The BEST Vegan Moussaka

Jump to Recipe
Ceramic pan of vegan moussaka topped with oregano

This vegan moussaka recipe was a work in progress for weeks until we got the perfected method just right! Layers of roasted eggplant meld perfectly with a hearty tomato lentil filling, which is topped with a show-stopping roasted garlic cashew bechamel.

Flavor is abundant here despite the 10 simple ingredients required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Eggplant, lentils, nutritional yeast, cashews, tomato, olive oil, onion, garlic, black pepper, oregano, and sea salt

Origins of moussaka

Moussaka is a popular dish in Greece and beyond. It’s typically made with layers of ground meat, eggplant, and a bechamel sauce. But other variations of the dish with different ingredients also exist and vary by region.

The exact origin of moussaka is unknown, but it’s believed to have Arab roots and may have been inspired by a Levantine dish called musakhkan. The addition of a French bechamel sauce is thought to be the contribution of Greek chef Nikolas Tselementes in the early 1900s.

Our version is not traditional but is a plant-based take on the delicious concept of layering roasted eggplant, a hearty filling, and a rich, creamy bechamel sauce. You can learn more about the history of moussaka and find a traditional recipe here.

Pouring lentil filling over baked eggplant slices

How to make vegan moussaka

This vegan moussaka consists of three layers: 1) roasted eggplants slices, 2) a lentil tomato filling, and 3) a roasted garlic bechamel sauce.

Before roasting the eggplant, we sprinkle it generously with salt and allow it to sit in a colander or bowl. This helps draw out the moisture so that once roasted, it’s perfectly fork tender with sweet, caramelized edges.

The filling starts with sautéing onion and garlic. Next come the lentils and tomatoes, which are simmered with salt, pepper, oregano, and optional nutmeg.

But the star of the show is the roasted garlic bechamel. Roasting garlic turns it from sharp and pungent to mild and sweet. When blended with cashews, olive oil, salt, nutritional yeast, and water, it becomes a creamy, knock-out sauce.

Adding eggplant slices over a lentil tomato filling

With the three layers ready, it’s time to assemble. The lentil tomato filling goes between slices of roasted eggplant, then everything’s topped with the bechamel. Once baked, the top becomes golden and slightly caramelized. Swoon!

Pouring cashew bechamel sauce over eggplant and lentils to make moussaka

We hope you LOVE this vegan moussaka! It’s:

Subtly spiced
& SO delicious!

It’s a hearty entrée perfect for meal prep or impressing dinner guests. It would pair especially well with our Grain-Free Tabbouleh Salad, 5-Minute Green Salad, and/or your favorite roasted vegetables (like Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, or potatoes).

Vintage spoon in a pan of easy vegan moussaka

More delicious eggplant recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Vegan moussaka with a lentil base and cashew topping

The BEST Vegan Moussaka

Incredibly delicious vegan moussaka with layers of roasted eggplant, hearty tomato lentil sauce, and roasted garlic cashew bechamel! Just 10 ingredients and simple methods required.
Author Minimalist Baker
Fork resting on a plate of vegan moussaka
4.91 from 136 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 (Servings)
Course Entrée
Cuisine Greek-Inspired, Middle Eastern-Inspired
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


ROASTED GARLIC (for bechamel)

  • 1 head garlic, average size
  • 1 tsp olive oil


  • 2 small to medium eggplant
  • ~2 Tbsp salt (for sweating the eggplant)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (if oil-free, omit)


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)


  • 1 Tbsp oil (if oil-free, sub twice the amount in water or vegetable broth)
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-oz) can green or brown lentils, drained and rinsed (1 can yields ~1 1/2 cups cooked)
  • 1 (15-oz) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt + pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)


