Moussaka, it’s a dish I was making all wrong. That was until my friend Erisa, showed me how to make an authentic vegan Greek moussaka! It’s the potatoes – I wasn’t using potatoes! You can also substitute a layer of courgettes too if you like.
I find that my new special vegan meat sauce substitute works really well in this dish. It’s made with veggie mince, mushrooms and lentils, so is super nutritious and tasty. If you make that sauce in bulk as I reccomend, when you want to make this dish, you’re half-way there. Just whip a couple of portions out of the freezer and leave to defrost while you do the rest. I’ve also listed a simpler version of it for this recipe. Use that if you don’t want to cook the vegan “meat sauce” in bulk for your freezer.
I find using a Graef slicer is the best way to slice the aubergines easily but you can do it by hand too. Grilling or baking them in the oven after lightly coating with olive oil works very well. They want to be a nice golden colour. With the potatoes it’s also easiest to slice them in a general purpose slicer. Then steam them in a steamer until they’re almost tender – don’t over do it – around 18 to 20 minutes. Let them cool for a bit and firm up before using them.
The white sauce has some vegan cheese in it. But it’s not the full on cheese sauce as that would be too overpowering. It’s just a lightly cheesy sauce to compliment the other layers of this authentic vegan Greek moussaka.
I finish it off with some grated cheese and you can add some wholemeal breadcrumbs too, which gives it a nice crunch on top.
Moussaka - the Greek way
- Large deep baking tray 35cm by 25cm
- medium saucepan
- wok or large frying pan
- 3 large baking sheets/trays
The layers of veg
- 1200 g Aubergine/3 large or 4 medium – best to weigh them.
- 1100 g/5 medium baking potatoes or large waxy type
- 400 g/2 large Courgettes
- Olive oil to brush aubergine and courgette and sauté the onion/mushroom
The Sauce in the middle
- 400 g Red or green whole lentils – Puy would be good or 50/50 red & puy.
- 250-300 g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 150 g of diced Onion
- 50 g of Tomato puree
- 200 g Veggie mince
- Heaped tablespoon of Yeast flakes
- Teaspoon of yeast extract
- Level tablespoon of Veg stock
- 50 g 2 cubes Red Pesto
- 30 g parsley
The sauce on top
- 60 g/6tablespoons wholemeal flour
- 1 litre Soya milk – unsweetened.
- 200 g Sainsbury’s vegan cheddar cheese or 150g vegan cheddar & 75g vegan mozzarella
- 75 g/7 tbsp olive oil
- ½ teasp lo-Salt
- Heaped tablespoon of yeast flakes
- 1 teasp black Pepper ground
- ½ teasp Nutmeg ground
preparing the aubergines, potatoes & courgettes
- Set oven to 180°C Fan. Slice the aubergines 1cm thick along with the potatoes (and courgettes if using them).
- Arrange the aubergines (and courgettes if using) on several baking sheets and brush both sides with oil. You can sprinkle with some herbs – oregano.
- Give around 20 minutes - but they just want to be a nice golden colour.
- Steam the potatoes for 20 mins & after set aside to cool and firm up.
Making the meat substitute sauce layer
- Meanwhile, sauté the finely chopped onions and garlic for around 5mins
- pulse blitz the mushrooms in a food processor
- Adding the mushrooms as the onions soften.
- As the mushrooms start to brown, dd in the mince and continue to saute and turn over.
- lastly the lentils, the pesto, soy sauce, yeast flakes, veg stock and tomato puree – mix well, but don’t mash up the lentils – keep them whole.
- Allow to simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to integrate.
- You may need to add a little water, or chopped tomatoes.
Making the bechamel sacue
- Fry the flour in the oil until browning nicely.
- Add in the soya milk slowly and keep mixing. If it goes lumpy, just use a stick blender to get rid of the lumps.
- Add in the yeast flakes and 2/3 of the cheese and allow the cheese to melt and be incorporated in the sauce. Remove the sauce from heat while you construct the moussaka.
constructing the moussaka
- Brush the bottom of a deep straight sided baking dish with olive oil.
- Lay a layer of aubergine (keep gaps to a minimum but just a single layer).
- Then add a layer of potato.
- Pour in and distribute the lentil & mince sauce as a reasonably thick layer.
- Add a layer of Aubergine interspersed with courgette if using them
- Add a final layer just of potatoes.
- Pour or spoon the bechamel sauce evenly over the top.
- Sprinkle cheese on top. Add some oregano.
- Add some oregano, smoked chilli and optionally some wholemeal breadcrumbs
- Bake on 180°C for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.