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Vegan Moussaka

Mashed potatoes replace cream sauce and ground lentils replace lamb in a casserole that serves a crowd. If you don't have a deep (3 inches) baking dish, make this in two separate dishes.

Ingredients: 

Ingredients: 

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5 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (3 ½ lb.)
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4 cloves garlic, peeled
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¼ cup plus 2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
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1 large onion, chopped (1 ½ cups)
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3 Tbs. dried oregano
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2 15-oz. cans chopped tomatoes
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⅔ cup green lentils
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1 bay leaf
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1 cinnamon stick
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2 medium eggplants, sliced
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2 small zucchini, sliced
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3 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Instructions: 

1. Cook potatoes and garlic in boiling salted water 10 minutes, or until soft. Drain, and reserve liquid. Mash with 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 cups cooking liquid. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and oregano, and sauté 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, lentils, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, and 3 cups potato cooking liquid. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf and cinnamon, and purée lentils in food processor until chunky. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Place eggplant slices on paper-towel-lined baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse, and pat dry.

4. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Coat deep 13- x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon 1 1/2 cups lentil mixture into bottom. Top with eggplant, followed by zucchini and tomatoes. Spoon 2 cups lentil mixture over top. Spread half of potatoes over lentil mixture. Top with remaining eggplant, and lentil mixture. Spread remaining potatoes over top, making sure to cover completely. Bake 1 1/2 hours, or until top is browned.

Nutrition Information: 

Calories: 
274
Protein: 
7 g
Total Fat: 
8.5 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
Carbohydrates: 
46 g
Cholesterol: 
0 mg
Sodium: 
587 mg
Fiber: 
12 g
Sugar: 
9 g
Yield: 
Serves 12

Comments on this Recipe

I used canned garbanzo beans instead of lentils and simmered them in the tomato mixture for 20 min. I also drained the canned tomatoes. I made sure to boil off as much remaining liquid as I could before blending. This seemed to fix any soupy problems. Also, substitute cauliflower for potatoes to shave off time. It still tastes great and is a lower calorie option.

Real Greek Moussaka takes 3 hours to make, so don't expect anything "greek" to take less time than that.

tomatoes and salt make the lentil cooking time go way up. by adding diced tomatoes,that are in salt, it took almost 2 hours before the lentils were done. next time i make this dish i will definitely cook the lentils first before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.

It took forever to make this. Plan ahead! The taste was good...but my eggplants were underdone. I used lots of dishes to prepare this meal. I will only repeat it for a special occasion.

To make this we used extra mashed potatoes left over from a recipe made on an earlier night. That shortened the cooking time considerably. As for the taste, my family of NON vegetarians gives this one 5-stars. This immediately went onto the list of regularly prepared casseroles. Excellent!

Great recipe but my eggplant was underdone as well. I read Bianca's post and decided to slice it thin. It was still undercooked. I will make this again but pre-cook the eggplant. Wonderful taste!

I'd suggest 2 things: make the eggplant the day before. It won't make any different since it's getting baked in the dish anyway. and....buy a package of cooked lentils. Lots of health food markets (Trader Joe's, etc.) sell tasty assortments of cooked beans and cooked rice. Great taste and hard to screw up!

I think there is WAY too much overall liquid in this recipe. Except for pre-cooking the lentils and eggplant (which I did based on other comments here), I followed the directions EXACTLY and mine ended up like soup. It tasted GREAT!! But I will probably up the amount of lentils to 1 cup (or perhaps 1 1/2 cups), more mashed potatoes, and I will likely not add the potato water to the mashed potato mixture in step 1.

I used pre-cooked lentils from Trader Joe's. Reduces cooking time, but adds salt so I didn't add any more salt to the recipe. My eggplant was a bit under-cooked as well. And dish ended up a tad on the watery side, but this is probably due to my own error. Will definitely make again!

Super good! I read the other comments about this dish so I too made modifications. First I used less liquid in the sauce; Second I cooked my lentils before adding them to the sauce: Three I broiled the salted/rinsed eggplants slices before I assembled the casserole. Lost of work but I doubled the recipe so I can freeze one of the casseroles to a weeknight dinner.

Took alot of prep time. Also, i did not like the mashed potatoes. Wish i would have made my own. Olive oil and cooking water and salt does not make good mashed potatoes. They were bitter. YUCK! Also, too much liquid. Thankfully ii placed dish on a baking sheet to catch over flow. Prolly wont make again. Haven't tried yet, been waiting for the liquid to set. Ughhhh! Whaaaaaa!

I had to dump it. What a waste. Tasted terrible. I followed the recipe to the tee. I used organic veggies. It cost a fortune! So sad :-(

I really wish I would have trusted my own instincts while making this dish. Way too much liquid in the lentils. As to the flavor, I cannot comment as it is still in the oven where, I can hear the sizzling of the overflowing liquid. I going to resolve this now before additional work is created on top of the time its taken to prepare this dish. Still hopeful!!

Everything worked out well for me! I followed the recipe with one exception: I did step 3 first to let the eggplant sit a bit longer. Just make sure to slice your veggies thin. Mine came out delicious =] It is a time consuming recipe...perfect for a Sunday afternoon! In the future, I might experiment with using more lentils.

