Street food inspired Roasted Cauliflower Pitas with Zhug and Garlic Tahini. Roasted crispy cauliflower stuffed inside fresh pitas with all the “extras”. Delicious herby green sauce, Zhug, garlic lemon tahini sauce, spicy mango harissa, and all of the desired toppings you love. This loaded pita is SO GOOD and makes for a fun, delicious, and different weeknight dinner. Serve each pita with homemade fries for a meal that everyone will truly love – and have fun eating too.
Keeping Monday fun with some stuffed pitas! Pretty sure I said this when I made chicken gyros, but street food inspired recipes are so much fun. Especially in the late winter when you’re searching for more color, more fun, and honestly, probably travel too.
Actually, I just explained my current state of mine. So this is how I’m feeling. In an effort to not get too bored, I’m loving trying out some fun middle eastern-inspired recipes. These pitas are inspired by chicken shawarma, which you guys know we love around here, but made vegetarian, with cauliflower.
Shawarma is one of the most popular middle eastern street foods you’ll come across. As well as one of the most well-loved. Traditionally, Shawarma is made with roasted meat cut into thin slices. Originally lamb was used, but it’s now often made with chicken, beef, or pork. The meat is seasoned with spices, marinated, and then roasted vertically, rotisserie-style. It’s usually served inside a pita, or on a plate with hummus.
The thing that’s so incredible about shawarma is that when it’s served up in a pita, it’s also served with multiple toppings and sauces. I wanted to recreate that style of pita, but with roasted cauliflower!
Start with the roasted cauliflower
I kept it simple but loaded up on the spices. Lots of paprika, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, and then garlic and lemon too.
Nothing fancy, but when roasted up with the cauliflower, it’s such a delicious, hearty combination. Even some of my brothers (hello Kai and Red), really loved it! Creighton stuck with chicken, but I’ve given up on changing his ways.
The Zhug, or herby spicy green hot sauce
Zhug is a popular hot sauce throughout Israel. It can be either red or green, but either way, it’s spicy. The green version is made with herbs, chilies, and spices– mine uses cumin and turmeric.
It’s fresh and super flavorful over top of the roasted cauliflower.
Fun fact, this sauce is straight out of my new cookbook, HBH Every Day. So just a little sneak peek for you!
The tahini. We all love a little tahini sauce and it is so simple to make in just minutes. I usually do mine with roasted tahini, lemon, garlic, and a small amount of honey. Creamy and perfect when drizzled over the cauliflower.
And lastly, sometime last year, I read about a mango sauce called Amba, in Eden Grinshpan’s Eating Out Loud, which sounds truly like an incredible addition. Apparently, you can now buy it at Trader Joe’s? Has anyone seen it?
Basically, it’s a spicy mango hot sauce. Since I don’t have Trader Joe’s, I blended harissa with fresh mango and pickled jalapeños. It sounds super odd, but you guys, it’s super delicious. This is of course totally extra, but if you want a lot of sauce, try this, so yummy!
My recommendation is to make all the sauces and add all the toppings. Make your weeknights fun!
Looking for other easy dinners? Here are some favorites:
Lastly, if you make these Roasted Cauliflower Pitas with Zhug and Garlic Tahini 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!
Roasted Cauliflower Pitas with Zhug and Garlic Tahini
Calories Per Serving: 557 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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- 1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon smoked or sweet paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- juice from half a lemon
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- kosher salt black pepper
- 4 fresh naan or pitas, warmed
- pickled red onion and lettuce, for serving
- lemon tahini and mango harissa (recipe in notes) (optional)
- 1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. 2. On a baking sheet, tossed together the cauliflower, olive oil, paprika, cumin, cardamom, turmeric, cayenne, lemon, garlic, and a large pinch each of salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes, toss and bake another 15 minutes, until lightly charred.3. To make the zhug. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped. If the sauce is too thick, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time to thin. Taste and add more salt as needed. 4. To assemble, stuff/spread each pita with zhug, then lettuce, roasted cauliflower, and red onion. Drizzle over more zhug. Add tahini and harissa, if desired (recipes in notes).
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Lemon Tahini: Combine 1/2 cup tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon honey, and 1/4 cup water in a blender and blend until smooth. If needed, add water to thin the sauce as desired. Season to taste with salt. Mango Harissa: In a blender, combine 1/2 cup red harissa sauce, 1 cup diced mango, and 1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, blend until smooth.