Traditional Lebanese cuisine has something for everyone, regardless of your taste or diet, so whether you have specific dietary requirements or just love delicious, healthy food, Lebanese cuisine is ideal for vegetarian and vegan diets. Here we take a look at some of wide range of vegetarian and vegan Lebanese food; even the carnivores will be coming back for seconds.
This mouth-watering dish is easily one of Lebanon’s most famous. Hommus is made primarily from chick peas that have been boiled and mashed, and the addition on tahini, garlic and lemon juice give it an unmistakeable texture and taste. Best of all, you can get as creative as you like with this versatile dip by adding anything from roasted eggplant or yams to olives, chillies and sundried tomatoes.
Often referred to as Lebanese pizza, manoosh has been part of traditional Middle Eastern cuisine for eons and consists of a basic flatbread that can be topped with just about anything. The most traditional mannosh simply includes a healthy drizzling of olive oil and a sprinkling of za’atar, making it a vegan friendly classic, with more modern vegetarian versions often including toppings such as olives and haloumi.
Lebanese cuisine is famous for its fresh and healthy ingredients, with our salads a particular highlight, and none have a more fanatical following than tabbouleh. Made from bulgur (a type of wheat), parsley, fresh tomatoes and seasonings such as lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, tabbouleh is as fresh and tasty as it is good for you. Whether you are in Beirut or Bondi, nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than a bowl of freshly made tabbouleh.
This ancient and famous food is made from chick peas that are soaked, ground and combined with a variety of spices that often includes cumin, coriander, chilli and garlic. This heavenly mixture is then formed into balls and fried until golden and crispy. Falafel makes an ideal snack (especially when dipped in hommus) or for something a little more substantial add a few falafel balls to a pita with your favourite vegetables and a drizzling of tahini for a filling lunch or dinner – delicious vegetarian and vegan Lebanese food!
If you like eggplant you will love baba ghannouj, whose distinctive flavour has been tantalising taste buds in the Arab world for thousands of years. It consists of eggplant that has been cooked, mashed and combined with garlic, lemon juice, tahini, mint and/or parsley, making this an extremely healthy and tasty dip.
This simple and delicious dish has been eaten throughout the Middle East for centuries. It is made from cooked lentils, rice and either sautéed or roasted onions, and the addition of spices such as coriander, chilli and mint make this a meal you won’t soon forget. Mujadarra is filling, flavourful and has long been considered a dish of the common people in Lebanon.
While baklava is believed to have been created by the Assyrians of Mesopotamia sometime around the 8th Century BC, every culture in the region has their own special version, including the Lebanese. Our baklava is sweet, flaky and we have dozens of different types – each one typically includes multiple layers of super thin pastry, a filling of chopped walnuts, pine nuts or almonds, and a drizzling of honey on top.
Nowadays, Haloumi is a core element of cultural cuisines all over the world, from Lebanon to Egypt to Sudan. One dish that has become a staple of Lebanese food is the Haloumi & Cheese pie. Sometimes made with just Haloumi, and often seasoned with Za’tar. With crispy delicate pastry on the outside and hot rich tasty Haloumi on the inside – it’s easy to see why this is a favourite of many when it comes to vegetarian and vegan Lebanese food.
Daiya are a fantastic Canadian-based company offering up a selection of delicious non-dairy alternatives to cheese, yoghurts and dressings. The vegan cheese we use is soft, stringy, bubbly and delicious in every way. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any differences between it and dairy-based cheese – we’re not quite sure how Daiya do it. And to top it all off, our vegan cheese contains fewer calories, less fat and less cholesterol than ‘real’ cheese. Score.