Lebanese Moussaka- Eggplant Chickpea Stew
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If you’re looking for a quick vegetarian eggplant recipe, this is the right place for you! Lebanese Moussaka is easy to make, healthy, and perfect for the whole family!
What is Lebanese Moussaka?
Lebanese Moussaka is a popular Middle Eastern eggplant chickpea stew, also known as Maghmour, Msakaa, Musakaa or Moussaka Batinjan; Batinjan translates to eggplant in Arabic. It is different from the the Greek layered casserole type of dish.Moussaka starts with eggplant that’s cubed and cooked until golden brown. While that’s happening, onion and garlic are sautéed and then stewed in a delicious rich tomato sauce before cooked chickpeas and eggplants are added. This eggplant stew is an easy protein packed meat- free meal that is great for meal prep.
Eggplant in Lebanese Moussaka:
In the authentic version of this vegetarian chickpea and eggplant moussaka recipe, eggplant is usually deep fried. In this recipe, I used my air fryer to cook the eggplants. So if you are looking for a healthier moussaka version, I suggest air frying or baking the eggplants. They will taste just the same, if not even better! Check out the section below for roasted eggplant tips.
Eggplant Moussaka Ingredients:
This eggplant Moussaka require a few ingredients, including:
Eggplant: Air fried, baked or deep fried.
Cooked chickpeas: You will need about 3 cups of cooked chickpeas.
Onion: Sliced into wedges.
Garlic: Sliced into circles.
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh tomatoes: I like to blend ripe tomatoes using a food processor, but you can also finely dice the tomatoes.
Air Fryer Eggplant for Lebanese Moussaka:
- Preheat air fryer to to 400 F°.
- Peel the eggplant skin off in stripes, don’t remove the skin entirely and cut into bite size cubes.
- Place in air fryer basket in a single layer (you might need to cook in batches). Cook for 15-20 minutes, shaking every 5 minutes to make sure they cook evenly.
How to Cook Eggplant in the Oven:
If you don’t own an air fryer, you can roast the eggplant cubes instead.
- preheat the oven to 425ºF.
- Arrange eggplant cubes in a single layer on a greased parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the eggplant cubes with a pinch of salt.
Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the eggplant. Toss to make sure that the eggplant is coated completely.
- Bake the eggplant until just fork tender, about 25 minutes.
Tips to Making the Best Lebanese Eggplant Moussaka:
- Authentically, the eggplant is usually deep fried in this recipe, which you can certainly do! I think that air frying the eggplant is just as good, without all the extra fats.
- Instead of canned chickpeas, you can cook your own dry chickpeas. Just remember to soak them overnight, then boil until they’re just soft and tender.
- You can use canned tomato sauce instead of fresh tomatoes.
How to Serve Lebanese Moussaka:
Moussaka translates to cold in Arabic and is typically served cold or at room temperature by scooping it with bite size pieces of pita bread. We enjoy it, cold, warm and hot. It would make the perfect dish for slow weekend dinners, or you could make it ahead of time to enjoy throughout the week!
Eggplant is one versatile ingredient that you can use in many delicious ways. I have a couple of recipes that use eggplant on the blog, Vegetarian Eggplant Chickpea Fatteh and Baba Ganoush- Eggplant Dip.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #thesaltandsweetkitchen on Instagram.