Layers of roasted eggplant, a “meaty” and tomatoey lentil filling, and vegan bechamel sauce come together to create this incredible Vegan Moussaka. It’s the ultimate comfort food to make for dinner, plus it can be made both gluten and nut free!
Servings: 6 servings
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Tomato "Meat" Filling
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 ounces impossible ground "meat" or other substitute, see Notes
- 3 cups cooked lentils (I used canned) or more impossible meat
- 1/2 cup red wine may omit if needed
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
For the Eggplant
Slice the eggplant lengthwise about 1/3 inch thick. Place the slices in a large colander overlapping somewhat, and sprinkle with salt. Move them around to sprinkle all the eggplant with salt, and leave it to sweat for 30 minutes. This will remove any bitterness.
While it sweats, make the "meat" filling and vegan bechamel (see instructions below.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
Pat the eggplant dry with a clean dish towel, very well so you also remove a lot of the salt. Transfer the eggplant slices to the prepared pans, and brush with olive oil on both sides. You can use olive oil spray if that's easier.
Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned and softened. Remove from the oven and set aside. Lower heat to 350 degrees F.
For the "Meat" Sauce
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add the impossible meat (or lentils) and cook until it turns brown, breaking it up with a spatula as you cook it. This will take 5-8 minutes.
Add the red wine and cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, sugar, oregano, cinnamon and salt, to taste. Stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the Bechamel
Add the cashews to a small pot and cover with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let soak for 15 minutes.
Drain the cashews, then add them to a high speed blender, along with the 1 cup of fresh water and all the other bechamel ingredients. Blend on high until very smooth and creamy.
Assemble and Bake
In a baking dish (I used my 10 inch cast iron pan, you can use an 8x8 inch casserole dish as well) place half of the eggplant on the bottom.
Top with all of the filling.
Place the rest of the eggplant on top of the filling, then pour the bechamel sauce on top. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
Bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes until golden brown on top. Let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Enjoy!
- Leftovers will keep for 4 days in the refrigerator, simply reheat in the microwave or oven until warm.
- It can be frozen, simply cool it completely, then cover and wrap well before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking until hot.
- For the meat: You can substitute more cooked lentils for the impossible meat if desired, or any other vegan ground beef substitute like Beyond or Gardein brand. If using all lentils, add an extra 2-3 cups cooked lentils in place of the meat.
- Cashew alternative: In place of the cashews, use pine nuts or sunflower seeds.
- Gluten free: Omit the breadcrumbs, or use gluten free breadcrumbs.
Serving: 1of 6 servings | Calories: 632kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 1186mg | Potassium: 1434mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 290IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 9mg