The BEST Vegan Moussaka

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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

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My Rating:

  1. Nichole says

    Hi. Just made this today to have tomorrow for Father’s Day. What would your recommendation be for reheating?
    Nichole K.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Nichole, sorry we didn’t get back to you in time. For the future, we’d suggest reheating in the oven at 350 F until heated through. Or, individual servings could be heated in a microwave.

  2. Deb Sanders says

    Wow! Incredibly tasty! I didn’t have canned, so I cooked a half cup of lentils and it was a perfect amount. I made half with zucchini and half with eggplant, and also added a layer of potatoes. Definitely worth the extra time this recipe took to make. Highly recommend!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yumm, amazing! Thanks for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications, Deb! xo

  3. Maia says

    I’m allergic to cashews, any suggestions for a substitute? I’m dying to try this recipe as minimalist baker is my go to for gluten free vegetarian meals. Thanks for you help!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maia, Maybe macadamia nuts or blanched almonds, though it won’t be as creamy. Or if nut-free, perhaps 3 parts soaked sunflower seeds, 1 part hemp seeds? Let us know if you try it!

  4. Monika says

    Wow, this moussaka is amazing! I have made it already many times and cooking today again. Even my boyfriend who likes meat, loves it as well! Mostly he asks me to make moussaka for a dinner. Thank you for great recipe🥰

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you so much for the lovely review, Monika. We are so glad you both enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  5. Sonali says

    I made this recipe and my family loved it!!! I will say – it looked easy enough, but I did find it labour-intensive, especially because you mention 2 “small to medium” eggplants but I ended up needing at least 6 small eggplants! So I had to keep repeating the procedure of salting and resting them for 30 mins – the recipe took way longer than it should have! I suggest that you add the eggplants by weight, rather than number, because they’ll be different for every country/veggie vendor.

    Also – I used red miso paste and soy sauce in the bechamel instead of nutritional yeast (omitted the nutmeg) because that’s what I had on hand and OH MY GOD – it blew my head off; best feature of the recipe, to be honest.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Sonali! Glad you enjoyed it overall! xo

  6. Emily says

    I made this with roasted cashews and it worked in my opinion. I also agree with some other comments about this being labor intensive. It took awhile to make and I wouldn’t classify this recipe as “easy” and this is why I only gave 4 stars. I have made other minimalist baker recipes that I would say are “easy”. I did enjoy the recipe and now that I know how long it takes to go through each step and what is involved, I’ll be better prepared for next time. Still delicious!

    • AliG says

      The moussaka was made by a friend for a shared dinner, she said it was made exactly to the recipe. Everyone present absolutely loved it, and I can’t wait to add it to my weekly rotation. Delicious and flavourful!

      • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

        Aw, yay! We’re so glad everyone enjoyed it. Thank you for the lovely review, Ali! xo

  7. Em says

    Is it possible to use roasted and salted cashews ? The grocery delivery company brought me the wrong kind of cashew. :-(

  8. D. Laverty says

    I recently made this recipe and found the filling to be VERY bland so I added approximately 2 tsp Greek seasoning, 1 tsp dried parsley, Additional 1/2 tsp oregano, 2 diced fresh tomatoes, and 4 oz. tomato paste. With these additions it is absolutely big on flavor and delicious! Going to make it again this weekend.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so sorry to hear that was your experience! We’re surprised because this one is a reader favorite. Is it possible you used 1 1/2 cups dry lentils (vs. 1 1/2 cups cooked)? Either way, your additions sound lovely!

  9. Diana says

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. It takes a while to make, but it’s mostly hands-off. The ingredients are simple, but come together to create something magical. The bechamel sauce is what adds that interesting touch. I made it twice already and it’s in my recipe rotation!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You are on a roll, Diana! We’re so glad you enjoy the Moussaka! Thanks for the great review. xo

  10. Lauren says

    I positively loved this!! But it is labor intensive. Next time I will make two and freeze one since the recipe says it freezes well. That way it will last longer. My fiancé loved this! We will definitely make it again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Awesome! Thanks for the lovely review, Lauren. We’re glad you both enjoyed the moussaka!

  11. Hillary McLeod says

    This was fantastic! I didn’t have quite enough eggplant-I KNEW I should have purchased more-so I only made two layers, but it is definitely something I will make again and I already recommended it to friends!

