This Vegan Moussaka with creamy Cashew Béchamel 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 comfort food!
*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 sauceto 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!