Mediterranean-Style Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe

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Recipes.net Team Published: June 30, 2021
Mediterranean-Style Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe

While most vegetarian moussaka recipes use lentils, ours stands out with the use of mushrooms to create the best mushroom ragu sauce. We’re also making it completely plant-based by topping it with smooth, creamy vegan mashed potatoes instead of the usual bechamel white sauce. Roasted eggplants, aromatic mushroom ragu sauce, and mashed potatoes are layered into one delicious low-carb vegetarian casserole. This Greek vegetarian moussaka pairs well with a side of Greek salad and a glass of wine.

Tips on Making Vegetarian Moussaka

In this easy vegetable moussaka, we break everything down into three components: vegetables, mushroom ragu sauce, and creamy mashed potatoes. Read our helpful tips to ensure that you come up with the best vegetarian eggplant moussaka every time.

  • Pick firm, shiny aubergine eggplants. They’re ripe and have small seeds which means they are not bitter at all. If you happen to grab overripe eggplants, just salt them for a minimum of one hour to lessen the bitterness.
  • Make your own vegan cheese at home using cashews and make it even yummier by adding nutritional yeast.
  • Tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, or diced tomatoes? Use any as you prefer. Even homemade fresh tomato sauce will do.
  • Add other delicious ingredients to the mushroom ragu sauce like black lentils, chopped roasted zucchini, and chickpeas.
  • Bake it ahead. This vegan moussaka tastes even better the next day, and it freezes well. It stays good for up to four months when frozen. So you can make it on a day when you’re not busy, freeze it, and just thaw and reheat before serving.

How To Make Mediterranean-Style Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe

A healthier version of the traditional Greek moussaka, this vegetarian moussaka is filled with hearty ingredients to make a satisfying and filling dish everyone can enjoy.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 1 hr 45 mins
Total: 2 hrs 5 mins
Serves:
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegan cheese block or spread, grated if using block (optional)

Mushroom Ragu:

  • lb fresh Portobello mushrooms, or any of your choice, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb canned tomatoes, diced or crushed
  • oz red onions, finely chopped
  • 4 oz celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Vegan Mashed Potatoes:

  • lbs potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • cups pistachio milk, or your preferred plant-based milk
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and ground white pepper to taste

Grilled Eggplants:

  • 2 aubergines, roughly 1¼ lbs total, peeled and sliced into 1½-inch strips
  • 6 tbsps olive oil
  • salt for seasoning
  • cooking spray

To Serve:

  • olive oil
  • cups marinara sauce

Instructions

Mushroom Ragu:

  1. Set a deep skillet over medium-high heat.

  2. Next, add oil and mushrooms.

  3. Saute until moisture has evaporated, for about 8 to 10 minutes.

  4. Once caramelized, reduce heat to medium.

  5. Add onions and garlic. Saute until translucent.

  6. Add the celery and tomato paste. Roast briefly.

  7. Deglaze with red wine and reduce briefly.

  8. Add the tomatoes and sugar.

  9. Simmer until slightly reduced and the sauce has thickened, for about 15 minutes.

  10. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

  11. Set aside.

Vegan Mashed Potatoes:

  1. In a soup pot, add potatoes and pour enough water to cover the potatoes.

  2. Bring to a boil and continue until potatoes are easily mashed with a fork, about 25 minutes.

  3. While waiting for the potatoes to turn tender, combine the following into a saucepot: milk, vegan butter, olive oil, and nutmeg.

  4. Bring to a boil, then set aside.

  5. Drain the potatoes completely, then mash with a fork or a masher until smooth.

  6. Add the milk mixture and fold until well incorporated.

  7. Season with salt and pepper.

  8. Adjust accordingly and set aside.

Grilled Eggplants:

  1. Preheat the grill and grease with cooking spray.

  2. While waiting, toss the aubergines in salt, pepper, and oil.

  3. Grill your eggplants for about 3 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown, completely cooked, and grill marks are present.

  4. Set aside.

Assembly:

  1. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.

  2. Place your grilled eggplants at the bottom of your baking casserole. Leave about ¼ of the eggplants for garnish.

  3. Then, add your mushroom ragu and spread to cover the eggplants completely.

  4. Next, add your vegan mashed potatoes and spread to cover your ragu completely.

  5. Lastly, place the remaining eggplants on top of the mashed potatoes.

  6. Spread or sprinkle your vegan cheese, if using.

  7. Bake until your mashed potatoes have turned golden, roughly 30 minutes.

  8. Drizzle olive oil on your moussaka and serve with marinara sauce on the side. Enjoy!

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Commonly Asked Questions

Can vegetarian moussaka be frozen?

Yes. Vegetarian moussaka is perfect for big-batch meal preps, and it tastes even better after a couple of days. To cook this dish, just thaw it for at least an hour before reheating it in the microwave or oven.

What is the difference between lasagna and moussaka?

Moussaka is the Greek version of lasagna. Both baked dishes have a tomato-based sauce and bechamel sauce. However, lasagna uses lasagne pasta noodles while moussaka uses roasted vegetables.

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Conclusion

Making each layer of this delicious vegetarian moussaka sure takes time. But with our easy moussaka recipe, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

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