I am thrilled to share with you The Ultimate Vegan Moussaka recipe, a truly exquisite culinary creation that holds a special place in my heart. This is my Grandmother’s recipe that has been passed down through generations in my family. I have carefully revamped this traditional moussaka recipe to create a lighter and entirely plant-based version, while still respecting its roots.
Get ready for the tastiest upgrade: The new and improved Moussaka!
Moussaka may just be the crown jewel of Greek cuisine! Beckoning with its irresistible layers of tender eggplant, crisp potatoes, and aromatic tomato sauce, then smothered in a velvety, creamy Bechamel sauce, and baked to golden perfection. And with a few changes, we’ve created the Ultimate Vegan Moussaka!
Pea Protein Crumbles
Say goodbye to meat and hello to textured pea protein crumbles! With an amazing texture and a whopping 15 grams of protein per serving, pea protein crumbles will surely impress even the most skeptical omnivores.
Pea crumbles are an excellent source of lean plant-based protein! They’re packed with fiber, keeping you full longer, and are full of vitamin B6, and iron, making them a nutritious choice. And did I mention they’re a complete protein? That means they have all the essential amino acids your body needs. So go ahead and give peas a chance!
You can swap textured pea protein crumbles for TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein), which is another versatile and popular vegan meat substitute made from soy flour. You can find TVP at Bob’s Red Mill, or Anthony’s Goods. If you can not find, or prefer not to use protein crumbles, cooked lentils are an excellent substitute.
Lightened up moussaka
In our twist on the classic moussaka, instead of deep frying the eggplant and potatoes, we simply brush them with a touch of olive oil and bake them to perfection. This not only cuts down on calories, but also reduces the heaviness of the dish, and is not as messy to make. You won’t feel like you need a nap after enjoying this lighter moussaka.
If you’re looking to simplify this recipe and save some time in the process, you can skip the hassle of making the tomato sauce from scratch and grab a jar of your favorite sauce instead. Just rehydrate the pea crumbles as instructed on the package and mix them in with the jarred sauce. Then all you have to do is bake the veggies and whip up the Bechamel. Easy peasy!
You can use any kind of eggplant you like for this dish. You don’t really have to peel the eggplants, but I suggest avoiding the ones with tougher, more bitter skins like the Globe (American) eggplant. Graffiti/Sicilian eggplants are a great choice because they are sweeter, and their skin is more tender.
When it comes to potatoes, we have starchy varieties, and waxy varieties. Russets are the kings of starchiness, making them the ultimate choice for baking, mashing, or frying up some crispy goodness. On the flip side, we’ve have Fingerlings, which are super waxy, making them ideal for boiling to perfection, and for potato salads. But there’s an all-star in the middle: Yukon Golds. They strike the perfect balance, with enough waxiness to hold their shape and just the right amount of starch for a creamy, buttery interior that is ideal for moussaka. They are also very thinned skinned, so there’s no need to peel them.
The Ultimate Vegan Moussaka
- 13 x 9 baking dish
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 package (3.3 oz) meatless ground plant-based pea crumbles re-hydrated according to the instructions on the package. Or swap the crumbles for an equal amount of cooked lentils.
For the vegetables:
- 3 medium eggplants cut into ½ inch slices – I used Graffiti/Zebra/Sicilian Eggplant
- 3 large potatoes cut into ¼ inch slices – I used Yukon Gold
- olive oil for brushing the vegetables
- salt & pepper
For the Bechamel Sauce:
- 8 tablespoons vegan butter
- 8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups unsweetened plant-based milk I used plain soy milk
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup grated vegan parmesan optional – we like Violife
For the tomato sauce:
- Place a large sauce pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, the diced onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until soft and translucent.
- Add the canned tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes. If the sauce is too acidic, add ½ teaspoon of baking soda, which will neutralize the acid in the tomatoes.
- Add the pea crumbles and stir to blend.
For the vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 375℉
- Brush the sliced eggplants and potatoes with olive oil, and arrange in a single layer, them on a couple of baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.Bake for 20-30 minutes until the eggplants are soft and the potatoes are crisp.
For the Bechamel sauce:
- In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the vegan butter. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk until smooth.
- While whisking, pour in the plant-based milk. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens about 10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add the nutritional yeast, freshly ground nutmeg, and salt.
To assemble the moussaka:
- Layer all of the potatoes, overlapping them slightly, so they cover the bottom of your 13 x 9 casserole dish.
- Pour half of the tomato sauce over the potato layer.
- Arrange the eggplants in a layer to cover the sauce.
- Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the eggplant layer.
- Pour the Bechamel over the tomato sauce smoothing out the top.If you want a crunchy top, you can sprinkle the top with some vegan parmesan.
- Bake at 375℉, for about 45 minutes until the top is golden brown.