  • Start by soaking cashews in very hot water for 30 minutes. In the meantime, move on to the next steps.
  • ROASTED GARLIC: Heat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Slice off the very top of the head of garlic and set on a piece of foil. Drizzle the top with oil and wrap to conceal. Then roast directly on a center oven rack for ~50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the cloves are tender, fragrant, and light golden brown.
  • EGGPLANT: Slice eggplant vertically, 1/4 inch thick. Then salt slices on both sides and add to a colander set over a mixing bowl or in the sink (to catch moisture). Let rest 30 minutes to draw out moisture and reduce bitterness. After 30 minutes, rinse and press between 2 clean towels to pat dry.
  • Transfer to 2 large baking sheets lined with parchment paper and brush both sides with olive oil (either spray or use a pastry brush). Then bake at 400 degrees F (204 C) for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown.
  • BECHAMEL: Drain your soaked cashews and add to a small blender along with roasted garlic (cool slightly then squeeze up from the bottom to the top to remove cloves), olive oil, nutritional yeast, salt, water, and nutmeg (optional). Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt to taste or nutritional yeast for cheesiness. Set aside.
  • LENTIL FILLING: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and onions and sauté until golden brown and slightly caramelized — ~5 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • Add garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat as needed if browning too quickly.
  • Add lentils and crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, oregano, and nutmeg (optional). Simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered (if splattering, lower heat and cover with lid but crack to allow steam to escape). Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more oregano for herbal notes, nutmeg for nuttiness, or salt or pepper to taste.
  • ASSEMBLY: To an 8×8 dish, add 1/3 of the eggplant slices (overlapping slightly if needed), then top with 1/2 of the lentil mixture and spread into an even layer. Then top with another 1/3 of the eggplant. Then add the remaining lentil mixture, and top with the remaining 1/3 of the eggplant. Pour over the bechamel and smooth into an even layer.
  • Bake at 400F (204 C) for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are bubbly and the top appears slightly dry and golden brown on the edges.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before serving. Store cooled leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with only 2 tsp of the salt used for sweating the eggplant (since most of it is removed by the towel) and without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 6 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 321 Carbohydrates: 27.9 g Protein: 8.3 g Fat: 22.2 g Saturated Fat: 3.5 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 3.2 g Monounsaturated Fat: 14 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 1115 mg Potassium: 881 mg Fiber: 8.8 g Sugar: 12.5 g Vitamin A: 200 IU Vitamin C: 14.47 mg Calcium: 70.32 mg Iron: 3.14 mg

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @minimalistbaker on Instagram and hashtag it #minimalistbaker so we can see all the deliciousness!

If you love this recipe...

Get Our Fan Favorites eBook Here!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Comment & Rating!

Have a question? Use ctrl+f or ⌘+f on your computer or the "find on page" function on your phone browser to search existing comments! Need help? Check out this tutorial!

My Rating:

  1. Charlotte says

    This is one of my absolute favourite vegan recipes, it’s so tasty. I now bulk cook and freeze the lentil filling to make it quicker to pull together.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you love the recipe, Charlotte. That’s a smart hack! Thank you for sharing! xo

  2. Andrea says

    Loved this! I made a couple of slight modifications that worked really well–I added about a tablespoon of lemon juice, rind from 1/2 a lemon, and a pinch of cinnamon to the béchamel sauce. I also replaced the oregano with a couple of tablespoons of za’atar (didn’t add the nutmeg). Will absolutely be adding this one to my regular rotation. Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad it’s making it into your rotation, Andrea. Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  3. Susan Ottwell says

    I’ve made this several times, it’s delicious. I do prefer to use sprouted lentils, though; it seems to me the texture more closely resembles ground meat.

  4. Deanna says

    I’ve made this recipe many times and love it (especially my husband). Something’s I’ve done to save on time: I use three cans of Grecian Style: Eggplant with Tomatoes and Onions from Trader Joe’s (instead of roasting eggplant). Because there’s tomato sauce in the cans, I don’t use crushed tomatoes in the lentil mix and use a half a pack of the steamed lentil package (also from TJs) for the onion mix. I also double the bechamel sauce. All in all, I save over an hour doing this and the flavor is much better.

  5. melanie says

    Can’t wait to try this! As a Greek woman, I will say the NUTMEG (and cinnamon) is not optional but ESSENTIAL if you want to stay true to the traditional flavor. I’ve made vegetarian moussaka before, but never vegan and never with lentils. Thank you for figuring this out. I will report back once I’ve made it! :)

  6. Jo says

    Absolutely delicious and all the non vegans in the house agreed too! If you are making the cashew Bechamel for the first time I recommend making double if not treble as you will want to use it again and again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sandra, we’d say cashews are pretty key in this one, but perhaps 3 parts raw sunflower seeds + 1 part hemp seeds? Let us know if you try it!

