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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.

overhead photo of Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi

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!

Cauliflower and chickpeas on baking sheet before roasting

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.

Cauliflower and chickpeas on baking sheet after roasting

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.

overhead close up photo of Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi

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!

overhead photo of Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi and spoon full of green tahini in bowl

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!

Cauliflower Shawarma with Green Tahini and Fried Halloumi

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories Per Serving: 203 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

Green Tahini

Instructions

  • 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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Comments

  1. 3 stars
    This recipe was delicious and the tahini sauce was amazing. But your calorie counting is EXTREMELY misleading. The cauliflower and chickpeas alone are 200. If you make the recipe you suggest in the ingredients list it’s about 900 calories per serving. As someone who watches what they eat, It being delicious almost made it more disappointing, because I can’t actually eat it and stick to my plan.

  2. 5 stars
    Beyond delicious! No halloumi for my non-dairy self (sigh), but it was lovely and full of flavor. So easy to cook, served over homemade hummus, with Mediterranean pickles and some greens… perfect!

  3. 5 stars
    My husband and I loved this – was a bit too strong for the kids. We used lots of halloumi and had left overs as a salad the next day.Thanks for a great receipe!

  4. 5 stars
    I actually forgot to serve with the tahini dressing, and it was still absolutely delicious!! The chickpeas were so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and the saltiness of the halloumi was perfect. Thank you Teighan!

  5. 4 stars
    I liked it…but the combo of cauliflower, chickpeas, tahini and hummus is about the most fart-tastic combo I can imagine! 😀

  6. 5 stars
    This was great! Totally forgot to add the chickpeas, but it still totally worked. 10/10 would make again!

    1. Hi Catherine,
      In place of tahini you could use mayo or greek yogurt! I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    This cauliflower shawarma is just out of this world! I don’t know how You come up with these recipes, but well done You!!! I only recently found Your blog and i have to say that this is one of my favourite recipes here! I don’t even like plain tahini that much, but the green tahini – just sooooo delicious! Again – well done! Thank You for this amazing recipe and for many others.