Recipes > Greek Moussaka | Plant-Based

Greek Moussaka | Plant Based


Layers of eggplant are smothered in a delicious plant-based beefless sauce and topped with a creamy non-dairy béchamel. With hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, this traditional Greek dish is divine.
  • Serves: 6 to 8
  • Active Time: 1 hr 35 mins
  • Total Time: 2 hrs 45 mins
  • Views: 25,720
  • Success Rating: 90% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Plant-Based "Meat" Sauce

Making the Plant-Based "Meat" Sauce
  • 1 large onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground cloves
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 (13.8-oz) pkg Gardein Beefless Ground
  • 1 (15-oz) can whole tomatoes, rough chopped or crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup water


To make the meatless sauce, first prepare your mise en place. Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Measure the spices and tomato paste and have the beefless ground and tomatoes on hand. 
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and gently cook the onions until they are translucent and start to turn golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute. Increase heat to medium-high, add the tomato paste and cook for a minute or so before adding the spices. Add the cinnamon stick, oregano, allspice, nutmeg, ground cloves, sea salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes.

Add the tomatoes. Crush them up a bit and then add the bay leaf. Stir well and continue to add a bit of water. Place on lid and bring just to a boil. Stir well and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for approximately 30 to 45 minutes. Adjust seasonings to taste. Once the dish has cooked and the flavors have all come together, add the beefless ground, stirring to coat it in the sauce. Add more water if the mixture seems a bit too dry. 
Lastly, taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

Step 2: Salting & Roasting the Eggplant

Salting & Roasting the Eggplant
  • 2 large eggplants
  • olive oil, to lightly coat
  • sea salt, to sprinkle on eggplant


To prepare the eggplant, first preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Wash and slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch rounds. Place onto a cooling rack and sprinkle both sides with the salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. 
Rinse the eggplant under cold water and dry well with paper towels. Lay the eggplant onto two baking sheets. Coat each piece of eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for approximately 25 minutes, flipping halfway through. 
To finish, turn on the broiler and broil for an additional 4 to 5 minutes per side to brown. Remove from oven and set aside on cooling rack. Reduce the oven to 350°F (180°C).

Step 3: Making the Béchamel Sauce

Making the Béchamel Sauce
  • 6 tbsp non-dairy butter
  • 6 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups non-dairy milk, or cashew cream*
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp potato starch
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch


To make the béchamel, in a medium-sized pot melt the non-dairy butter. 
Once melted, add the flour followed by the tapioca and the potato starch. Mix to combine and let cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently until it turns a light golden color. Next, slowly add the non-dairy milk, and sea salt. 

Continue to add the cream, whisking constantly, until you reach the desired consistency. 
Lastly, add the freshly ground nutmeg and taste for seasoning.

Step 4: Assembling & Baking

Assembling & Baking
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fine bread crumbs


To assemble the moussaka, coat the bottom of a baking dish with bread crumbs and then cover the bottom with slices of eggplant. 
Spoon some of the beefless sauce over the eggplant. Using an offset spatula, gently spread the mixture to evenly cover the surface. 
Add the remaining slices of eggplant, followed by another layer of the beefless sauce, spreading to evenly cover the surface. 
Finish by spooning the béchamel over, making sure to completely cover the surface.

Bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until heated through and golden brown on top. 
Let rest on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes before slicing. 
Serve this delicious moussaka with a nice light salad for a complete meal.

Chef's Notes

*To make cashew cream as a non-dairy option in this recipe, when making the béchamel, simply blend in a blender 1 1/4 cups raw cashews (soaked) and 3 cups of water. This will produce about 4 cups of non-dairy cream.


  • Melissa K
    Melissa K
    Made this for dinner last night. It was amazing!!!! Will be making this again. I did use the cashew cream for the béchamel.
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Thanks so much for sharing Melissa and thank you for learning with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Ronald B
    Ronald B
    Why do you choose two different starches? Would using cornstarch work just as well? OK, and why starch in the first place, doesn't the cooked flour thicken the sauce alone?
  • Kirk B
    Kirk B
    Hi Ronald and thanks for your question. Indeed, you can certainly go with a Cashew Béchamel, perhaps, and omit the starch altogether. I've attached a link to Rouxbe's Cashew Béchamel. I haven't tried this particular recipe with corn starch, but from a technique perspective, that would work and you could omit the flour in the recipe. I hope this helps, and thanks for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk
  • Leslie M
    Leslie M
    I enjoyed using the herbs in this recipe and was amazed at how they brought out the flavor of the coffee I was drinking. I can see why these herbs/seasonings are often used in breads and cakes. I would like more practice using the traditional Mediterranean herbs for the purpose of pairing with coffee or cocoa.
  • Carolyn P
    Carolyn P
    I have made this a number of times. Sometimes I use canned tomatoes and tomato paste and other times I use fresh tomatoes and cook a longer. I have not used the beefless ground (simply because I don't keep it on hand). I have used chopped summer squash, TVP, chopped seitan, and canned young jackfruit in place of it. Regardless of what I use this dish has come out wonderful. The spice mix is superb. This is one of my favorite recipes on Rouxbe!
  • Terry F
    Terry F
    I had trouble with this recipe. I bought the 2 largest eggplants in the store. When I sliced them up it looked like I had plenty without using all of the 2 eggplant.. After cooking and broiling, I didn’t have enough so I cooked the rest of the second eggplant. When it came time to put it all together I had gaps in between each slice of eggplant on the bottom layer and much bigger gaps between the slices on the top layer. Assembled it anyway and I hope it turns out. But the outer 1.5” edges of the casserole are pure meat sauce. I ‘m not familiar with eggplant really so if I need 2 large eggplants, about how many pounds would that be?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Terry. Great questions. Eggplant does shrink a lot when it is salted, rinsed and roasted. I think 2 eggplants are the right amount here but if you have too much you can overlap the layers a little bit. Another method is to cut the eggplant into "boards" lengthwise so there are less gaps than with circles- that is usually how I do it. Casseroles like this are pretty forgiving. I hope it turned out well. Lauren
  • Audrius S
    Audrius S
    If using beef mince, when do I add it? Or should I fry it separately and add when indicated in this recipe?
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Audrius. Just add it here when we suggest to in the recipe. Thanks. Lauren
  • Jeffrey H
    Jeffrey H
    can cook and eat tomorrow or assemble and bake tomorrow
  • Lauren L
    Lauren L
    Hi Jeffrey, If I am understanding your comment correctly I think you are asking if it is better to bake this the same day as you plan on eating it. I have found that it is fine either way. Lauren
  • Karen  A
    Karen A
    The meat(less) sauce was delicious on its own, and the eggplant came out perfectly, but something about this dish did not work for me, and I'm not sure why. The Moussaka was blander than I'd hoped, and although my family wolfed it down, they agreed that it was missing something. I know that I added way too much cashew milk to the bechamel, and it refused to brown even after a trip under the broiler, which certainly did not help matters. Any thoughts about how I can improve my results for the next time around?
  • Eric W Rouxbe Staff
    Eric W
    Karen, you might first try increasing the garlic, black pepper, and tomato paste and see how you like it. Then, slowly increase the spices.
  • Hilda P
    Hilda P
    Hi chefs, could I not just omit the meatless ingredient and use tofu instead? Or none at all? Would the consistency change? Hilda PJ
  • Char N Rouxbe Staff
    Char N
    Hi Hilda: Thanks for writing--you may enjoy using ground tempeh, or a tofu. I have made it with both--I use a baked tofu, then, grind it for texture. The consistency, from my experience, does not change. I have also used lentils, which are also perfect for texture. Cheers, Char

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