donnelly

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Cauliflower Shawarma Recipe, Roasted Cauliflower, Shawarma Recipe, Pita

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    January 31, 2018 at 10:46 am

    Looks absolutely incredible! I’ve been wanting to try something like this all year so far and I think February is just the month!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm

      Haha I agree, February is high time for colorful and flavorful recipes! Let us know if you tried it out!

  • Reply
    Lauren Grant | Zestful Kitchen
    February 2, 2018 at 10:24 am

    These sound amazing!! Will be on the menu next week!

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm

      Ooo fantastic! Let us know if you tried it out!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2018 at 11:45 am

    Love this idea! I used to regularly eat normal chicken shwarma here in morocco until the spiraling meat sticks started to creep me out a bit, haha. This looks like a healthy, delicious and creep-free alternative! Also, being a master procrastinator, I definitely JUST pre-ordered your book! So excited for it to arrive!! xx

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Haha totally get that, and this is a great meat-free alternative! And, THANK YOU for ordering the book and for all of your support of it!

  • Reply
    April 18, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    We made these the other week and they came out excellent, I had thirds! Delicious recipe

    • Reply
      April 20, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Ooo fantastic! Thank you so much for letting us know!

  • Reply
    November 23, 2018 at 2:15 pm

    It was so gooood. I just made the cauliflower, and pair it with buckwheat and lentils. I didn’t have sweet paprika, but smoked. It turned out delicious though. Thanks! I’m wondering about the nutrition facts. Do you have its chart?

    • Reply
      November 23, 2018 at 3:01 pm


      I updated the nutrition info (it includes the pita though).

      Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    Maria E Leon
    October 14, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Made it; did not take a picture and it did not make it to the shawarma we ate all the roasted cauliflower. DELICIOUS, will make it again this week.

  • Reply
    February 16, 2021 at 7:51 pm

    Delicious with lamb burgers.

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