Vegetable Moussaka

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Moussaka is one of my favourite meals (with a lovely reason why – see the story below!) and this vegetable moussaka is always a joy to make and eat.

It has a few twists to make it different to ordinary moussaka, but I think you will enjoy it! Give it a go and let me know what you think.

The Moussaka Story

In case I haven’t told you (ha! Feta and Dill Pie, Greek Salad) we went to Kos for our honeymoon.

While we were there, we took a boat trip to the volcanic island Nisyros, which is a beautiful, unspoiled place and relatively uncommercial. We were wandering down the streets, looking for somewhere to eat lunch, when we came across a tiny courtyard packed with people sitting at tables, laughing and shouting and eating lovely, freshly made food. We looked around for a quieter spot, close to the bustle, and chose a fairly empty terrace with laid tables. After we sat down, we were immediately accosted by somebody speaking loudly in Greek, who dragged us into his kitchen (not a restaurant kitchen – his genuine, home kitchen), thrust a plate into each of our hands and pulled dish upon dish out of his oven.

There was pork (a huge cut), chicken (2 whole birds) and the most enormous moussaka I have ever seen. I chose moussaka (I thought he was offering a choice…); he filled our plates with everything. It was piled so high we had to carefully balance our way back to the table, and…it was all delicious.

But that moussaka has stuck in my mind. He used courgette, rather than aubergine, which is probably what was in season but, with so many people I know disliking aubergine, it seems an ingenious solution!

So, rather than try to recreate his dish (I wouldn’t do it justice), I’ve decided to give a vegetable moussaka a go using courgette. I think it really works!

Vegetable Moussaka – The Ingredients

The ‘meat’ layer of this moussaka is made from a mix of chickpeas and lentils, cooked in a rich tomato sauce packed with herbs. If you don’t have either chickpeas or lentils, you could swap one with the other – e.g. you could use just chickpeas or just lentils. The mix works well though!

The layers are simply sliced courgette. Of course, you could use the traditional aubergine but I implore you to give this a try!

This moussaka is topped with a simple bechamel enriched with egg, along with Parmesan and feta (as above, you could use just one of these cheeses if you want to).

Cooking the Moussaka

Although this is a time consuming recipe, it’s straightforward and the rewards are high!

The tomato sauce is simple to put together – just follow the steps closely and make sure you include the chickpea water so that the consistency is right.

Bechamel can sometimes go lumpy – if this happens to you, just keep whisking and it will get smooth again. When you add the egg, whisk really quickly and pour on top of the layered moussaka immediately (otherwise it could scramble!)

When you put the moussaka in the oven, keep an eye on it – the top should get nice and golden in the 40 minutes.

This will serve 6 with a Greek salad on the side; it also freezes well. It’ll take up to one and half hours, but is worth it!

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Vegetable Moussaka

Save This Recipe
Harriet Young
Vegetarian moussaka layered with courgettes and topped with feta
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 6 people


  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 1 tsp each of dried oregano, rosemary and sage (use fresh if you have it to hand)
  • 2 x 400g tins chickpeas
  • 250 g pack ready to eat green lentils
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2-3 medium courgettes
  • 25 g butter
  • 25 g plain flour
  • 1 pt milk
  • 1 egg
  • 25 g parmesan
  • 50 g feta


  • Chop the onion and garlic and put in a casserole dish with the olive oil. Sizzle for 1 minute over a medium heat, then stir in the dried herbs. Add the red wine and allow to bubble down.
  • Tip in the chickpeas (including the water), lentils and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer down for up to 45 minutes (the longer the better).
  • Meanwhile, make your bechamel. Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir in the flour. Sizzle for 1-2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Grab a whisk, and start gradually adding the milk, whisking all the time. When you’ve added all of the milk, turn the heat back on and continue whisking until the sauce has thickened. Turn the heat off.
  • Slice the courgettes widthways into 0.5cm slices. In a large ovenproof dish, layer chickpea mix, sliced courgette, chickpea mix then sliced courgette.
  • Whisk the egg into your bechamel sauce then quickly pour over the final layer of courgette. Top with the grated parmesan and crumbled feta, then pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 40 minutes.
  • The Greek serve their moussaka luke-warm but I prefer mine boiling hot!
Keyword chickpeas, courgette, lentils, moussaka, vegetarian

6 responses to “Vegetable Moussaka”

  1. 5 stars
    Love this Vegetable Moussaka recipe, easy and flavorful. Will make it for dinner soon. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    I added a mix of cooked lentils and it was incredibly fulfilling! Adding the moussaka to my rotation for sure!

  3. 5 stars
    Wow, this vegetable moussaka is a delightful twist on a classic dish! I will try this 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    Such a yummy, comforting casserole. I love all the chickpeas and lentils with the cheesy, creamy goodness

  5. 5 stars
    This a really good comforting food. We loved it for lunch and plan to make this again. Thanks x

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Hi there!

I’m Harriet, writer and cook, and I’m so pleased to have you here! I love nothing more than cooking delicious food and sharing it with the world. You can find out more about me here.

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