Tofu Shawarma Dinner Salad

Since discovering the oven-roasted shawarma recipe (<gift link) from the Times in December, I’ve made it a half dozen times — sometimes for company, sometimes for an easy Sunday dinner, sometimes with homemade yogurt flatbread (page 222 The Weekday Vegetarians), sometimes over rice with yogurt sauce and mint. The recipe, with nearly 20,000 reviews, is wildly popular for a reason: It always delivers. Unless, of course, you’re vegetarian or a weekday vegetarian, or someone who has maybe had one too many pork dumplings in Chinatown over the weekend and is possibly looking for a reset. That’s when one might think about swapping in tofu for the chicken, using the same spices as the Times recipe, but adding corn starch to ensure some crucial crispy edges. One might also think about tossing that tofu with bright greens, cucumbers, radishes and feta, throwing in a few pita chips for good measure and good texture. One might think about tofu shawarma dinner salad…

Tofu Shawarma Salad
Makes 2-3 large servings (or 4 small)

1 (14- to 15-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, pressed, drained, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed oil, or extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8-10 grinds of black pepper

Make tofu:

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, toss the tofu gently with the oil, cornstarch, paprika, cumin, turmeric, salt, cayenne, and black pepper, and place on the prepared sheet pan. Bake until the tofu is golden and the corners look crispy, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make honey-yogurt dressing:

In a small jar or measuring cup, shake or whisk:

1 small garlic clove, pressed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons za’atar

Assemble Salad

In a large bowl toss:

10 ounces greens (such as gem lettuce, Bibb lettuce, kale)
4 radishes, sliced very thin
2 small cucumbers, sliced very thin
3 tablespoons minced red onion (there are pickled onions in the photo, but not necessary)
1/3 cup fresh dill
2/3 cup crumbled feta (about 3-4 ounces)
Tofu shawarma (above)
Honey-Za’atar dressing (above)

Serve with crumbled pita chips.

For more simple vegetarian recipes, pre-order The Weekday Vegetarians: Get Simple, a follow-up to my New York Times bestselling book The Weekday Vegetarians. Reminder: All the fun stuff these days happens in the Dinner: A Love Story newsletter on Substack, which is consistently in the Top 10 most-read food newsletters on the entire platform. You can subscribe here.

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This was quick to make and delicious! I forgot dill at the store, but can’t wait to add it next time. Thank you!


Oh shoot, not actually a gift link! Dang paywall. The tofu version looks delicious, though!