Chickpea Shawarma Sandwich

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In fact, one of my first dates with John was at a little Mediterranean cafe in Kansas. We ordered shawarma and fed each other bites between adoring glances.

Yes, we were that couple. That was also the day I discovered John’s preference for small bites and my overwhelming preference for big bites. I felt like he was slighting me all night. Don’t worry – lesson learned, the relationship survived.

Please take note, world (and husband): Give me a two-biter, or things are going to go down.

What is Shawarma?

Shawarma is a classic Levantine Arab dish of meat (lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, or mixed meats) seasoned and placed vertically on a spit and slowly roasted. It’s typically sliced thinly and served with tabbouleh, fattoush salad, bread, tomato, cucumber, and various sauces. Though considered a Turkish dish by origin, it’s enjoyed throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean region in multiple forms.

Note that this is a shawarma-inspired sandwich, as it opts for chickpeas in place of meat.

What is Shawarma Spice Mix?

Shawarma spice blends were created in the Middle East to add flavor and spice to the rotisserie meats.

The chickpeas in this dish are tossed in shawarma-inspired spices (see our DIY blend here!) and baked until crispy and golden brown. Swoon.

I think this would make the perfect weeknight meal when you’re craving something fast but satisfying. It’s bound to please the whole family, even picky eaters. I’d like to see someone resist my garlic dill sauce on crispy chickpeas. I’d like to see them try…

Plus, one sandwich (of two) boasts 22 grams of protein! Hello, plant power.

Ingredients

CHICKPEAS

  • One 15-ounce can of chickpeas (rinsed, drained, and patted dry)
  • 1 Tbsp grape seed or avocado oil
  • 1 tsp each cumin and garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp each sea salt + black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp smoked (or regular) paprika
  • 1/4 tsp each ground coriander + cinnamon

GARLIC DILL SAUCE

  • 1/4 cup hummus (or tahini*)
  • ~1 Tbsp lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon as the original recipe is written)
  • 3/4 – 1 tsp dried dill*
  • Three cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2-3 Tbsp water or unsweetened almond milk (to thin)
  • Sea salt to taste (optional // I didn’t need any)

FOR SERVING

  • Vegan pita or flatbread (ensure gluten-free for GF eaters)
  • Sliced tomato (optional)
  • Sliced red onion (optional)
  • Romaine lettuce or fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
  • Chili garlic sauce (optional // I like this one)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a large baking sheet (or more if making a larger batch) with foil or parchment paper.
  • In a small mixing bowl, toss rinsed and dried chickpeas with oil and spices* and spread on a baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes or until slightly crispy and golden brown. Once slightly cooled, sample and adjust seasonings as desired (I added a bit more sea salt, cumin, and garlic powder for extra flavor).
  • While the chickpeas are roasting, prepare your sauce by adding hummus, lemon juice, dill, and garlic to a mixing bowl and whisking to combine. Add enough water or almond milk to thin it so it’s pourable (~2-3 Tbsp as the original recipe is written // adjust the amount if altering batch size).
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Add more garlic for more zing, salt for savoriness, lemon juice for freshness, and dill for a more intense herb flavor. I found mine didn’t need anything else.
  • To serve, warm pitas or flatbread in the microwave for 15 -30 seconds (or in the still-warm oven for 1 minute) and top with the desired amount of chickpeas, sauce, and vegetables of choice.
  • Best when fresh, though leftover chickpeas and sauce will keep well stored separately in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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