If you are ready for the simplest and easy best vegetarian moussaka recipe?
this is the ingredient that we need to make this yummy vegetarian moussaka recipe: potatoes, Layers of roasted eggplant, and zucchini with a tasty chunky tomato-lentil sauce nestled in, and flat-top with creamy bechamel sauce!
This roasted vegetable moussaka it’s very easy to put together than you imagine. make sure to check out my step-by-step method and grab my make-ahead tips below:
A little twist on habitual vegetarian moussaka
We can all agree that moussaka is Greek comfort food at it’s finest!
And, yes, the favored flavor-packed eggplant casserole, topped with creamy bechamel sauce, could be a labor of love. There are usually typically layers and some steps involved. however if you’ve ever created it, you know that it’s totally worth the effort for a special family dinner.
I’ve been playing around with completely different ingredients, and I finally have the most effective vegetarian moussaka that is as scrumptious and tasty as my meat-lovers’ version.
This vegetable moussaka casserole is was created of layers of quick-roasted vegetables; a tasty rich tomato sauce with black lentils in place of ground meat; and creamy bechamel to top it all.
Let’s dive more into this easy and healthy vegetarian eggplant moussaka, what’s in it, and the way to form it!
Vegetable moussaka components:
this easy vegetarian moussaka recipe having just 3 components: vegetables; a vegetarian sauce; and a top layer of creamy bechamel.
To make this best vegetarian moussaka, it took some tinkering around with ingredients to form an easy version that felt just as hearty and unctuous as my earlier meaty beef (or lamb) version.
To really and easy knock this recipe out of the park, I had to find the perfect and easy meat substitute that held up well in the sauce and provided a good hearty texture. The verdict? Black Beluga lentils.
Black lentils are petite and cook fairly very quickly. they have a beautiful, creamy consistency; full-bodied and earthy flavor. to not mention, they’re a good source of protein, polyphenols, iron, and fiber…(find black lentils here.)
In this vegetarian moussaka, a scrumptious tomato-lentil sauce–with a fragrant pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon–is nestled between quick-roasted vegetables, including tender eggplant. And of course, to top our eggplant casserole is none apart from creamy bechamel sauce!
What vegetables go in vegetarian moussaka? And what else we need to create this vegetarian moussaka recipe?
The elements of this vegetarian moussaka recipe aren’t hard to make. There are 3 components as i indicate earlier: vegetables, sauce, and a top layer of bechamel sauce. Let’s walk through them some more:
1. roasted Vegetables
For this best vegetarian eggplant moussaka recipe, eggplant remains the star. I also add two to three russet potatoes and 2 zucchini. All the veggies are sliced the long way to making our completely different layers.
Eggplant needs a bit extra TLC. so we start with giving our eggplant slices a sprinkle of kosher salt and leave it alone for twenty to half-hour to “sweat out” any bitterness.
To prepare the vegetables for our vegetarian moussaka, we give them a fast roast in a hot oven for fifteen to twenty minutes
- Tomato-Lentil Sauce
This perfect lentil sauce is my vegetarian replacement for meat sauce.It incorporates little cooked black bluga lentils with crushed tomatoes and aromatics like minced garlic, onions, a pinch of nutmeg, and cinnamon. after a brief simmer, this sauce is hearty and creamy, you won’t miss the meat.3. Bechamel
We’re not taking shortcuts here with this roasted vegetable moussaka. The very top layer of creamy bechamel sauce is for me very important, creating this dish as scrumptious and comforting as they come!
Although bechamel sounds scary and intimidating, it’s fairly simple to form (we’ve done it before during this pastitsio direction.) basically, you create a roux with flour and quality extra virgin olive oil (some use butter, but I like and I prefer to use more olive oil here.) Let it brown a tad, add in warm milk (bit-by-bit), whisk, season, and add in tempered eggs, while continued to whisk a little bit more till nice and smooth.
How to make this vegetarian moussaka – step-by-step
- preheat your oven to four hundred degrees F and salt the eggplant. Slice eggplant lengthwise. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt on both sides and place on a large sheet lined with a paper towel. Let eggplant “sweat” for twenty to a half-hour or so, while you work on different things. this may certainly help the taste and texture of the eggplant. When ready, pat excess moisture.2. create the bechamel. Pour extra virgin olive oil in a pot and let heat until shimmering however not smoking. Add the flour, salt, and pepper and stir around till the mixture turns a light golden brown. And Slowly add your warmed milk, while whisking continuously.
In a small bowl, whisk a small amount of the hot bechamel mixture with the two eggs. after return all to the pan with the remaining bechamel mixture. still stir or whisk the mixture bringing to a gentle boil for simply a pair of more minutes. taste and adjust salt and pepper. And remove from heat and allow to cool and thicken a little more (you should have a creamy, thick and smooth bechamel sauce).
Tip: if your olive oil and flour mixture is too dry and looks chunky, drizzle in a very little more oil till it looks like a smooth paste.
. Prepare the tomato-lentil sauce. First, saute the onions and garlic briefly till they smell delicious. Add your already cooked black lentils, tomatoes, and broth. Season and add spices. Let it come to a boil and then over halfway with a lid, the heat the warmth down, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
How to cook the best black lentils for this sauce? To cook the black lentils first you add them to the sauce, begin with 1/2 cup dry black lentils. After Add one 1/2 cups water. And bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to medium-low. And Simmer till lentils are tender (about twenty to twenty-five minutes, adding more water as needed to keep the lentils submerged.) Drain.
4_Roast the Vegetables. while the lentil sauce is simmering, take your dry eggplant and place it with the potatoes and zucchini on lightly-oiled baking sheets (you’ll need more than one baking sheet to spread the veggies in one layer.) after Sprinkle the zucchini and potatoes with salt (eggplant is already salted.)
Give the veggies a brush of additional virgin olive oil. Roast in heated kitchen appliances for fifteen to twenty minutes.
- Assemble to moussaka. you have made it, time to put it all together! Ladle a little bit of the lentil sauce on the rock bottom of a lightly oiled casserole pan. Layer the roasted veggies on top…Now add all of the rest of the tomato lentil sauce…Add bechamel on top. After make certain to spread the bechamel and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.
- Bake! The vegetarian-moussaka casserole can take somewhere between forty-five minutes to one hour in your heated oven. You’re trying to find for the best and awesome bechamel layer to show a nice golden brown (if needed, place it under the broiler for a small bit, watching very closely to make sure you get the color you wish or the color that you want.
you may also like these different recipes like :Crispy Vegetarian Waffles Recipe