Vegan Lebanese Moussaka

by Pamela

Vegan Lebanese Moussaka

A bit different than Greek moussaka, this vegan Lebanese moussaka is made rich and hearty with tomatoes, eggplant and chickpeas.

I love a good Greek moussaka, but I don’t love the way I feel after eating it. It’s very filling and sometimes you feel like you’ve got a rock in your stomach. This Lebanese version leaves you with a much lighter feeling in your stomach but leaves your taste buds very very happy.

This recipe came about after Craig was raving about a vegetarian moussaka he gets at a restaurant near his office. And when I say “raving,” I mean talking non-stop about getting this moussaka “in his belly” on practically a daily basis. He and some of his co-workers go to this restaurant frequently. It’s a Mediterranean place that offers a buffet for lunch that they all go on and on and on about.

Hearty Vegan Lebanese Moussaka

One of the women he works with makes a version of the moussaka that he really likes and he asked me, in a very round about kind of way, if I would try making it. Since I’ve never had it and his food descriptions are limited to “I really like it, ” “I like it,” “I don’t like it” I was pretty hard pressed to figure out what exactly is in this moussaka of his dreams. So off to the interwebs I went.

I found recipes with spice combinations that would make your head explode and some with virtually no seasoning whatsoever. So I went with a happy medium and kept my fingers crossed.

Most of the recipes call for the moussaka to made more like a thick stew, but Craig says he likes “the crispy bits,” which means he likes it baked and really likes the bits that get extra browned and crispy.

Off to the stove and oven I went.

I would call this moussaka a loose interpretation of Lebanese moussaka. It’s got a touch of Lebanese flavor, but not a whole lot of the seasonings. Craig really likes it. In fact, it’s been his lunch for the past several weeks. (He especially likes that he doesn’t have to keep it in the refrigerator when he takes it to work.)

If you’re looking for an easy dinner that’s light and healthy, and leftovers are perfect for lunch then this moussaka is going to be something you’ll really like.

Vegan Lebanese Moussaka
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A bit different than Greek moussaka, this vegan Lebanese moussaka is made rich and hearty with tomatoes, eggplant and chickpeas.
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds eggplant (from roughly 2 eggplants)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 2 14 ounce cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup of water
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Make sure oven grates are set in the top and bottom third of oven.
  3. Dice eggplant into ½"-3/4" pieces.
  4. Spread eggplant into a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and use your hands to make sure that all the pieces are coated with olive oil.
  5. Slide baking sheet onto grate that's in the top third of the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the pieces of eggplant are browned.
  6. Remove from oven.
  7. While eggplant is cooking, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to large saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  8. Once oil is hot, add onion to pan.
  9. Cook onions until soft, about 10 minutes, then add in the garlic. Continue to cook until garlic begins to brown.
  10. Add tomato paste to pan and stir to combine with onions and garlic. Cook until the paste begins to darken. Then add salt, paprika and mint. Stir to combine and cook for another minute.
  11. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and water to pan and stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes, while occasionally stirring.
  12. Remove from heat.
  13. Add cooked eggplant to 9"x13" baking pan and pour tomato mixture over top. Stir to thoroughly combine everything together and smooth it so that it's evenly in the pan.
  14. Slide baking pan into the oven and bake for 40-60 minutes. The time depends on how brown you would like the top to be. I cook it for 60 minutes. This makes it nice and thick and gives you nice crispy edges.
  15. Remove from oven and serve.
Notes
If you'd like the moussaka to be a bit chunkier you can use a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes instead of the pureed tomatoes.

 

 

 

Welcome to My Man's Belly! Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the site or if there's a recipe you'd like to see here. Have a great day.

2 comments

John/Kitchen Riffs August 31, 2016 at 8:52 am

Yeah, I know about heavy dishes. Nice to have sometimes, but boy do I suffer afterwards! Anyway, this looks wonderful — lighter than a traditional moussaka, but with plenty of goodness. Thanks!

Pamela September 8, 2016 at 9:27 am

Hi John, yes this is much lighter than traditional moussaka but still just as delicious (just a bit different in flavor).

Leave a Comment