    • Marie says

      I know it’s been a while since you posted this comment, and you may not need an answer anymore, but just in case anyone else came here with a similar question, i also have nut allergies in my house and tried to make this with an oat milk based bechamel. While it takes longer to thicken it before adding to the other layers, I found that it worked really well for a nut allergy replacement to the cashews.

      • Sabiha says

        Hello Marie,
        So if you can’t use nuts, did you follow the recipe for bechamel but used oat milk instead or did you use another completely different nut free oat milk recipe for the bechamel ?
        I love the recipe but can’t use nuts at all.

  7. Juliet says

    This has definitely become one of my favourite recipes. I’m not vegan but we regularly make this as it’s tastier and healthier than other versions of moussaka – the cashew bechamel with roasted garlic adds such a special touch.

  8. Melanie B. says

    I made this exactly as written and it was phenomenal! Even my meat-eating husband said it was delicious. There are a lot of steps but it’s all really manageable as long as you plan ahead. I will definitely be making this again.

  9. Jonas says

    Hello, this recipe looks really good. If you had to prepare it in advance, would you bake it and then freeze it? And then just reheat? Or would you freeze without baking?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jonas, if making 1 day in advance, you could assemble, refrigerate, and bake the next day. If further in advance than that, we think it would be best to freeze after baking. When ready to serve, let come to room temperature while the oven is preheating and bake until warmed through.

  10. Zehra Khan says

    This recipe was amazing! It has a lot of prepping involved but I had time today and decided to make this.
    It turned out very comforting and delicious, perfect for fall season. These were my tweaks to make this higher in protein and lower in fat:
    -I used 2.5 cups lentils for the whole recipe and used a very large baking dish (but kept the ratio of cashews the same).
    -I added in textured vegetable protein (Bob’s mill) to add in some ground textured taste
    -i reduced the oil used in the recipe, mainly using avocado oil spray and reduced 2 tablespoons of oil in the sauce to half a table spoon (and it still tasted great! )
    – i added more nutmeg than listed and also added in allspice to the lentils, next time i might add in cinnamon as well.
    -i added a layer of parsley leaves right before the sauce for some additional flavor.

    Thank you so much for this recipe minimalistbaker!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Zehra! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  11. Cindy says

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
    I added some cinnamon to the filling and some roasted potatoes into the layers – finally served with tomato-salad. Absolutely a winner! I’ll make it again (and again)!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      That should work! It will thicken overnight, but you can add a little extra water and re-blend, as needed.

  12. Kaha says

    This was absolutely delicious.
    I didn’t have canned lentils so I just boiled dry lentils and used that instead. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly as above. I loved it. It’s hearty, satisfying and flavorful. Bechamel was amazing! Because traditional Moussaka has potatoes, I served this dish with side of roasted potatoes and it was great. Will definitely make it again. Thank you for this wonderful dish.

  13. Ekim says

    I don’t have cashews. Think I could sub cashew butter (unsalted and unroasted)? How much would you recommend using?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ekim, we aren’t sure if that would work, but maybe ~1/2 cup of cashew butter would be worth trying?

  14. Bailey says

    This recipe is so incredibly delicious, we love it! It’s totally worth the steps involved in making it. Thanks so much for this, I want to share it with everyone!

  15. Annie says

    Hi Dana
    I want to add my “wow” and “this is sooooo good” to the other comments! It is a fabulous recipe and wonderfully tasty! The béchamel is an absolute hit. The only adjustment I made was to add some finely chopped mushrooms to the lentils and some fresh tomatoes. We will be making it again, and again….. Thank you for another wonderful recipe! 😊

  16. Victoria says

    This was absolutely AMAZING!!! Was a complete hit in my house and loved the dairy free option of a traditional Greek dish !!!!

