Shawarma Spiced Chickpeas and Cauliflower with Almond Aioli


The weather here the past two days has been insane! We spent a lot of weekend outside grilling, surfing, playing frisbee golf, and just enjoying being Californians. It has got my mind going about some new summer-y recipes and fresh veggie bowls. This shawarma recipe is one that I think you’ll really dig no matter what kind of weather you’re enjoying at the time. 

The flavors here come from one of my favorite recipes, this Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma from the New York Times but I’ve adapted it to an all veg recipe. You can really serve it any way you want and it would be delicious on rice, in a pita or on a salad. The spice combination is bold, and a little unexpected but sings beautifully together with cumin, turmeric, paprika, a pinch of cinnamon and lots of fresh garlic. 

The sauce here is a really nice vegan alternative to a yogurt sauce, and comes out nice and creamy if you have the right blender. It is perfect for balancing out the bold flavors from the spice blend. You could also do a simple combination of plain yogurt, grated garlic, salt and olive oil (to your taste) which would be nice here too.  




Shawarma Spiced Chickpeas and Cauliflower with Almond Aioli
Serves 3
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
For Chickpeas
  1. 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and set to dry on a lint free kitchen towel
  2. 1 cauliflower cut into medium florets
  3. 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  4. 4 Tbsp olive oil
  5. 5 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
  6. 1 tsp kosher salt
  7. 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  8. 2 tsp ground cumin
  9. 2 tsp paprika
  10. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  11. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  12. 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  13. 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  14. chopped cucumber, tomato and red onion to serve
For Almond Aioli
  1. 1 cup slivered, raw almonds
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1/4 cup olive oil
  4. 1/2 tsp kosher salt and more to taste
For Chickpeas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine ingredients from list above, lemon through red pepper flakes and whisk together. Add in chickpeas and cauliflower and toss to evenly.
  3. Lay out chickpeas and cauliflower on baking sheet in even layer and bake for 10 minutes in lower quarter of the oven. Turn over and bake again for another 10 minutes in the middle of the oven if things are starting to get too browned. If you need to bake a few more minutes to get more color on the cauliflower go for it!
  4. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with cucumber, tomato and red onion. Drizzle with almond aoli or yogurt sauce.
For Almond Aioli
  1. Combine almonds and water and let soak for 30 mins or so.
  2. In a high powered blender combine almonds (with soaking water), olive oil and salt. Blend until totally smooth adding more water or olive oil if it needs more liquid to get there. Season with more salt if necessary. Keep covered in fridge until ready to use.
  1. I have a vitamix which works really well for the almond aioli to get it really smooth, but you could try a regular blender as well. A plain yogurt seasoned with some fresh garlic and and thinned with olive oil and lemon juice would be nice here too.
  2. The chickpeas and cauliflower would be nice on top of a salad or even in a wrap since the seasoning is pretty strong here.
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