Vegetable Moussaka

Vegetable Moussaka - Mediterranean Vegetarian Recipe

It’s that time of year again, my friends… Shavuot! That means it’s time to indulge in all kinds of dairy deliciousness. Like most Jewish holidays, Shavuot has a food component– it’s a dairy holiday, so milk products are featured. Because of the kosher laws, mixing milk and meat is off limits, so Shavuot entrees must either be vegetarian or fish (for most Jews fish is considered neutral, or pareve, and can be served with either milk or meat). This gives us a decadent excuse to enjoy dishes full of cream, butter, and my personal favorite– cheese!

For an illustrated history of the Shavuot holiday, you can check out the blog I wrote about it last year: Shavuot, Ruth, and Cheesecake. The blog also includes a super yummy cheesecake recipe that I would encourage you all to try! (provided you’re not lactose intolerant…)  ;)

This year, I wanted to add some different, more exotic dishes to my Shavuot menu. I started looking through my recipe files and found an old vegetarian moussaka recipe that a friend gave to me years ago. I played with it this week, making all kinds of changes to add flavor and texture. The recipe I ended up with is the one I’m sharing today.

Ancient map of southeastern Europe, ca 1680

Moussaka originated in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe. Traditionally a dish made with meat and cheese, moussaka has been adapted by Sephardic Jews in the Mediterranean in two ways– either by omitting the cheese and béchamel sauce to make a meat moussaka, or by omitting the meat to make a vegetarian version. Like many ancient dishes, moussaka has a number of regional variations. Alan Davidson explains these variations in his Oxford Companion to Food:

“Moussaka or musaka, often written as musakka, is a meat and vegetable stew, originally made from sliced aubergine (eggplant), meat, and tomatoes, and preferably cooked in an oven. This is the version current among the Turks and Arabs, who may also substitute courgettes (zucchini) for the aubergines. In the Balkans, more elaborate versions are found. The Greeks cover the stew with a layer of beaten egg or béchamel sauce. Elsewhere in the Balkans mussaka has become a much more various oven-baked casserole, admitting many more vegetables than aubergine or courgette, often dropping tomatoes and even meat. Bulgarian and Yugoslav versions emphasize eggs, and a given recipe may consist of eggs, cheese, potatoes, and spinach, or eggs, cheese, sauerkraut, and rice. In Romania, which considers musaca a national dish, the vegetables may be potatoes, celery, cabbage, or cauliflower–or may be replaced by noodles.”

Eggplant is the main ingredient in most moussaka recipes, with good reason. It is easily grown and cultivated throughout the Mediterranean. Sephardic Jews prize the eggplant as an affordable, healthy dietary staple that can be prepared in numerous ways. In fact, during a second Jewish expulsion from Spain and Portugal in 1580 (when the two countries united under one crown), eggplant became known as the “Jew’s apple” because of its frequent usage in Sephardic Jewish cuisine.

My Vegetable Moussaka is Greek-style, topped with rich and creamy béchamel sauce. I make the sauce with lowfat milk, so the dish is actually quite light even though it tastes rich. I’ve added both feta cheese and grated pecorino (or parmesan) for flavor and texture, as well as lentils for a meat/protein substitute. I’ll warn you in advance, it’s not an easy dish to prepare. While the steps themselves are pretty simple (and well explained below), the process can be time consuming. This dish would be best suited to a special occasion, like a holiday Shavuot dinner or a Sunday family gathering, when you have some free time to assemble the ingredients. Serve the leftovers for Meatless Monday! You can cut down a lot on prep time by peeling and slicing the veggies in advance– cover them with cold water to keep them fresh till you’re ready to cook (do not prep the eggplant in advance– it’s best to slice it right before you salt it, not beforehand). I’ve included a few tips at the end of the recipe for cutting down on prep time. The end result is worth the effort– it’s a really delicious dish. Nobody will miss the meat!  :)

Gluten Free Modification: This recipe is almost gluten free, but it will take a couple of modifications to make it completely GF. The original recipe uses flour to thicken the béchamel sauce. Substitute King Arthur’s Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour or a small amount of potato starch as a thickener. Also, make sure that your balsamic vinegar is certified GF. Finally, if you’re using a pre-grated parmesan, check to make sure that it is purely cheese (no modified starches in the mix). This will ensure that your moussaka is gluten free.