  17. Kathie says

    There are a lot of steps to this recipe and worth every single moment to produce this wonderful vegan moussaka! There are many steps you can do the day before or earlier in the day. I followed the recipe and both my husband and I LOVED it. Thank you for all the knowledge and effort you
    put into your recipes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your husband enjoyed it, Kathie! Thanks so much for the lovely review. xo

  18. Katrina says

    I made a couple modifications just based on what I had on hand. I added mushrooms to the onion, lentil mixture. I used fire roasted tomatoes and Zaatar seasoning instead of oregano. I also added a bit of cayenne for personal preference. Delicious recipe, as always!

  19. Manuel Norse says

    I made this for the first time and overall my wife and I both really enjoyed it. I only gave it 4/5 stars but that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it! It seems really hearty, healthy and was really fun to make. It can stand alone as a main dish or a side. Next time I’m going to experiment with more nutritional yeast and maybe trade out the oregano for tarragon. It’s really good- so give it a try😉

    Also, rolls would be fabulous with this!

  20. Emery Fall says

    It reads like it’s a long complicated recipe but it’s really not so bad. Due to an unplanned interruption I had to pause my recipe and finish the next day. I basically had it assembled except for the bechamel sauce on top. Everything kept beautifully in the fridge I just had to bake it longer by about 15 mins or so. Also definitely add the nutmeg. I know it’s usually associated with baking but it makes everything taste better. Absolute winner!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amy, if freezing the whole batch, we’d suggest transferring to the refrigerator overnight, then baking at 350 F for ~15-20 minutes or until warm. You could also freeze in individual servings to help it defrost/cook faster and be able to microwave to reheat.

  21. Lynn says

    Oh my goodness! This looks soooo good and so cozy! THANK YOU!

    I am vegan, but out of curiosity, I did look at the “authentic” recipe you linked. I noticed they started out layering the pan with bread crumbs and sliced potatoes, which of course are vegan and sound delicious here. Would you have any suggestions for adding these, please?

    Thank you!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lynn, we haven’t tried this with breadcrumbs or potatoes, if you added potatoes you might want to slice them and roast with the eggplant so they have a chance to soften a bit before layering. Let us know how it goes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marni, so glad you enjoyed it! This dish reheats very well after baking. We haven’t tried prepping it ahead of time and baking the next day, but it could work. Hope this helps!

  22. The Vegan Goddess says

    Thanks for the reminder in your “Pick of the Week” recipe.

    I thought that I left a review but can’t find it. This is one of the best recipes that I’ve made on here — truly delicious! Even the leftovers are amazing.

    It takes time to prepare so I haven’t gotten around to making it again but will add this to my list.

    Fantastic recipe!

  23. Laurie K says

    Meh… It didn’t cook in the suggested time. I think my eggplant slices were too thick and my lentils really needed more tomato sauce, or I should have covered it for the initial bake(?) and browned the Béchamel after.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Laurie, sorry to hear that! This recipe is a reader favorite, so we’d encourage you to give it another try with thinner eggplant slices to see if that does the trick for you. Did you use canned or dry lentils? You shouldn’t need to cover it while baking, but the lentils can be covered while simmering, if desired. We hope you have better success next time!

  24. Gayle Mallinger says

    This was an outstanding recipe! The directions were easy to follow and the dish was delicious! Thank you for another amazing recipe!

  25. Rebecca says

    This recipe is DELICIOUS! The bechamel exceeded my expectations! Making this is a time commitment, though not difficult, and definitely worth it!

  26. Janine Barclay says

    This was a lot of work but for a special occasion that is okay. I made it for thanksgiving and the omnivores enjoyed it also. The only thing I would change is I would cut the eggplant slightly thicker. I think it would be better that way

  27. Anna says

    This really is the best vegan Moussaka I have ever made!! My daughter forwarded me this recipe and I now make it regularly. My husband, who is not vegan, loves it so much! I use other beans as well, like black beans, white beans and other kinds of lentils. As long as the beans are cooked to a really soft texture, they all turn out fine. The cashew béchamel topping is delicious. I don’t use the nutritional yeast to avoid the cheesy flavour which I don’t like.

    Thanks so much for sharing!

  28. Harriet says

    This was great! The roasted garlic bechamel was delish and added a nice richness. The hint of nutmeg in both the lentils and bechamel is a must! Sprinkled a bit of vegan parmesan on top. So good!