  12. Andrea says

    So good! Seriously one of the best dinners I’ve made. I substituted one layer of eggplant with zucchini. It was a delicious meal. Even my two year old asked for seconds. 😀

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Woohoo! We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Andrea. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  13. una kutlesa says

    I am not a vegan, but do eat a lot of non animal products. I have to say this was the best Moussaka I have tasted! Thank you!

    ps I didn’t use lentils, I used Impossible!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Una. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  14. Kristin says

    Wow, this was so delicious! My husband made it last night for dinner and we were blown away by the flavors and texture. It took him a while to make it for sure, but he said all the steps were spaced out nicely. Thank you for your recipes!!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you both enjoyed it. Thanks for the lovely review, Kristin! xo

  15. The Vegan Goddess says

    This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it.

    I am going to try leaving out the yeast in the bechamel and hope it comes out as delicious as it looks and sounds.

      • The Vegan Goddess says

        Without nutritional yeast, the béchamel reminded me of a cooked potato in consistency and taste.  It would have been thicker and “cheesier” with the nutritional yeast but it was fine. I wonder if there is a healthier vegan sub for yeast.

        I roasted the garlic inside a white covered baking dish because tin foil isn’t supposed to be healthy for us so I improvised. The top burnt a little but not bad.

        I wonder if it would have been safe to wrap the garlic in parchment paper instead of foil.

        Overall, I liked the recipe. It’s inspired and creative.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Thanks for the update and sharing your experience! Perhaps a bit of chickpea or white miso in place of the nutritional yeast?

          • The Vegan Goddess says

            Chickpea sounds interesting. I wonder if a starch like tapioca or arrowroot would work? I will let you know if I get a chance to try those ideas.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            A small amount of arrowroot or tapioca would certainly thicken the sauce, but will also change the end result and the way it cooks in the oven. Could be worth a try, though! We’re excited to hear how it goes for you!

  16. Starr says

    I LOVE moussaka, so I was so excited to find a vegan recipe. This was better than the non-vegan moussaka I get at the popular Greek restaurant we go to! It was DELICIOUS. I followed the recipe exactly and it was so, so delicious. Thank you, Minimalist Baker!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, yay! We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Starr. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  17. Jo March says

    I made this on Easter and it was well received. It was very tasty. I followed the recipe with no changes and it was great. One thing was my bechamel was not white as in the video. It was more beige. It still tasted good, but I wonder what I did.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Jo. Thanks for sharing! Hmm, were you using raw or roasted cashews?

      • Jo March says

        I used raw. I was wondering if black lentils can be used. Those were in many stores but I found only one store with green lentils. Most canned lentils don’t say if they are red or brown so I made sure I purchased a can that was specific.

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Strange, we used raw too – perhaps they were just darker in color or the garlic got too toasty? Black lentils would be fine too, just more textured!

  18. Kristina says

    We were very excited to try this vegan version of moussaka and this was a really great recipe! We’ve tried vegetarian versions before but never thought that a vegan “bechamel” would work. This cashew bechamel was really delicious, creamy and the roasted garlic in it was perfection ;-) We followed the recipe almost exactly, we just used uncanned brown lentils, which we cooked before. Altogether the recipe took a little time, but the steps were simple and easy to follow. So maybe no option for us for busy weeknights, but we will definitely make it again on the weekends or when we have guests. Thx a lot for all your recipes, we are making your recipes at least once a week!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, we’re so glad you enjoy our recipes, Kristina! Thanks so much for sharing! xo

  19. Zane says

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe!
    Cooking was time consuming, but interesting and directions were easy to follow.

    We made several substitutions based of what we had at hand:
    -red onion instead of white/yellow
    -cooked red lentils instead of canned green/brown
    -grapeseed oil instead of olive oil
    -Mediterranean seasoning instead of oregano.

    We were in a bit of hurry so we didn’t roast garlic in oven, but fried and sauteed in a pan for few minutes. And finally – instead of baking tray we used small metal pot (all parts metal, no plastic that could melt in an oven).
    We will make this recipe again and next time we will use green/brown lentils, because red came out too mushy and lacked texture to chew on. Otherwise it was really good, bechamel was so tasty! Not only we, but our non-vegan guests enjoyed it a lot!

