Moussaka traditionally is a common eggplant and potato-based dish, originating from the Middle Eastern. There’s lots of regional variations, and they all taste delicious.
There’s just one problem—they usually take ages to cook.
That’s why I love this variation on the classic moussaka. It’s so quick and practical, that it’s one of my go-to recipes when I’m just too tired to cook anything after work.
- You’ll probably find you have most of the ingredients on hand. Often I just need to pick up the beef mince and cheese.
- It’s so easy to double up if I’m cooking for multiple people or if I just want to have lunch sorted for the next day. Just pop the leftovers back in the microwave and it still tastes delicious.
- In and out of the kitchen in 30 minutes. Not bad!
I’m not sure I’ll ever go to the effort of making a proper moussaka now!
If you need a high-protein, nutritious evening meal, then this is perfect:
Beef Mince. Although the Mediterranean diet encourages reducing red meat consumption, eating it occasionally is fine. If you’re watching your saturated fat intake, get the lean versions. Grass-fed beef is also a lot more nutritious compared to grain-fed. Fresh lean beef is rich in various vitamins and minerals, especially iron and zinc. I particularly love it in this hamburger rice casserole.
Chickpeas. These are great plant-based protein, containing significant amounts of all the essential amino acids and fiber. They are rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium, as well as important unsaturated fatty acids (1).
Tomatoes. You’ll find a lot of tomatoes in the Mediterranean diet, and you probably know how healthy they can be. But just in case you’re not, they are a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K. They are especially high in lycopene, a plant compound that has been linked to improved heart health (2, 3).
There are lots of ways you can change up this recipe if you don’t have particular ingredients stocked.
I love using chickpeas but traditional moussakas use eggplant (aubergine). They both taste great though!
Goat’s cheese is used in this particular recipe, but any soft cheese will do. I often use feta cheese as a replacement, which works really well in this. If you don’t want to spend money on cheeses that you might waste, then it works without. Same goes for the mint.
You can also try mixing up the spices you use as well. Cinnamon has been used here, but sumac and cumin are very nice too.
Quick and Easy Chickpea Moussaka
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 250 g lean beef mince
- 200 g canned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 200 g can chickpeas
- 100 g goat's cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- toasted bread, to serve
- Heat the oil in a large, shallow pan. Toss in the onion and garlic and fry for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add the mince and stir fry for a further 3-4 minutes until browned.
- Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée and cinnamon, then season generously with salt and pepper. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes, adding the chickpeas half way through.
- Add the goat's cheese and mint over the mince. Serve with toasted bread.