  29. Lisa T says

    this was soooo good. I don’t cook with oil or salt so had to modify the recipe somewhat. i cooked the eggplant with a little veggie broth on top and it tasted just fine. The bechamel sauce I added silken tofu instead of oil. It came out great!

    • Martin says

      Glad to hear how you handled the eggplant. Today’s eggplant varieties had bitterness bred out of them so the time consuming salting process, especially for casseroles, can be safely omitted in my experience.

  30. Naomi says

    Thanks, the recipie was delicious!!

    I didn’t give it five stars though as the quantity of cashew cream was not enough to cover the moussaka, and even the half that was covered was a lot thiner that shown in the photo here. Given we aren’t actually vegan (but keep dairy low) I added some cheese on the half that was uncovered. Next time I think I’d just make a vegan bechamel with soy milk and flour, the more traditional way (but I’d add the roasted garlic to it – that was amazing!)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Naomi! What size pan were you using? We wonder if it might have been larger than an 8×8, causing the layer to be thinner?

  31. Kim says

    I just made this for dinner and it was delicious! The béchamel was so good I could drink it.

    In terms of deviations, I cooked up some dry lentils since I didn’t have canned and used fire roasted diced tomatoes instead of crushed since that’s what I had.
    I read that other reviewers added a layer of potatoes despite the recipe not calling for it. I added the potato layer but didn’t think it added anything to the dish so for anyone reading this, follow the MB recipe as is!! You won’t be sorry!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience, Kim! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! xo

  32. Shelley Richards says

    I love this thank you. I couldn’t imagine being bombarded with roasted garlic in moussaka so I omitted that in bechamel. I also subbed in miso for the nutritional yeast since I am allergic to it. I also sliced potatoes, oiled and baked them with the eggplant and layered them in the dish on the bottom. One of the most comforting spices of moussaka is allspice. I added that as well. It was delicious!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing, Shelley! We’re so glad you enjoyed it with some modifications! xo

  33. Lauren says

    This. Is. The. Best! Truly delicious. It has quite a few steps, however I made and assembled it a day in advance (except bechamel, but I roasted the garlic a day ahead and put it in the fridge). I also used dry lentils rather than canned. Doing all the cooking and prep a day ahead made this super easy the day of, just made sauce, back in the fridge for a few hours, then boom, ready in 30 mins. Served with roasted potatoes, carrots and a simple green salad. You could tell me that the sauce is non-vegan and I’d believe it! It’s a new favourite that has made it into the regular rotation. Thanks for another great recipe, Dana! :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Lauren. Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for sharing your experience!

  34. Debbie says

    This was sooo delicious and well worth the time to make. It’s so full of flavor and texture, and the bechamel sauce finishes it off wonderfully. I added an extra 1/2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast and a bit more nutmeg to the sauce and cooked brown lentils in water rather than using canned to control the sodium content a bit more. I’m just starting my journey into more plant based eating and this was one of the first dishes I tried out on hubby (who is truly a meat eater) … he had a second helping 😋 Will definitely make it again. Thanks for a fab recipe!

  35. shannon ball says

    This was sooooo good. It takes a few steps to create, but so worth it. We loved it. I used chickpeas instead of lentils and we both liked that choice–they seemed to add a nice bit of texture.
    Next times I’ll double this recipe–that good.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Shannon! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modification! xo

  36. Nicole says

    This was amazing! The Moussaka I’ve dreamed about after becoming a vegan/flexitarian.

    My additions:
    I added extra roasted garlic and a bit of cayenne pepper to the béchamel sauce + extra nutritional yeast & nutmeg.

    Extra crushed tomato & fresh oregano was added to the tomato/lentil sauce and I deglazed the onion after browning in the pan with 1/2 cup red wine. Yum!

    I used nutmeg where the recipe called for it – it really makes the Moussaka taste fabulous!

