This Vegan Moussaka is a Greek comfort food that’s rich, creamy and a hearty meal. It’s layered with roasted eggplants, tofu lentil filling, béchamel sauce and crusted with panko crumbs. It’s a complete casserole meal loaded with delightful flavors.
I got a chance to try this dish few years back and was excited to veganize it in a healthier way. That means, totally my version or you may say my interpretation. I confess, it took me a while to come to the same comforting flavor but totally worth the effort.
Once I got the hang of this moussaka and finally served it to my family, they loved it and I had no leftovers. Whoa! I was happy and excited.
Therefore, I decided that I must share my new creativity with you all.
Guess what….as usual I made it healthier and low in calories and yet same old taste.
Intrigued? Absolutely. I insist you must try this ASAP. It’s a family friendly meal and totally worth trying it.
Also, it’s a make ahead dish so simply prepare it before time and enjoy seeing those smiling faces over the dinner table.
I love Greek food and its delicious salty and tangy flavor in everything. However, this eggplant moussaka is absolutely different than the rest.
I am even a bigger fan of this cuisine now. I am totally surprised by its wide variety of dishes and trust me all of them are nutritious and protein rich.
However, today I am sharing this amazing vegan moussaka recipe with you all.
Ingredients you will need
For béchamel sauce
I have used these easily available ingredients which you may buy from any local grocery store. However, I have provided links to few of them here for your convenience.
If you plan to buy from these affiliate links then I get a small commission which in turn encourages me to bring in more delicious recipes for you all.
- Eggplant – this is the main ingredient for this recipe. It promotes heart health and benefits cholesterol levels. It’s a low-calorie vegetable and helps in weight management.
- Tomato puree – I used it to add that extra punch to this recipe. You may use canned tomato sauce as well but tomato puree works best here.
- Tofu – originally, this dish is filled with minced meat along with vegetables so I decided to crumble tofu to get that chewy meaty texture in the filling.
- Lentils – I used green lentils here. In some places, its called brown lentils. However, you may substitute it with red lentils as well. Moreover, it adds protein to this moussaka recipe and makes it a complete nutritious meal.
- Vegetable broth – you may use water instead but make sure to adjust salt, oregano and paprika as per your taste. Therefore, vegetable broth adds nutrition to this recipe along with lot of flavor as well.
- Cashew nuts – I made a béchamel sauce with no cooking involved. So, I used cashew nuts here to make a thick and creamy sauce base.
- Coconut milk – canned coconut milk can also be used here but the calories and fat content will vary. Therefore, to make it a bit lighter I used coconut milk from tetra pack.
- Nutritional yeast – since it’s a veganized form so I added nutritional yeast which provides B12 to this recipe along with the cheesy and nutty flavor to it.
- Panko crumbs – you may use vegan bread crumbs as well.
How to make Vegan Moussaka
Step1: how to roast eggplants
- Firstly, I sliced eggplants length wise and placed them flat on the prepared cookie sheets.
- Secondly, I sprayed them with cooking spray and sprinkled salt and pepper on them.
- Next, I flipped all the slices to the other side and repeated the process.
- Thereafter, I baked them in a preheated oven at 400-degree Fahrenheit for 20 minutes or until the slices are brownish and soft.
- Once done, take them out and keep them aside.
Step2: how to make the filling
Firstly, I heated olive oil in a stockpot and added garlic in it.
Secondly, I sauteed onions in it until translucent and then added tomatoes.
Next, I poured in tomato puree and seasoned it with paprika and oregano. Then, I let it cook for few minutes.
Thereafter, I mixed in crumbled tofu and then tossed in rinsed lentils.
Afterwards, I added salt and vegetable broth to it and cooked it covered until the lentils were soft and the liquid was almost absorbed.
Lastly, I turned it off and kept it aside.
Step3: how to make béchamel sauce
- Firstly, I soaked cashew nuts in warm water. As soon as they were soft enough, I drained them.
- Secondly, I combined all the sauce ingredients in a blender and blended it smooth.
- Next, I kept it aside as well.
Step4: how to assemble
Firstly, I greased a baking casserole dish and placed a single layer of roasted eggplant slices on it.
Secondly, I covered them with the lentil filling.
Next, I added third layer of the leftover roasted eggplants.
Thereafter, I topped with béchamel sauce.
Afterwards, I topped it with panko crumbs and baked it in the preheated oven at 375-degree Fahrenheit for 40 minutes or until the top was golden brown.
Once done, I turned it off and took it out.
I served it with a side salad and some dinner rolls.
We totally loved it and found a healthier alternative to lasagna.
- In order to save time, make the filling while the eggplants are roasting. Then, blend the sauce while the lentils are softening.
- It is important to spray each eggplant slice with cooking spray so as to avoid drying up.
- Most importantly, do not turn off the oven after baking eggplant. Infact bring its temperature down to bake the entire dish later.
This tastes best when served immediately. However, it can be made ahead of time. Follow all the step except topping it with panko. Layer and refrigerate overnight. When ready top it with panko and bake as directed.
Basically, it is a lasagna without noodles. Therefore, this dish is low in carbohydrates. I used eggplants which is a low-calorie vegetable as the base. I made the filling in minimum oil and with tofu and lentils to add protein. Then, I made the sauce with cashew nuts. It is a high nutritious dish which can be enjoyed frequently.
Did you make it?
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- 2 medium eggplants (sliced length wise)
- cooking spray
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp crushed black pepper
for the filling
for béchamel sauce
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs
- Preheat oven at 400-degree Fahrenheit and prepare 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the sliced eggplants on them in a single layer and spray cooking spray on them. Sprinkle salt and pepper and flip each slice to the other side. Spray cooking spray again on them and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the sheets in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the slices are brownish and cooked. You may bake them in 2 rounds or together at the same time. Once done take them out and keep aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 375-degree Fahrenheit.
- In the meanwhile, heat oil in a stockpot/Dutch oven and add garlic to it. Sautee onion until translucent and add tomatoes to it. Sautee fore few minutes or until tomatoes release its juice.
- Add tomato puree, paprika, oregano to it and stir nicely.
- Add crumbled tofu and mix well. Then fold in lentils to it.
- Then, add salt and vegetable broth to it. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes on high flame. Stir at intervals to make sure it does not stick at the bottom. Cook until the lentils are soft and cooked and all the liquid is almost absorbed. Turn it off and keep it aside.
- Now, in blender combine all the béchamel sauce ingredients (cashew nuts, coconut milk, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast) and blend it smooth. Keep it aside.
- Now, grease baking casserole dish with cooking spray and place half of the cooked eggplant as the first layer. Then, cover it with the lentil filling as the second layer.
- Then, cover it again with the rest of the cooked eggplant and top it with béchamel sauce. Lastly, cover the top with panko crumbs and bake in the middle rack of the oven at 375-degree Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes or until the top turn golden brown. Turn it off and take it out. Place it on a flat surface. Slice and serve hot.
- This recipe can be ahead of time and refrigerated overnight after layering (except panko). When ready top it with panko and bake in the oven.
- This pairs well with salads and dinner rolls.
- The filling can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for 2 weeks in an air tight glass container.
- You may use soft/firm or extra firm tofu in this recipe. All of them works well except silken tofu.
- Green/brown lentils can be substituted for red lentils in the same measurement.
- You may substitute vegetable broth for water but make sure to adjust salt, paprika and oregano as per the taste.
- You may use unsweetened canned coconut milk for this recipe instead of the tetra pack coconut milk.