Vegetarian Note: If you are a vegetarian, you will want to make sure that your parmesan or pecorino cheese is vegetarian (produced without animal rennet). Most health food stores and specialty grocers like Whole Foods and Trader Joes carry vegetarian parmesan. Check your cheese label to make sure it says vegetarian before purchasing.

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Vegetable Moussaka - Mediterranean Vegetarian Recipe

Vegetable Moussaka

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 2-3 medium eggplants (about 3 lbs. total), peeled
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced thin
  • 3 large russet potatoes (1 ½ lb. total), peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 roasted red bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 10 tbsp grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp all purpose white flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, or more to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

You will also need

  • Medium saucepan, 2 baking sheets, medium bowl, sauté pan, paper towels, whisk, large baking dish or pan (9x13)
Prep Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Cook Time: 50 - 60 Minutes
Total Time: 2 Hours 45 Minutes
Servings: 10-12 servings
Kosher Key: Dairy
  • Place lentils in saucepan, cover with 5 cups of water and ¼ tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  • Meanwhile, cut the eggplants into thin slices. Place the slices in a single layer on a bed of paper towels. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let stand for 30 minutes.
  • Place racks on the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets with extra virgin olive oil. Spread out the zucchini, potatoes, and two garlic cloves in a single layer across the baking sheets. Brush the exposed tops of the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with black pepper.
  • Place baking sheet with potatoes on the upper rack of the oven (keep garlic cloves on top rack baking sheet). Place sheet with zucchini on the lower half. Roast veggies for 10 minutes. Remove sheets from oven, stir, and place them back in the oven, switching racks (zucchini and garlic on top, potatoes on bottom). Roast for about 5 more minutes, until veggies are tender and starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and scoop veggies into a bowl using a slotted spatula or spoon to drain excess oil. Take the two roasted garlic cloves and chop them up fine; reserve.
  • By now, the eggplant slices have been standing for about 30 minutes, and water droplets should have formed on the surface of the slices.
  • Re-grease the baking sheets with olive oil. Rinse salt from the eggplant slices, pat dry, and spread into a single layer across the two baking sheets. Brush lightly with olive oil. Place the baking sheets in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, switching the baking sheets on upper and lower thirds halfway through cooking, until the slices are tender and lightly golden (check the bottom edges of slices for browning).
  • While eggplant is roasting, place a sauté pan or skillet with high sides on the stovetop. Warm up 2 tbsp olive oil in the pan over medium high heat. Sauté diced onion until softened and translucent. Add roasted bell pepper slices and chopped roasted garlic, saute for another 2 minutes. Drain excess water from cooked lentils. Add lentils, diced tomatoes, parsley, balsamic vinegar, oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper to the pan; stir well. Reduce heat to medium and let mixture cook for about 5 more minutes, till warmed through.
  • Remove eggplant from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease your baking dish or pan. Place a single layer of half of the roasted eggplant slices on the bottom of your dish.
  • On top of that, place a layer of half the potatoes and half the zucchini.
  • Spread the lentil mixture evenly in a single layer across the surface.
  • Sprinkle 2 tbsp of grated pecorino or parmesan and ½ cup crumbled feta across the top of the lentil mixture.
  • Place the rest of the potatoes and zucchini in another layer on top of the cheese.
  • Finish with a layer of the remaining roasted eggplant slices. Sprinkle top of the moussaka with 2 tbsp more of grated cheese.
  • Place moussaka in the oven for 20 minutes to bake. Meanwhile, while the moussaka is baking, make the béchamel sauce for the top of the moussaka. In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk flour into the melted butter till dissolved and thick.
  • Continue to whisk for a few minutes until the flour/butter mixture turns a sandy brown color.
  • Slowly whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium low.
  • Whisk in 2 tbsp grated cheese. Continue whisking for about 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Let stand for 4-5 minutes till slightly cooled. Add ¾ tsp salt, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste. Whisk the beaten egg into the sauce.
  • Remove the moussaka from the oven. Pour sauce evenly across the top of the moussaka. Sprinkle ¼ cup grated cheese on top of the sauce.
  • Put moussaka back in the oven. Cook for another 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the moussaka is cooked through.
  • Serve hot. This moussaka is less structured than traditional moussaka, with a texture that is more similar to a lasagna—so don’t expect it all to hold together neatly when served (it will hold together better after it has cooled). Add crushed red peppers or hot sauce for spice, if desired.
  • NOTES: This moussaka takes quite a bit of time to prepare, but you can cut down the prep time substantially with a few simple modifications. Buy jarred roasted peppers so you don't need to roast them yourself. Buy 1 can cooked lentils (about 1 1/2 cups) and skip pre-boiling the lentils till tender. Buy smaller eggplants, which are less prone to bitterness, and skip the salting step. These simple modifications should cut your prep time by close to 45 minutes.
  • Vegetable Moussaka - Mediterranean Vegetarian Recipe
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Category: Baked Goods and Brunch Fare, Dairy, Entrees, Gluten Free with Modification, Healthy, In the Kitchen, Nut Free, Recipes, Rosh Hashanah, Shavuot, Side Dishes, Slide Show, Vegetarian

