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Vegetarian Moussaka

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they’re not big fans of eggplant!

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!

Although this Vegetarian Moussaka probably has very little to do with the authentic Greek dish — well, apart from the fact that it’s made with layers of sliced eggplants that is  — I think that it still deserves to be called Moussaka! The way I see it, it’s a super healthy and tasty vegetarian version of an already crazy delicious classic. 

Honestly, I don’t think that the “real deal” has anything on this veggie version. The addition of chickpeas and lentils bring so much texture to the tomato sauce, while the thin eggplant slices practically melt in your mouth.  As for the cheesy topping, it just adds the perfect amount of tangy saltiness and brings the whole experience to a whole new level. 

Honestly, this vegetarian moussaka is so good, I think that it would convert just about any eggplant non-lover out there, and turn them into total believers!  

Eggplant slices on a large baking sheet

First, preheat your oven to 400°F. Then, brush a large 18″ x 26″ baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and then arrange the eggplant slices on it.

Try and arrange them on a single layer, but if you have a few too many, you can sort of pile them up on top. Just be sure to slice them real thinly, those aubergines. No thicker than a half inch!  

Brush the tops of the slices with more olive oil, then sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. 

Cooked eggplant slices, on a large baking sheet

Bake the sliced eggplants in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the slices once halfway through cooking, until softened and slightly golden.

Remove the sheet from the oven and let the eggplant slices cool until ready to use.

Oh, and once the eggplant is out of the oven, lower the temperature to 350°F

A mixture of chickpeas and lentils in a white bowl with white spoon sticking out

While the eggplant is in the oven, place the cooked chickpeas and lentils in the bowl of your food processor and process on pulse until they reach a coarse grain consistency. Set that aside for now. 

Of course, this implies that you will have previously cooked your chickpeas and lentils. If you didn’t care to do that, you could always use canned; just be sure that you rinse and drain them well before using! 

Onions cooking in saute pan

Now heat a tablespoon of olive oil (or your favorite cooking oil) in a large saute pan set over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

Canned tomatoes, chickpeas and herbs in a large saute pan

Throw in the canned tomatoes (both crushed and diced), chickpeas and lentils, salted herbs, parsley, oregano, coriander, black pepper and fennel seeds.

About the salted herbs, if you didn’t have any on hand, just replace them with a teaspoon of salt and a tablespoon of Italian seasoning. This will do the trick! 

Lentil and tomato sauce simmering in large saute pan

Stir well, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. 

Adding spinach to tomato sauce simmering in saute pan

Then, stir in the baby spinach leaves and cook until they are just wilted.

A vegetarian tomato sauce in a saute pan

Remove the pan from the heat source; You are now ready to start assembling your moussaka! 

Note that this sauce would make for a superb vegetarian spaghetti sauce. I bet it would be glorious served over a plate of oven baked spaghetti squash, for a gluten free option! 

Vegetarian moussaka in the making - layering eggplant and sauce in a lasagna dish

To assemble the moussaka, start by spreading a thin layer of the sauce at the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ lasagna dish, then arrange a layer of the cooked eggplant slices over it.

Vegetarian moussaka in the making - layering eggplant and sauce in a lasagna dish

Cover with more sauce, followed by another layer of eggplant slices.

Don’t go too thick with the sauce, use just enough to completely cover the eggplants. 

Vegetarian moussaka in the making - layering eggplant and sauce in a lasagna dish

Repeat one more time with one layer of sauce, one layer of eggplants… 

Vegetarian moussaka in the making - layering eggplant and sauce in a lasagna dish

Then finally, cover your last layer of eggplant with a thin layer of tomato sauce.

Vegetarian moussaka in the making - pouring the bechamel on top

Now for that delicious cheese topping… In your food processor or blender, combine the Greek yogurt, ricotta and feta cheeses, milk, eggs and ground white pepper.

Process on high until well blended then pour this mixture over that final layer of tomato sauce.

Vegetarian Moussaka ready to hit the oven

Sprinkle the top with the grated cheddar cheese and bake your moussaka in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!

Finally, take your moussaka out of the oven, allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then hit it with a little bit of chopped parsley, if desired.

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!

Slice your moussaka with a sharp knife and serve without further delay! 

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!

Yummy? Yummy! 

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!

Vegetarian Moussaka

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they’re not big fans of eggplant!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

  2. Brush a large 18″ x 26″ baking sheet with a little bit of olive oil and then arrange the eggplant slices on it.

  3. Brush the tops of the slices with more olive oil, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, flipping the slices once halfway through cooking, until the eggplant is softened and slightly golden. Remove and let cool until ready to use. Once eggplant is out of the oven, lower temperature to 350°F

  4. While the eggplant is in the oven, place the cooked chickpeas and lentils in the bowl of your food processor and process on pulse until they reach a coarse grain consistency. Set aside.

  5. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saute pan set over medium heat; add the onion and garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes, until softened and fragrant.

  6. Add the canned tomatoes (crushed and diced), chickpeas and lentils, salted herbs, parsley, oregano, coriander, black pepper and fennel seeds. Stir well, bring to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Then, stir in spinach leaves and cook until just wilted. Remove from heat.

  7. Spread a thin layer of the sauce at the bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking dish, then arrange a layer of eggplant slices over it. Cover with more sauce, followed by another layer of eggplant slices. Repeat one more time then cover your final layer of eggplant with a thin layer of tomato sauce.

  8. In your food processor or blender, combine the Greek yogurt, ricotta and feta cheeses, milk, eggs and ground white pepper. Process on high until well blended then pour this mixture over the final layer of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar cheese and bake your moussaka in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

  9. Take your moussaka out of the oven, allow it to rest for 5 to 10 minutes, then hit it with a little bit of chopped parsley, if desired, and serve.

Nutrition Facts

Vegetarian Moussaka

Amount Per Serving

Calories 487 Calories from Fat 198

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 22g 34%

Saturated Fat 7g 35%

Cholesterol 87mg 29%

Sodium 923mg 38%

Potassium 1596mg 46%

Total Carbohydrates 51g 17%

Dietary Fiber 17g 68%

Sugars 18g

Protein 27g 54%

Vitamin A 56.6%

Vitamin C 45.6%

Calcium 41.2%

Iron 43.3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

*Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April of 2012 and has since been completely revamped and updated with better pictures. A few minor modifications to the original recipe may also have been made.

A perfect option for your meatless meals, this super filling, delicious and nutritious vegetarian moussaka is guaranteed to please even those who think they're not big fans of eggplant!



Source: https://thehealthyfoodie.com/category/all-recipes/feed/


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