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Tofu Shawarma

This easy tofu shawarma recipe makes the perfect high-protein vegan lunch when used in a flatbread or a fresh salad. It’s ready in under 25 minutes and packed with deliciously earthy shawarma spices. 

I love this tofu shawarma served with my homemade tzatziki dip and (if you have the time) a homemade flatbread with lots of fresh and crunchy salad toppings. It would also be delicious with whipped feta and harissa chickpeas in a salad or with pitta to mop everything up!

a close up shot of tofu shawarma on a flatbread with salad and tzatziki sauce

This recipe is also perfect for meal prepping and use in a variety of ways – it’s high in protein, packed with flavor, can be eaten hot or cold, and is great for lunches and dinners.

Ingredient Notes

The exact quantities of the ingredients you need for this recipe are included in the recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here, I’ve added a few notes on the ingredients you need, plus a few potential substitutions you could make if you can’t eat/find a certain ingredient.

tofu shawarma ingredients
  • Tofu: I highly recommend using extra-firm tofu to make your tofu shawarma. Silken tofu will be far too watery and won’t hold its shape when sliced so thinly. I rarely press my tofu – instead, I use a clean muslin cloth to pat it dry all over and gently squeeze any excess liquid out before slicing. This helps the tofu absorb the flavors of your marinade and get deliciously crispy in the oven.
  • Olive Oil: We use just a tablespoon of olive oil in the marinade to help coat the tofu when cooking. You could also use vegetable oil or coconut oil if you prefer.
  • Lemon: A squeeze of about half a lemon’s worth of juice into the marinade gives your shawarma marinade a lovely fresh, zingy edge. Reserve the other half of the lemon to squeeze over the finished dish – don’t skip it!
  • Honey: Honey also contrasts so beautifully with the earth, spicy flavors of the shawarma sauce, and also helps to give your tofu a lovely crispy, caramelized texture when cooked.
  • Seasonings: Shawarma is made from a unique combination of spices including cumin, turmeric, and paprika, originating from Middle Eastern cooking. If you prefer, you can find ready-made shawarma seasonings in most local stores – however, here I’ve mixed my own combination of spices. I’ve listed everything used and the exact quantities in the recipe card.

How To Make This Tofu Shawarma Recipe

Again, the exact step-by-step instructions and ingredient quantities will be in the recipe card at the bottom of this page. 

Below is an overview of making this recipe, plus some process shots to help you visualize how this recipe should turn out.

Step 1) Assemble Your Spices

I find it helpful to arrange all of my spices on a plate or in a small bowl before making this recipe, so I know I have everything in one place.

You could also mix together the spices with olive oil, honey, and lemon juice so your marinade is melding together and ready to use when you’ve prepared your tofu.

Step 2) Prepare The Tofu

To prepare your tofu, first remove it from the packaging and use a clean cloth to pat the tofu dry. Give the tofu a gentle squeeze to remove any excess moisture – I’ve shown this in the recipe video to demonstrate.

Step 3) Slice The Tofu

Use a box grater to thinly slice the tofu to resemble kebab “meat”. If you don’t have a box grater, this recipe will still work perfectly fine if you slice the tofu with a knife or even a mandolin.

Arrange the sliced tofu on a lined baking sheet – also preheat your oven now so it’s getting hot while you coat the tofu in your marinade.

Step 4) Marinade the Tofu

Pour your shawarma marinade over the thinly sliced tofu, and use tongs or your hands to gently coat all of the tofu slices. 

You could, if you prefer, leave the tofu to marinate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to fully seep into the tofu, but honestly I often just bake the tofu straight away!

Step 5) Bake and Serve

Bake the tofu for 15 – 20 minutes or until it’s just beginning to turn crispy at the edges.

tofu shawarma on a flatbread with salad and tzatziki sauce

What To Serve Your Tofu Shawarma With

In the photos, I’ve served my tofu shawarma with a warm flatbread topped with homemade tzatziki, thinly sliced cucumber, lettuce tossed with fresh mint, cherry tomatoes, and pickled red onions.

