mushroom shawarma


What do you like most about shawarma? Is it really the meat or the charred smoky spices and crispy ends? I’m all for the smoky dusted spices like cumin, paprika, and coriander. The best plant-based alternative to achieve an authentic meaty shawarma taste and texture are mushrooms – portobello, shitake, or even cremini. Serve in a hearty pita or on a platter. 

Shopping list

  • Mixed mushrooms- portobello and shiitake
  • Shawarma spice mix: cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper
  • Hummus 
  • Pita bread
  • Israeli pickles and peppers (optional)

Tahina sauce ingredients


Heat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet. Cut your mushrooms about ½ inch thick and throw them in a bowl. Toss them in olive oil and sprinkle about 1 ½ tablespoons of the shawarma spice mix. Arrange evenly on the baking sheet and roast until cooked and browned – about 18-20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, make a quick harissa tahina sauce. The technique to making a good tahina is to use ice cold water to dilute the store bought tahina paste found in a jar. I like the tahina from Seed & Mill but any one could work. In a mixing bowl, take two tablespoons of the tahina and slowly add in the ice cold water and whisk together. Add in two cloves of crushed garlic, lemon juice, salt, and harissa hot sauce and marinade. Keep whisking until all is mixed evenly. Add water and lemon juice as needed to achieve a creamy consistency – not too watery or too thick. 

Warm up the pitas in the oven and serve everything hot. You can stuff the pita, serve on a platter, or make an open-faced sandwich as pictured.