  20. Sabine says

    Dear Dana,

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! Did I understand it well that I had to catch the moisture of the salted eggplant slices? I indeed placed the colander over a mixing bowl to catch it but can’t see this moisture being used anywhere further in the recipe?

    Kind regards,

      • V says

        This was so delicious! I made it this evening and it’s hard to not keep going back for more.

        I used cauliflower rice instead of lentils and avocado oil instead of olive oil and it worked really well!

        Excellent, thank you!

  21. Clementine says

    A Greek vegan thanks you!!! This recipe was fun to make and definitely not as difficult as I thought it would be. I had put it off for so long because it seemed like a lot of work for one meal, but it’s not and it’s totally worth it anyways. Especially if you want to impress company. If you get the timing right, everything is super easy! This was my first time making a vegan sauce with cashews and I love it. This is soooo comforting next to a fresh dill salad. More Mediterranean recipes please!

  22. irene says

    This is one of the recipes I made of yours that I didn’t like. Maybe it was the lentils — I used red ones, which I had on hand. They were also dry, not canned. That was the only thing I did differently. I made sure the lentils were cooked through. They also soaked up a lot of the liquid, making the filling dry. It just didn’t taste good. 😟 It was a lot of effort for not a lot of reward. I love pretty much all of your other recipes that I have made though!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Irene, we’re thinking red lentils were the issue. Other readers have really enjoyed this one, so we’d suggest giving it another try with green or brown lentils if you’re up for it!

  23. Jan says

    This is AMAZING!! I am the only vegan in the family and made it last night for my teenage grandson who came for dinner. He kept exclaiming that it was the best meal I’ve ever made. I followed the recipe exactly, and the béchamel is unbelievably delicious. This is my new go to recipe to impress family and friends. Thank you!

  24. Johanna says

    So delicious! The balance of the tomatoey lentils with the creamy béchamel sauce is spot on. I made exactly as written and it was perfect. Thank you for another great dinner recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Johanna. We are so glad you enjoyed it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  25. Marisa says

    So looking forward to trying this recipe! Is there a different way dry lentils should be handled/accommodated for this recipe if canned ones aren’t available?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Marisa, You can cook dry green or brown lentils in vegetable broth and/or water. 1 can yields ~1 1/2 cups cooked lentils. So you’ll need ~1/2-3/4 cup dry lentils. Hope that helps!

  26. Lavinia says

    This was delicious, was the first time I made cashew bechamel and it did not disappoint!

    Will make again, for sure!

  27. Yulca says

    This sounds delicious, I’m a huge fan of eggplants :)! However, my husband can’t digest garlic very well. Is there anything else to infuse the top layer with? Or should I just omit it?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerDana @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm, that’s tough as it’s so essential to the flavor. You can try omitting it or subbing another similar flavor, like sautéed shallot or leeks?

  28. Joanna says

    I was so amazed and impressed with this recipe. I’m a chef and that’s saying a lot. I genuinely didn’t miss the meat or cream one bit in this recipe. What a great vegan version. The textures and mouthfeel was on point. I can’t wait to make this again to serve to company. I added a sprinkling of cinnamon on top before baking. I like that in traditional moussaka and it was great.

  29. Erica says

    Hi, Dana! Love your blog. Go here for all my recipes :) When you say ‘soaked cashews,’ how long should they soak for? Thanks!


  30. Bee says

    Why did I think this was so much more complicated than it is? I subbed Trader Joe’s beefless ground for the lentils and used a scoop of their garlic spread in the béchamel – both good time saving hacks! Some roasted greek potatoes, a little salad, and voila. Will definitely make again and again!

  31. Adrienne says

    I followed the recipe exactly. This was an easy to make, amazing dish. Great flavors and the vegan became sauce was so flavorful. Adding it to my recipe collection.

  32. Daryl S says

    I was really shocked by how good this recipe was! I had to use a bigger baking dish than the recommended one, but it still turned out really well. My fiancé kept asking me what ingredients were in the crust (the top layer) because he thought it actually had cheese and potatoes. The eggplant and lentils were so creamy and the flavors are perfect. I will definitely be making this again! Don’t be intimidating by the hour prep time because it goes pretty quickly.

  33. Chiara says

    This was delicious! I made the recipe as written and it was excellent – no substitutions needed. That being said, it makes far less than 6 servings if eaten alone. I would say this is enough for 2 or 3 people.

