Middle Eastern food encompasses varying flavors of the many different countries that make up the Middle East. You’re probably most familiar with Middle Eastern foods like hummus and falafel, but you should absolutely try these recipes. The best part about it is the most common ingredients and dishes are plant-based, making it a rather vegan-friendly cuisine! Grains, vegetables, and some nuts are a staple of this type of food, all mixed with fragrant spices.
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App on iTunes –– with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy!
Try one of these Middle Eastern dishes:
1. Sesame Encrusted Spinach and Almond Falafel
These Spinach and Almond Falafel by Cassandra Star are easy to make, delicious to eat and you really can put any type of special “spin” on the recipe. Here, traditional the falafel are made with chickpeas, almond meal, and spinach and encrusted with nutty, crunchy sesame seeds. Each falafel is bursting with color, protein, and flavor. Paired with the tahini yogurt sauce and simple cucumber and tomato salad, this is a dish that will satisfy all tastes and cravings. And, bonus — the falafel dough freezes really well, so they are perfect for a quick mid-week meal or served as finger food at parties.
2. Hummus with Macadamia Dukkah
Source: Hummus with Macadamia Dukkah
Hummus is mostly known as an appetizer or dip of the middle eastern world. This recipe is a variation with macadamia nuts (native to Australia) and dukkah, which is also a middle eastern condiment. This Hummus with Macadamia Dukkah by Judy Moosmueller tastes beautiful and has some extra healthy fats.
3. Tofu Shawarma
Source: Tofu Shawarma
4. Moutabal (Middle-Eastern Eggplant Dip)
The Moutabal by Adam Merrin and Ryan Alvarez is fun to make, and involves roasting a whole eggplant on the stove, directly on the flame, until it is charred, blistered, and blackened, resulting in an irresistibly smoky flavor and creamy texture. Combined with fresh lemon juice, raw garlic, chopped parsley, creamy tahini, and a few pinches of cumin and cayenne pepper, this tangy, smoky, garlicky dip makes a deliciously healthy snack and is the perfect dish to serve with some warm pita at your next party. Let us introduce you to the Levantine delicacy known as Moutabal.
5. Sabich Spaghetti Squash
Source: Sabich Spaghetti Squash
This delicious Sabich Spaghetti Squash by Paris Marash contains eggplant, spaghetti squash, tomato sauce, and beans and takes inspiration from the popular Israeli dish sabich, which in Hebrew is an acronym for a popular dish consisting of salad, egg, and eggplant. This meal is totally vegan, totally filling, and totally easy to make! Not to mention low carb, low fat, and full of healthy nutrients your body will love!
6. 15-Minute Harissa Eggplant Kebabs With Cucumber Mint Relish
These spicy, sweet, and satisfyingly sticky Harissa Eggplant Kebabs by 15 Minute Vegan: Fast, Modern Vegan Cooking are perfect for grilling! The harissa adds the perfect amount of heat that is quickly cooled down by the refreshing cucumber mint relish. Serve these kebabs in soft flatbreads with the tangy relish, jewel-like pomegranate seeds, and a generous drizzle of tahini.
7. Spicy Middle Eastern Braised Chickpeas With Cauliflower
Chickpeas and cauliflower are braised in a spicy, fragrant coconut and tomato sauce made with a homemade spice blend. Smoky cumin, turmeric, cloves, coriander, and cardamom dominate the flavor profile. Serve this simple, flavorful Middle Eastern Braised Chickpeas dish by Tara Binder with rice, flatbread, or with your favorite grains.
8. Roasted Beet Falafel With Green Tahini Dip
You may be thinking ‘if you’ve seen one falafel you’ve seen them all’ – Prepare to be amazed. These Roasted Beet Falafel by Anupama Paliwal get their color and a subtle earthy flavor from the roasted beets and then they are slathered in a green tahini dip that’s creamy and bursting with flavor. Plus, you’ll get to learn how to make your own tahini paste.
9. Cauliflower Shawarma With Pomegranate, Tahini, and Pine Nuts
This Cauliflower Shawarma by Loreto and Nicoletta Nardelli is a wonderful twist on the Middle Eastern classic. The roasted cauliflower bites are packed with spices and aromatics that will leave you wanting more after every bite. Plus, the garnish of pomegranate seed, tahini, and pine nuts makes this dish perfect for your social media feeds.
10. Braised Tofu Doner Kebab in Pita With Yogurt Sauce
Doner kebabs are an iconic Turkish dish that features slow-cooked rotisserie meats stuffed into pita bread or on top of flatbread. In this equally tasty recipe for Braised Tofu Doner Kebabs by Philipp Ertl, instead of the doner, you use braised, spiced tofu. Braised tofu is very versatile and I use it for many different dishes- from quick vegan pastas to tofu scrambles. For the yogurt sauce, use store bought soy yogurt (or any plant-based yogurt you like), and some garlic and salt.
11. Iranian Eggplant and Chickpeas Stew
Hearty, filling, and loaded with spices, this fragrant and flavorful Iranian Eggplant and Chickpeas Stew by Danielle Joy will amaze your tastebuds! The different textures in it work together perfectly and also quite healthy! Eggplants protect the brain by fighting free radicals, and chickpeas help lower risk of colon problems. Chickpeas also have a lot of protein, so it will keep you full and focused! the flavor is magnificent. It’s the perfect festive dinner that will keep all your guests satisfied in body and soul. With sweet and warm flavors of dates, apricots, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric––this dish is absolutely AMAZING. Once you’ve had a taste of this Iranian eggplant stew, just thinking about it might make you smile.
12. Silken Tofu Shakshuka
Source: Silken Tofu Shakshuka
Shakshuka is one of those breakfast recipes that has steadily gained popularity in the last couple of years, but anyone who’s enjoyed a North African or Middle Eastern breakfast will be familiar with its rich and tangy flavors. Typically topped with eggs, this Silken Tofu Shakshuka by Laura Hemmington substitutes them for seasoned silken tofu, giving you a genuine, egg-free shakshuka experience. This is an easy one-pan meal best served with bread that’s perfect for soaking up all the flavorful tomato sauce.
13. Homemade Roasted Garlic Baba Ganoush
14. Middle Eastern-Style Veggie Bake
Source: Middle Eastern-Style Veggie Bake
Vegan Middle Eastern food is full of flavor and really fun to make! You are going to love this vegan Middle Eastern-Style Veggie Bake by Miriam Sorrell! For best results, make, bake, and share with non-vegans! Who doesn’t love vegan Middle Eastern food?
15. Sweet Potato Falafels
Source: Sweet Potato Falafels
Adding sweet potato to your falafel makes them a whole lot more interesting! The base of these Sweet Potato Falafels by Amarilis Moldes are mashed sweet potato and chickpea powder, making them uber healthy and full of protein. It only takes 5 other ingredients to make this dish.
Check out our Middle Eastern Archives for more awesome recipes like these Middle Eastern dishes!
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
For those of you interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest meatless, plant-based, vegan and allergy-friendly recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.
Here are some great resources to get you started:
- Weekly Vegan Meal Plans
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- Plant-Based Food & Recipes
- Plant-Based Nutrition Resources
- The Ultimate Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes
- High Protein Plant-Based Recipes
- Plant-Based Meal Prep
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