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Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Experience the vibrant flavors of our Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing, a nutritious and satisfying meal that combines roasted cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, and a creamy dressing. Perfect for meal prep and versatile enough to enjoy hot or cold, these bowls are a delicious addition to your menu.

This Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing is fresh, delicious, and super versatile.

It features roasted cauliflower, crispy, nutty chickpeas, warm brown rice, tender greens, and a creamy Lemon Tahini sauce. The leftovers are equally delicious, if not even better.

We created this bowl with a few factors in mind.

  • It’s high in anti-inflammatory benefits and brimming with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
  • The Lemon Tahini dressing is simple to prepare and filled with protein and healthy fats, which help you stay fuller longer.
  • Lastly, these bowls are PERFECT to eat as leftovers all week long, hot or cold. You’ll be in love at first bite!

The rice, veggies, and dressing can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator, making this recipe extremely meal-prep friendly. Feel free to play around with the vegetables and mix-and-match the various components.

What is a Shawarma Bowl?

Shawarma bowls are a foodie’s ideal feel-good meal—attractive, delightfully delicious, and nutritious. It doesn’t get much better than an array of nourishing ingredients layered in a bowl.

Shawarma bowls start with a base of warm brown rice. From there, add your favorite vegetables with just the right blend of bold spices and, if you’re feeling it, some sort of crunchy ingredient on top. Tie it all together with a generous drizzle of sauce (our Lemon Tahini Dressing is a personal favorite!!) and you’ve got yourself one heck of a Shawarma bowl. Hello, balanced flavors!

Shawarma bowls engage your senses so you’re more likely to be satisfied after eating them. There’s something uniquely special about foods that are colorful and have a crunchy texture. They engage additional senses that allow us to “eat with our eyes and ears.”

In fact, food science researchers have found that foods that appeal to our eyes and ears lead to a more satisfying eating experience. When you’re more satisfied, you’re less likely to snack later in the day on unhealthy options. Talk about a win-win!

How to Make it Kid-Friendly

Combine the ingredients in a bowl, top with cheese, and wilt the spinach slightly for a kid-friendly twist.

How to Create Your Own Shawarma Bowl

Shawarma bowls are colorful bowls packed with nutrient-dense ingredients like grains, beans, roasted and raw vegetables, and topped with a flavorful sauce.

Use this simple breakdown:

  • Grain
  • Greens + Veggies
  • Lean Protein (optional)
  • Bold Spices
  • Tasty Sauce
  • Crunchy Topping

For GRAINS: Short grain brown rice is our absolute favorite base because it’s slightly nutty and tender. But, when it comes to grains, the sky is the limit. You can use any whole grain. A few others to choose from are brown rice, brown basmati rice, and quinoa. When choosing a grain, look for one that has the word “whole” or “brown” in the ingredients (whole grain rice, brown basmati rice, etc.). This simply means…

For VEGETABLES: Talk about a super versatile meal, you really can use ANY vegetable in these bowls. So, if your family doesn’t like cauliflower or you have another veggie readily available in the fridge, swap them! We prefer using at least one cooked, sauteed, or grilled veggie in our bowl, and then if we use more than one, we add a raw veggie for the crunch.

For PROTEIN: Whether they’re leftovers, canned (salmon) or freshly cooked, adding a protein can enhance the bowl’s nutrition.

For SAUCE: Our Lemon Tahini Dressing is highly recommended, but you can use any sauce you love.

For CRUNCH: Studies have shown that adding crunch to a meal makes it more satisfying. Keep it simple with some chopped nuts, pepitas, or roasted chickpeas.

Meal Prep

This delicious dish is comforting without all the calories! First, don’t be intimidated by this recipe’s length. While it’s not the quickest option around, it’s super simple to make. The most time-consuming aspect is simply chopping the cauliflower, so if you can do that on your food prep day or a spare moment prior to your meal, you’re golden.

