This vegan moussaka is made with a delicious, hearty lentil filling, roasted potatoes and eggplant, and a dairy-free Bechamel sauce. It’s great for a Greek-inspired dinner that’s comforting, savory and packed full of vegetables. Also freezer-friendly and easy to make gluten-free.

Vegan Moussaka with lentils

There’s no better way to end a day of business than with a comforting, flavorful dinner. No matter how hectic life gets, I’m glad that there’s always delicious food to relax with in the evening! This meatless Moussaka recipe has been one of my go-to recipes for a while, and I’m so excited to finally share it here on the blog.

Traditional Moussaka is made with layers of roasted vegetables, meat, and a classic Bechamel sauce. This recipe is not traditional, but it’s an amazing plant based version that will certainly impress vegans and non-vegans alike. You can serve it either for a weeknight meal, or a special occasion.

Baking dish with roasted vegetables, lentils and vegan Bechamel

Everyone will love the bold, earthy flavors and textures, as well as the creamy dairy-free Bechamel. This isn’t the most straightforward recipe as it involves a few different components and more washing up than most of my recipes, but I promise the effort will be 100% worth it! That being said, there are no fancy ingredients involved, and no methods that a beginner will struggle with.

Try out this vegetarian Moussaka and I’m sure you’ll love it as much as me and my family. Especially if you love wholesome dinners with lots of vegetables involved!

Bowl with vegan Moussaka, avocado and wholegrain rice

What’s vegan moussaka made of?

As I mentioned, this lentil moussaka involves a number of different layers/components. All of them work together super well, and result in ultimate deliciousness. You’ll be amazed with the amount of flavor and texture you can achieve using simple, wholesome ingredients!

Lentil Moussaka with vegan Bechamel sauce in a baking tray

Lentil vegetable filling

The main component of this Moussaka is the lentil filling. This works to replace the meat filling which is used in traditional Moussaka. I also used a lot of vegetables like peppers and carrots for extra texture. Then, you just need a few spices and dried herbs and 10 minutes to make it from start to finish!

I used red lentils for this recipe, cooking them until softened, but ensuring they didn’t get mushy. You can, however, use any lentil variety of your choice, whether canned or cooked from scratch. In any case, make sure that they retain some firmness.

Lentil Moussaka on a plate

The roasted vegetables

The roasted vegetables used for this vegan Moussaka are potatoes and eggplant. These are simply brushed with a little bit of olive oil, and then placed in the oven to roast. This results in an amazing crispy texture.

Closeup of a baking tray with vegan Moussaka

Dairy-free Bechamel sauce

You need just 3 ingredients to make a creamy vegan Bechamel sauce: vegan butter, flour, and plant based milk. It takes around 5 minutes from start to finish, and is very straightforward. Make sure to use vegan butter that comes as a block (rather than in a tub). To keep the recipe gluten-free, use all-purpose gluten-free flour.

How to make vegan lentil Moussaka from scratch

Roast the vegetables

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper. Prepare the potatoes and eggplant by slicing them into thin circles, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and stir together well.

Now arrange the vegetables on the baking tray, and bake for 25 minutes, until crispy and fully cooked through. You can use this time to make the other components of the Moussaka.

Make the lentil filling

To make the lentil ‘meat’, start by cooking the red lentils for 8-10 minutes, until softened but not mushy. Drain and rinse when done.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large frying pan or saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, and tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened.

Now add the fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, paprika, dried oregano, and tamari. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

At the last minute, stir in the cooked lentils together with the lemon juice.

Make the vegan Bechamel sauce

Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and 1/4 cup of the plant based milk. Whisk together and once no lumps remain, gradually add the rest of the milk and whisk continuously. The Bechamel is done when it’s very thick and smooth. The whole process should take about 5 minutes.

Assemble and bake the Moussaka

Add a layer of the roasted potatoes and eggplant circles to the bottom of a large rectangular dish. Next, add the lentil filling and flatten it down gently. Follow this up with the rest of the vegetables and the Bechamel sauce.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes, until lightly golden on top.