    • Nicole says

      And I forgot to add that I also did a layer of potato – used one big potato that I peeled and sliced into thin medallions that were roasted at the same time as the eggplant (my eggplant wasn’t rinsed of salt enough so it countered that!)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Nicole! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! xo

  37. Aly R says

    Delicious!! This was slow and somewhat involved to make (definitely weekend cooking) but easy as promised. The roasted garlic bechamel was the star of the dish, it really elevated this. I absolutely

    I added two layers of potato so it would be more filling – I cut large potatoes into 1/4 slices and toasted them for twenty minutes while the aubergine was salting. They added a nice bland foil for the rest of the layers to shine against.

    I’ll definitely make this again.

  38. Navit says

    This dish was a hit with everyone, felt like healthful comfort food. It does have many steps but they’re all very straight forward and accessible. My only modification was going a bit heavier on the spices than the recipe indicated.

  39. Rachel Loadholdt says

    This was great! The only modifications I made were adjustments to the spices. Garlic powder and onion powder are things I add to almost every dish. I added a couple of tbsp to my bechamel sauce and I felt it really amped it up. Also added a healthy helping of nutritional yeast, because I love the extra cheesy/rich flavor it adds. I doubled everything to make it in an 9×13 and that worked out great. I used two large eggplants and had some to spare! The only downfall would have been my lentil sauce. It was slightly acidic, so maybe it was the tomato sauce I used? Not sure how to cut that. I added a tsbp of maple syrup and that seemed to help! Any suggestions appreciated :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for sharing your modifications, Rachel. What kind of tomato sauce did you use?

      • Rachel Loadholdt says

        I used a store brand canned organic crushed tomatoes. No additional spices or anything added to it. I know many have Basil, but this one didn’t. Just plain. I was scared to add baking soda, but maybe that would have cut the acidity. Any particular brand you recommend using or different type?

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Rachel, some brands have added citric acid which can contribute an acidic taste. We like POMI, Jovial, or Cento. Hope that helps!

  40. Terry L says

    This was so delicious! Light yet filling. Such a comfort food. We added a bottom layer of Japanese sweet potato slices, that I baked at the same time as the eggplant to add a little density yet kept with the traditional moussaka recipe. We’re looking forward to a couple days of leftovers. I can always count on your recipes being a hit! You make being gluten free, dairy free and processed sugar free easy. Thanks so much for another yummy dinner option!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Terry. So glad you enjoyed!

  41. Melissa says

    We made this tonight and it was delicious! The béchamel sauce was a big success and love that the recipe used nutmeg. Such an essential ingredient in a béchamel IMO. Our tomatoes didn’t carry as much liquid, so I think next time we will use a different brand or add some water. We should have also used more eggplant but got confused over the sizing, I do agree that a weight could be useful there. But we will take it all with us for the next time we make this, as we for sure will! Maybe with a tiny smooth layer of golden potato mashed with the béchamel topped to finish, mmmh already dreaming about it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience and suggestion, Melissa! We’re so glad you enjoyed the result! xo

  42. Caryn M says

    Loved it. I decided to make it spur of the moment so I Started a bit late and had less eggplant than I needed (one large). Used dried lentils so had to cook those up first but the time on that is same as eggplant and roasted garlic. Also had two open jars of tomato sauce in the fridge so subbed that for canned tomatoes and omitted the oregano. I knew it would be a winner but still was delighted with how delicious it was. My husband and I devoured 2/3 of it in a flash. looking forward to making it again with more time to spare and more eggplant!

  43. Svetlana says

    I made this one tonight. It was delicious! I knew it would be a bit time demanding, so I made the bechamel in the morning, and the rest later on, and that was helpful. Important to note that eggplants shrink a lot after baking, so I think I used 4 in the end, of which 2 large and 2 small-medium. Will do this one again for sure!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your experience, Svetlana! So glad you enjoyed!

  44. mimi says

    Bottom line…..Yum! To be clear, this meal stands on its own for health and deliciousness. However, it also offers variety to those of us seeking alternatives to meat.

  45. Judith says

    I would absolutely love to make this recipe but the 1,115 mg of sodium per serving won’t work for my low sodium diet. Can I make this without salting the eggplant?

  46. Joy says

    Hello, thank you for the recipe it sounds amazing.
    Mousakka in Arabic is « that which has been made cold » while mousakhan is the exact opposite.
    I hope that helps.

