If you’re a fan of potato casseroles, you need to try this Vegetarian Moussaka! Made with portabella mushroom, carrots, and tomatoes, this Macedonian moussaka can be plated as a main course, or served as a hearty side dish.
The Best Homemade Vegetarian Moussaka
Is there anything better than a plate of piping-hot casserole, fresh from the oven? I don’t know if there is – especially when it’s cold outside! One of my favorite dishes to make is this Vegetarian Moussaka because it’s easy, hearty and healthy, and incredibly tasty.
Layers of sliced potato are topped with a vegetable medley made of mushrooms, carrots, and tomatoes, and then sandwiched with even more potatoes! All of this is topped with a soy-milk-based sauce that adds a level of creaminess to the whole dish.
Whether you’re looking for vegetarian dinners, or you’re just ready to enjoy a meatless meal, this Vegetarian Moussaka recipe is the way to go!
What is Moussaka?
Moussaka is a dish that is very popular in the Balkan region of Europe, and the Near East, but every country has a different way of preparing it. And, every one of those countries will claim that moussaka is their national dish.
Where I come from, Macedonia, moussaka is filled with a ground beef mixture and it is layered with potatoes. Looking to make a healthier version of it, I opted for a mixture that includes portabella mushrooms, tomatoes, and carrots.
This Vegetarian Moussaka with portabella mushrooms is absolutely delicious… heavenly when you pair it with a glass of Pinot Noir.
So, other than potatoes and some assorted vegetables, what do you need to put this moussaka together? Gather up the following:
- Potatoes: I used 5 medium-sized Russet potatoes. You could try substituting these with Yukon Gold potatoes if you don’t have russet potatoes.
- Mushrooms: This recipe needs 2 (8 oz.) packages of portabella mushrooms, diced.
- Carrot: I used 1 large carrot, cleaned and sliced crosswise.
- Onions: Dice 2 medium-sized onions before starting.
- Garlic: You’ll need 4 cloves of garlic, minced.
- Tomatoes: 3-4 fresh tomatoes, diced, or you can use 1 (15 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, drained.
- Seasoning: You’ll need dried basil, garlic salt, and regular salt and pepper (to taste).
- Olive Oil: I like to use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but canola oil could work too!
- Milk: Unflavored Soy Milk is my go-to, but you can use regular 1% or 2% milk instead if you want to.
- Egg Substitute: Equivalent to 3 eggs – I use Ener-G substitute = 4 1/2 teaspoons of Ener-G egg replacer plus 6 tbsp. of water.
How to Make Moussaka
Vegetarian Moussaka can be made in just 6 easy steps. Honestly, the hardest part is peeling and slicing the potatoes – after that all you have to do is cook the vegetables, arrange everything in a baking dish, and then wait to enjoy some delicious Moussaka while it bakes!
Turn On the Oven: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare the Potatoes: Boil and peel the potatoes – cut into 1/4 inch slices.
Cook the Vegetables: In a non-stick pan throw in the mushrooms, carrots, garlic, onions, tomatoes, cover with EVOO and stir. Set the pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Arrange the Potatoes & Vegetables in a Baking Dish: In the meantime, in a deep baking dish, arrange the potato slices one next to another and cover the bottom. Bring over the mushroom filling and throw it over the potatoes, evenly. Cover with another layer of potato slices.
Combine Soy Milk & Egg Substitute: In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk and the egg substitute. Pour it over the potatoes.
Bake: Put the baking dish in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Allow it to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success
Pretty easy, right? Here are some extra tips and suggestions before you start:
- Let Moussaka Cool Before Serving: You still want to enjoy the Moussaka warm, but letting it cool for a little will allow the sauce to set, which makes for easier serving and better flavor. (Also nobody likes a burned tongue!)
- Add-Ins: Sliced eggplant would fit in nicely as a layer in this moussaka, and chopped spinach wouldn’t be a bad idea either!
- Top with Cheese: Adding a little cheddar cheese before you put the moussaka in the oven gives it a delicious, cheesy topping.
What Goes with Moussaka?
Once you have a delicious dish of homemade moussaka, what should you serve with it? Here are a couple of possible options:
- Salad: Moussaka is pretty filling, so a light salad like this Macedonian Shopska Salad would be a good addition!
- Sautéed Vegetables: Another light side dish idea! One of my favorites is this Easy Garlic Broccolini.
- Baked Feta: Keeping with the Macedonian theme, this Baked Feta appetizer is a recipe that my family adores, and I’m sure yours will too! It’s the perfect snack to tide you over while the moussaka is baking.
Can I Make this Recipe Ahead?
Yes! Prepare this dish up until the point where you are about to add the soy milk mixture. Cover the baking dish with some plastic wrap, and refrigerate everything until you are ready to bake it. I like to start making this recipe in the morning so that all I have to do at dinner time is pop the dish in the oven to bake!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Store this moussaka in an airtight container for 2-3 days in the fridge. When you want to reheat it, put it back in the oven for a little bit with some extra soy milk so it becomes creamy again.
Can I Freeze Extras?
Yes to this, too! You can freeze this moussaka in an airtight container for up to a month. Make sure to let it thaw overnight in the fridge before eating it again.
- 5 medium russet potatoes
- 16 oz portabella mushrooms (2 8oz packages) diced
- 1 large carrot cleaned and sliced crosswise
- 2 medium onions diced
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 3 or 4 fresh tomatoes diced (or 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes)
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup unflavored soy milk
- Egg Substitute Equivalent to 3 eggs – I use Ener-G substitute = 4 1/2 teaspoons of Ener-G egg replacer plus 6 tbsp. of water.
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Boil and peel the potatoes – cut into 1/4 inch slices.
- In a non-stick pan throw in the mushrooms, carrots, garlic, onions, tomatoes, cover with EVOO and stir. Set the pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a deep baking dish, arrange the potato slices one next to another and cover the bottom. Bring over the mushroom filling and throw it over the potatoes, evenly. Cover with another layer of potato slices.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the soy milk and the egg substitute. Pour it over the potatoes.
- Put the baking dish in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. Allow it to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
More Vegetarian Dinner Ideas
Looking for more easy vegetarian dinners to make? Check out some of these:
- Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
- Macedonian Shakshuka
- Easy Eggplant Lasagna
- Black Bean Burgers
- Cabbage Soup