Recipe: Shawarma Spiced Whole Roast Cauliflower

About this time every year I need to start thinking about what I’m going to cook for Christmas lunch in place of the turkey the meat eater in my family eat. Usually it’s some kind of delicious stuffed vegetable but this year I think a whole roasted cauliflower might be the go. I’ve been experimenting with flavours and this shawarma one is an absolute winner!

Shawarma Spiced Whole Roast Cauliflower | I Spy Plum Pie

I slightly amended a recipe I found at the Minimalist Baker

Ingredients List

  • 1 large cauliflower
  • 3tbs shawarma spice blend
  • 3tbs coconut oil
  • 2tbs water
  • 1tsp harissa paste
  • 2tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 200C and place a tray half filled with water on the bottom of the oven
  2. Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower and cut the stalk so it will sit flat in a tray. Cut a cross in the bottom of the stalk
  3. Whisk together the shawarma blend, melted coconut oil, water, harissa, maple syrup and salt
  4. Flip the cauliflower upside down in the pan and pour over two thirds of the sauce. Give it a gentle shake to help distribute evenly then flip back over and brush the rest of the sauce over the cauliflower head
  5. Roast for 35-50 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower, until a knife easily pierces the core
  6. For a crunchier outside, cook under the grill for 2-3 minutes until browned before serving

Shawarma Spiced Whole Roast Cauliflower | I Spy Plum PieThis whole roasted cauliflower is seriously delicious, and it’s impressive looking as well. Way more impressive than it should look given how simple it is! If you can’t find shawarma spice blend at the shops then you can easily make your own. I make mine using this recipe, and just make it up as needed – it’s also excellent on roast veggies!

Adding the water to your oven while you roast the cauliflower helps to steam it while it roasts, making for a tender and evenly cooked end result. The cross in the bottom of the stalk helps with this too – minor tweaks for an even more tasty dish!

Shawarma Spiced Whole Roast Cauliflower | I Spy Plum Pie

When it comes to serving your shawarma spiced whole roast cauliflower you can really pair it with anything that takes your fancy. For dinner at home I served it with some wholemeal couscous, green veggies and lots of my favourite chimichurri sauce. For Christmas day it will be served alongside our normal collection of salads, greens and roast potatoes which will be an absolute winner I’m sure!

Shawarma Spiced Whole Roast Cauliflower | I Spy Plum Pie

Who wants to try this shawarma spiced whole roast cauliflower?

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