How To Make Vegan Papoutsakia Recipe Easy

Posted on

Papoutsakia, also known as “little shoes” in Greek, is a traditional dish featuring eggplant stuffed with a flavorful meat filling, bathed in a rich tomato sauce, and topped with creamy béchamel. This vegan version offers a delicious and satisfying alternative, swapping the meat for protein-packed lentils and walnuts, and using a plant-based milk for the béchamel.


Greek Stuffed Eggplant with Soya Mince
Greek Stuffed Eggplant with Soya Mince

For the Eggplant:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • For the Lentil Filling:
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • For the Vegan Bechamel:
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, soy, or oat)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
    2. Prepare the eggplant: Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Using a spoon, gently scoop out some of the flesh from each slice, leaving a 1/4-inch border. Brush the eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until tender.
    3. Cook the lentils: In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain any excess liquid.
    4. Make the filling: While the lentils are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.
    5. Add the walnuts, parsley, and mint to the skillet and cook for a further minute. Then, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    6. Once the lentils are cooked, stir them into the tomato mixture along with 1/2 cup of the cooked eggplant flesh (optional, for added texture). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
    7. Assemble the papoutsakia: Spoon the lentil filling into the hollowed-out eggplant slices. Arrange them in a single layer in a baking dish.
    8. Prepare the vegan béchamel: In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually whisk in the plant-based milk, a little at a time, until a smooth and slightly thickened sauce forms. Stir in the nutritional yeast, garlic powder, salt, and white pepper. Cook for another minute or two, until the sauce thickens slightly.
    9. Pour the vegan béchamel over the filled eggplants, making sure to coat them evenly.
    10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the béchamel is golden brown and bubbly.
    11. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley or chopped mint (optional).

    Nutrition Facts:

    (Serving size: 1 stuffed eggplant)

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 400mg
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 15g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional calculation and may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    This vegan papoutsakia recipe is a delightful and satisfying plant-based take on a classic Greek dish. The combination of tender eggplant, flavorful lentil filling, and creamy vegan béchamel creates a delicious and hearty meal that is sure to please everyone at the table.