  • Prepare rice: Cook and store in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare Lemon Tahini Dressing: Make and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This is freezer-friendly so make a double batch and freeze half in a mason jar for future meals.
  • Chop onions and cauliflower: Store in airtight containers in the fridge for easy access.

How to Reheat and Serve

When you’re ready for lunch or dinner, heat the rice for about a minute, then top with greens, tahini dressing, cauliflower, and chickpeas (hot or cold—we typically eat leftovers cold).

How to Reinvent Your Leftover Cauliflower Shawarma

You can reinvent your leftovers by mixing and matching the ingredients to make other meals. Here are some ideas:

Shawarma Wraps:

  • Use a whole wheat tortilla or pita bread. Fill with the leftover shawarma bowl ingredients. Add some extra fresh veggies like shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, and cucumbers. Drizzle with tahini sauce and roll up for a quick and tasty wrap.

Stuffed Peppers:

  • Hollow out bell peppers and fill them with leftover rice, chickpeas, and cauliflower. Top with a bit of cheese and bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until the peppers are tender.

Egg Scramble:

  • Toss leftovers in eggs, scramble, top with feta cheese and tahini dressing.


  • Use the leftover greens, chickpeas, and cauliflower as a base. Add some cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and any other fresh veggies you have. Top with a scoop of quinoa and drizzle with tahini dressing for a hearty salad.

Rice Bowls:

  • Use leftover rice as the base. Add a variety of fresh or steamed vegetables. Top with a protein like grilled chicken, tofu, or a fried egg. Drizzle with the leftover Lemon Tahini Dressing.

Veggie Stir-Fry:

  • Use the leftover rice and vegetables. Stir-fry with some soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Add in any other vegetables you have on hand for a quick stir-fry.

Grain & Veggie Soup:

  • Use the leftover rice, chickpeas, and vegetables. Add to a pot with vegetable or chicken broth. Season with your favorite herbs and spices and simmer until heated through.

Buddha Bowl Variations:

  • Switch up the grains by using quinoa or farro. Add different roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes or Brussels sprouts. Top with different dressings like a spicy peanut sauce or a creamy avocado dressing.

Did You Make this Recipe?

If you make this Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing Recipe, we would love to hear how it turned out! Leave a comment below sharing what your friends and family thought of it. We love hearing from you and your ideas inspire us all! Don’t forget to tag @fullforlifegal on Instagram so we can admire your masterpiece! 🌟

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Cauliflower Shawarma Bowl with Lemon Tahini Dressing

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  • Author: Kalie
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This Shawarma bowl recipe is fresh, delicious, and super versatile. It features roasted cauliflower, crispy, nutty chickpeas, warm brown rice, tender greens, and a creamy Lemon Tahini sauce.




Lemon Tahini Dressing


Chickpeas (Using Mostly the Same Ingredients as the Cauliflower)

Optional Addition


Make Tahini Sauce

  1. We recommend doing this ahead to save time.
  2. Place all ingredients in an upright blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. We like a moderately thick sauce, but you can thin it out as you like.

Roast Cauliflower

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl and drizzle EVOO, paprika, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Toss to coat and transfer to the baking sheet. Roast for 30 minutes.

Sauté Chickpeas

  1. Meanwhile, make the Moroccan chickpeas: Warm 1 TBS EVOO in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Sauté for 1-2 minutes, until slightly translucent. Add chickpeas, paprika, cumin, and salt.
  2. Cook for 4-6 minutes to allow the chickpeas to crisp up slightly, then remove from the heat and cover until ready to serve.

While Veggies are Roasting/Sautéing

  1. Place the arugula or spinach in a bowl. Lightly toss with 1/2 cup tahini sauce. You can (but don’t have to) use your hands to massage the dressing into the arugula until it becomes slightly tender.

To Serve

  1. Divide rice between 4 bowls. Top with arugula, chickpeas, cauliflower, and chicken.


Use gluten-free grains if necessary.

We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.

Always check for FfL-friendly ingredients.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes

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Hi beautiFULL, We’re Pam & Kalie

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