  34. Rikki Kinitsky says

    So delicious and my kids ate it up!!! Definitely a repeat 🙌 thanks for this gem of a recipe!

  35. Kirsten says

    WOW! I have attempted vegan béchamel, but this one was soooo much better than anything I’ve come up with! I particularly liked the way it set when it baked and will definitely use in other recipes in the future such as lasagna.

    I made the Moussaka, and subbed organic lean ground beef in for the lentils (not vegan, just lactose intolerant) and it was so yummy. Definitely a comfort food meal for a special occasion. Can’t wait to make it for guests post-pandemic.

  36. Jasmine says

    I’m so bad at doing reviews even though I’ve successfully made so many of your recipes. THIS was amazing! I have never had moussaka before and I think this one is hard to beat. I used the optional nutmeg and it was the perfect hint. Already planning my next time to make this!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Aw, thanks so much for taking the time to write this review, Jasmine! We’re so glad you enjoyed it! xo

  37. Crystal Mclean says

    Thank you for this recipe – this vegan moussaka was a huge hit with my family – The flavours are amazing and it is easy to put together!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you and your family enjoyed it, Crystal. Thanks for sharing!

  38. Emily says

    Delicious! It is so worth the time to make it and the roasted garlic adds amazing flavor! I hardly follow recipes exactly so I added a roasted sliced thin red potato and two roasted zucchini to layer in with the eggplant but followed everything else the same. My meat loving husband said this is a keeper!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Yay! We’re so glad you both enjoyed it, Emily. Thanks so much for the lovely review! xo

  39. Larissa says

    I am not the biggest fan of eggplant, but loved this! Even without the béchamel (I was too hungry/lazy to make) it was delicious. I also just added the lentils to leftover homemade marinara which worked perfect. For those that commented about the eggplant getting too crispy I think they must have sliced too thin because the ones I had sliced on the thinner side were on the edge of being burnt, but it still worked. Can’t wait to try again with the béchamel!!

  40. Carole says

    Wow. I made this for my extended family and it was a hit! This was my first time making any type of moussaka and I wasn’t sure what to expect with the few spices but it was delicious! The hardest part was roasting the garlic (and waiting for it to cool enough to squeeze out). Next time I’ll make that ahead to cut down on prep time. This will definitely put in our rotation! Thank you for developing this vegan version!

  41. Lisa Porcelli says

    This was amazing! I am ready to make it again for meal prep next week. Thank you for creating all these delicious recipes.

  42. Abby Z says

    I made this tonight and it’s a lovely dish. Eggplant slices massaged with minimal oil, salt and grilled in a pan on stovetop just until tender. No lentils on hand so used a combination of white beans lightly mashed with a fork and tvp. Roasted whole cloves of garlic on a tray in oven for 10 minutes. Then assembled and baked according to directions. Lots of flavor, a real treat. Thank you for another wonderful recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Abby! Love your creative modifications too. Thanks so much for sharing!

  43. Joanne says

    So good! This was really flavoursome and easy to make. I roasted the garlic a couple of days ahead, cooked the lentils that morning and it came together easily.
    My eggplant was a bit small so I created a layer from sliced potato (microwaved till tender) and some homegrown silverbeet (chard), which I highly recommend!
    I wasn’t super keen on the flavour of the bechamel, so I added some plant yoghurt, 1T flour and an egg yolk to increase the volume and thickness while tempering the nooch taste and it worked really well.
    Thank you for another fabulous recipe MB!

  44. Emily R says

    This is SOOOO tasty. But it was extremely time-consuming. The 2 hour recipe time is no-joke. I wish it didn’t take so long because I loved it so much. I might make again but just cube the eggplant and sauté it in the same pan as the lentils. Because you can’t really taste or see distinctive layers once it’s all cooked. Definitely recommend but not if you’re on a time crunch.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Emily. It is a more time consuming one, but hopefully worth it =) We’d love to know if your shortcut works out!

  45. Ginny says

    I’m not sure if I missed it, but I couldn’t find the oven temperature for roasting the eggplant. I kept the oven at 400 after roasting the garlic, but the parchment paper started to burn and some of the eggplant got pretty dark and crispy.