Comments (63)Post a Comment

  1. Sheldon says:

    A thing of beauty. Do you have a meat version? Curious to see a parve topping.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hey Sheldon, great question! I do have a meat version which I top with bread crumbs for texture and fresh chopped parsley for flavor. I will probably post it at some point, since it’s a much easier prep than the veggie version. You can also create a pareve bechamel sauce with almond or soy milk (no cheese). But I love cheese in my moussaka, so this veggie version is definitely my favorite way to make it.

  2. Alice K. says:

    I love to read your recipes with the photos and find them very helpful (as well as beautiful), but when I’m ready to cook, I’d would like to be able to print the recipes without the photos.Is there an easy way to print just the instructions without the photos, or should I delete the photos and then print? Thanks.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hey Alice! Yes, absolutely. Just look at the top of the ingredients list on the light green card next to the recipe title– there is a red “Print Recipe” link. This will generate a PDF for you that does not contain photos. All of my newer recipes have this option, and I’m working on updating the old recipes as well.

  3. Ina Jacobson says:

    Looks delish. How much time did it take to get it ready?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Ina! The vegetable prep on this recipe is the most time consuming part– between peeling, slicing, and oven-roasting the veggies, it can take quite a bit of time. The whole dish start to finish takes me a little over 2 hours, but I know the dish well. If it’s your first time making moussaka, give yourself 2 hours 45 minutes to be safe. Good luck!

  4. Cari says:

    Looks wonderful, substitute wheat flour with rice flour and you also have a gluten-free dish!

    • Tori Avey says:

      True Cari! Or use King Arthur Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour. Also, make sure your vinegar and parmesan are GF (see Gluten Free Modification note above the recipe).

  5. Lee Coe says:

    Thank you for the time and encouragement you have built-in to your recipes. Pictures are very explanatory and leave nothing to imagine!!
    Beautiful job!!!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Lee! I spend a lot of time taking pictures and posting the steps as clearly as I can, because when I was learning to cook, a visual made things so much easier. Often written recipes leave you guessing, and I didn’t want anybody feeling like they weren’t sure how to make something I’ve posted. So happy you’re enjoying the recipes! :)

  6. Carol says:

    The vegetable moussaka looks great…especially if someone else is doing the prep, etc.!
    What I really want to know is what kind of pot you are using on top of the stove. It looks so practical.
    Thanks for an answer.
    Keep up the fabulous recipes (even if I don’t use them I love reading them…too many food allergies/issues in my house).
    And welcome to the tribe!!!

    • Tori Avey says:

      Thanks Carol! I’m not sure which pot you’re referring to, so I’ll describe all three that appear in the blog. The first pot is a simple saucepan. The second is is saute pan– one of my favorite pans, so versatile, I use it all the time! It’s like a heavy skillet with high walls, and can be used to saute, make sauces, simmer ingredients, etc. The last pot is another favorite of mine– it’s called a soup pot. The cookware is Lagostina brand, which I absolutely love– it’s solid (but not so heavy that it’s difficult to handle), heats evenly, and is dishwasher safe (a must in my house!). Unfortunately, it’s tough to find– it’s an Italian brand, and none of the major U.S. chain stores carry it anymore as far as I’m aware. I’ll be opening a store on my site soon, so I might try to stock some of their cookware if there’s an interest.

