Vegan moussaka

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A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.

A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.


Νηστίσιμος Μουσακάς. Settle in guys, this is going to be a long one. No, not the post…don’t worry about that. If you’re here only for the recipes, you’ll be happy to know that this particular blog entry doesn’t come with any nostalgia, no family stories, and no personal anecdotes that some people seem to find annoying on food blogs. Also, some people love them and if you happen to be in that group of people, head on over to posts like Horta and How to dye really cool Easter eggs…and Thea Voula’s cheesecake. Heck, most of our posts come with a healthy dose of, well, US!.

A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.

Wherever else you decide to peek into here at Mia Kouppa, we do hope that you’ll come back to this post however. Vegan moussaka is a recipe that we think you need in your life! This is not a dish that our parents ever made, but we took their original moussaka recipe (which happens to be the first recipe we ever posted on Mia Kouppa!) and used it as an inspiration for this vegan moussaka. Another source of inspiration was Kyria Argyro’s vegan pastichio – a great recipe by a wonderful lady! Finally, we were inspired to create this recipe because it is perfect for period of lent, and because there are vegans in our life that we love and want to feed well.

So, that’s it for the preamble. You see, not long. What is long is the actual prep time for this recipe. There are many steps to making a moussaka, and this vegan moussaka is no exception. The good news is that some of these steps can be done in advance, and also…all the work…it’s absolutely worth it!


Helpful Hints

Do I need to drain my eggplants before using them?

As you can see in our recipe, we do the opposite of drain our eggplants – we soak them in water! We have no idea if this is common kitchen wisdom, but it does work. Your eggplant will not be bitter at all. Promise!

Why do you broil the eggplant for your vegan moussaka instead of fry it?

Eggplants are like sponges with the capacity to soak up flavours, and oil. Frying eggplant is great for certain recipes, like our fried eggplant in tomato sauce, but in our vegan moussaka and our traditional moussaka we feel that the fried potatoes are enough. Broiling the eggplant give a lighter moussaka.

What are du Puy lentils? Can I use another variety of lentils?

The answer to the second question is yes, you can certainly use another variety of lentil if you prefer. We love the du Puy lentils in this recipe however (we also love using them in our vegan stuffed eggplant recipe). Du Puy lentils are grown in the Puy region of central France. They are a variety of green lentils, but they are smaller in size and slighter darker in colour. The flavour is a little nutty and peppery and the reason we love them in this recipe is that they tend to hold their shape much better than most other lentils. This works out very well in this recipe, where the lentils stand in for the traditional meat layer. Du Puy lentils do tend to be a bit pricier than other lentil varieties, but they’re still probably cheaper than meat!

A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.

Pin this recipe if you like it!


A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.

Looking for more vegan and lenten meals? We’ve got these we think you’ll love:

Yiouvetsi with chickpeas

Minestrone soup

Beans and rice

We love hearing from you!  If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!,  please leave a comment below!

A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.
A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.
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Vegan moussaka

A recipe for a plant-based, soy-free version of the classic Greek moussaka.
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: #greeklentenrecipes, lenten moussaka, moussaka, nistisimo moussaka, Traditional Greek recipes, Vegan moussaka
Servings: 6 people
Author: Mia Kouppa

Equipment

  • Baking pan (see Recipe Note)
  • Baking tray
  • Parchment paper
  • Pastry brush
  • Mandolin slicer (preferable) or sharp knife
  • Whisk

Ingredients

For the eggplant

  • 6 medium eggplants
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil

For the potatoes

  • 7 large potatoes we use russet potatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the lentil filling

  • 1 cup (200 grams) lentils we use French du Puy lentils
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into small dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup grated carrot about 2 medium
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup (250 mL) passata, or strained tomatoes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) vegetable stock
  • 2 fresh green onions, cut into small dice
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the béchamel

  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) coconut oil
  • 3/4 cup (110 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups (1,000 mL) plant-based milk we use unsweetened cashew milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