  46. Jen Maniaci says

    Holy crap, this was delicious. I have made a ton of your recipes (they are all good!) but this was one of my favorites. The bechamel was so creamy and delicious. I saved the recipe to make again in the future. Thank you for all you do, from a fellow plant-based dietitian. :)

    • Ginny says

      Hmmm. Maybe. Believe it or not, I actually pulled out a ruler to make sure I knew what 1/4 inch looks like! :^)
      At any rate my husband and I loved it! It was even better on day two!!

  47. Esther says

    I made this last night & loved it! The only changes I made from the recipe were to use unsweetened cashew milk instead of water in the bechamel (mostly because I had some that I needed to use, but also to try and make it a little creamier) and to add a little cinnamon (based on another review). It turned out great! I don’t typically love eggplant, but it basically melted into the rest of the ingredients and was so yummy. Will definitely make it again ◡̈ Thanks for the great recipe!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Esther! Thanks so much for the lovely review and for sharing your modifications!

  48. Jennie says

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe! My daughter is vegan, and for her 24th birthday she asked for a dinner that includes eggplant. I love to make moussaka, but have never made a vegan version before. I made my usual sauce and made hers in a separate pan, added lentils instead of meat to hers (waht a great idea!) and made this lucious bechamel to top it. It was a hit! Thank you so much for the great inspiration!

  49. Vicky says

    Great dish! Made me so happy to see this on here! I grew up eating an eggplant dish my mom made kinda similar, with ground beef and marinara and tons of chesse. I would crave it now and then but didn’t know how to attempt a healthy vegan version of it. This satisfied my craving! Loved how the cashew sauce baked on top, great texture. Thanks for all your amazing recipes!

  50. Hali says

    Absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe as written + a tbsp of balsamic vinegar in the crushed tomatoes. Always looking for cruelty free recipes that go over well with my omnivore house & this was a big hit! Thank you!

  51. Jim Gramprie says

    Such delicious flavors!! We haven’t had this since we decided to eat vegan. Although it’s a memory older than a decade this fabulous dish awakened those memories.
    Rather than lentils we used a pound of Beyond Beef. With this replacement it had the chewiness I recall.
    For our palate nutmeg was a definite plus.
    Thank you Dana❗️

  52. Amber Rose Reed says

    this looks delicious although, I am highly sensitive to canned tomatoes. What can I substitute for canned tomatoes?

    Thank you.

  53. Kath says

    Delicious! I could have eaten the lentil mixture by itself too. The only thing I would do differently next time is wash the salt off the eggplant with more care – I could still taste the salt in the dish but otherwise – perfection!

  54. Amanda says

    This recipe is so terrific. A lot of prep, so definitely better as a weekend activity, but it made two evenings of meals for my partner and I (we had roasted veg on the side). It’s like a fancy lasagna, but doesn’t taste too rich or heavy. I’ve never had any kind of authentic moussaka but I would happily make this again.

  55. Dina Anestopoulos says

    Dana, I am so impressed with the flavor of this moussaka. It tastes so much like the real thing!!! AMAZING! You got this so right. I am Greek and from what I can remember from eating authentic Moussaka as a child
    this tasted infinitely better and is not heavy.
    I really appreciate all your hard work and thoughtful, delicious recipes.

  56. Simone R says

    Made this for lunch yesterday and absolutely loved it. Easy to make and so tasty. The bechamel sauce took it to the next level! Froze the left overs for quick dinner options to reheat when cooking ther dishes for the rest of the family Definitely a keeper. Thank you.

  57. Eva Heller says

    This was one of the best things I’ve ever made!! Followed the recipe pretty closely, only sub was I used dried mixed lentils, added as stated in recipe and added water to cook for 15 minutes. Cooked them al dente so they added a nice texture to the dish. Thank you so much for this…I’m in love!!!

  58. Kelly says

    OMG…thank you so much. This dish is a 10 out of 10. It turned out perfect and the buchamel sauce so amazing. Keep doing what you’re doing because you are getting amazing results! Thank you so much!

  59. Susy Tucker says

    I made this and it was unbelievably delicious! The vegan bechamel sauce was so good I’m going to use it on everything now! I took some leftovers to my Lebanese mom who thinks eating vegan is “unnatural” and she loved it and can’t wait to make it for herself. I didn’t change a thing from the recipe- you spent all that time perfecting it and it was perfect. I was disappointed to learn I was out of nutmeg so looking forward to making it even better next time with nutmeg.

