The inspiration behind this mushroom shawarma recipe came via a 15 second Instagram story featuring a Miami based deli’s new menu item – mushroom shawarma. I love mushrooms and love shawarma and the combination sounded amazing. It promptly got added to a running list of recipe ideas I keep. Apart from the traditional meat/chicken-based shawarma, I’ve rubbed a shawarma spice onto cauliflower to create cauliflower shawarma, which as delicious as it was, lacks the meatiness associated with shawarma. Enter mushrooms, which are meaty and pack that umami flavour. I started by experimenting with different kinds of mushrooms and different combinations of spices. I settled on using two types of mushrooms – shimenji mushrooms, which are small white wild mushrooms that have a chewiness to them, and braai mushrooms, which are big, brown and have a meatiness to them. If you can’ find braai mushrooms, you can use portobello mushrooms. They’re a little smaller than braai mushrooms but have the same taste.


Mushroom Shawarma


The shawarma flavour comes from a shawarma spice mix, which is just a blend of spices. The quantities are below and you can double or triple the recipe and store in a jar for later use. Alternatively, you can use 3 tablespoons of a store bought shawarma blend, this is the one I like.


You can serve the mushroom shawarma as you would shawarma – in a pita or laffa with loads of hummus, diced veggies and tahini. Alternatively, you can create a shawarma bowl with fresh or roasted veggies, tahini, and a grain like couscous or bulghur wheat. It’s also delicious on a piece of crusty bread with lashing of hummus.


Mushroom Shawarma


Mushroom Shawarma

Mushrooms have a meatiness that makes them perfect for a plant-based mushroom shawarma. They're sliced, rubbed in a shawarma blend and baked until perfectly cooked. Serve in a pita, laffa or bowl loaded with hummus and diced veggies.
Course: Mains
Dietary: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, No Added Sugar, Nut Free, Refined Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Wheat Free
Servings: 4 servings


  • 160 grams Shimenji Mushrooms
  • 400 grams Braai Mushrooms (or portabello mushrooms)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

Shawarma Spice Mix

  • 4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder


  • Preheat the oven to 200C and line a baking tray with parchment paper or a silpat mat.
  • Combine all the spices together to make the shawarma spice mix and set aside.
  • Wash the mushrooms well and slice them. Add the slices to a large bowl.
  • Sprinkle the shawarma spice mix over the sliced mushrooms, and then using your hands, mix it in well making sure each slice of mushroom gets coated.
  • Add the olive oil and rub into the mushroom slices.
  • Lay the mushroom slices on a lined baking tray in an even layer.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, turning the tray around halfway.
  • Serve with pita, hummus and chopped veggies, in a salad, or on top of a piece of sourdough bread.


You can use 3 tablespoons of store-bought shawarma mix instead of the blend.


Mushroom Shawarma

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