To prepare the eggplant

  • Preheat your oven to broil.
  • Using a mandolin or a very sharp knife carefully slice your eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips.
  • Soak your sliced eggplant in a large bowl filled with cold water for at least 10 minutes.
  • Drain your eggplant and season the slices with salt.
  • Arrange the salted eggplant slices on a parchment paper lined baking tray, being careful not to overlap them too much. You will have to do this in batches as all of your eggplant will not fit on one baking tray.
  • Brush the top side of each eggplant slice on the baking tray with olive oil. Broil on the middle rack of your oven for 5 - 10 minutes, watching your eggplant carefully so that it does not burn.
  • Flip your eggplant slices over and brush the other side with olive oil. Return to the oven and broil for an additional 5 - 10 minutes, again being very careful not to burn the eggplant.
  • Repeat until all of your eggplant slices have been broiled. Keep the eggplant to the side until you are ready to assemble your moussaka.

To prepare the potatoes

  • Peel and slice your potatoes into rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. Use your mandolin or a very sharp knife.
  • Soak your potatoes in cold water for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and salt the potatoes.
  • Place approximately 1 inch of vegetable oil into a frying pan and fry the potato rounds in batches. (You can check if your oil is ready by dropping in one sacrificial potato slice and waiting for it to start frying.)
  • Fry the potatoes until they are golden brown on both sides and then drain them on paper towels.

To prepare the lentil filling

  • Rinse and drain your lentils. Pick through them and remove any stones or shriveled lentils.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the lentils. Cook for approximately 20 minutes, or until the lentils are done. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile in a large pot heat 1/4 cup of olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, celery and grated carrots. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the red pepper to the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Add the passata, vegetable stock, green onions, cooked lentils, salt, pepper and nutmeg to the pot.
  • Cook, uncovered for approximately 20 minutes. If your mixture seems to be too dry, add a little more vegetable stock, or water.

To prepare the béchamel

  • In a large pot heat the olive oil, coconut oil and flour over medium heat. Stir constantly to not burn the flour. Cook for approximately 3 - 5 minutes.
  • Carefully add in the cashew milk and use a whisk to stir and break up any flour clumps. Cook over medium heat, stirred regularly, until thickened. This should take 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and nutmeg.

To assemble your vegan moussaka

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grease the bottom of your baking pan with a small amount of vegetable oil.
  • Layer the potatoes on the bottom of your pan, overlapping them as required.
  • On top of the potatoes spoon and spread the lentil mixture. Smooth the top until even.
  • Next layer the eggplant, being sure to cover all of the lentil mixture and overlapping as required.
  • Pour the béchamel sauce over the eggplant and use the back of a spoon to smooth out the top. Sprinkle with some grated nutmeg if desired.
  • Bake your vegan moussaka, uncovered, on the bottom third rack of your oven for about 60 minutes, rotating your pan mid-way through the baking time if required.
  • When you remove your moussaka from the oven you will notice that the béchamel appears quite loose - allow your moussaka to cool before serving it, to allow the béchamel to set.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Baking pan: We used a round metal roasting pan 2.5 inches deep and 12 inches in diameter.
Béchamel: We used cashew milk for our béchamel.  We like the rich creaminess of cashew milk but any plant-based milk would work.  Just be sure to use a milk which is unsweetened and unflavoured. 

8 thoughts on “Vegan moussaka

    1. So true Nick! Moussaka in all it’s varieties is delicious and the lentils give vegetarians and vegans an option to enjoy this amazing meal. Have a great day! xoxo Helen & Billie

  1. I have subscribed to your site for quite a while now and even though I never comment much, I still come here for your yummy recipes.
    This one looks heavenly and cant wait to try!
    And by the way, your nostalgia and family stories are precisely what drew me to subscribe to begin with.
    Keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Diane,
      We thank you so much for your comment! We’re so please that you find that the vegan moussaka looks delicious, and we’re so glad that you enjoy our nostalgia and family stories. We enjoy writing them 🙂 Have a great day! xoxo Helen & Billie

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