    • Crystal Shorter says:

      I believe you can purchase this cookware through Williams and Sonoma a cookware store I could literally live in. Otherwise Sears stores in Canada sell it as well I think for around 399.99 for 11 pcs. This cookware displays beautifully as well I believe in form and function in my home decor and this definitely does both!

  7. Coco Galvez says:

    What a great recipe, I will definitely try this but I wonder if I could make it vegan it would taste the same…I know my family will love your vegetarian version. And about the cookware idea, it would be great if we could find them in your site. Thank you for all this recipes.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Coco! The vegan version would omit the cheese and make the bechamel sauce using a milk substitute and Earth Balance/margarine. It won’t taste the same, unfortunately, but it’s the only work-around I have at this point. If I find a way to make it yummier I’ll let you know! :)

  8. Pingback: Haveil Havalim #318 — The Yom Yerushalayim Edition « Frume Sarah's World

  9. Tammy Urban says:

    Okay so this was the most AMAZING moussaka I have ever made! My husband, who is so ‘anti-vegetarian’ LOVED it and ate seconds plus told his mom all about it! So you KNOW it’s good.

    However, This is NOT something to cook the first time for guests! I am a very experienced cook and it took me over 3 hours… mainly because it was the first time making it and also because my baking sheets weren’t big enough so I had to do zucchini, potatoes, and eggplant in 3 batches….. it was well worth the wait though! AND… I think that next time I can speed it up! You really need to cook this one or two times before planning to cook for guests.

    This is a recipe for everyone to have in their repertoire! It’s light, but WAY flavorful, kosher, vegetarian, easily gluten-free, and just plain good!

    Thanks SO MUCH

    • Tori Avey says:

      Tammy bless your heart! So thrilled that you enjoyed the moussaka. It is time consuming, but I agree it’s totally worth it. I just made it last week and my husband is already begging me to make it again. ;)

  10. Eileen Kontrovitz says:

    I’m also a Siksa in the kitchen. I converted about 3 years after I got married. I’ve been reworking traditional Jewish recipes for 36 years trying to put flavor into them, for which my husband thanks me.

    I love your ideas and this new version of Moussaka was a must try for me. It is absolutely delicious! Even my meat loving husband thought it was great and didn’t ask for a steak on the side, which he usually does when I serve vegetarian dishes!

    I’ve passed on the recipe to our daughter who is mostly a vegetarian. I’ve also put it in my book of favorite recipes. It is well worth the prep time! Thanks.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Eileen, congrats on your conversion! So happy you enjoyed the moussaka. Please let your daughter know that I have a vegetarian category on my site– all she needs to do is click on Recipe Index at the top of the page, then click the red link Categories, pull down the menu to U-Z, and you’ll see the vegetarian category there. Here’s a direct link if you want to copy and paste: link to theshiksa.com

  11. Heather says:

    I am always looking for new ways to use eggplant- this recipe is now on my must bake list! Beautiful photos.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Thank you so much Heather! I am making it again for dinner tonight by popular request. Maybe I’ll serve your salad on the side… :)

    • Jenny says:

      I’ve missed moussaka so much since giving up meat a few years ago. I’ve tried other vegetarian versions with lackluster results. That is, until we tried your recipe last night. It knocked my socks off and I need look no further for another vegetable moussaka recipe. This is my go-to now. I accidentally used extra Parmesan, which I can’t really count as a mistake, and fresh oregano because I had some. Thank you for including gluten free instructions so I could share the recipe with a friend.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Fabulous Jenny! So happy to hear that.

  12. Lucille says:

    You know that Parmesan cheese isn’t vegetarian, right? It’s made with calf rennet. Vegetarians don’t eat Parmesan or Pecorino or Garana Padano for this reason.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Lucille– that’s a good point. I will make a note for vegetarians who do not keep kosher, to make it clear that they should buy a vegetarian or kosher cheese. The parmesan I buy from Whole Foods is vegetarian, and Trader Joes carries vegetarian parmesan as well, so vegetarian options are widely available. Tillamook also has a vegetarian-friendly Italian blend of parmesan and mozzarella which would work nicely in this recipe.

