Vegan Kousa Bechamel
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Egyptian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: Serves 4
A vegan spin on a classic Egyptian casserole dish - grilled baby marrow layered with mince and a decadent bechamel topping.
  • 5 medium-sized baby marrows, sliced into 1 cm thick slices
  • 2 cups vegan mince OR re-hydrated textured vegetable protein OR cooked brown lentils
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2.5 cups unsweetened soy or almond milk
  • 2.5 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp frying oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • Vegan mozzarella cheese (optional)
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/350°F
  2. Start by preparing the vegan mince filling. In a medium-sized frying pan, add 1 tbsp of the cooking oil on medium heat, then sauté the diced onion for 3 minutes or so until fragrant.
  3. Crumble in the mince and stir-fry before adding in the garlic, chopped tomatoes tomato paste and water. Stir everything to combine well, season with salt and pepper then leave to simmer on a medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until the mixture reduces - you don't want it to be too watery.
  4. In a shallow wok or frying pan, sauté the marrow slices stirring frequently until browned (for about 8 minutes).
  5. Now for the bechamel - whisk together the flour, soy milk and season with sea salt and black pepper then add to a small saucepan on medium heat. Stir frequently until thickened, scraping down the edges with a rubber spatula as needed.
  6. In an 8-inch casserole dish, layer the mince mixture, followed by the marrow slices and finally the bechamel on top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes along with an extra 3-5 minutes on the broiler to brown as necessary - if you're using cheese add it on top during the last 5 mins of cooking.
If you're aiming for a totally gluten-free dish, use cornstarch or arrowroot powder to thicken the bechamel sauce
If you can tolerate it, I recommend soy milk as it historically has worked the best for me in bechamel dishes
Recipe by One Arab Vegan at