So the other day I was craving lasagna…but had no pasta in my pantry. BUT I had eggplants, so obviously moussaka came to my mind.
This 10-ingredient (without counting spices) moussaka is smoky, comforting and makes an amazing meal for the whole family! Let’s do it!
WHAT IS MOUSSAKA
For those of you who never heard of moussaka, it’s a Turkish baked dish that is traditionally made with minced meat, sautéed eggplants and topped with a bechamel sauce. It’s saucy, meaty, and easy to prepare. It’s a bit like lasagna but with eggplants!
HOW TO MAKE MOUSSAKA
This recipe requires simple, easy-to-find ingredients: eggplants, tomatoes, smoked tofu, onion, garlic, nutritional yeast, almond milk and a few spices. Here, I used smoked tofu to replace the meat and give the dish its warming smoky flavor.
We start by frying eggplant slices in a little bit of olive oil until golden brown, which leads to an amazing braised flavor. Then, we prepare the meaty filling. Tomatoes are cooked with scrambled smoked tofu and spices like cinnamon, ground black pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.
Next, you want to alternate layers of eggplant slices and tofu tomato sauce. Everything is then topped with a super creamy bechamel sauce and baked until golden brown.
I had many traditional moussakas in the past and I can say without a doubt this one is my favorite. The addition of smoked tofu and nutritional yeast really add a deeper flavor to the dish. Oh, I almost forgot, each serving boasts over 16 grams of protein!
While this dish is the perfect comfort food during cold months, I also love it served with a salad in the summer.
This family-friendly meal is flavorful, satisfying, healthy and will please everyone! From the meat eaters to the kids, not to mention your grandma, they will all enjoy this delectable moussaka.
Easy Vegan Moussaka
- 1 28-ounces can plum tomatoes
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp maple syrup optional
- 2 onions diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 12 ounces smoked tofu firm
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 ground black pepper
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3 medium-size eggplants
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 and 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp potato starch
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- Drain the tomatoes into a bowl and keep the juice. Roughly dice the plum tomatoes and add to a skillet with the juice. Heat over medium heat, stirring regularly for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes are cooked and the sauce has slightly thickened.
- Stir in the tomato paste, maple syrup, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Cook for another 2 minutes and remove from heat.
- Wash and cut the eggplants into 1-inch think slices, brush slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Fry slices until tender and golden brown on both sides in a large non-stick skillet over medium-heat. Depending on your skillet you can probably fry about 5-6 slices at a time.
- Transfer the eggplant slices to a plate lined with paper kitchen paper towel to remove excess oil.
- Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Scramble the smoked tofu and add to the skillet, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and mix until everything is combined. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Arrange a layer of half the eggplant slices in a greased baking dish (I used a 10-by-6 inch pan). Cover with the tomato/tofu sauce. Top with a second layer of the remaining eggplant slices.
- Pour the bechamel on the top and spread evenly.
- Bake 25-30 minutes until top is golden brown. Top with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve hot.
- Moussaka will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
- Add 1/2 cup almond milk to a medium sauce pan. Add the potato starch, nutritional yeast, salt and nutmeg. Whisk until everything is well combined and add the remaining milk. Heat over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, whisking constantly until it thickens. Remove from heat.