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This Maghmour (Lebanese Moussaka) is a super delicious recipe you can enjoy hot or cold. It’s very famous in the Middle East and can be made with or without meat for a vegetarian option. Ready to serve in 45 minutes, it’s a great easy weeknight meal and can also be made ahead of time.

Maghmour served in a large white bowl

This Lebanese recipe is one form my childhood and it holds a special place in my heart! Along with Sheikh El Mahshi (شيخ المحشي ) it’s one of my favorite traditional main dishes and can also be served as an appetizer. My Grandma used to make me this dish and now, I love making it for my children.

What Is Maghmour (Lebanese Moussaka) ?

You have probably heard of the Greek Moussaka dish but this is completely different. The Greek Moussaka is more of a Sheppard’s Pie dish with meat on the bottom and potatoes on the top. This is completely different and it’s made with vegetables, tomatoes and chickpeas. Many people add beef to their Maghmour recipe.

My grandma always made this dish for me right when I get to Lebanon for a visit. She makes it with meat and it’s so delicious. You know how good our grandmas dishes are right? My mouth is watering just thinking of the delicious Maghmour dish she always made me. I missed her dearly.

How To Make Maghmour (Lebanese Moussaka)

The first step is prepping the veggies. I love usually lots of eggplant and baby Okra. Many people don’t use okra but I LOVE it! Okra and Eggplant together makes this dish extra delish. Cube up the eggplants and fry them. Then lay them on a paper towel to drain all the oil  you can grill them if you prefer but gosh frying them is a game changer.

For the okra you can buy the frozen baby okra from the grocery store and fry them it doesn’t have to be fresh because okra is not always in season. Works just fine I promise. Lay those out on a paper towel as well to drain after frying. I also add in some cubed green bell peppers for flavoring purposes. Jalapeño works too.

Two shots showing the vegetables being sautéed
Start by sauté the onions with olive oil until they are caramelized, then add in the garlic, cilantro and tomatoes.

Mix everything and sauté for a few minutes. Reduce the heat and cover to cook the tomatoes for a few more minutes until they are very tender.

Uncover and mash the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon to create a saucy texture.  Add in the tomato puree sauce (canned),tomato paste, spices, salt and water.  Cover and simmer for a few more minutes.

Tomato paste added to the vegetables and cooked into a sauce
You will now assemble all the ingredients in a baking dish. Place the tomato sauce first and then the remainder of the ingredients . Cover with foil and bake in a pre heated oven.

Recipe Notes and Tips

  1. You can add meat or chicken to this dish. Season it would salt and pepper and sear on both sides before baking it in the dish.
  2. Preheat the oven. Turn the oven on while you are making sautéing the veggies. Cooking it in a preheated oven will help it cook through evenly.
  3. Cover the baking dish with foil when you cook it. This will stop the tops of the veggies from browning and getting burnt.
  4. Make it your own! Feel free to add in additional vegetables in this dish that you need to use up. Mushrooms work really well!

Maghmour in a white baking dish before being baked in the oven

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Serve It?

The word Moussaka means chilled. It is usually served as a cold dish but I love have it as a warm dish too! This dish is usually considered an appetizer dish but it’s filling enough to be served as an actual meal. You can add chicken or meat to this dish if you want to add some proteins to it.

I love having my Maghmour with Lebanese Pita bread. If you want to serve it as a meal, you can make some couscous or Lebanese Vermicelli rice on the side.

If you prefer to serve it chilled, once cooked, place covered in the fridge for an hour or two before serving.

Can you make it ahead of time?

This is a great option for a make ahead meal and the leftovers taste great as the flavors have really had chance to develop. Let the maghmour cool to room temperature and then place in an air tight container in the fridge, it will keep well for 3 days.

You can also freeze this Lebanese moussaka, and it will keep well for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before reheating or serving chilled.

Is it vegan?

Yes, this dish is completely vegan and thanks to the chickpeas it has good amounts of protein and carbohydrates, making it a great well balanced meal. Packed with lots of veggies, it’s a great dish you can feel good about serving to your family.

