Healthy Vegan Moussaka
Are you a fan of Greek food? I must admit that I don’t eat it very often as most Greek dishes are meat-based. The Greek version of Moussaka includes layers of meat and eggplant topped with a Béchamel sauce. Other popular Greek dishes are Souvlaki, Gyros, and Tzatziki but there are so many more. Moussaka is the first Greek dish which I veganized and let me tell you I LOVE this vegan Moussaka recipe. It’s flavorful, satisfying, and very tasty!
Made with lentils
The traditional Moussaka recipes are made with lamb but some are made with beef. I decided to use lentils instead. Lentils are packed with fiber, minerals, proteins and they are are very healthy and good for our gut. However, you can also make this recipe with bulgur (if you aren’t gluten-free) or tofu instead of lentils. I haven’t tried the bulgur version as I prefer gluten-free ingredients but I heard it’s very delicious as well.
I used dry brown lentils and cooked them with some salt and water in a pot. Feel free to use tinned lentils though.
I roasted the eggplants in the oven together with the potatoes. You just need to brush them with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on top. You could also fry them in a pan but since I used 3 big eggplants in this recipe (which I cut into 4 pieces each) it was actually easier and quicker to roast them in the oven. Eggplants add a wonderful flavor to this vegan Moussaka and did you know that they are very healthy? They are rich in many nutrients and antioxidants. They are high in fiber and low in calories, that’s why they could help with weight loss.
Meal prep recipe
This healthy vegan Moussaka tastes best right out of the oven but it can be also made a day ahead and then reheated in the oven or microwave, for example, at work. My boyfriend also loves to eat it cold!
This vegan Moussaka is:
- Fairly easy to make
- A great comfort dish
A traditional Béchamel sauce is made with butter, all-purpose flour, and milk. I’ve used vegan butter, cornstarch, and plant-based milk instead. You can use regular flour if you are not gluten-free. Instead of cornstarch, you could also use potato starch but you will need less because potato starch thickens more than cornstarch. I also added nutritional yeast flakes for a cheesy flavor.
Mashed potatoes as an alternative
If you don’t want to make the Béchamel sauce, you could also prepare this casserole with mashed potatoes. Check out my Vegan Shepherd’s Pie for the recipe.
You can make this vegan Moussaka without potatoes. It will be less filling but at the same time it will also contain less carbs. You could also use zucchinis instead of potatoes for a “low carb version”.
If you make this delicious casserole and maybe even take a photo of it, then I would love to see it. You can DM it to me on Instagram.
Don’t forget to tag me in your Insta caption + photo with @elavegan and use the hashtag #elavegan and I will gladly check out your post. And if you are a fan of casseroles, definitely also try out my following recipes: Potato Bake, Shepherd’s Pie, Pasta Bake. All recipes are gluten-free and vegan as well.
For the base:
- 2 pounds potatoes, peeled (1 kg)
- 3 large eggplants
- Olive oil to brush
- Sea salt & pepper to sprinkle
For the lentil mixture:
- Preheat oven to 390° F/200° C and prepare two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice each eggplant lengthwise into 4 pieces. Cut the potatoes into 1/2 inch (1 cm) thick slices. Arrange all slices in a single layer on the baking sheets and brush lightly with some olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion & garlic and sauté for about 4-5 minutes. Add the tomato purée, chopped tomatoes, all spices, and salt & pepper to taste. Finally, add the cooked lentils and let simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes.
- For the béchamel sauce, add the plant-based milk to a pan/skillet. Mix in the cornstarch, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and whisk. Add the vegan butter and bring the mixture to a boil. Let simmer on low heat for a few minutes until it thickens. Whisk continuously. Remove from heat. Check the recipe notes if you don't want to make the béchamel sauce.
- Grease a 13"x9" (33x23 cm) or larger baking dish and arrange half of the potato and eggplant slices on the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the lentil mixture, followed by the remaining potato/eggplant slices (see photo above in the blog post). Pour the béchamel sauce on top and spread evenly. Add vegan cheese to taste (optional).
- Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Garnish with fresh herbs. Enjoy!
- You can top the moussaka with mashed potatoes if you don't want to make the bechamel sauce. Check out my Vegan Shepherd's Pie for the mashed potato layer recipe.