The Ultimate Vegetable Moussaka

PREP TIME: 30mins


Moussaka is a classic layered Greek dish, normally made with mince and aubergines.

Here in my vegetarian version I have swopped the meat for mushrooms and created a dish that it’s packed full of flavour and textures.

Roasted aubergines and courgettes are layered in between a very good tomato sauce & a creamy white sauce then baked in the oven until bubbly and oozing with flavour.

I am brave here by calling it the ‘ultimate’ moussaka, only because I was bargaining on leftovers and there was none!It was really all gone in no time, up to the last drop of sauce eagerly scooped up with good bread.

The gorgeous flavours will get better with time making this the perfect ‘make-ahead’ dish and the tomato sauce on its own would be amazing with roasted vegetables and pasta.

The dish takes a little time though so maybe not something you will rustle up after work but rather over the weekend when you have more time.


Serving Suggestion:

Serve with a baguette on the side to soak up the juices and a simple salad.

What you'll need:

Baking trays and a 20cm roasting tin or ceramic dish.


  • 400g aubergines, thickly sliced (about 1cm)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 250g courgettes, thickly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Tomato Sauce

  • 150g shitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 15g basil, stalks finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
  • 100ml good red wine
  • 100ml vegetable stock
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon soya sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Béchamel Sauce (White Sauce)

  • 290ml milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • nutmeg to taste
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan
  • salt & pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 190c.
  2. Coat the aubergine with olive oil, salt, pepper and oregano and divide between two baking trays. Coat the courgette with olive oil, salt, pepper and mint and place on a baking tray. Roast for 25 mins or until soft and golden turning the slices over midway cooking. PS: veggies should lay in a single layer, ensuring they roast rather than steam.
  3. For the filling, add a little oil to a non stick frying pan, fry the diced mushrooms in batches for 6-7 minutes until golden. Put to one side.
  4. Set a large saucepan to a medium to high heat and add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrot. Fry for 15 minutes, covered until the veggies are soft.  Add the garlic, tomato purée, oregano and basil stalks and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Pour over the red wine and cook for another 2 minutes. Next add bay leaves, both tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil and then down to a simmer and then cover the pan leaving a small gap for 20 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir through soya sauce. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  5. For the white sauce, set a small saucepan to a medium heat and add the butter to melt. Then add the flour and whisk together until it bubbles but doesn’t go brown, about 2 minutes, keeping a close eye.  Then whisk in the milk and nutmeg increasing the heat. Whisk for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens and the flour taste has disappeared. Mix in the grated cheese and then salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Use a 20cm square roasting tin and coat in a spoon of olive oil. Add a layer of aubergine and courgettes followed by a 2-3cm layer of the sauce. Tear over some basil leaves and spread over half of the béchamel. Then add more aubergine and courgettes, sauce, basil and top with aubergine. Lastly, add the rest of the béchamel, grate over some cheese, pepper and a splash of olive oil. Bake at 190 C degrees for 20 mins. Eat straight away!
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