• STEP 1

    Pour 800ml boiling water over the dried porcini and leave for 10 mins until hydrated. Meanwhile, pour 1½ tbsp oil into a large saucepan. Add the onion, carrot, celery and a pinch of salt. Cook gently, stirring for 10 mins until soft. Remove the porcini from the liquid, keeping the mushroomy stock and roughly chop. Set both aside.

  • STEP 2

    Add the garlic and thyme to the pan. Cook for 1 min, then stir in the tomato purée and cook for a minute more. Pour in the red wine, if using, cook until nearly reduced, then add the lentils, reserved mushroom stock and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer with the lid on.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, heat a large frying pan. Add 1½ tbsp oil and tip all of the mushrooms into the pan, including the rehydrated ones. Fry until all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are deep golden brown. Pour in the soy sauce. Give everything a good mix, then scrape the mushrooms into the lentil saucepan.

  • STEP 4

    Stir in the Marmite, then continue to cook the ragu, stirring occasionally, over a low-medium heat for 30-45 mins until the lentils are cooked and the sauce is thick and reduced, adding extra water if necessary. Remove the thyme sprigs and season to taste.

  • STEP 5

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Put the potatoes into a pan of cold salted water. Bring to the boil, then cook until mashable.

  • STEP 6

    Meanwhile, mix the remaining 5 tbsp oil with the oregano, then brush the aubergine slices with most of it and sprinkle with sea salt. Griddle for 3 mins on each side until soft.

  • STEP 7

    Drain and mash the potatoes with the soya milk. Season to taste.

  • STEP 8

    Spoon the ragu into a large lasagne dish (or two smaller ovenproof dishes), layer in half of the aubergine, followed by the mash. Brush the remaining oregano oil across the mash, then finish by topping with the remaining aubergine slices. Bake in the oven for 25-35 mins until golden and bubbling.

What is a vegan moussaka made from?

Moussaka is a traditional Greek baked dish that typically consists of layers of aubergine and lamb mince with a béchamel sauce topping. Our plant-based version swaps the mince for vegetable ragu made with mushrooms and lentils, and a soy milk mashed potato topping for the béchamel.

Is vegan moussaka healthy?

This recipe is packed with veg and delivers all ​​five of your five-a-day. It also provides a source of fibre, folate and iron. Aubergines are a source of protective compounds with antioxidant properties, such as nasunin, which is also responsible for the fruit’s deep purple colour.

How to layer vegan moussaka

  • Spoon the ragu into a large lasagne dish, then layer with half the griddled aubergines, followed by a thick layer of mash. Brush the top of the mash with oregano-infused olive oil and finish with another layer of the remaining aubergines.
  • We recommend slicing the aubergines slightly thickly, as this will be easier to layer and will hold the ragu well.

Tips for making vegan moussaka

  • We’ve added an umami flavour boost to the mushroom ragu base with 1 tsp each yeast extract and soy sauce. You can omit the yeast extract if you like or swap it for nutritional yeast. Adding 100ml vegan red wine also adds richness to the ragu.
  • Sprinkle a little sea salt over the aubergine before cooking it to prevent it becoming too soggy – this also helps reduce its bitterness.
  • The ragu should be quite thick, so cook off any excess water over a low-medium heat before you start layering the ingredients.
  • We’ve used different kinds of mushrooms in the ragu – porcini, chestnut and portobello – for an interesting variation in flavour and texture.
  • To take this dish to the next level, make a vegan béchamel by following our white sauce recipe and substituting the milk and butter with oat milk and vegan spread. Layer it up with the ragu and mash for an extra-creamy dish.
  • When griddling the aubergines, don’t move them around in the pan. Let them cook undisturbed for 3 mins for an even golden colour.

Can this vegan moussaka recipe be made ahead?

Make the moussaka in a heatproof dish, cover tightly and chill for up to three days, then bake in the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Can you freeze vegan moussaka?

Portion the moussaka into individual heatproof containers or a freezer-safe baking dish, then cover tightly and freeze up to two months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat until piping hot in the microwave, or in the oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 for 40 mins until heated through.

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