Vegetarian Moussaka

If you’re a meat eater, you certainly don’t miss it with this Vegetarian Moussaka. It’s so flavoursome and it feels like a big hug! This recipe feeds an army – perfect when you have friends and family coming over for dinner. Delicious details below:

2 large Eggplants
3 large Zucchinis
2 large Carrots – grated
8 Mushrooms – finely chopped
5 medium sized potatoes
1 large Onion – finely chopped
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 cup Lentils
2 tins tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
100 grams Butter
1 cup Self Raising Flour
1 litre Milk
1 tablespoon All-spice
1 1/2 tablespoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil

In a heavy base saucepan, heat some olive oil in the base and add the onion and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add in the grated carrots and the chopped mushrooms and cook until they have softened. Add in the lentils, the tinned tomatoes and the tomato paste – ensure the tinned tomatoes are crushed by using a potato masher or adding in pre-crushed tomatoes. Add in the all-spice, oregano and 1 tablespoon of the nutmeg into the sauce. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Add in 2 cups of water, reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer and thicken. You want the sauce to be rich in flavour as it will carry the dish.
Make sure your lentils are cooked well if you used dry lentils.

Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees fan. At the same time, peel your potatoes and insert them whole into a salted bubbling saucepan of hot water. Cook the potatoes until just tender – do not overcook them as you will need to slice them. Remove from the water when ready and set aside to cool.

If you have a grill oven, use it to cook your eggplant and zucchini. If not, you can use the same method as below but use your oven instead.

Slice your eggplants and zucchinis into at least 1cm thick slices and place on oven trays. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt (the salt will help draw out the moisture) Add under a high grill until golden. Flip over the slices once one side is done and repeat until all the eggplant and zucchini is golden. Slice your potatoes into equal thick slices. If they crumble – dont worry, its great for filling in the gaps! Set all veggies aside into their own bowls.

Make your béchamel sauce: In a heavy based saucepan make the rue – the beginning of your sauce, by adding in the butter and flour, stirring until combined into a paste. Add the milk, 1 cup at a time and cook whilst continuoulsy stirring to ensure your sauce is smooth. Add in some salt, pepper and the remaining nutmeg. Turn off the heat and stir in the grated parmesan.

Is time to layer. You can layer in any order you would like. My dish was made by adding a small amount of sauce on the base of my baking dish, then adding the eggplant, the potatoes, the remaining sauce, then the zucchini’s, then the béchamel sauce.
Once your layers are complete – put your dish into the oven and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes or until your béchamel sauce is set and golden in colour.

Kali Orexi

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