The Lebanese Moussaka, also known as maghmour, is the lighter dairy-free, vegan cousin of the famous Greek Moussaka. Made with 7 staple pantry ingredients. Don’t let these few humble ingredients fool you! This recipe is loaded with delicious flavours you’ll be making it time and time again.
Lebanese Moussaka (maghmour) is a flavour-packed vegan eggplant stew with chickpeas, garlic, onions, and tomatoes with a slightly spicy pop of flavour from the fried green peppers.
I love this version of moussaka because it’s just as rich and delicious to eat but way more effortless to make. The most difficult part of this recipe is sauteing the eggplants and green peppers. The rest of the magic happens in the oven.
Moussaka is a very popular recipe from the Eastern Mediterranean. Each country along the Mediterranean has some sort of version of this dish and their own name, of course, but pretty much the same concept of fried eggplant in tomato sauce.
Ingredients for Lebanese Moussaka
- Olive oil. When following a Mediterranean diet, the oil is the king, plus it adds a delicious flavour to the recipe. I use a 1/2 cup of oil in this recipe, which seems like a lot, but it’s essential.
- Eggplants. Avoid using huge eggplants, and they tend to be bitter. Select smaller eggplant with dark blemish-free skin that is heavy for its size.
- Garlic. This recipe calls for a whole head of garlic 😮 !! You can use less if you want, but keep in mind the cloves will be cooked whole.
- Onion. I used a medium-size brown onion for this recipe. You can also use red onions or sweet onions.
- Canned Peel whole tomatoes. This recipe heavily relies on the taste of the tomatoes. San Marzano Tomatoes are the best for this recipe; they’re not acidic tasting. If your tomatoes are acidic tasting, they can through off the entire dish.
- Chickpeas. You can use pre-cooked chickpeas or canned for this recipe. Do not add dried chickpeas into the baking dish; they will not cook.
- 2 long green chilli peppers. If you’re not into a bit of spice in your life, you choose any mild green pepper of your choice.
- Bread or Rice This recipe is almost always served with a piece of crusty bread or pita bread. However, it’s equally delicious with rice.
How to make the Lebanese Moussaka (maghmour)
There are many ways to make the Lebanese Moussaka (maghmour), but my favourite method is frying the eggplants, onions and pepper and then baking everything.
- Toss the onion into the same pan as the eggplant and cook until golden. Add to your baking dish.
- Saute the eggplant until soft and golden. Then add to the baking dish⏤eggplants don’t need to be fully cooked since they will finish in the oven.
- Pour the chickpeas over the vegetables.
- Crush the tomatoes with your hand, then add to the baking pan.
- Fry the whole chilli peppers or slices of green pepper. Top the Moussaka with peppers.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes.
- Serve with bread or rice.
- Use the freshest ingredients for this recipe.
- If you dislike the thought of sauteing the vegetables, you can bake them in the oven. Add the eggplant, onion, garlic, and olive oil to a baking tray and bake until soft, about 25-30. Then follow the recipe as directed.
- Don’t want to use the oven? You can make this on the stovetop instead. Saute the vegetables, then add the tomatoes to the pot and simmer on low heat for 45 minutes.
- Salt your Eggplants. Adding salt helps reduce the amount of oil that is absorbed by the eggplants.
Frequently Asked Questions
3-4 days in an airtight container in the fridge. In the freezer, you can store for up to 3 months.
Yes. Like all tomato recipe, it tastes even better the next day. You could also saute the eggplant and onions ahead of time then assemble everything before baking.
You can pile this stew on any whole grains, and it also makes a great pasta and potato topping.
You must cook the chickpeas before add to the baking dish. They will not cook in the tomato sauce. Even if you left it so 3 hours, you’d still have uncooked chickpeas.
Yes, white beans, black-eyed peas, lima bean would all be nice additions. Just make sure they’re cooked before adding to the recipe.
More Tomato Recipes:
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 small eggplants, cut into 2" cubes
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1 cup of cooked chickpeas
- 1 28oz canned whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Baharat* (see Notes)
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 green chilli peppers
- Preheat oven 400ºF. Prepare a 9x13 baking dish.
- Salt the eggplant. Let rest for 10 minutes, wipe off the salt.
- Saute onions. Heat a large non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, then the onions. Saute until golden. Remove the onions and place them in the baking pan.
- Fry the eggplant. Using the frying pan. Add 1/2 cup olive oil, heat until a light simmer appears. Carefully place the eggplants into the oil. Be careful not overcrowd. You may have to fry the eggplants in two batches. Once eggplants are golden, flip and continue cooking the other side, repeat. Transfer the eggplant to the baking dish once cooked.
- Fry the pepper. Once you've transferred the eggplant, add the pepper to the frying pan. Fry on each side for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Crush the tomatoes. In a large bowl, crush the whole tomatoes. You can use your hands and squish them, or you a potato masher and mash them. Add salt and Bharat spices. Stir. Set aside
- Layer the Moussaka. Add the chickpeas to eggplants and onions, then add the whole garlic cloves. Pour the tomatoes on top, lightly mix, then place fried pepper on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Once you remove the moussaka from the oven, carefully remove the foil and allow it to cool for 3 minutes.
- Serve. You can serve this with bread or rice and a topping of fresh herbs (optional)
Baking only version:
If you hate the thought of frying eggplants, you can add the cubes of eggplants to a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 30 minutes at 400ºC
Baharat Recipe or 2 tsp paprika and 1 tsp 7 spice.
Eggplants: If your eggplant is large Just use one.
Hot peppers: Sliced green pepper also makes a lovely alternative. No need to cook before just place them on top.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 486Total Fat: 29gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 21mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 14gSugar: 20gProtein: 9g