  60. NB says

    This recipe was lovely. It def takes some time to prepare, I think next time I might prepare the lentil stuffing and bechamel ahead of time. It was so good we had more than 1 serving!

  61. Mary-lu Spinney says

    Hi there. The recipe looks Devine. Can’t wait to make it. From the picture it looks like you have added chick peas yet it’s not in the ingredient list. Was it missed?
    Thanks for all your great recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Mary-lu, no, this one doesn’t contain any chickpeas. In which photo are you seeing chickpeas?

  62. missi weinhart says

    U N B E L I E V A B L E !!
    I could eat this every night for the rest of my life. The topping tasted like it had egg in it- soufflé like. So delicious and a gorgeous presentation too. I didn’t make any changes to this brilliant recipe and I can’t wait to make it again.

  63. Wendy Pedersen says

    I made this today for my boyfriend and his Greek mother. Really delicious!!! I left out the oil on all steps and nobody missed it! Will go into my rotation! Thanks!

  64. Beth Ann says

    Made and ate this this tonight and it is absolutely melt in your mouth delicious !😋 Prepping the eggplant with salt definitely helps give a velvety texture and mellowness. The roasted garlic in the bechamel makes it pop.
    I’d suggest planning for another half hour for prep time, but ABSOLUTELY worth it!

  65. Jacqueline says

    I’m going to make this for dinner tonight. I’m going to use lasagna noodles instead of the eggplant. I’m hoping that it works out!

  66. Alex says

    I haven’t gotten a chance to try the recipe yet, but my mother-in-law is Greek and they cook all of their tomato sauces with a cinnamon stick inside. Cinnamon in tomato sauce is extremely common in all of Greece. I personally am not a huge fan of cinnamon in my savory dishes, but for those who are they should totally give it a try for a more authentic flavor!

  67. Wendy Pedersen says

    I’m making this for my Greek mother in law but am wondering if I can leave out oil in the bechamel. I’m trying to go oil free!

  68. Morgan says

    So excited to make this recipe! Just wondering, is there a preference for a specific type/color of lentils to use? Thanks!

  69. Jodi says

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to try this, however, having a severe and deadly nut allergy, what would be your substitution for the cashews?

  70. Sheila says

    So excited to see Vegan Moussaka on the blog! Had to make it tonight!
    Delicious! Loved Every bite. Had trouble stopping at 1 portion. Alas, tomorrow is another day! Thank you so much for all your wonderful recipes! I might try adding potato slices, roasted first, like the eggplant in this recipe. Otherwise, simple and yummy! Needed the full 2 hours but not attended the whole time. Will make again! The Béchamel is so
    Delicious and easy! Will be great in other recipes! Thanks again!

    • KitKat says

      I made this today to test run for a birthday dinner next weekend and it was a huge hit! I did make a few changes to lower the FODMAPs. I didn’t think it was overly time intensive. Easy to do a step and then something else until time for next step so even though it’s 2 hour total it didn’t feel like an all day cooking endeavor. And again, everyone loved it. That in itself makes it a keeper for me. I’m definitely going to make again! Thanks for the perfect timely recipe!! I love your site and recommend to others often☺️

  71. Liz says

    I would love to make this as it looks amazing, but lentils really upset my digestive system … would it be possible to substitute some type of beans e.g,. Black beans, white northern beans, chickpeas etc? Thanks so much!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Liz, we think it would still be delicious. We’d suggest white beans or pinto beans. Let us know if you try it!

  72. Cheryl says

    Hi There! I usually peel eggplant before cooking it. Do you think there will be an issue if I do for this recipe? Also, what is the equivalent of dried lentils instead of using canned?

  73. Stacia says

    This is a little time consuming for a weeknight meal. Can it be assembled the night before and baked the following day?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We think it might get soggy, but let us know if you try it! Another idea would be to prepare the components separately and then assemble and bake the following day.