  47. Elizabeth says

    I’ve made this twice and it’s been a crowd pleaser for vegans and meat eaters alike. The second time I doubled the recipe, made the béchamel sauce a week prior and froze it, taking it out the day before to assemble with the rest. My only deviation is when doubling I used 1 can of lentils and about 2 cups of soy ground “beef” for the filling. I think the roasted garlic and nutmeg are the star ingredients. While there are quite a few steps I’d say this recipe is not difficult and can be done in stages ( you could make filling and béchamel sauce ahead of time and freeze, then defrost when ready to assemble with the roasted eggplant). It tastes even better day 2 as the flavors combine. Excellent “keeper” recipe.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We love to hear this! Thank you so much for such a thoughtful review, Elizabeth. We are so glad everyone enjoys the Moussaka!

  48. Kevin John Gray says

    Loved this. Made this for my wife’s birthday dinner. I subbed Beyond Beef for the lentils because I wanted a “meatier” texture. Turns out quite well, though I would probably brown the beyond a bit longer in the onions and garlic next time before adding the tomatoes.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! We’re so glad it turned out well! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing that modification, Kevin!

  49. Samantha says

    Well … this is incredible! Do not be intimidated by the longer instructions. Dana and the MB team have laid everything out perfectly to make this a fool proof recipe!
    I made this for company over the weekend and it was a hit among everyone at the table. Make sure to include freshly grated nutmeg as it really pulls out the most amazing flavors from the dish. Saving this one in the archives to come back to time and time again!

  50. judy Smith Skaer says

    Hi Dana. I made this once before and was awesome. Having a dinner party and want to double recipe. How much longer would I need to bake the dish in a 13×9 ? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Judy, we’re so glad you enjoy it! We’d suggest giving it an extra 5-10 minutes. Hope that helps!

  51. Bailey says

    This was crazy incredible delicious! Just made it for dinner tonight and I already want to make it again! Husband loved it too. A bit of work involved but all easy and so worth it! Going to be making this one often!

    • Caley says

      This is now my favourite dish in the entire world! We make it pretty much to the recipe, we just omit the nutmeg and add sliced potato with the eggplant, and add whatever other leftover veggies we may have to the lentil sauce – mushrooms and capsicum work really well. We’ve made this twice this week already, otherwise it’s usually at least once a week since we discovered the recipe. It pairs really well with a simple Greek salad. Thank you for this recipe, we will be making it for years to come!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Amazing! We’re so glad you enjoy it, Caley! Thank you for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications! Next time, would you mind leaving a star rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! xo

  52. Laura says

    Tried this, because the bechamel sounded so yummy. Was not disappointed. Very hearty and perfect for a chilly autumn day. I want to try the bechamel in lasagna and maybe some other dishes as well.

    For the lentil filling I used red lentils, because I found them in the pantry. Added some cinnamon and vinegar for a greek touch. And then I also added about three tablespoons of Tesco sundried tomato pasta sauce, because I realised I have a jar in the fridge that I opened a couple of days ago, and if I hadn’t used it now, I probably would have forgotten it there and found some life in it in a couple of months.

  53. Judi says

    Unbelievably delicious!!! I used double the amount of crushed tomatoes and added TVP (textured vegetable protein) to the lentils and it tasted just like the traditional ground beef and lamb moussaka. The roasted garlic bechamel is brilliant. All in all an incredible dish and real crowd pleaser for company 😊

  54. Marie says

    I am the only vegan in the house so I have several freezer meals now which saves so much time later ! It is a fabulous recipe I love it when recipes turn out as promised, so much flavour and the topping is amazing!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love that hack, Marie! We’re so glad to hear the moussaka always turns out well. Thank you for sharing! xo

  55. Eva D says

    Absolutely delicious! The bechamel is out this world and it tastes so amazing! Also no flour which is plus as it can be gluten free as well!
    Boyfriend is vegan and loved it, gonna make it more often! Thank you