 A spoon servings Lebanese Moussaka from the baking dish
I can’t tell you how much I love this Maghmour recipe! It’s one of my favorites and I am sure you will absolutely love it! It’s so flavorful, super delicious and easy to make.

More Lebanese Recipes

I hope you enjoy all the recipes I share with you including this delicious and simple Magmour recipe. I hope you try it, enjoy it, and share it with your friends and family!

You can also sign up for my blog newsletter to receive all the new recipes that I will be posting straight to your inbox. tag me on INSTAGRAM so I can see your delicious recreations. Until our next recipe. XoXo…

5 from 6 votes

Maghmour (Lebanese Moussaka)

This Maghmour (Lebanese Moussaka) is a super delicious recipe you can enjoy hot or cold. It’s very famous in the Middle East and can be made with or without meat for a vegetarian option.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 lb fresh plum tomatoes, cubed
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, fresh only
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. 7 spice
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 cups baby okra, fried
  • 2 medium sized eggplant or 1 large, cubed and fried
  • 12 oz. tomato puree sauce
  • 2 tbsps. tomato paste
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, cubed
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil

Instructions 

  • In a skillet, heat the olive oil and caramelized the sliced onions.
  • Add the tomatoes, cilantro and garlic. Sauté for a few minute and then cover and simmer for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Add in the tomato paste, tomato puree sauce, salt, spice and water. Mix well and cover to simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Remove the tomato sauce from the heat and pour into a baking dish. Place the remainer of the ingredients on top of the sauce, spreading them around evenly as shown in the photo.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake the dish in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove and serve if you prefer eating it hot or keep on room temperature to cool down before placing in the fridge for extra cooling.
  • You can store in an air tight container after serving for up to 3 days.

Notes

  1. You can add meat or chicken to this dish. Season it would salt and pepper and sear on both sides before baking it in the dish.
  2. Preheat the oven. Turn the oven on while you are making sautéing the veggies. Cooking it in a preheated oven will help it cook through evenly.
  3. Cover the baking dish with foil when you cook it. This will stop the tops of the veggies from browning and getting burnt.
  4. Make it your own! Feel free to add in additional vegetables in this dish that you need to use up. Mushrooms work really well!

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 20.8g | Protein: 5.5g | Fat: 9.2g | Saturated Fat: 4.3g | Sodium: 613.2mg | Sugar: 7.2g
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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. Hey! Thanks for sharing! I just tried it out today. How much is one serving and are the nutritional facts accurate?

    1. Hi!
      The serving is accurate. I serve mine with rice and count a normal portion. So the portions may change depending on how much you serve in one plate. Some people eat more than others.

  2. 5 stars
    Phenomenal. This is the kind of food I would’ve only expected to find at a restaurant and then would want to go back there over and over just for this dish. I will be making this again time and time over.

    I followed directions with a few edits: I did add some mushroom as suggested; it was very good. I also doubled the 7 spice which I thought was necessary after taste testing before putting in the oven. I’m glad I did. I accidentally omitted the green pepper, but will probably add a chopped green chili next time. It was a little liquidy for me at first but by the second day I was very pleased with the consistency. So I would maybe do half a cup less water if any.

    As the author says, it is delightful hot or cold. I’m so glad I came upon this recipe! Thank you for sharing and I’ll be making more from this blog based on how wonderful this dish came out.

    1. Hi Susie!
      I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe. It’s one of my favorite dish and I can never get sick of it 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    Like!! I blog frequently and I really thank you for your content. The article has truly peaked my interest.

  4. Did you ask a Greek person what was in a Mousakka? It’s nothing like a shepards pie! There’s no potato in Moussaka. It’s a rich aromatic dish with a long history so please show respect.

    1. Ann,
      Moussaka is found is many Mediterranean cuisines as well. There are many different versions based on the region you are from. I am sure it originated from Greece, but if I made it based on how my family cooks it doesn’t mean I am disrespecting the Greeks in any way. Plus I have no potatoes in mine. It’s unfortunate you feel offended enough to leave a comment about it. I made my dishes to inspire people, not to offend them.

    1. Hi! With the rest of the ingredients after you place in the baking dish. Everything cooks together.