Chickpea Shawarma Bowls are an easy plant based recipe, ready in about 30 minutes 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.
Easy Chickpea Shawarma
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!
A homemade shawarma spice blend is easy to make and includes various spices you likely already have on hand.
Shawarma Style Spice Blend
- 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 this 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 but big on flavor
You don’t need a lot to make these chickpea shawarma bowls and these simple ingredients come together to make one heluva good dish..
- 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 vegan shawarma inspired bowls at home is super easy.
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.
Now it’s time to 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 quinoa. Then add the roasted shawarma chickpeas, sliced cucumber, red onion, tomatoes and drizzle it with a generous serving of lemon tahini dressing.
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 few 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.
I hope you get this one on your list soon!
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
- 15 ounce canned chickpeas, drained, dried well and loose skins removed
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 heaping tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 heaping tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp 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 TBSP fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 TBSP rice vinegar
- 1–2 TBSP non-dairy milk, for thinning as needed
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp 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!