Take this traditional, Greek, meat-centric dish and turn it into the most delicious plant-based dish that will leave you craving for more.
Now, if you've ever ordered a moussaka in a Greek taverna, you've probably been served a huge piece of something that looks like lasagna, tastes mostly of minced beef and has a massive layer of béchamel on top.
As you can see from the photo above, we haven't even tried to recreate that, because first of all, traditions can be a tad boring at times and then, the imagination of a vegan can run wild when it comes to using any vegetable available.
We've made this dish 3 times in the last month and every time it's been a little different. Not because the 1st one wasn't good or anything but when it's so easy to swap veggies around and pretty much everything works, why not try some new combinations.
Bellow I've written a recipe that's closest to the traditional version of moussaka but I've also included a couple of vegetables that we tried and think work very well.
A very important tip I mention bellow as well is to make this a day or at least a few hours before wanting to serve it, as it sets in time and its consistency as well as taste is so much better.
Have fun making this and don't be scared to play around with this recipe. We do that all the time.
A Semi Traditional & Plant-Based Moussaka
Hearty, delicious, Greek and full of flavour
Prep Time - 30 minutes Cooking time - 60 minutes Total Time - 90 minutes
Course Lunch, Dinner Cuisine Vegan, Mediterranean Does it last? 3 days in the fridge
Minced Lentils Sauce
200 gr. Uncooked Green, Brown or Red Lentils Raw (soaked overnight and drained)
2 large white onions - sliced
3 cloves garlic -minced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chilli powder
2 stock cubes
3 cans chopped tomatoes
500ml water - boiled
50ml Olive oil
100ml. red or white wine
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium sweet potatoes or 3 large, normal potatoes
2 medium aubergines or 1/2 kilo portobello or oyster mushrooms
2 large courgettes
1 teaspoon paprika powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper
*Note: You can mix and match any or all of the above vegetables as well as experimenting with others.
200 ml olive oil
8 heaped tablespoons all-purpose flour
1lt. Oat milk or other plant based milk
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180*C and line 2, or 3 if possible, large baking trays with parchment paper.
Start by slicing the vegetables. If possible you want to have long, 2cm thick slices of each vegetable.
Mix the herbs and spices with the olive oil in a bowl and using a brush, brush both sides of the vegetables.
Place the slices on the baking trays, next to each other so they don't overlap. You might have to roast them in 2 or even 3 batches.
Roast for 10-20 minutes depending on the vegetables, check by using a fork.
While the vegetables are roasting, start making the minced lentil sauce.
In a large pot, on medium-high heat, add some olive oil and fry the onions until soft and slightly golden., about 10 minutes.
While the onions are cooking, add the lentils in a food processor and pulse a few times until most lentils are broken up. This will give the lentils a meat-like texture. If you don't have a food processor you can simply skip this.
Add garlic to the pot, let cook for 3 minutes and add remaining spices, mixing well.
A minute later pour in the wine until it evaporates, then add the tomato paste and stir.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the lentils, stock cube and pour enough water to cover them.
Let cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked and the sauce has thickened.
By the time your lentils are cooked all the vegetables should be roasted so you can begin assembling the moussaka.
Grease a large roughly 40x30cm deep baking dish.
Start by covering the base of the dish with the potatoes or sweet potatoes or alternate if using both.
Then add half the minced lentil sauce and spread out evenly
The next layer is the remaining vegetables, again, if using 2 different ones you can alternate between them so you get a nice balance.
Add the other half minced lentil sauce and spread it out.
You can now make the béchamel sauce.
In a medium pot on medium-high heat add olive oil.
Add flower and whisk well letting it cook for a minute or 2.
Start adding the milk very slowly while whisking vigorously until all the milk is used and you have a thick but still runny sauce.
Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, stirring to mix.
Pour the béchamel gently over the moussaka spreading it out evenly, to cover the whole top of the dish.
Bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let rest overnight or for at least for a few hours before serving. You can of course serve it immediately but it won't be as good.
Did you make this?
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Love & Joy,