This Vegan Greek Moussaka with creamy Cashew Béchamel Sauce is not only incredibly delicious but also healthy, protein-rich, gluten-free, and lighter in calories than traditional recipes. Try the Greek lasagna with grilled eggplant and sunflower mince or lentils for the ultimate tasty low-carb comfort food!
Moussaka is to the Greek what Lasagna is to Italians. And to me, both are one of those ultimate comfort food dishes that are easy to make vegan and taste absolutely amazing without meat! I’ve already shared my favorite vegan lasagna with lentils and zucchini here on the blog and since many of my readers asked for the moussaka recipe, I wanted to share it with you, too. So here it is, finally! I hope you’ll love it as much as I do!
What is Moussaka?
Moussaka is basically an oven casserole dish that is constructed in a similar way as lasagna. Unlike lasagna which contains pasta sheets, moussaka uses sliced eggplant or a combination of potatoes and eggplant.
My vegan Moussaka is layered with potatoes, eggplant slices, tomato no-meat sauce, and topped with a thick cashew béchamel sauce. However, you could also skip the potatoes to make it completely low-carb. You could also get creative with this recipe by using zucchini, sweet potato, squash, or a combination of your favorite vegetables. Just be sure to cook the sliced vegetables until tender before adding into the moussaka.
How can I make Moussaka without meat?
Traditional Moussaka with lamb mince or beef can be found on every taverna and Greek restaurant menu but homemade vegan moussaka without meat tastes a million times better!
You can easily make it vegan or vegetarian by replacing the ground meat with a vegan substitute such as sunflower mince or soy mince granules. If you don’t have it on hand, feel free to replace the sunflower mince sauce with my vegan lasagna sauce to make a yummy Lentil Moussaka.
How to make vegan Moussaka
Step 1: Cook the eggplant and potatoes for your lasagna
Start to slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1.5-cm thick slices and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush or spray with a little oil and sprinkle with salt. Then bake for around 20 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Alternatively, pan-fry them on a griddle pan for 3-4 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the potatoes into ½-cm thick slices and simmer for about 5-7 minutes in a pot with water. Then drain thoroughly and allow to cool.
Step 2: Make the tomato mince sauce
Cover the sunflower or soy mince with boiling water (or vegetable broth for more flavor) and allow to soak for 10 minutes. Then drain well in a sieve and squeeze to remove excess liquid.
In the meantime, sauté the onion and garlic. Add all the spices, herbs, red wine, tomatoes, bay leaves, agave syrup. Cover and simmer for a few minutes. Next, add the soaked and squeezed sunflower mince and simmer covered, until it’s pretty thick. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Step 3: Make the cashew Béchamel sauce
Place all the ingredients for the vegan Béchamel in highspeed blender:
- cashew nuts
- nutritional yeast
- salt and pepper
… in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Step 4: Assemble the Moussaka
Lightly grease the bottom of a 26-cm x 18-cm casserole dish with a little oil. Start by placing the pre-cooked potato slices into the dish, followed by half amount of the baked eggplant slices. Next, spoon the vegan tomato mince sauce onto the eggplants, then spread the remaining eggplant slices on top. Finally, top your Moussaka with the creamy vegan Béchamel sauce and bake until lightly golden brown!
Once your Greek eggplant lasagna is done baking, be sure to let it cool for at least 30 minutes to set. Otherwise, the Moussaka will be a bit soggy and difficult to slice. Serve warm or cold and keep leftovers in the refrigerator.
Tips for the best vegan Moussaka
- You can prepare the vegan tomato meat sauce ahead. But please make sure the sauce is thick!
- Season the sauce generously. I use a herb mixture with oregano, thyme, basil, and rosemary. Plus paprika powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.
- If using other vegetables, be sure to slice and bake, pan-fry or steam them until soft before layering the vegan Moussaka.
- Allow to cool the cooked moussaka before slicing to be sure it’s firm enough.
- Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Then reheat in the microwave until warm or enjoy cold.
This Vegan Moussaka (Greek Lasagna) is:
- Dairy-free (lactose-free)
- Easy to make
- Can be made with other veggie slices
- So delicious!
- Perfect for a side dish or main course for any lunch or dinner!
