Packed with flavor and fun to make, this Vegan Shawarma Bowl is the customizable bowl of your lunch, dinner, or meal prep dreams.
For the Vegan Shawarma
- 8 ounce bag of Butler Soy Curls (see note 1 for substitutions)
- 3 cups vegan chicken broth (or vegetable broth, see note 2)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion or onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil OR broth (see note 4)
For the Bowls (everything is optional)
- Prep work: I like to make the hummus and marinate the cabbage first. To marinate the cabbage, slice it very thinly and break apart any clumped together pieces with your hands or two forks. Squeeze a small lemon (or half a large lemon) over the cabbage and sprinkle on about ¾ teaspoon of salt. Mix with two forks or spoons (or a pair of tongs!) and let sit until ready to serve.
- Rehydrate soy curls: Add the soy curls to a large bowl and cover with the vegan chicken broth. Press down with your hands or the back of a spoon so everything is covered. The soy curls will float to the top but that’s okay. If you remember, you can stir it halfway through the 10 minute soaking period. Soak for about 10 minutes total.
- Squeeze out excess liquid: Working with one handful at a time, gently squeeze the excess broth out of the soy curls and set aside. You don’t have to go crazy getting them dry--just squeeze out the majority of the liquid, whatever comes out in 1-2 squeezes.
- Save broth if you want: Strain out the excess broth--I like to save it in a jar and use it in soup, rice, or other things throughout the week or it can be frozen for later use.
- Dry fry soy curls: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add the soy curls. I don’t use oil when I do this because I feel like the soy curls absorb the oil and stay kind of wet. The dry frying technique really helps to brown the soy curls. Cook them in the pan for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let them get a little browned--if you notice them starting to burn, turn the heat way down.
- Add spices: Add the olive oil OR about 1-2 tablespoons of the remaining broth. Stir until all the curls are moistened and sprinkle on all the spices. Stir well until the soy curls have some nice color. Cook about 3-4 more minutes and remove from heat.
- Assemble your bowls: I like to add a large dollop of hummus (and if you’re feeling fancy, give it a swoop with the back of your spoon) first. Then add a big scoop of the vegan shawarma soy curls. Add as much as you like of the marinated cabbage, sliced cucumbers, pickled red onions, and whatever else you’re using. If you like, add a spoonful of harissa, a generous sprinkle of parsley, and a sprinkle of za’atar spice. Serve with warm pita and enjoy! You can also wrap all of the contents in a pita or a large flexible flatbread (like lavash) and eat it handheld.
- Store: These bowls are great for meal prep! I’d store everything except the hummus and pita bread in the same bowl but pack those two separately. You may also want to pack the harissa separately. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4-5 days or freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.
- Note 1: I used a whole bag, discarding the fine powder at the bottom of the bag. The small crumbles I save and use whenever I make soup, chili, or like a TVP pasta sauce. If you prefer not to use soy curls you could use chickpeas would work really well here (just bake or air fry them with the seasoning and a little bit of oil or broth to make the spices stick), baked or air fried tofu (or even puffed tofu), seitan beef like my simple recipe for instant pot seitan (instructions for those without an instant pot are included), or a store-bought vegan beef product like Gardein.
- Note 2: I like to use vegan chicken broth for this recipe so I can have that particular flavor. I use Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base mixed with water. The soy curls won’t absorb all of it so I usually strain it into a jar and use it in a soup or sauce later in the week (can also be frozen). You could alternatively use prepared vegan chicken broth, bouillon cubes, or vegetable broth.
- Note 3: You can customize these spices however you like. I played around with them quite a bit and I found that this is a pretty delicious blend but again, feel free to adjust to your preferences.
- Note 4: After we dry fry the soy curls, we’ll need to get them a little moist (sorry) again to get the spices to stick. I’ve tested this recipe a bunch of different ways--the best way was with a little olive oil. It helped make the soy curls resemble meat a little bit more and made the flavors pop. HOWEVER, I prefer not to eat oil when I can help it, and I know some of my readers feel the same way, so I tested it a lot without oil too. The next best thing is to add a little bit of broth at a time to keep the soy curls moist (again, sorry) and to make the spices stick.
- Note 5: I can think of a lot of things that would be great in this dish, such as tomatoes (especially halved cherry or grape tomatoes), chopped greens like kale, avocado, cilantro, roasted broccoli or cauliflower, tahini, zhoug sauce, cooked quinoa or rice, chopped bell peppers (or thinly sliced mini bell peppers would be nice), shredded carrots (especially if you marinated those in lemon juice and salt too) OR roasted carrots would be good, pickled or roasted beets, canned or roasted chickpeas, etc. SO many options!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stove top
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Vegan Shawarma Bowl, Vegan Chicken Shawarma, Gluten-Free