Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi.
Keeping things healthy and delicious with this Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi. Middle eastern seasoned cauliflower, roasted with chickpeas, and served up bowl style with hummus, fresh naan, arugula, and even some fried Halloumi cheese. This quick-cooking, easy sheet pan dinner comes together in under forty-five minutes. It’s colorful, healthy, and beyond good. Incorporate this into your weekly dinner rotation or prep ahead of time and enjoy for lunch throughout the week.
Happy Monday! Hoping you’ve all had an amazing weekend. It’s March, it’s a new week, I’m off to LA tomorrow, and we have such a delicious recipe to be talking about today! Can you tell I am excited? I’ve personally had some harder days recently (as have some family members). All is fine, it’s just life running its day to day course, but it’s been a mix of emotions over here. That said, I’m coming off of a couple of good days and feeling my confidence slowing building itself back up. I’m a little anxious about all the upcoming travel and time away, but certainly nothing new there. I guess I’m learning to live with being uncomfortable a bit.
Now, moving onto today’s recipe. It’s almost vegan, extra delicious, easy to throw together, and what I’m calling the ideal Monday night dinner. And you guys? This is how cauliflower should taste. It should be seasoned up perfectly with middle eastern spices, roasted until crispy, and finished with a little extra salt. And then…add in all the other extra-delicious elements to this bowl.
It’s as close to perfect as it gets…and honestly, it’s just another way to enjoy a bowl of hummus and middle eastern-inspired “street food” for dinner.
Plus, it’s healthy too!
Here are the details.
Shawarma is a middle eastern street food made with roasted meat. Originally lamb was used, but it’s often made with chicken, beef, or pork as well. The meat is then seasoned well and usually served inside a pita, or on a plate with hummus. There is no meat involved in today’s Shawarma, but instead, we’re using a head of cauliflower and a can of chickpeas.
Is this traditional? No, not at all. But is this delicious and a fun vegetarian twist on classic street food? Yes, absolutely.
This dinner comes together quickly and is made almost entirely on one sheet pan. Add the cauliflower and chickpeas and season them well with plenty of garlic, smoked paprika (very important for flavor), cumin, and lemon. Next, add in sesame seeds and toss in olive oil. Yes, toss, toss, toss. Then roast in the oven until the cauliflower is charred and the chickpeas are extra crisp.
While the cauliflower is in the oven, make the tahini. Literally all you need to do is toss everything into a blender and blend until smooth. It’s a mix of nutty creamy tahini, fresh cilantro, and lemon juice. Next add in some honey for a subtle sweetness and then a pinch of salt to tie it all together. Simple, fresh and so good.
Next…you need to add some fried Halloumi.
Yes, you do. What is Halloumi you ask?
Halloumi is a salty grilling cheese commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. I love incorporating it into dishes like spicy peanut soup, vegetarian tacos, and my peanut noodles. It adds such great flavor and gives the perfect crispy, salty bite. And honestly, what’s better than pan-fried cheese? Not much.
If for some odd reason you can’t find Halloumi. First I would recommend asking your grocery store to special order it for you. They should do this free of charge and trust me, this cheese is worth the extra effort.
Second, if you really can’t get your hands on some Halloumi, swap in feta. Still delicious.
Once you have everything together, assemble…
Swirl the hummus in the bottom of a low bowl and then layer in the cauliflower and chickpeas. Add fresh arugula, avocado, and cucumbers. Generously drizzle on the green tahini and finish with naan. You know you can’t forget the naan.
It’s kind of like eating at a middle eastern restaurant, but vegetarian style, and in the coziness of your own home. Personally, I am all about this.
So much color, so much flavor, incredibly healthy. And so, so, SO GOOD!
Oh, and fast and easy too. I mean, come on, you gotta agree…best Monday Recipe!
And the final added bonus? This cauliflower shawarma is perfect for meal prepping and I’ve included all the steps for doing so in the recipe. Enjoy!
Lastly, if you make this cauliflower shawarma with green tahini and fried Halloumi, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi
This quick-cooking, easy sheet pan dinner comes together in under forty-five minutes. It’s colorful, healthy, and beyond good
- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas drained
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- juice of 1 lemon
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 8 ounces halloumi cheese, sliced
- 2 cups plain hummus, homemade or store-bought
- naan, arugula, and cucumbers, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, combine the cauliflower, chickpeas, 1/4 cup olive oil, paprika, garlic, cumin, chili powder, crushed red pepper flakes, lemon, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat. Add the sesame seeds and gently toss. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes, or until tender and lightly charred.
3. Meanwhile, make the tahini. Combine all ingredients and 1/4 cup water in a blender and blend until completely smooth. If needed, add water to thin the sauce to a drizzling consistency.
4. To cook the halloumi. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the halloumi and cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet.
5. To serve, spread the hummus into bowls and top with the cauliflower, chickpeas, arugula, cucumbers, avocado, and fried halloumi. Drizzle on the tahini. Serve with naan. Enjoy!
TO MEAL PREP
1. Prepare as directed above through step 2. Let the cauliflower and chickpeas cool. Divide the cauliflower and chickpeas among 4 storage containers. Add the arugula on top.
2. Make the green tahini and keep in a glass container or jar.
3. Alternately, you can store the hummus, cauliflower, chickpeas, and greens in separate containers and assemble when ready. Food will keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
4. Before serving, warm each bowl, if desired, and top with hummus, cucumbers, avocado, and fried halloumi. Serve.
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