This healthy vegan moussaka with creamy gluten free hummus “bechamel” is an amazing healthy family friendly recipe that can be made with or without meat and dairy!
You’ve asked for it, and I’m delivering. You want more family-friendly recipes that you can serve your family with pride. Well let me tell you, folks, put this on HEAVY rotation because it is a total hit. This healthy vegan moussaka with creamy hummus “bechamel” makes a serious casserole and my itty bitty family of three (including my 13 month old) just devoured it in two days.
I’m not going to call this vegan moussaka magic, but IT’S F*CKING MAGIC MAMAS. I don’t think I have EVER seen Baby E eat so much in one go as I have when I served this dish. As a result, he got this legit breakfast, lunch and dinner and somehow didn’t seem to get bored of it. Translation? We will definitely be making this again!
How to Make Healthy Vegan Moussaka with Creamy Hummus “Bechamel”
If you haven’t had real moussaka, it’s a classic Greek dish kinda like their take on lasagna. It’s usually made with ground lamb, bechamel, and eggplant but we’re lightening this up. Rather than using meat and a cream based sauce, I used vegan ground round (you could also easily use extra lean ground beef), and hummus for the creamy factor instead of bechamel. I also boosted the plant-based protein by adding more chickpeas to the sauce which add a really nice unexpected “pop” of texture.
What hasn’t changed, however, is the importance of salting your eggplant. Skipping this step can result in a bitter, watery casserole and nobody has time for that! Basically when you salt your eggplant, it draws out some of the bitter liquid (thanks to osmosis) and helps you cut down on the moisture and sponginess of the eggplant. The result is a silky smooth, sweet vegan moussaka casserole with serious creamy factor.
Not Vegan or Dairy Free? No Problem
I tested this with both vegan ground round and vegan cheese, as well as real ground beef and cheese and both are equally delish! I promise your family is going to LOVE this naturally gluten free dish.
What are some of your family’s favourite meals?
Tag someone who LOVES moussaka and someone who needs this lightened up healthy vegan moussaka in their life!
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Healthy Vegan Moussaka with Gluten Free Hummus “Bechamel”
- 2 large eggplants cut into 1/4″ thick slices lengthwise
- 1 tbsp coarse kosher salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb vegan ground round or ground beef
- 1 19 oz can chickpeas drained and rinsed
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 4 tsp dried oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- Salt and pepper
- 4 cups hummus homemade or store-bought
- 2 cups shredded vegan cheese or mozzarella cheese optional
- Place the eggplant slices in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let it sit for an hour. Rinse lightly then pat the eggplant very dry.
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Toss the eggplant with oil and roast for 20 minutes, flipping half way through.
- Meanwhile, in a pan, heat the additional tablespoon of oil over medium heat and add in the onion and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in the vegan meat or beef. If cooking meat from raw, then continue to saute until cooked through and no longer pink, about another 5 minutes.
- If not, skip to this step immediately. Add in the chickpeas, sauce, oregano, cinnamon, allspice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5-7 minutes, just to thicken slightly.
- Add a light layer to the bottom of a 13×9″ baking dish. Add a layer of eggplant, then hummus. Repeat layers of sauce, eggplant, hummus. You should have three layers of each, ending with the hummus.
- Top with cheese, if using.
- Heat the oven to broil and broil until bubbly and caramelized on top, about 5-6 minutes.
- Allow to sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and enjoying.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.