Inspired by the aromatic spices and enticing flavors of Eastern Mediterranean street food, our Sheet Pan Veggie Shawarma turns a classic ethnic dish into a vegan meal full of plant-based nutrition. Highly flavorful from top to bottom and including a homemade lemon tahini dressing, this veg shawarma dish is packed with feel-good nutrients, a variety of textures, and flavor everyone will devour.
Easy Plant-Based Dinner: Sheet Pan Veggie Shawarma
Looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your rotation? You’ve come to the right place! This recipe for Sheet Pan Veggie Shawarma checks all the boxes: full of whole-food nutrition, veggie loaded, crunchy texture, and roasted crispiness, high in plant-based protein, and complete with a saucy, creamy tahini dressing.
Ingredients to Make Sheet Pan Veggie Shawarma with Lemon Tahini Dressing
Here’s what you need to make this Sheet Pan Veg Shawarma recipe that comes complete with an easy homemade Lemon Tahini Dressing.
- cauliflower – cut 1 head of cauliflower into small florets
- red bell pepper – or use an orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- red onion – or use a yellow onion, sliced
- chickpeas – also called garbanzo beans; you’ll need 1 15-ounce can
- tahini – this creamy plant-based ingredient is made by grinding sesame seeds into a paste, similar to other nut or seed butters. You can use natural creamy peanut butter instead
- lemon – you’ll use the juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons) in the spice mixture and the lemon tahini dressing
- garlic – you’ll need 3 cloves or about 1 tablespoon minced
- avocado oil or olive oil
- maple syrup
- ground cumin
- paprika – can also sub in smoked paprika
- ground coriander
- ground turmeric
- sea salt and black pepper
- (optional for serving) – lettuce, sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, lemon wedges, fresh mint/basil/cilantro, cashews, and/or toasted sesame seeds
How to make Sheet Pan Vegan Shawarma tonight
This is an easy sheet pan dinner recipe, where you roast most of the ingredients in the oven and then serve the veg shawarma in bowls with fresh veggies and a delicious, easy lemon tahini dressing recipe. Here are the basic steps to make it:
- Prepare the veggies with spice mixture: Chop the cauliflower into small florets and slice the bell pepper and red onion. Place the veggies and chickpeas in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the spice mixture (the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, turmeric, and black pepper). Pour the spice mixture over the vegetables and beans; toss until well coated.
- Roast the veggies: Spread out the vegetables and beans in an even layer on one very large baking sheet or two medium-size baking sheets. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cauliflower pieces are tender.
- Make the lemon tahini dressing: While the veggies and beans are roasting, in a small bowl, make the tahini dressing. To do so, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup. The dressing will be thick. Just before serving, whisk 2-3 (or more) tablespoons of warm water into the tahini mixture until you’ve reached your desired dressing drizzling consistency.
- Assemble the bowls: The final step: Build bowls with lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes. Top with the roasted vegetables and beans. Drizzle the tahini sauce over top and garnish with lemon wedges, fresh herbs, cashews, and/or toasted sesame seeds, as desired.
What is Shawarma? Can you Make Vegan Shawarma?
Shawarma is a type of Eastern Mediterranean street food, similar to a gyro. And even more specifically, shawarma has roots in the cuisine of the Arabian peninsula. Shawarma is characterized by slow-roasted protein (typically turkey, veal, or beef) that is cut into thin strips and seasoned heavily with spices. The spices typically include cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, and paprika. In Israel, shawarma is typically served with tahini sauce, since serving it with a yogurt-based sauce would violate the Jewish dietary restriction of eating meat and milk-based foods together. Our version of veggie shawarma makes this delicious, flavorful Mediterranean meal a 100% plant-based dinner that easy and satisfying.
Is Veggie Shawarma good for you?
This vegetarian Shawarma is loaded with many good-for-you, nutrient-dense foods. Some of the ingredient highlights in our sheet pan veg shawarma include:
- cauliflower – this easy-to-find cruciferous veggie is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants that help lower bodily inflammation
- chickpeas – a staple in many Mediterranean cuisines, chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) are an excellent source of fiber, manganese, folate, and copper (needed for proper metabolism), as well as a plant-based source of protein, supplying nearly 15 grams in 1 cup
- tahini – a paste (or seed butter) made from toasted, ground sesame seeds. It is a key ingredient when making hummus and baba ghanoush, but also used to add nutty, unsweet flavor and creaminess to dishes. Tahini is a good source of minerals, such as phosphorous and manganese, important for bone health.
- spices – recipes like this sheet pan veggie shawarma, which use a lot of spices like turmeric, cumin, and paprika, gain the antioxidant benefit of a lot of spices combined together. Lowered risk of inflammation, heart disease, and respiratory disease are benefits of eating foods made with a lot of spices and herbs.
The Health Benefits of Plant-Based meals
People who eat plenty of plant-based foods tend to experience longer life expectancy and many other benefits, too. Plant-based foods are any ingredient that comes “from the earth,” including fruits and veggies, beans and legumes, nuts and seeds, plant-based oils, and herbs. Diet rich in plant-based foods are associated with lower inflammation, reduced risk of heart disease, improved gut health, and reduced risk of mental decline.
There are many ways to emphasize plant-based eating, including vegan (only 100% plant-based foods), vegetarian (mostly plant-based but may include dairy or eggs), pescatarian (mostly plant-based but includes fish and seafood), and flexitarian (opts for mostly plant-based foods, but eats from all food groups).
ways to serve Sheet Pan Vegan Shawarma
We love to serve this roasted sheet pan veggie shawarma bowl-style. Serve the roasted veggies and beans over fresh lettuce greens, cucumber, and tomatoes. Then top with a generous drizzle of the tahini dressing. You can also serve it over quinoa to make a grain bowl, stuffed into a pita, or over naan as a flatbread. No matter how you serve it, include the lemon-tahini dressing, too.
How to Store Sheet Pan Veg Shawarma Leftovers
Store any leftovers in covered containers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Keep leftover tahini dressing and leftover roasted veggies in separate containers. Reheat the roasted veggies in the microwave or on the stovetop, then assemble bowls with fresh lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes.
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 1½ tablespoons)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
For the Lemon Tahini Dressing:
- ¼ cup tahini (can sub natural creamy peanut butter)
- Juice of ½ lemon (about 1½ tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- (Optional) For the Bowls: lettuce, diced or sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, lemon wedges, fresh mint/basil/cilantro, cashews, toasted sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the cauliflower, red pepper slices, red onion slices, and chickpeas in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, paprika, coriander, salt, turmeric, and black pepper. Pour the spice mixture over the vegetables and beans; toss with a spoon or your hands until all pieces are well coated.
- Spread out the vegetables and beans in an even layer on one very large baking sheet or two medium-size baking sheets. Roast in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until cauliflower pieces are tender.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, and maple syrup. The dressing will be thick. Just before serving, whisk 2-3 (or more) tablespoons of warm water into the tahini mixture until you’ve reached your desired dressing drizzling consistency.
- Build bowls with lettuce, cucumber, and tomatoes. Top with the roasted vegetables and beans. Drizzle the tahini sauce over top and garnish with lemon wedges, fresh herbs, cashews, and/or toasted sesame seeds, as desired.
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- Serving Size: 1/4 of the shawarma veggies and tahini dressing
- Calories: 368
- Fat: 17 g
- (Sat Fat: 2 g)
- Sodium: 671 mg
- Carbohydrate: 44 g
- (Fiber: 12 g
- Sugar: 13 g)
- Protein: 14 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
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Photo Credit: The photos in this blog post were taken by Rachel of Half Acre House.
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