Vegan Lentil Moussaka

Quick kitchen: Vegan Lentil Moussaka

Now that we’re emerging from the depths of wintertime, I have two burning questions for you: Have you been drawn to eating more? Have you craved comfort foods that you don’t usually crave?

If you answered yes to either or both of these questions, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Winter is comfort-food central and it’s important you embrace it.

If you’re looking for a recipe that brings both comfort and nourishment in the same mouthful, my vegan lentil moussaka is the one for you. I assure you it’s ultra-tasty like you’re-eager-to-get-a-second-plate-of-it-after-only-the-first-bite kind of tasty, plus it’s one of those ambidextrous recipes that tastes even better the next day and is a freezer-friendly dish, meaning the leftovers (if there are any) can be frozen for another time.

If you’ve never heard of moussaka, it’s a traditional Greek dish that’s similar to lasagne but utilises eggplant in place of lasagne sheets. It’s a great way to sneak extra vegetables into the mouths of those in your household. Moussaka is an extremely warming comfort dish that many families enjoy across the world.

Mince traditionally fills a wholesome Greek moussaka, but I’ve created a vegan moussaka with lentils. You don’t have to be a vegan to eat lentils, trust me! When you prepare lentils appropriately, they can be just as delicious for the meat eaters among us.

So, let’s chat about the humble lentil. Lentils are a high-fibre legume, great for showing love to our digestive system and its workings. If you have trouble digesting lentils, I recommend soaking them first, which helps remove antinutrients such as lectins and phytates. This process can help speed up cooking time too. You can soak them anywhere from overnight to just a couple of hours — just do what works within your timeframes.

Legumes also offer an excellent source of plant-based protein which brings satiety. Protein is necessary for the health of our hormones, muscle and skin health. And remember, a happy gut = a healthy nervous system and a happy mood. This moussaka is also full of vegetables for an extra fibre hit.

Lentils give this moussaka a meaty texture, so your household won’t feel that they’re missing out. To make this moussaka even more delicious, I’ve created a sunflower seed cheese topping with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast contains vitamin B12, another nutrient that can be difficult to obtain on a vegan diet. Vitamin B12 helps create DNA, and a deficiency can cause weakness and fatigue.

If you’re looking for comfort, why not try this vegan lentil moussaka on for size? This deliciously layered baked eggplant dish with lentils and a vegan cheese sauce will bring all the comfort and nourishment you and your family need through the winter months.

Vegan Lentil Moussaka

Serves 3–4


Quick kitchen: Vegan Lentil Moussaka

By: Lee Holmes

If you’re looking for a recipe that brings both comfort and nourishment in the same mouthful, my vegan lentil moussaka is the one for you.


Prep time

Cook time



  • 1 eggplant, sliced
  • 2–3 zucchini, sliced
  • Celtic sea salt
  • 3 tbsp cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped

  • 2 tbsp apple-cider vinegar
  • 2 × 400g tins diced tomatoes

  • 2 × 400g tins lentils, drained
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp oregano leaves
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Sunflower Seed Cheese:
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked in water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice ½ lemon
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes + extra, to garnish
  • Pinch Celtic sea salt
  • 120mL filtered water


  • Preheat oven to 200°C.
  • Place the eggplant and zucchini in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 30 mins then rinse off the salt.
  • Put the eggplant and zucchini on a baking tray and brush with 2 tbsp of the olive oil, then bake for 20 mins or until browned.
  • Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 220°C.
  • Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place the remaining olive oil into a large saucepan over medium heat and sauté the garlic, onion and shallot for 5 mins, or until browned. Add the apple-cider vinegar, tomatoes, lentils, stock, oregano and cinnamon and season to taste. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer over medium–low for about 15 mins.
  • To make the sunflower seed cheese, place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
For a creamier cheese, add some filtered water to the mix. Place in the refrigerator for 30 mins to firm up.
  • To assemble the moussaka, place a layer of the cooked eggplant and zucchini in a 28 × 18 ×5cm baking dish. Pour a layer of sauce over the vegetables, and then repeat. Top with the sunflower seed cheese (or grated vegan cheese, if using) and scatter over the nutritional yeast flakes.
  • Bake in the oven for 15–20 mins or until the top is crispy.
  • *If you don’t have ingredients or time to make this, just use 1½ cups grated vegan cheese


Tried this recipe? Mention @wellbeing_magazine or tag #wbrecipe!

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes

Lee Holmes is a nutritionist, yoga and meditation teacher, wholefoods chef, Lifestyle Food Channel’s Healthy Eating Expert, blogger and author of the best-selling books Supercharged Food: Eat Your Way to Health, Supercharged Food: Eat Yourself Beautiful, Eat Clean, Green and Vegetarian, Heal your Gut, Eat Right for Your Shape and Supercharged Food for Kids.

Lee’s food philosophy is all about S.O.L.E. food: sustainable, organic, local and ethical. Her main goal is to alter the perception that cooking fresh, wholesome, nutrient-rich meals is difficult, complicated and time-consuming. From posting recipes, her passion to share her autoimmune disease story and help others has snowballed and the blog has recently taken home the overall prize at the Bupa Health Influencer Awards as well as the best blog in the Healthy Eating category. She also runs a four-week online Heal Your Gut program.

You May Also Like

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 04t155525.446

Pan-Fried Fennel, Potatoes & Pine Nuts

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 04t154759.818

Crispy Potatoes & Fennel with Creamy Lemon & Herb Dressing

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 04t154337.940

Asparagus, Fennel & Spinach Soup with Toasted Pepitas

Wellbeing & Eatwell Cover Image 1001x667 2024 04 04t153917.658

Oven-Baked Fennel with Pecorino