Vegetarian Greek Moussaka | Vegan Tips!

If you’ve ever eaten a moussaka at a traditional Greek restaurant, you’ll know how delicious it is! I’ve tried recreating my favourite moussakas a few times (with the first attempt being a total disaster..) but have finally perfected my recipe! There’s something so hearty and comforting about a really good moussaka.. and with this chilly spring weather in Vancouver, it’s a perfect addition to your weeknight (or weekend!) menu.

This option is vegetarian since I’m trying to make more plant based choices in how I eat and is super easy to make vegan. I feel it’s lighter than a typical moussaka with the veggies and tofu but you still get that creamy indulgence with the bechamel sauce! If you’re reallyyyyy not into tofu (although c’mon, give it a try), you can use ground beef instead. More tips and tricks at the end of the post.

Let me know what you think!Vegetarian vegan moussaka with zucchini, eggplant, potato and tofu side view in white baking dish

Ingredients:

Vegetable Layer

  • 1 large Yukon Gold potato, cut into 1/2 cm rounds
  • 1 medium round eggplant, cut into 1/2 cm rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2 cm rounds
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt and pepper (or to taste)

Tofu “Meat” Layer

  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4-5 gloves garlic, minced
  • 1 package extra firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried parsley
  • 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 400 mL can plain tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and pepper (or to taste)

Bechamel Layer

  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter (or vegan butter)
  • 4 tbsp (60 mL) flour
  • 3 cups 2% milk or soy milk
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt and pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup (250 ml) grated Parmesan (optional)

What to do:

  1. Vegetable layer:
    • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
    • Spread cut vegetables onto 2 baking sheets. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt/pepper. Raw sliced zucchini on baking sheet
    • Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes (until slightly dried out). Flip the vegetables then cook for an additional 7-10 minutes or until slightly golden. Roasted cooked zucchini on baking sheet
    • Allow to cool as you make the tofu and bechamel layers. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F for later.
  2. Tofu layer:
    • On medium heat, add oil and onions to a pan. Cook until onions softened (3-5 minutes).
    • Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute.
    • Add remaining ingredients (tofu, seasonings, tomato sauce) and cook uncovered on medium-high heat for 7-10 minutes or until mixture is thick, similar to a bolognese sauce. Set aside.
  3. Bechamel layer:
    • In a small sauce pan, melt butter on medium heat. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk and seasonings and continue stirring until the sauce becomes thick and covers the back of your spoon (at least 10 minutes).
  4. Putting it all together:
    • In a 9 x 13” baking dish, layer roasted vegetables on the bottom. Add tofu layer on top of vegetables so it’s evenly spread on vegetables. Pour bechamel sauce on top and sprinkle with parmesan (optional).
    • Bake uncovered in 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the top of the moussaka is bubbly and golden.
  5. Cool for 15-20 minutes.
  6. NOM!! Serves approx 6-8 individuals.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t have Yukon Gold potatoes on hand? Use whatever is in your pantry! Try to avoid Russet potatoes since they tend to soften more than other potatoes – it’s best to use a variety that will hold it’s shape/not mush up too much.
  • If you like more veggies, go ahead and add more eggplant and zucchini (I personally like adding more!)
  • Don’t forget the roasting step otherwise the moussaka will be very watery. I tried layering freshly cut vegetables into the moussaka and it was very soggy with a watery sauce on the bottom.
  • Some peeps crumble their tofu using a food processor. I’m lazy and hate washing more dishes than I need to so I just give it a crumble with my hands!
  • When choosing tomato sauce, ensure it says it’s unseasoned tomato sauce! I made the mistake and bought diced tomatoes the first time which ended up in a soggy mess of a moussaka. The tomato sauce is thicker with a smooth consistency, perfect for the “meat” layer!
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