I read the preceding comments and as such instead opted to use ~2lbs of fresh tomatoes for the lentils. I got a good, cohesive casserole out of it, but it was a bit on the bland side. If you want to make it a bit more flavourful, I'd recommend adding a bit more fat, roasting [either oven or pan] your garlic rather than boiling in the potato water, using salt + pepper in the lentils and maybe even adding like some dry herbs between layers when layering the casserole. It was edible, and the veggie at our thanksgiving was excited and pleased, though she was also of the opinion that it was a bit bland.

I haven't made this yet but I would encourage everyone to taste your food while cooking it. If the flavor is not to your taste add what you like to make it delicious to you. You should always taste your food while preparing it.

Enjoyed this. Modified it after reading others comments. Made potatoes the way I always do, no oil, no cooking liquid. Cooked lentils ahead. Didn't add any water to lentil mixture. Used canned diced tomatoes. Cooked lentil mixture for 20 mins. Didn't purée. Baked recipe for 1/12 hours.

Use this recipe to spark your creativity. It can yield a good product, but not if followed as printed (see comments below). The cooking techniques are a little sketchy (for example boiling potatoes with garlic). Reduce the water on the lentils or it will be soup. I increased the amount to one cup and cooked in 2 cups water for about 30 minutes. I made fully seasoned mashed potatoes using cashew milk and roasted garlic. It turned out very delicious.

THIS IS NOT A SHEPHERDS PIE...THE POTATOES TAKE THE PLACE OF THE BECHAMEL SAUCE IN GREEK MOUSSAKA...THEREFORE THE POTATOES MADE WITH THE POTATO BROTH ARE THE CORRECT CONSISTENCY...I USED ONE 28OZ CAN OF HIGH QUALITY LOW SODIUM TOMATOES WITH THE SMALL AMOUNT OF JUICE IN THE CAN TO ONE FULL CUP OF LENTILS, COOKED WITH THE COVER UNTIL TENDER, THEN WITH NO COVER TO REDUCE TO GOOD CONSISTENCY... AND THE LENTILS COOKED IN NO TIME....NO PUREE NEEDED...LENTILS WERE FULL BLOWN OPEN AND THE SAUCE A NICE TEXTURE...ALWAYS TASTE AS YOU GO AND SEASON EACH PART OF RECIPE SEPARATELY TO END WITH A TASTY DISH...THE OREGANO KEEPS THIS AUTHENTIC...YUM

I absolutely loved this recipe because, although I'm not vegan, I don't do cream at all ... ever.

I recommend baking the eggplant first - ours came very chewy and uncooked. Otherwise it was good mostly.

If your lentils are soupy then cook off some of the liquid before putting everything together. Most vegan casseroles aren't going to get less soupy in the oven. We also added some garbanzo bean flour here and there to make things cohere. (Wheat flour would also work.)

First the tomatoes are cooked with the lentils. Then the tomatoes are added as a layer on their own. Are you supposed to use only one can with the lentils?

Hi Rachel, That is a little confusing. The lentils are cooked with the canned tomatoes, and once they're blended together, we refer to it as the lentil mixture. The recipe also calls for 3 fresh tomatoes (last ingredient), and they are layered separately from the lentil mixture. Hope that makes sense. Enjoy the recipe!

This casserole is surprisingly light! My only recommendation is to slice the zucchini and eggplant very thinly on a mandoline. That way everything cooks through. Also, using a bigger can of tomatoes and and using some of them for the "fresh" layer can work very easily. Yum!

Let me start off by saying that the picture for this recipe is incredibly misleading. It looks like everything was cooked separately (eggplants look a little brown despite being under layers of potato and tomato!). First time making moussaka so followed the recipe as gospel. This dish turned out to be a watery mess. It was bland despite the 3 TBS of dried oregano that made my mouth water during the cooking process. The eggplants barely cooked, despite being in the oven for almost 2 hours, and hardly looked like the picture in the recipe. Waste of time, energy, and perfectly good vegetables. I will never visit this website again.

I put in less liquid in the lentils and got a good consistency, adding flavouring along the way. I then drained the liquid off before blending and kept it to pour over the potato layer. Also separately grilled the eggplant and zucchini before adding it, that not only helped to cook it faster, but also gave the eggplant (especially) more flavour. I would say to anyone to trust your own known cooking techniques and add them to the ingredients and methods in this recipe.

I had to leave a review just because I'm so confused as to why there are so many negative reviews! The only thing I changed was less oreganum, 3 tablespoons seemed excessive. This was super flavourful, and although time consuming was super easy to make. Was nommed down appreciatively by a 9 year old also. Not watery or bland in the slightest, as other reviews suggest... and the eggplant was tender... so, I dunno... less about the recipe more about the execution for the other reviewers maybe?

Bland and watery. I should've read the comments ahead bc the pic was misleading. "Don't ever judged a book by its cover" - in other words, I failed. I love moussaka. Not this one. I'll def have to tweak it IF I ever attempt again.