It would also be delicious in a wrap with crunchy chickpeas and hummus or whipped feta, or served in a salad bowl – perhaps similarly to how this veggie harissa meatball recipe is served with pearl cous cous.


This tofu shawarma can be eaten hot or cold, so is perfect for meal prepping and storing for meals throughout the week.

I would recommend storing your tofu shawarma in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To reheat, toss the tofu in a pan and pan fry until warm (it also gets extra crispy this way which is a bonus!). Add a splash of water and more lemon juice if the tofu gets too dry when reheating.


What is shawarma?

Shawarma is a popular Middle Eastern meal that is made from marinated meat, such as lamb, beef, and chicken. Here, of course, I’ve taken a few liberties so that we can enjoy a similar taste but with a plant-based protein source.

What’s the best thing to use if I don’t have a box grater?

A box grater is fairly cheap and a very useful tool in the kitchen, so consider getting one anyway! However, if you want to make this recipe now and don’t have a box grater, simply slicing the tofu thinly with a knife will work, or you could also try using a mandolin.

a tofu shawarma flatbread with salad and tzatziki sauce

Can I use something other than tofu with the shawarma marinade?

Yes, this shawarma marinade can be used with a variety of ingredients other than tofu! You could use it to coat tempeh or vegan chicken if you prefer. It could also be delicious as a sauce to toss butter beans in served with a creamy yogurt dip, or even with vegetables such as sweet potato, zucchini, carrots, or peppers.

What type of tofu should I use?

Use extra-firm tofu for this recipe to ensure the tofu holds its shape when being sliced so thinly. Silken tofu will not work!

Why isn’t my tofu going crispy?

If your tofu isn’t turning crispy, you may not have dried it thoroughly enough when draining the tofu. Alternatively, you may need to turn up the heat in your oven.

Note that the tofu should not be overtly crispy in this recipe either – just the edges begin to turn a little crisp when done.

How to make the shawarma sauce spicy?

If you like a spicier shawarma sauce, increase the quantity of cayenne chili pepper in the recipe. You could also add some hot sauce to your wrap or salad!

Tofu Shawarma

Tofu Shawarma

Yield: 2 portions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

This easy tofu shawarma is a fantastic vegan protein source for wraps and salads, and is packed with delicious earthy spices and flavors. Perfect for meal prepping in 25 minutes.


  • 200g extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 0.5 tsp cayenne chili pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

To Serve


  1. Remove the tofu from its packaging and use a clean cloth to pat it dry, gently squeezing the tofu to remove as much excess moisture as possible. 
  2. Use the slicing side of your box grater to slice the tofu thinly. Gently arrange the tofu on a lined baking sheet.
  3. Preheat your oven to 180C | 356F.
  4. Mix together the shawarma marinade ingredients (all the spices, lemon juice, olive oil, and honey). Add a tablespoon or two or water to loosen the marinade and make it easier to mix into the sliced tofu.
  5. Pour the shawarma sauce over the tofu and use tongs or your hands to gently coat every tofu slice in the marinade. The tofu is quite delicate when sliced so thinly, so I found using my hands the best method!
  6. Arrange the coated tofu so it’s spread across the baking tray, and then bake the tofu for 15 - 20 minutes until it’s just beginning to crisp at the edges.
  7. Arrange the flatbreads with your salad ingredients, the tofu shawarma, and the tzatziki sauce.


If you don’t have a box grater, you could simply slice the tofu thinly with a knife or you could try a mandolin instead.

For a spicier shawarma marinade, increase the quantity of cayenne chili paste used. 

You could fry the tofu instead of baking it if you prefer. This recipe can also work great in the air fryer, just take care not to break the tofu too much when transferring it to your air fryer basket. Bake in the air fryer for no more than 10 minutes (the tofu is thin so it will cook quickly!).

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 560Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 1718mgCarbohydrates: 84gFiber: 14gSugar: 22gProtein: 25g

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