Vegan Shawarma

by Adam Sobel

Vegan Shawarma: A delicious, fast-to-make, and healthy plant-based version of the beloved Middle Eastern classic. Packed with savory, aromatic spices, juicy roasted mushrooms, and protein-rich tofu, this shawarma is sure to satisfy your cravings. Check out the complete step-by-step guide to making this Vegan Shawarma, along with information about modifying it to suit different dietary needs. This recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey.


To Roast

7 ounces (½ of a block) extra firm tofu, cut thin by hand or with a mandolin

200 grams sliced oyster mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon baharat

¼ cup minced red onion or shallots


To Finish the Shawarma Filling

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon ground coriander

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ cup water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons tomato paste

½ teaspoon salt


To Serve:

4 pitas or flatbreads of your choice

½ cup hummus

⅓ cup tahini sauce

Thinly sliced red onions

chopped pickled cucumbers, pickled vegetables, and olives to taste

  1. Cut the tofu into very thin strips either by hand or using a mandolin. Cut the oyster mushrooms into bite-sized pieces and mix them in a bowl with the tofu strips, olive oil, baharat, and minced onion or shallots.
  2. Spread the contents of the bowl onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper and roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until lightly golden brown.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over high heat.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the shawarma spice blend: paprika, oregano, onion powder, coriander, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and turmeric.
  5. After 60 seconds when the oil is hot, add the minced garlic and then the spice mixture. Allow it to cook for 60 seconds until fragrant and bubbling.
  6. Add the water, lemon juice and tomato paste
  7. Stir in the roasted mushrooms and tofu. Lower the flame so that they are sauteing in the skillet over medium heat. After a minute or two when the shawarma sauce is fully distributed amongst the mushrooms and tofu, turn off the flame under the pan.
  8. To make the sandwiches: Heat a pita for 30-45 seconds on each side directly over an open flame on the stovetop using tongs. You want to heat it and get a few char marks on both sides.
  9. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of hummus in the center of the pita, add ¼ cup of mixed diced cucumbers, tomatoes, and thinly sliced onion, and add chopped pickled vegetables, pickles, and/or olives to taste.
  10. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, add a generous handful of shawarma to the pita.
  11. Top according to your taste with harissa and tahini sauce or vegan tzatziki. You can make the shawarma inside the pita by slicing it open or place the filling ingredients on top of the grilled pita to make it more like a taco than a pocket.

  1. Don’t overcook the shawarma filling! You want it as juicy and succulent as can be.
  2. This Vegan Shawarma recipe was contributed by Chef Adam Sobel from The Cinnamon Snail, a vegan and kosher caterer located in New Jersey. Find more of Adam’s recipes on Facebook and Instagram.

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