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Vegetable Moussaka


Tori Avey from The Shiksa in the Kitchen shares her recipe for Vegetable Moussaka with us. Of the recipe, Tori says:

This dish is the perfect dinner on a cold winter day! It takes a lot of prep work, but the end result is worth the effort.

For more delicious kosher recipes, check out Tori's website

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10-12 ServingsServings


  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
  • 2-3 medium eggplants (about 3 lbs. total), peeled
  • 3 medium zucchini, sliced thin
  • 3 large russet potatoes (1 1⁄2 lb. total), peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, and sliced thin
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional—adds mild sweetness)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 10 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, or more to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper


You will also need: A medium saucepan, 2 baking sheets, medium bowl, sauté pan, paper towels, whisk, and a large baking dish or pan (9x13).

1 Place lentils in saucepan, cover with 5 cups of water and ¼ tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30-45 minutes until the lentils are tender.

2 Meanwhile, cut the eggplants into thin slices. Place the slices in a single layer on a bed of paper towels. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let stand for 30 minutes.

3 Place racks on the upper and lower thirds of your oven. Preheat oven to 500°. Lightly grease two baking sheets with extra virgin olive oil. Spread out the zucchini, potatoes, and two garlic cloves in a single layer across the baking sheets. Brush the exposed tops of the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with black pepper.  Place baking sheet with potatoes on the upper rack of the oven (keep garlic cloves on top rack baking sheet). Place sheet with zucchini on the lower half. Roast veggies for 10 minutes.

4 Remove sheets from oven, stir, and place them back in the oven, switching racks (zucchini and garlic on top, potatoes on bottom). Roast for about 5 more minutes, until veggies are tender and starting to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and scoop veggies into a bowl using a slotted spatula or spoon to drain excess oil. Take the two roasted garlic cloves and chop them up fine; reserve.

5 By now, the eggplant slices have been standing for about 30 minutes, and water droplets should have formed on the surface of the slices. Re-grease the baking sheets with olive oil. Rinse salt from the eggplant slices, pat dry, and spread into a single layer across the two baking sheets. Brush slices lightly with olive oil. Place the baking sheets in the oven and roast for 10-15 minutes, switching the baking sheets on upper and lower thirds halfway through cooking, until the slices are tender and lightly golden (check the bottom edges of slices for browning).

6 While eggplant is roasting, place a sauté pan or skillet with high sides on the stovetop. Warm up 2 tablespoons olive oil in the pan over  medium-high heat. Sauté diced onion for a few minutes until softened. Add bell pepper slices and chopped roasted garlic; continue to sauté until pepper slices are tender.

7 Drain excess water from cooked lentils. Add lentils, diced tomatoes, parsley, balsamic vinegar (optional), oregano, cinnamon, and cayenne
pepper to the pan; stir well. Reduce heat to medium and let mixture cook for about 5 more minutes, till warmed through.

8 Remove eggplant from the oven and reduce oven temperature to 375°. Lightly grease your baking dish or pan. Place a single layer of half of the roasted eggplant slices on the bottom of your dish.  On top of that, place a layer of half the potatoes and half the zucchini. Spread the lentil mixture evenly in a single layer across the surface. Sprinkle 2 tablespoon of grated parmesan and a ½ cup crumbled feta across the top of
the lentil mixture. Place the rest of the potatoes and zucchini in another layer on top of the cheese. Finish with a layer of the remaining
roasted eggplant slices. Sprinkle top of the moussaka with 2 tablespoons more of grated cheese.

9 Place moussaka in the oven for 20 minutes to bake. While the moussaka is baking, make the béchamel sauce for the top of the moussaka. In a small pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk flour into the melted butter till dissolved and thick. Continue to whisk for a few minutes until the flour/butter mixture turns a sandy brown color. Slowly whisk in milk. Bring mixture to a simmer, then reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk
in 2 tablespoons grated cheese.  Continue whisking for about 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Let stand for 4-5 minutes till slightly cooled. Add ¾ teaspoon salt, nutmeg, and black pepper to taste. Whisk the beaten egg into the sauce.10 Remove the moussaka from the oven. Pour sauce evenly across the top of the moussaka. Sprinkle ¼ cup grated cheese on top of the sauce.

11 Put moussaka back in the oven. Cook for another 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the moussaka is cooked through. Serve hot. This moussaka is less structured than traditional moussaka, with a texture that is more similar to lasagna—so don’t expect it all to hold
together neatly when served (it will hold together better after it has cooled completely). Add crushed red peppers or hot sauce for spice, if desired.

As seen in the Joy of Kosher with Jamie Geller Magazine (Bitayavon Winter 2011) - Subscribe Now

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