This Healthier Lentil Moussaka incorporates classic Greek flavours alongside some less-than-traditional ingredients to make the dreamiest vegan dinner going. It’s been a long time since I last visited Greece, but I remember always being delighted when I was able to track down a meat-free moussaka.
To celebrate one of their most popular holiday destinations and its cuisine, Destinology recently challenged me to create a recipe using typical spices and ingredients originating from Greece. They sent me a few goodies to kick-start the recipe (unfortunately not all of them survived the transit due to a lack of bubble wrap!) and I got thinking about what to create.
As I mentioned, I’ve always loved veggie moussaka with its layers of aubergine, soft potato and creamy topping but it can be a very rich dish and of course it isn’t usually very vegan-friendly. Therefore I decided to experiment with a lighter alternative, using the same principle and flavours to develop this healthier lentil moussaka.
These are the substitutes I’ve made to create this healthier vegan lentil moussaka:
- Lentils in place of meat or soya mince
- Sweet potato in place of potato
- Silken tofu in place of béchamel sauce
- Nutritional yeast and a little vegan cheese in place of cheese
I used Violife vegan cheese, along with nutritional yeast, for the topping along and though the Violife doesn’t melt fully (so let’s face it, it could be a bit prettier) it does give this layer a great cheesey flavour. Feel free to skip this part, or conversely only use vegan cheese if you can’t get hold of any nutritional yeast!
The lentil moussaka uses my sun-dried tomato and lentil bolognese recipe as its base, so the directions below guide you through the construction of the lentil moussaka with pointers of how to time your cooking but you will need to refer to the lentil bolognese recipe too. I hope that doesn’t make it overly complicated to follow, but I really wanted to avoid a mile-long ingredient and instruction list at the risk of making it much harder to follow!
- One batch of sun-dried tomato & lentil bolognese sauce
- 2 medium aubergines, sliced into rounds approx. 5mm thick
- ¼tsp sea salt
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, washed
- For the topping:
- 300g silken tofu
- 2tbsp nutritional yeast
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- ¼tsp lemon juice
- 30g vegan cheese (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / gas mark 4.
- Place the aubergine slices onto kitchen paper, sprinkle with the sea salt, and cover with extra kitchen paper. Leave to rest.
- Prepare the lentil bolognese according to its instructions (see full recipe), up until stage three when it is ready to be left to simmer.
- Once the lentil bolognese is simmering, bring a large pan of water to boil on the hob. Cut each of the unpeeled sweet potatoes into three or four pieces and add to the pan. Cook for ten to fifteen minutes or until they are soft but not falling apart.
- As the sweet potatoes are cooking, spread the aubergine slices over a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and place in the oven. Cook for around twenty minutes, turning halfway.
- Once the sweet potatoes have cooked, remove from the heat and drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water and peel away the skins, which should have loosened while cooking. Slice into rounds, approx. 8mm thick.
- To prepare the topping, add the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, black pepper and lemon juice
- Once the lentil bolognese is ready, spoon it out evenly into a large oven proof dish. Layer the sweet potato slices evenly over the top, followed by the sliced aubergine. Cover evenly with the tofu topping and sprinkle over the vegan cheese, if using.
- Place in the oven and bake for around thirty minutes or until the topping has set and turned golden.
Thanks to Destinology who supplied some of the traditional ingredients and budget for the remaining ingredients. All thoughts, ideas and photos are my own. To learn more please see my disclaimer.