Chickpea Shawarma Bowls are an easy plant based recipe that is ready in about 30 minutes. They’re great for lunch or dinner and perfect for meal prep, too. Vegan and gluten free friendly.
New favorite bowl recipe alert! We’re doing a plant-based take on a shawarma recipe using roasted chickpeas, then throwing it all together with romaine lettuce, quinoa, cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes and a simple lemon tahini dressing.
If you get stuck on the same flavors and haven’t tried Middle Eastern spices in a while, I highly recommend.
What is Shawarma?
Traditionally, shawarma is a Middle Eastern dish using thinly sliced cuts of meat and seasoned with various spices like turmeric, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, etc. But we’re veganizing the traditional dish and coating chickpeas in shawarma spices instead to make a flavorful plant based recipe.
Shawarma Style Spice Blend
A homemade shawarma spice blend is easy to make and includes various spices you likely already have on hand.
- black pepper
Of course, there can be some variation of spices in there depending on who you ask. But generally speaking those are the main ones for an Americanized version.
If you don’t already have these spices stocked in your pantry, they’re great to have on hand.
Trust me, you’ll want them to make endless chickpea shawarma recipes!
Simple Ingredients with Big Flavor
You don’t need much to make these chickpea shawarma bowls. Simple ingredients come together to make one heluva good dish..
Here’s what you need:
- shawarma spice blend
- quinoa (or your choice of grain)
- romaine lettuce (or pick your favorite salad green)
- red onion
The roasted spiced chickpeas, plus the addition of a lemon tahini dressing…
Making Vegan Shawarma at Home
Making these vegan shawarma inspired bowls at home is super easy. This recipe is a great way to get more plants in and enjoy a vegan meal!
The main source of protein we’re using in these bowls: chickpeas.
How to Roast Chickpeas
If you’ve never roasted chickpeas before… Well, I won’t lie to you – it’s not my favorite thing in the world. Simply because there are a couple of necessary steps to make sure you get the best texture. And those steps are slightly more time consuming compared to roasting say, cauliflower.
The two main steps to ensure delicious crispy roasted chickpeas:
- Make sure the chickpeas are very dry – that means rolling them around in a clean towel.
- It’s best to rub the little skins off – this can take a while but I also find it kind of cathartic…
All you need to do then is toss the dry chickpeas in a bowl with olive oil, add spices, transfer to baking sheet and bake at 400ºF for about 30 minutes.
Start on the quinoa after you get the chickpeas in the oven. I typically use my Instant Pot because it’s hands-off and takes about 15 minutes or so.
While the quinoa is cooking and the chickpeas roasting, prepare the veggies – chop romaine, slice the cucumbers, halve the cherry tomatoes and dice the red onion.
Make the Dressing
The lemon tahini dressing is truly so delicious. If you’re asking me “What is tahini?” it’s just ground sesame seeds. It can be a little bitter to some, and possibly an acquired taste for others, but when paired with lemon juice it makes for a delicious dressing. Highly recommend it here!
Assemble Chickpea Shawarma Bowls
Now all that’s left is to throw it all together!
I like to start with the romaine then add cooked quinoa. Next layer on the roasted shawarma chickpeas, sliced cucumber, thin slices of red onion, halved tomatoes and drizzle it with a generous serving of tahini sauce.
Meal Prep This!
An inspired shawarma recipe like this one with roasted chickpeas is an awesome way to meal prep. The veggies, quinoa and dressing can be prepped a 2-3 days ahead as needed.
The roasted chickpeas are best enjoyed fresh, but can also be stored at room temperature up to one day in advance.
You can even prep this recipe in mason jars for easy storage.
More Vegan Bowls
- Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl with Tzatziki Dressing
- Thai Tempeh Nourish Bowl with Cashew Curry Dressing
- Southwest Quinoa Power Bowl with Honey Lime Dressing
- Roasted Veggie Spring Power Bowl with Turmeric Tahini Dressing
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, drained, dried well and loose skins removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 heaping teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the bowl
- 1 medium cucumber, thinly slices
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
lemon tahini dressing
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1–2 tablespoons non-dairy milk, for thinning as needed
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
- Roast Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400ºF and line medium baking sheet with parchment paper. Make sure chickpeas are completely dry and loose skins removed. In medium bowl add oil, chickpeas, and spices. Mix to combine and transfer to baking sheet. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until crispy. Remove pan from oven and allow chickpeas to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa and chop vegetables.
- Make the dressing: in a food processor, small blender or using an immersion blender, combine all dressing ingredients until smooth. Add water or non-dairy milk (for creamier texture) to thin dressing as desired.
- Assemble bowls: Distribute romaine and quinoa into two bowls. Add roasted chickpeas, sliced cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and drizzle with a generous serving of lemon tahini dressing. Enjoy!