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Vegetable moussaka casserole

Vegetable moussaka casserole - a much quicker and easier way to make a gorgeous veggie moussaka!

Since I went all Greek on you last time with my prasorizo, I thought I’d continue the theme with this simple vegetarian moussaka casserole. Moussaka is one of my favourite foods ever. When we lived in Liverpool we used to go out for Greek food fairly often (if you live near Liverpool, go to Christaki’s! Best place ever), and I would order vegetable moussaka without fail. It’s just so comforting – thick slices of potato and aubergine in a rich tomatoey sauce, topped with an inch-thick layer of creamy, cheesy sauce. Can’t beat it! (especially with a chip or two to dip in the sauce…)

Vegetable moussaka casserole - a much quicker and easier way to make a gorgeous veggie moussaka!

However, I very rarely make vegetable moussaka at home. It’s one of those things (like lasagne!) that always seems like so much hard work – layer upon layer of ingredients that all have to be prepared individually and then carefully stacked.

Vegetable moussaka casserole - a much quicker and easier way to make a gorgeous veggie moussaka!

This vegetable moussaka casserole has all the flavours of my favourite moussaka, but it’s much quicker and easier to make. Instead of boiling the potatoes, grilling the aubergines, and simmering the tomato sauce all separately, I stuck them all in the same pan and let them do their thing, casserole-style. It works perfectly and tastes just as good – all the flavours cook right down together. I also used red lentils as a vegetarian alternative to the ground meat that’s usually found in moussaka.

Once your tomatoey casserole is cooked, you can just top it with a simple béchamel sauce (make sure it’s nice and thick!) and pop it in the oven, and you’re done. Serve a good slab of this vegetable moussaka casserole alongside some pitta bread (or, if you’re less concerned with the Greek theme, some garlic bread would be amazing!) and a big pile of salad. Perfect!

Vegetable moussaka casserole - a much quicker and easier way to make a gorgeous veggie moussaka!

Vegetable moussaka casserole

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main meal
Servings: 4 -6
Calories:
Author: Becca Heyes

Ingredients

For the lentil mixture:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 medium aubergine diced
  • 250 g potatoes I didn't bother peeling, diced
  • 150 g red lentils
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 300 ml hot water
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

For the white sauce:

  • 40 g butter
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 400 ml milk
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

To serve:

  • 1 large tomato sliced
  • Fresh coriander optional, chopped

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a very large saucepan; add the onion, garlic and diced aubergine. Cook over a fairly low heat for 5 minutes, until the vegetables are nearly soft. Next, add the diced potatoes, lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and hot water, along with the dried herbs and plenty of seasoning. Bring to a simmer, and leave to cook fairly gently for around 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. It doesn't matter if the potatoes and lentils aren't fully cooked in this time, since they will finish off in the oven, but they should be nearly soft.
  • While the lentil mixture is simmering, make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a different saucepan, and add the flour. Cook over a very low heat, whisking constantly, for one minute to cook the flour. Then add the milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth each time before adding more. When you've added all of the milk, continue whisking for another couple of minutes, still over a very low heat, until the sauce has come together and thickened up a bit. Season well, and add a good pinch of ground nutmeg.
  • Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
  • When the lentils and potatoes are nearly soft, transfer the mixture to a deep baking dish (mine measured 8 x 8 inches), and spread it out into an even layer. Top with the white sauce, and gently spread it out with the back of a spoon to ensure that the whole dish is covered. Top with a few slices of tomato, and bake for around 30 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before serving, garnished with fresh coriander if desired.

Vegetable moussaka casserole - a much quicker and easier way to make a gorgeous veggie moussaka!

For a really quick Greek-style lunch, try my Greek chickpea salad:

Greek chickpea salad

Prasorizo (Greek rice with leeks)
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Recipe Rating




Henry

Wednesday 6th of May 2015

Hello there I am so delighted I found your web site, I really found you by accident, while I was searching on Digg for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a incredible post and a all round entertaining blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time to go through it all at the minute but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

Simone

Tuesday 25th of November 2014

Again, such a lovely recipe! I simply love your blog, Becca!

Herry Hermawan

Monday 22nd of September 2014

great recipe, I love the picture of your cooking results, very tempting and delicious

Fiver Feeds

Friday 29th of August 2014

I can't remember when was the last time I ate moussaka, classic version of course :) Thanks for giving me idea of what should I eat in next couple days ;0

Helen Kennedy

Wednesday 27th of August 2014

I agree with you about lasagna and moussaka seeming to be fiddly! I have a recipe for moussaka which cheats even further, it has an awesome yoghurt, egg and cheese topping instead of the bechamel, SO good! I think it's one egg, one small pot of plain yoghurt and some cheese. It's a long time since I made it, so that's from memory. Hmm. good reason for making this now...

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