  56. Alice says

    This turned out very YUMMY. Although the recipe is straight forward, beautifully explained, and simple, it is time consuming. I would advise this for perhaps special dinner or, if someone can do some of the steps ahead then it would be a reasonably not too time consuming main course.
    I had special challenge as I have only a non-traditional oven, NuWave Oven, so I had to make adjustments for cooking time and had to cover it most of cooking to keep from burning top…….. but this is no concern for people with traditional ovens.
    Next time I will double the number of eggplants. Perhaps a weight measurement might be better than number of.
    I made one mistake but it was not critical…. I made my lentils in IP and didn’t rinse and drain so there was a bit too much liquid in the finished product. But the dish held together well enough I could tilt the dish and remove some of the liquid while still hot….
    I CERTAINLY will be making this again. Friends are waiting for me to make for them.
    I love that it freezes well. That will make it easier to share with friends.
    Many, many, many thanks.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and giving such a thorough review, Alice, it’s super valuable for us and other readers. So glad you enjoyed!

  57. Sarah says

    So delicious! Really nice recipe. Everyone loved it. I don’t think you can call it easy though. There’s quite a few things to prepare which takes a while in the end. Other than that, perfect. Yum!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing, Sarah! It is a bit more involved, which is partly just the nature of moussaka, but we hear you! So glad everyone enjoyed it! xo

  58. Lisa says

    This recipe is so delicious! It takes a little longer to make but the end result is totally worth it. The cashew bechamel sauce would be delicious on so many things and the lentil filling would be great on top of pasta.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yum – such great ideas! Thanks for the lovely review, Lisa. We’re so glad you enjoyed! xo

  59. Mikayla J says

    If using dry lentils instead of canned, would it be best to season them before hand and still add the onion and garlic when preparing it for layering?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mikayla, it would be lovely to season them beforehand for extra flavor, but plain lentils will also work great and be flavorful. Either way, we would still suggest adding the onion and garlic when preparing for layering. Let us know how you like it!

  60. Megan says

    This was seriously DELICIOUS. Was my first time making such an intensive vegan dish but boy was it worth it. Took about 2 hrs start to finish. Didn’t have the right size pan but that didn’t seem to matter. Used a 9×13 and timed it the same. Threw in a little extra salt and used the nutmeg. Yummmmm!!

  61. Monika says

    Oh my gosh! I spent more than 2 hours preparing this dish. It’s yummy, packed with all the flavors that i trully love, but… it was way to much fuss for me. You have so many recipes that end up ready in 1 hour tops that I don’t know if I will go back to this one. Yet still delicious.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Monika, This one is more time intensive. Glad to hear you still found it to be delicious!

  62. Tania says

    Is it possible to make the bechamel sauce the day before? Do you think if left in the fridge it would heat up enough the next day in the oven?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think that should be fine, but you will probably need to add a little water as it will thicken overnight in the fridge. Hope that helps!

  63. Sneha says

    This vegan moussaka tastes amazing and I’m definitely adding it to my mealprep rotation. Next time, I’ll just add a bit more salt to the bechamel.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Sneha. Thank you for the lovely review! xo

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Shawn, we wonder if you meant to comment on a different recipe since this one doesn’t have quinoa? Either way, thank you for the review! xo

  64. Chava Green says

    Hi! This looks great. I will definitely make it soon. If I make an extra one to freeze would it defrost well with the sauce on or should I freeze it without and add the sauce fresh?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Chava! We haven’t tried freezing this before cooking but we think it would work with the sauce on. Let us know how it goes! xo

  65. Karrie says

    This is the first Minimalist Baker recipe I have made and it turned out so good. I only had red lentils. I cooked a half cup dry and it was the perfect amount. I also used four zucchini instead of eggplant because that was all I had and I was happy with the finished product.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Amazing! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Karrie! So great to know it works with zucchini! xo

  66. Cath Heise says

    Wow I just made this and it was totally yum. No recommendations, the recipe workers perfectly Thank you so much ❤️

  67. alice baty says

    This recipe turned out to be delicious. The step by step layout of ingredients was very helpful, and the timing of everything was good and went pretty much as detailed in the recipe. I did have to be on my toes balancing one thing after another, so it’s good to have ingredients laid out in advance. the prep time took a little longer than indicated. Perhaps getting the garlic to roast in the oven before soaking the cashews would be better as a first step?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Alice! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! That could work. The garlic could also be roasted in advance if wanting to speed up the cooking on the day of making the moussaka. Hope that helps!