Vegan Mousakka

The combination of the layers of slow roasted herby vegetables, mince, and final layer of creamy  béchamel sauce really make this a delicious dish. I opted to roast the vegetables rather than the more traditional way of frying them, as I prefer roasted vegetables as opposed to fried, but you can fry them if you prefer.

Here’s what you’ll need (this will yield three to four servings);

For the vegetable layers you’ll need;

  1. Two courgettes, sliced
  2. One aubergine, sliced
  3. One red onion, sliced
  4. One teaspoon of dried oregano, one teaspoon of dried rosemary
  5. Salt and black pepper to taste

For the mince you’ll need;

  1. 75g/2.5oz dried soya protein/textured vegetable protein
  2. 180ml/6fl.oz boiled water (or omit these two and use 300g/10.5oz meat free mince)
  3. One teaspoon of smoked paprika (optional, I just really like it)
  4. ½ teaspoon of cinnamon
  5. Two cloves of garlic, minced
  6. One teaspoon of soy sauce
  7. One teaspoon of rosemary
  8. One teaspoon of oregano
  9. Salt and black pepper to taste
  10. One tablespoon of tomato puree
  11. One 400g/14oz tin of chopped tomatoes

For the béchamel sauce you’ll need;

  1. Three tablespoons of oil/vegan margarine
  2. Three tablespoons of plain flour
  3. 250ml/8.5fl.oz of non dairy unsweetened milk
  4. One teaspoon of nutritional yeast (optional)
  5. Salt and black pepper to taste

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Start by preparing your vegetables and preheating your oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Drizzle a little oil into a baking dish and start by layering slices of red onion. Season the onion with salt, black pepper and a third of the herbs. Next layer on the aubergine and season with salt, black pepper and the second third of the herbs, put it in the oven to roast for 20 minutes. (It’s hard to see the onions but they’re there, I promise!).

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Remove the vegetables and carefully layer on the courgettes, (be careful not to burn yourself, the dish will be very hot!). Season with salt, black pepper and the remaining third of the herb mixture. Roast in the oven for a further 20 minutes.

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Now work on the mince. Re-hydrate the soya protein with the boiled water and stir in a teaspoon of soy sauce. Leave it for about ten minutes to absorb the liquid, while it’s absorbing you can heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the garlic, fry for one minute before adding the tomato puree, after a further minute add the mince and tomatoes. Cook for about ten minutes to allow the sauce to reduce, you want a fairly thick and dry mince mixture, because when you layer on the vegetables later they will continue to release liquid.

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Now you can work on the béchamel sauce. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat, whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Then you can slowly add the non dairy milk, a little at a time until it’s all incorporated.

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Continue cooking the sauce until it thickens. Then you can season with salt and black pepper, and stir in the nutritional yeast if you’re using it. Now assemble the moussaka, I wanted to make individual portions of moussaka rather than one large one, but you choose which ever way you prefer.

I made mine by layering the mince, followed by a layer of courgettes, followed by aubergine, more mince, onion, more mince and finally the béchamel sauce.

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Cook in the oven at 200ºC/400ºF for between 20 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown. I served mine with a simple side salad.

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Bye for now 🙂

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