Lentil Moussaka with a dairy-free Bechamel sauce before baking

Tips and substitutions

  • In order to keep this vegan Moussaka gluten-free, simply use tamari as opposed to soy sauce, and use gluten-free flour for the Bechamel sauce.
  • You can also fry the vegetables in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil as opposed to baking them.
  • Use canned lentils if you want to save time/washing up. Canned green lentils are also great if you want the filling to have a bit more of a ‘bite’ as they are harder than red lentils.
  • Make sure to whisk the Bechamel continuously, and don’t walk away from the stove, as this may cause it to become lumpy.
  • Instead of the Bechamel, you can use mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower, similarly to Shepherd’s pie.
Wholegrain rice, vegan Moussaka and avocado in a bowl

How to store and freeze lentil Moussaka

This Moussaka is very meal prep-friendly and can taste even better the next day! You can keep it in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and reheat in the microwave in 60 second intervals, until hot.

You can also freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Reheat from frozen in an ovenproof dish for 40 minutes at 180 degrees C/350 F.

Plate with lentil Moussaka

Other comforting vegan dinners

  • Vegan stuffed shells with spinach ricotta are easy to make and super cozy!
  • Vegan butternut squash risotto looks fancy, but is so easy to make.
  • Try out vegan gnocchi soup for a 20-minute dinner.
  • Chickpea and cauliflower stuffed peppers are also great for meal prep!
  • If you’re a tofu fan, you will love vegan ‘honey’ BBQ tofu.
Vegan Moussaka with lentils

If you give this vegan Moussaka recipe a go, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@earthofmariaa), and leave your feedback in the comments below together with a star rating!

Vegan Moussaka with lentils

Get the Recipe: Vegan Moussaka With Lentils

This vegan Moussaka is made with a lentil filling, roasted vegetables and a dairy-free Bechamel sauce. It's ideal for a weeknight dinner that's hearty and flavorful – vegans and non-vegans alike will love it! Also freezer-friendly and easy to make gluten-free.

Ingredients

Roasted vegetables

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Lentil filling

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 lemon, juice of

Dairy-free Bechamel

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups plant based milk

Equipment

  • Conventional oven
  • Baking tray
  • Saucepan x 2
  • Frying pan
  • Baking dish
  • Foil

Instructions 

Prepare the vegetables

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/350 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
  • Prepare the potatoes and eggplant by slicing them into thin circles, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, and stir together well.
  • Arrange the vegetables on the baking tray, and bake for 25 minutes, until crispy and fully cooked through.

Make the lentil filling

  • Cook the red lentils for 8-10 minutes, until softened but not mushy. Drain and rinse when done.
  • Heat olive oil in a large frying pan or saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, and tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes, until softened.
  • Now add the fresh tomatoes, mushrooms, paprika, dried oregano, and tamari. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • At the last minute, stir in the cooked lentils together with the lemon juice.

Make the vegan Bechamel

  • Melt the vegan butter in a saucepan, then add the flour and 1/4 cup of the plant based milk. Whisk together and once no lumps remain, gradually add the rest of the milk and whisk continuously. The Bechamel is done when it's very thick and smooth. The whole process should take about 5 minutes.

Assemble and bake

  • Add a layer of the roasted potatoes and eggplant circles to the bottom of a large rectangular dish. Next, add the lentil filling and flatten it down gently. Follow this up with the rest of the vegetables and the Bechamel sauce.
  • Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil and bake for a further 5 minutes, until lightly golden on top.

Video

Notes

Tips and substitutions
  • In order to keep this vegan Moussaka gluten-free, simply use tamari as opposed to soy sauce, and use gluten-free flour for the Bechamel sauce.
  • You can also fry the vegetables in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil as opposed to baking them.
  • Use canned lentils if you want to save time/washing up.
  • Make sure to whisk the Bechamel continuously, and don’t walk away from the stove, as this may cause it to become lumpy.
  • Instead of the Bechamel, you can use mashed potatoes or mashed cauliflower.
Instructions for storage and freezing
  •  You can keep this Moussaka in the fridge for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and reheat in the microwave in 60 second intervals, until hot.
  • You can also freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Reheat from frozen in an ovenproof dish for 40 minutes at 180 degrees C/350 F.
Calories: 555kcal, Carbohydrates: 81g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Sodium: 773mg, Potassium: 1915mg, Fiber: 25g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 5342IU, Vitamin C: 98mg, Calcium: 220mg, Iron: 7mg
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