This delicious Tofu Salad is full of shawarma seasoned tofu, crisp lettuce, and flavorful vegetables, topped with a creamy yogurt tahini dressing.
Shawarma Tofu Salad is great for lunch, dinner, and can even be prepped ahead of time to take on the go. This vegetarian tofu salad lunch bowl with delicious shawarma flavoring will send your taste buds around the world and back again.
No matter what you are cooking – lunch, dinner, or meal prepping for the week, this easy meal is will have you feeling satisfied.
This versatile tahini yogurt dressing marries perfectly with the salad, but also with tomatoes, cucumbers, falafel, and more!
Tofu Salad Recipe
Plant-based meals have never looked or tasted so good! All other salads can step aside, because this one has main character energy.
This crispy tofu salad recipe comes together with an incredible blend of seasoning, extra firm tofu, crunchy romaine lettuce, tangy pickled red onion, salty feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, and more.
Feel free to get creative and swap ingredients in and out to really customize and make your salad incredible!
Shawarma Tofu Salad Ingredients
Tofu: extra firm tofu works best for crispy tofu recipes. It holds its structure and gets crispy without falling apart and getting mushy. Don’t use silken tofu or it will break apart and turn to mush.
Lettuce: I used romaine lettuce but you can use any blend of lettuce you like. Spinach or butter lettuce work great in this bowl recipe.
Herbs and spices: tofu is often marinated with soy sauce to give it flavor but in this recipe, we’re using a dry seasoning of: shawarma seasoning, paprika, and kosher salt. You’ll also need some fresh mint for the salad.
Toppings: garnish your salad with pickled red onions, cherry tomatoes, and feta cheese.
Optional toppings: next time you made this salad, consider adding to your topping with more fresh vegetables like green onion, bell peppers, creamy avocado, or grated carrots.
Tahini yogurt dressing
Yogurt: yogurt is the base of your salad dressing. For this, I used full fat plain greek yogurt.
Tahini: make sure to buy good tahini! I really like this one. However, good tahini matters because it varies in flavor and texture. Some can be too thick or too thin.
Lemon juice: adds a bright and citrusy flavor to the dressing.
Olive oil: you don’t want to skip out on the olive oil as it adds body and boldness to the dressing.
Warm water: water helps build the right consistency with the dressing. Make sure your water is warm (not boiling) because cold water will make the tahini seize up. Warm water aids in making the perfect creamy tahini dressing.
Make the dressing ahead of time and store it in your fridge for about a week.
How to Make Shawarma Tofu Salad
For the salad
1. Preheat. Preheat the air fryer to 375° F. Alternatively, you can preheat the oven to 400° F. (25-30 min)
2. Cook the tofu. Place the pressed tofu on a cutting board and slice into 1 inch cubes. Then add it to a medium bowl with the shawarma seasoning, paprika, and kosher salt and toss until fully coated.
Place tofu in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook on the air fry setting for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy, tossing halfway. Oven instructions: place the tofu in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing the tofu halfway until crisp around the edge and slightly golden brown.
3. Assemble the salad. While the marinated tofu is cooking, add the chopped romaine to a large mixing bowl and toss it with the tahini yogurt sauce. Then add the pickled onions, cherry tomatoes, mint, feta cheese, and cooked tofu. Toss and add more dressing if needed.
Tahini Yogurt Dressing
This tahini yogurt dressing comes together in minutes. I like to make extra and store it in the fridge to use on salads throughout the week.
When ready to use it, allow it to come to room temperature, stir and add more warm water if it’s too thick.
To make the dressing, simply whisk together the Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and warm water in a small bowl.
Dress the salad and use leftovers for dipping veggies. Tahini Yogurt Sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
My homemade Honey Balsamic Dressing is also delicious with this tofu salad.
How Long Does Tofu Take to Air Fry?
With an air fryer, you can make delicious tasting and super crispy tofu in under 20 minutes!
After you have pressed and marinated the tofu, all you have to do is place the tofu in the air fryer basket for about 15 minutes.
About halfway through, I like to toss the tofu to ensure it cooks evenly on all sides.
Do I have to press tofu before cooking it?
When you are cooking with tofu, 10 out of 10 recipes will tell you to drain and pat dry your tofu before cooking with it. You can buy a tofu press or make your own with a plate, paper towels, and a heavy pan.
How to press tofu without a press
Pressing tofu is as easy as wrapping your tofu in paper towels or a clean kitchen towel and placing a heavy pan (love my cast iron for this) on top. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and change the towels when they are completely soaked. I usually pat the tofu dry before pressing it.
Doing this releases excess water, allowing it to absorb as much flavor as possible from the seasoning and get crispier when cooking.
If you choose not to press your tofu, it may lack in flavor and won’t come out as crispy.
Is Tahini the Same as Tzatziki?
Although their names might feel similar, these two could not be more different. Both can be found at a local grocery store. However, Tzatziki is a yogurt sauce made with cucumber and tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds.
They have different textures and consistencies and very different flavor profiles.
What Can I Use Tahini Dressing On?
Not in the mood for a salad? There are so many other uses for tahini dressing! I recommend grabbing a mason jar, making a batch, and storing it in the fridge. When you get hungry, grab your tahini yogurt dressing and pair it with:
- Raw crunchy veggies like English cucumbers
- Roasted vegetables
- Toast bread
- Hummus Bowls
- Roasted Sweet Potato Bowls
You can even add it to this Mediterranean Mezze Platter to serve at a party.
Tofu Salad Side Dishes
More side dishes to try:
- Easy Roasted Broccolini
- Roasted Yellow Squash
- Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese
- Air Fryer Baked Sweet Potato
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Shawarma Tofu Salad
For the salad
- Preheat the air fryer to 375° F. Alternatively, you can preheat the oven to 400° F. (25-30 min)
- Place the tofu, shawarma seasoning, paprika, and kosher salt in a large bowl and toss until fully coated. Place the tofu in the air fryer basket in a single layer and cook on the air fry setting for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy, tossing halfway.Oven instructions: place the tofu in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing the tofu halfway, until crisp around the edges.
- While the tofu is cooking, add the chopped romaine to a large bowl and toss with the tahini yogurt dressing. Then add the pickled onions, cherry tomatoes, mint, feta cheese, and cooked tofu. Toss and add more dressing if needed.
Tahini Yogurt Dressing
- Whisk together the Greek yogurt, tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, and warm water.
- Dress the salad or use for dipping veggies, and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
- To press the tofu, you can use a tofu press or wrap it in paper towels and carefully place a heavy pan on top for 10-15 minutes.
- For added nutrients, try adding sprouts or microgreens.