Time 1h 10m
If you are looking for a vegan alternative to the meaty Greek moussaka, you came to the right place! Below we'll show you how to make Lebanese moussaka, a vegan alternative to the meat-based Greek recipe. We made this recipe with only plant-based ingredients — no dairy and no meat!
Moussaka is a staple recipe in Greece and the Middle East. Greek moussaka is the most common recipe found across the US and Europe, made by layering aubergines, tomato sauce, and ground beef like you would with lasagna.
Instead of using mince, the Lebanese moussaka (AKA Maghmour) opts for the ever-popular and vegan-friendly chickpeas. Imagine a casserole filled with layers of juicy aubergines, caramelised onions, and soft chickpeas, all smothered in a Levantine-spiced tomato sauce. Steaming and hot, straight out of the oven... Who needs meat, right?
There are three reasons why meatless moussaka is amazing:
You get no bad cholesterol and a fraction of the fats and calories.
The lack of animal products means you can store the dish for longer in the fridge, up to seven days. Therefore, you can make a big batch and sort out your lunch and dinners for days.
The ingredients are super easy to find. You probably already have almost everything you need in your pantry.
Another great thing about Lebanese eggplant moussaka, is that it's good both hot and cold. So you can easily pack it in a lunch-box. And what a lunch it would be! A generous portion has only 225 calories, 8% RDI of fats, but 21% RDI of proteins. Plus all the wonderful vitamins and minerals you get from the aubergines, tomatoes, and chickpeas. You can cover 3 out of your five-a-day of veggies in a single swoop. Now, that's what we call a healthy dish!
Did we strike your fancy? Then jump right into the recipe below, and let's have fun preparing this marvellous Arabic eggplant dish together!
- Ground Cinnamon
- Ground Ginger
- Ground Cumin
- Large Eggplants
- Large Onions
- Canned Chickpeas (drained)
- Tomato Passata
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Garlic Cloves
- Chopped Fresh Parsley
Slice the aubergines into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick disks and arrange them flat on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
Then, season them with salt to taste.
To remove the eggplants' bitterness and prevent the slices from browning once cut, you can soak the disks in a bowl of cold water and salt for 10 minutes. Then, drain them and place them on the baking tray.
Now, bake the eggplant slices for 20-25 minutes at 180°C (355°F).
If you're cooking them on multiple trays, then set the oven to fan mode at 160°C (320°F) and swap the trays halfway through cooking time.
Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick disks.
Slice one-third of the onions into rings and finely dice the remainder; we'll use the chopped onions for the filling and the rings for garnishing.
Then, mix all the Lebanese spice mix ingredients in a cup with salt and pepper to taste.
For the moussaka sauce, combine the tomato passata, oil, minced garlic, parsley, and half of the spice mix in a bowl.
Now, let's assemble the moussaka.
Take a casserole dish (ours is 28cm x 20cm/11″ x 8″) and pour in one-third of the sauce, spreading it around to create a base layer.
Then, layer one-third of the roasted eggplants over the sauce, followed by one-third of tomatoes and half of the diced onions.
Scatter half of the canned chickpeas over the vegetables and season them with a few pinches of the spice mix.
Now, repeat the layering once more exactly as in the previous step: one-third of passata, one-third of eggplants and tomatoes, the remaining half of diced onions and chickpeas, and the seasoning.
For the final layer, cover the chickpeas with the remaining passata, followed by the remaining eggplants, tomatoes, onions rings, and spices.
Bake the prepared moussaka in the preheated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the onion rings are nicely browned.
Enjoy the moussaka warm with brown rice or toasted flatbread to scoop up the sauce.
Before baking the eggplants, you can coat the slices with starch or flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Add half of teaspoon of baking soda to the passata to remove the tomatoes' acidity.