  74. Karyn Quackenbush says

    So excited to try this!! Quick question… I can’t find canned lentils in my area for some reason. But I do have dried lentils. Any suggestions???
    Thank you so much!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can cook dry green or brown lentils in vegetable broth and/or water. 1 can yields ~1 1/2 cups cooked lentils. So you’ll need ~1/2-3/4 cup dry lentils. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      You can cook dry green or brown lentils in vegetable broth and/or water. 1 can yields ~1 1/2 cups cooked lentils. So you’ll need ~1/2-3/4 cup dry lentils. Hope that helps!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We used canned lentils which are pre-cooked. If making from dry lentils, you’ll need to cook them first.

    • Liz says

      Thank you for your lentil substitute suggestions! Def. going to make and will let you know!
      I do have one more question: As a Nutritionist who counsels and helps clients on how to convert to a plant-based diet, using both my recipes and theirs, I am often asked for the nutritional analysis … Of course I know how to do it item by item , but it is SO time consuming, as I like to do Pro, Fat, Carbs, Cals, Sodium and more. Would you be willing to share which programme, resource, or whatever you use for your excellent nutritional breakdowns? (Which are HUGELY appreciated by the way as so few bloggers offer this service) . At almost 77 I can assure you I have NO interest in starting a blog or even an Instagram page !! I just do this to help anyone who needs it. My college education was at SAIT (Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) where I took a 2 year programme in Dietary Technology, graduating in 1977. I became a Personal Counsellor for Weight Loss in a business I started called Dial-A-Diet. I also owned a gourmet party catering service for 4 years. I’m passionate about the plant- based, whole food way of life, and happy to share my decades of culinary adventures with anyone! I’ve been plant-based for almost 4 years, and was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for several years before that. Thank you – your blog is incredible Dana, and you work SO hard.. I am a HUGE fan! Warmest wishes, Liz, Victoria, BC Canada 🥰

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kai, perhaps macadamia nuts or 3 parts soaked sunflower seeds, 1 part hemp seeds? Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maria, almonds won’t get quite creamy enough. Perhaps macadamia nuts or 3 parts soaked sunflower seeds, 1 part hemp seeds? Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  75. Mary says

    Hi, at what oven temp do you roast the eggplant? I’m thinking that if it’s 400, I can do the garlic and eggplant together.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      400 degrees F (204 C). If you have enough racks in your oven that might be okay. Let us know if you try it!

  76. Rachael says

    I’m so excited to try this, it looks delicious!
    Quick question: if I omit the nutritional yeast will that mess with the texture or is it just added for a cheesy flavor?
    Thank you for sharing this! I love your recipes!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Rachael, thanks so much! It won’t be quite as “cheesy” but should still taste good. Let us know how it goes!

  77. Lani Strom says

    I just love your recipes and am dying to make this. However, for the béchamel sauce I don’t use oil or nuts. Is there any possible substitutions?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lani, thanks so much! The eggplant really benefits from oil. For the cashews, perhaps 3 parts soaked sunflower seeds, 1 part hemp seeds? Let us know if you try it.

    • Toby says

      A roux made with flour and plant butter – then plant milk until thickened and then flavour with the roasted garlic (blend in) and anything else you think might taste nice – I reckon a bit of Dijon might work

  78. Monica Sardina says

    We love your recipes, and can’t wait to try this one! My daughter, however, is not a fan of lentils. What are your thoughts about subbing beans?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Monica, we think it would still be delicious. Perhaps white beans or pinto beans? Let us know if you try it!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Deborah, you could try leaving it out and then taste test and if it needs a little something extra, add a squeeze of lemon to the sauce before baking. Let us know if you try it!

  79. Rebecca says

    My housemate is allergic to eggplant, would you recommend an alternative? I would love to make this for my household.

      • Rebecca says

        Worked perfectly! I served with roasted potatoes, carrots, and a side of tabouleh. Such a great meal. Made 8 portions for 5 people and honestly should have made more, they ate it right up!

        Would definitely make again! This is one for the recipe box.

  80. Sibyl says

    Thank you for posting this!! After I saw your bechamel I was hoping this wasn’t too far behind. My partner doesn’t like eggplant really – I could get away with making this with eggplant for him but wondering if there is any feasibility substitute at all? (i think literally every other veg is on the table here).

  81. Nina says

    Hi, Greetings from UK in Lockdown 3 ☹️ Thanks for the fabulous recipe nd video 👏👏👏 I am going to make this at the weekend. There will be leftovers as I am making for 2 people. How do you recommend to
    re heat? Thanks again…