More vegan casserole recipes for the ultimate comfort food:
- Vegan Potato Bake (Creamy Potatoes au Gratin)
- Broccoli Mac and Cheese Pasta Bake
- Vegan Enchiladas with Beans
- Mexican Tortilla Casserole
- Lentil and Zucchini Lasagna
If you try this vegan Greek Moussaka, please leave a comment and rating on how you liked the recipe! And if you take a photo of your delicious casserole and share it on Instagram, please tag me with @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love to see your remakes! Enjoy!
Vegan Moussaka with Cashew Béchamel SauceAuthor:
- 2 (500 g) medium eggplants 17.6 oz ends removed
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil for baking
- salt and pepper to sprinkle
- 4 (500 g) medium potatoes 17.6 oz peeled
Tomato mince sauce
- 1 (76 g) package sunflower mince 2.7 oz dry weight, or sub soy granules or lentils (*see notes)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely diced
- 4 cloves of garlic chopped
- 3 tsp dried herb mix oregano, thyme, basil, rosemary
- 2 tsp paprika powder or a pinch of chili
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 pinch of cinnamon
- ⅓ cup (100 ml) red wine optional, or sub beetroot juice
- 8.8 oz (250 g) strained tomatoes or passata
- 7 oz (200 g) chopped tomatoes
- 2 (1) bay leaves
- 1 tbsp (1-2 tsp) agave syrup or sugar to taste
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- pinch of pepper to taste
- 1 handful of vegan cheese shreds homemade or store-bought
- *Note: Be sure to check out the recipe tips and step-by-step photos above!
- Preheat the oven to 392°F (200°C) top/bottom heat and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1.5-cm thick slices and arrange them on the prepared baking sheet. Brush or spray with a little oil and sprinkle with salt. Then bake for 20 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. (Alternatively, cut the eggplants into round slices and pan-fry them in a pan for about 3-4 minutes on each side).
- In the meantime, add some water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. Peel the potatoes, slice them into ½-cm thick slices and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Then drain thoroughly and allow to cool.
Tomato mince sauce
- Place the sunflower mince in a large bowl, cover with boiling water (or vegetable broth for more flavor), and set aside for 10 minutes to soak. Then drain well in a sieve to remove excess liquid.
- In the meantime, heat 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Add the finely diced onion and sauté until translucent for about 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Now stir in the dried herbs, paprika powder, nutmeg, and cinnamon to combine and sauté for a few seconds. Pour in the red wine and let cook briefly. Then add the strained and chopped tomatoes, bay leaves, agave syrup, salt, and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
- Once the sauce has thickened slightly, add the soaked and squeezed sunflower mince and simmer covered for another 5 minutes. (The sauce should be pretty thick). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, then set aside.
- Place the soaked or pre-boiled cashew nuts, water, garlic, nutritional yeast flakes, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a blender and blend until creamy. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
Assemble the Moussaka
- Preheat the oven to 320°F/160°C fan (or 356°F/180°C top/bottom heat).
- Lightly grease the bottom of a 10.2" x 7" (26cm x 18cm) casserole dish with a little olive oil and place the pre-cooked potato slices on it so that the bottom is covered.
- Now place half of the baked eggplant slices on top, then spoon the tomato mince sauce onto the eggplants and smooth it out. Next, place the remaining eggplant slices on top, and finally spread the Béchamel mixture over the Moussaka.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, until the top is lightly golden brown. If the top browns too quickly or becomes too dry, cover it with a piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- You can now spread vegan cheese shreds on top and bake for another 5-8 minutes until the cheese has melted (optional step).
- Allow the Moussaka to cool for at least 30 minutes to set. Otherwise, it’ll be difficult to slice.
- Serve warm or cold.
- Vegan Mince: Feel free to replace the dried sunflower or soy mince sauce with my vegan lasagna sauce to make a Lentil Moussaka.
- Veggies: You can also use other vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, or squash. However, just like the eggplants or potatoes, these must first be sliced and then baked, pan-fried or steamed, until soft. For a low-carb Moussaka, you could also skip the potatoes and use more vegetables.
- Cashews: Be sure to soak them in water for at least 4 hours or up to overnight OR boil them for 15 minutes (to speed this up) to soften, making them easier to blend.
- Storage: Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Then reheat in the microwave until warm or enjoy cold.
- Please read my blog post for further information and helpful tips on this recipe!
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