  13. melanie tinsman says:

    Hi Tori–
    I love Moussaka in any form. I would like to make this when my son visits us in June as we love all vegetables. What I would like to do is use meat in this version of the recipe and delete the lentils. I would normally use a ground lamb/beef (lean) mixture but I am not sure if the integrity of the recipe will shine through. What meat(s) and cuts would you recommend I use and is there any special prep suggestions before assembling ?
    Thanks. Melanie

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Melanie, I have never made this version with meat, but when I make meat moussaka I usually use lamb, double ground for tenderness. Lean lamb is good, but make sure it has enough fat so that it doesn’t cook up dry. Season it with a bit of salt and pepper, and a little fresh minced parsley, that should be enough… the spices of the moussaka will flavor it nicely. Let me know how it works out for you!

  14. Rachel says:

    I made this moussaka with TVP (soy based vegetable protein), soaked in Parve “beef” flavored broth mixed with a little tomato sauce for texture/body, and then drained. (Didn’t have any lentils on hand). It was amazing!!! Almost meaty, and still kosher! :)

    • Tori Avey says:

      Rachel, that’s really good to know! I’ve never tried it with soy meat, but I know a lot of my readers will be interested in this sub for a “meatier” moussaka experience. Thanks so much for reporting back! Shabbat Shalom. :)

  15. aviva says:

    hey! just came across this page while looking for a moussaka recipe online, great blog! I would like to make a meaty moussaka this coming shabbat but do not want to make a bechamel sauce with soy milk.. how exactly do you make the topping with bread crumbs and parsley?
    Thank you!

  16. Shari says:

    Is there something to substitute for the lentils so this can be made for passover when we don’t eat lentils?

  17. Joana says:

    I want to make this dish on friday to eat on sunday, shavuot. Do you think I can bake evrything and then on shavuot just warm up on the plata?

  18. Marylin says:

    I just downloaded the recipe, and tomorrow I will buy all the ingredients. Having a vegetarian meal once a week is my ultimate goal, but I do get lazy! Thanks for sharing.

  19. michelle says:

    well, i didn’t fully read your warning about this tori but you r right, it took close to 3 hrs but it is sooo yummy! such interesting flavors. i had a crowd here for the holiday that is not too into healthy food so they didn’t dig in but my fam finished it all the next day. i would make this often if it didn’t take as much time but will look forward until then!

  20. Marylin says:

    Whew!! n Just got out of the kitchen, but dear hubby is finishing up, I cut my finger!! It is a very long and tedious recipe. I’m sure its worth it. Thanks for all the lovely recipes.

  21. Larry Salinger says:

    I don’t eat potatoes because they are high on the glycemic index. What vegetable(s) would you suggest to substitute for the potatoes?

  22. Bitola says:

    A Great site with a great stuff. But please in the future do not make the same mistake any more. There is no such a thing like Yugoslav moussaka or any kind of Yugoslav kitchen. Yugoslavia does not exist any more. The Balkan region you mentioned in your recipe has a name of Macedonia. In Macedonia people also make this food many centuries ago. Please do not mix the politic with the food.
    Thank you.

    • Tori Avey says:

      My blog is not at all political, nor is the background information on this recipe meant to be politically leaning one way or another. The reference to Yugoslavia was part of a quote from “The Oxford Companion to Food” by Alan Davidson, a historical food reference text. I’m not an expert on the Southeastern European political landscape, but I am interested in learning more about the history of the region. Perhaps a better name for this region would be the Peninsula of Haemus, which was its name from antiquity through the 1800′s. Whatever the case, my focus on is on the food and the history. In that spirit, enjoy the moussaka.

  23. Chava Malka says:

    wow i’m going to have to try this! especially because it has lentils which make me feel like i’m eating healthy. is the outcome very wet? i want to now so i know if i can heat it up shabbos morning, we only heat dry foods, not liquids.

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Chava, the outcome has a similar texture to a regular moussaka or casserole. It’s not very wet, but it’s not dry either. Hope that is helpful!

  24. NAN says:

    VERY GOOD

  25. linda says:

    I’d like to make this for company on Sunday but do all the cooking on Sat. Can I make the whole thing on Sat and just reheat on Sunday or What point can I make this up to?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Linda– if I were you, I would make it and assemble it up to the point that it is fully layered without sauce. Place it in the fridge, assembled, covered in plastic wrap. Then an hour before you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven. Take it out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes, make the bechamel sauce, cover it, and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes till finished. This will give you a fresher result and will take care of most of the prep beforehand– the only thing you’ll need to make on Sunday is the sauce. You can make the whole thing in advance if you prefer, it does reheat well– I just prefer making the sauce fresh for a tastier result. Either option will work. Good luck!

