A simple Vegetarian Moussaka recipe. This classic Greek dish is made with aubergines, potatoes and courgettes with a creamy cheese topping. It is a delicious family friendly recipe which makes a great midweek meal, and is also perfect to batch cook and freeze for later. Gluten free and can be modified for those following the Slimming World plan.
How’s your week going my friends? I’m already trying to get myself organised in advance of the school summer holidays HOW CAN THIS BE?!
It means juggling and planning and, may I be frank? It makes my brain ache. I love having the kids at home, love no school runs, love that I work for myself so that I CAN juggle BUT it takes me two months to plan two months off and so here we are.
I’m working late and stacking up work in advance so I don’t have to be photographing cakes at 5am all summer as I have some years.
And we all know what busy times call for, yes? A CHEESE CARB FEST. Enter: Delicious Creamy Ricotta Vegetarian Moussaka with Extra Carbs or Vegetable Moussaka for short.
Fast vs Best
I generally try to keep all of my recipes here, super simple and quick. I know, your lives are super busy and that’s what you want.
This recipe is a little longer (it should take about 90 minutes) BUT you can easily double up and make one for freeze so you’re effectively catering for two meals in that time.
BUT BUT BUT. I promise, it’s SO worth it! Here’s why:
- Delicious, creamy, cheesy topping without the faff of a white sauce.
- PACKED with mountains of veg whilst still feeling like a treat.
- Easy to double up and freeze – invest the time one weekend and thank yourself later!
How do you make a Vegetarian Moussaka?
Pre heat your oven to 180C and chop the onions, garlic, and the courgettes.
TOP TIME SAVING TIP: I often use ready chopped onions and garlic, they are so handy to keep in the freezer!
Firstly, fry the onions and garlic in a little of the olive oil for around 3 minutes, until the onion is softened and starting to brown. Now add in the courgettes, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, and fry for three minutes until the courgette begins to soften.
Now add in chopped tomatoes, water, honey, cinnamon and lentils, stir to combine and simmer for approx 30 minutes.
If it get too thick and starts to stick, add a splash more water.
Top tip! At the end of the cooking time, check that the the lentils are soft and tender, not grainy. If not, cook for a couple more minutes.
Top tip! To reduce cooking time you could you ready cooked tinned green lentils however I must say the texture of this is much nicer with the red.
Whilst the tomato mixture is bubbling away, wash and slice your aubergines into two cm thick slices (see photos). There is no need to salt them. Add a grind of pepper. Peel and slice your potatoes to the same thickness as your courgettes.
Place your sliced aubergine on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes. Boil your potatoes for around 15 minutes. In traditional Greek recipes the aubergine would be fried on a griddle, but I’ve chosen to oven cook as its is much simpler and the aubergine absorbs less oil so it makes for a healthier dish.
Top tip! You can buy frozen sliced aubergine to cut out one of the steps! You can simply defrost this and layer on top of the tomato mixture so it cooks in the oven.
Now, spread the tomato mixture into a baking dish, layer your cooked aubergine over the top, overlapping the slices.
Layer your potatoes over the aubergine. Now to make the topping!
Put, ricotta, eggs and some grated fresh nutmeg into a bowl and combine gently with a whisk.
Pour the topping mixture over your potatoes, taking care to ensure everything is covered. Now sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and place back into the oven for 20 minutes, until golden and bubbling….yummy!
Potatoes aren’t ALWAYS used in a moussaka recipe but I love them (generally and also in this recipe). They soak up the yummy tomato sauce, and make the whole dish more stable.
If you’d prefer to leave them out, you can do. Perhaps add more aubergine slices.
Can you make moussaka ahead of time?
Can you freeze Vegetarian Moussaka?
Yes! I when I make moussaka, I always make two, one to eat that day and the other to assemble and freeze ready to defrost another day.
You can also freeze the leftovers portioned up into takeaway containers like these.. I buy them in bulk from Amazon, about £8 for 50. (I wash and reuse them but they are much cheaper than buying hundreds of thick Tupperware containers.)
What I used to make this Aubergine and Potato Moussaka:
- Believe me when I say a good quality peeler is such an invaluable piece of kitchen kit. A swivel blade has actually made potato peeling a pleasurable experience!
- A fairly deep, but sturdy rectangular dish works well for this recipe. I like this one, which is also a total bargain price: Oven Safe Serving Dish on Amazon.
Fancy some more vegetarian meals?…Feast upon these:
- 15 Minute Egg Fried Rice
- Creamy Butternut Squash and Lentil dahl
- Easy Courgette Fritters Recipe – Oven Baked with Feta Cheese
- Puff Pastry Tart with Cheese and Tomatoes
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. I’d love to know how you got on and what you thought of it if you make it. Give me feedback by rating the recipe and leave me a comment below if you do.
How to make this Vegetable Moussaka recipe:
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion Chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic Chopped
- 2 Courgettes Sliced
- 2 Large Aubergine
- 750 g Potatoes
- 2x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp Oregano
- 100 g Red Lentils Dried
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
For the topping:
- 250 g Ricotta
- 2 Eggs Whisk with fork
- 100 g Greek Yoghurt
- 1/2 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg (About)
- 100 g Cheddar Grated
- Preheat your oven to 180deg (fan).
- Finely chop onions and garlic, slice courgettes.
- Slice aubergine lengthways into 2cm thick slices.
- Peel and chop potatoes also to 2cm thick slices.
- Fry onion and garlic in some of the olive oil for around 5 minutes until the onion has begun to brown.
- Add courgettes, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, honey and cinnamon and cook for a further three minutes.
- Now add chopped tomatoes and lentils, half fill one of your empty tomato tins with water and pour that in, stir to combine and simmer for approx 30 minutes.
- Whilst this is cooking away arrange your slices of aubergine on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and cook for 20 minutes.
- Boil your potatoes for around 15 minutes.
- Spread the tomato mixture on the bottom of a dish, lay slices of potato on top, followed by the aubergine.
- Combine the ricotta, eggs, greek yoghurt, and nutmeg in bowl and pour over the aubergine, lastly sprinkle with the grated cheddar.
- Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the moussaka is golden and bubbling.
- I often use frozen onion and garlic, it is so handy! If you use frozen aubergines, defrost and then add to the mixture to cook in the oven.
- After cooking in the pan with the tomatoes check that the the lentils are soft and tender, not grainy. If not, cook for a couple more minutes.
- To reduce cooking time you could you ready cooked tinned green lentils however I must say the texture of this is much nicer with the red.
- This is the perfect dish for batch cooking, simply double the recipe and make two, one to eat now and one to freeze. For best results assemble the moussaka and then freeze before cooking, either as a whole or in individual portions. The leftovers also freeze well too!