Syrian Moussaka with Eggplant and Potato (Vegan)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A Syrian moussaka or layered Mediterranean vegetable casserole, made with eggplants, potatoes, tomatoes, and chickpeas.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 5 servings
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 large potatoes
  • ¼ cup olive oil (see notes for oil-free method)*
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½-1 cup water
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ¼ cup parsley, chopped
For Topping
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • fresh mint leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Peel potatoes and cut into thin slices. Cut eggplants into thin slices as well. Grease a large baking sheet with olive oil (you may need to use 2 sheets) and place the eggplant and potato slices on the sheet. Try not to overlap the slices. Place the olive oil into a small bowl, and use it to brush the tops of the eggplant and potato slices. Bake the eggplant and potato slices for 25 minutes, until the tops begin to brown.*
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the tomato sauce. Pour the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes into a large bowl. Add minced garlic, salt, pepper, sumac, cumin, and chopped parsley. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  3. Chop the onion into thin rings or strips. Chop the tomatoes into thin slices.
  4. Once the eggplants and potatoes are browned, remove them from the oven and set aside. Begin to assemble the moussaka for baking. Line a large, deep, baking dish with aluminum foil if desired. Drizzle the bottom with olive oil. Pour ¼ of the tomato sauce mixture on the bottom of the baking dish and spread the sauce around, creating a very thin layer to start off with.
  5. Layer half of the potato and eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Top with half of the onion slices. Then, top with all of the tomato slices. Pour half of the chickpeas over the dish. Pour ½ of the remaining tomato sauce mixture over all of the layers and spread evenly. Layer the remaining eggplant and potato slices over the sauce, reserving a few slices to decorate the top later. Layer the remaining onion slices on top of the eggplants and potatoes. Pour the rest of the chickpeas and tomato sauce over the dish. Top the dish with the few eggplant and potato slices that you reserved.
  6. Add ½ cup water to the baking pan to thin out the sauce a little bit. If it still looks dry, you can add another ½ cup of water. Drizzle the top with some olive oil if desired. Bake for 25-30 mins.
  7. Meanwhile, prepare the roasted pine nuts for topping, if using. In a small saucepan, roast the pine nuts in olive oil for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, dry toast the pine nuts until slightly browned and fragrant. Watch closely to see when they just begin to brown, and immediately remove from the heat and set aside.
  8. Remove the moussaka from the oven, and top with the roasted pine nuts. Top with fresh mint leaves and serve.
*Oil-free method: Make sure you use parchment paper so that the veggies do not stick. While the oven preheats, sprinkle the sliced eggplant with a little bit of salt, over a towel, to draw out the moisture. Arrange the potato and eggplant slices in a single layer on the parchment paper before baking, and check halfway through to make sure they do not get too browned.
Recipe by Zen and Zaatar at