  26. Lia says:

    Hi, I just made your moussaka recipe, i don’t use paprika and lentils, but I used minced chicken instead. Although moussaka is not so well known in my home country ( Indonesia) my husband loves it, thank you

  27. Melissa MacDonald says:

    Thanks for the recipe. I modified it and made it completely vegan. No meat, dairy or eggs and it was fantastic.

  28. Marisa says:

    I made this dish last night. Delicious! It did take quite some time to prepare, but worth it:) I took it to my office, and everyone was coming back for seconds – no leftovers. I think that says it all!

    I will be consulting you page for more recipes!

    Marisa

  29. Jeanne Martin says:

    Hi, this recipe sounds delicious and I’d like to make it for next weekend. I just wondered what size can of diced tomatoes? 14 ounce? Thank you

  30. Lisa says:

    I made this recipe yesterday. Your photos made everything so clear and easy to follow. I didn’t have chopped tomatoes so I used just 14 ounces of crushed tomatoes. It is absolutely delicious! I don’t think meat would improve this dish, it’s perfect as it is. It’s worth every minute and really wasn’t that big of a deal, with family in the kitchen to chat with while you cook. In between steps I washed the sheet pans… When the moussaka was ready the dishes were done. Highly recommend this dish to all!!!

  31. Carmen says:

    Hello,
    You mention 2 cans of diced tomato but you don’t mention the size of the cans and if the juice should be drained.
    I am making this for dinner Friday night and I have everything but just not sure if I should be using (2) 15 ounce diced tomato or (2) 8 ounce cans?

  32. Edie says:

    Looking forward to more of your recipes I have everything ready to go for this recipe and will assemble it closer to dinner time, the house smells wonderful! Thanks

  33. Helen Kaufman says:

    Wondering if you can freeze the Vegetable Moussaka?

    • Tori Avey says:

      Hi Helen! I have never frozen this moussaka, so no promises, but I think it would probably be ok, considering lasagna is a similar layered dish and it freezes quite well. That said, it is a vegetable dish so hopefully it won’t turn mushy. Here are some general freezing guidelines you might find helpful: link to theshiksa.com If you’re considering making ahead for the holiday, a safer bet would be to take the advice I gave Linda, above (I’ll paste it here for your reference with some modifications): I would make it and assemble it up to the point that it is fully layered without sauce. Place it in the fridge, assembled, covered in plastic wrap, up to overnight. Then an hour before you’re ready to serve, preheat the oven. Take it out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes, make the bechamel sauce, cover it, and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes till finished. This will give you a fresher result and will take care of most of the prep beforehand– the only thing you’ll need to make on the day you’re serving is the sauce. You can make the whole thing in advance if you prefer, it does reheat well– I just prefer making the sauce fresh for a tastier result. Either option will work. Good luck!

  34. Judith Graf says:

    Hi Tori, Tried the recipe this weekend and it was a roaring success. I have to admit though to one small addition: cumin in the lentil mixture. Not much, just a pinch.
    This recipe will become a staple in my house, as a lot of the younger members of the family are vegetarians and I always struggle what to give them.
    Just started to browse your site and I really like some of your other recipes.
    Cheers from Down Under
    Judy

  35. This has been on my “to make” list ever since I first tried veggie moussaka last year. I finally got around to it this weekend, and it was AMAZING. As warned, it was definitely prep-intensive (about 4 hours total for me, including cooking time), but so worth it. I also calculated that it cost me about a fourth of the price per serving as at the Greek restaurant where I usually order it–bonus! My only critique is that the amounts of roasted veggies called for are a little much and didn’t fit on the pans in one round. However, I was able to make a whole extra pie plate of “mini” moussaka, so no complaints. Otherwise I made no changes and it turned out exactly as shown in the photos! Thanks!

  36. Mary says:

    hi, do you have a vegan Recipe for this … can I do everything except the cheese and milk? is it going to taste good? thank you

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