Moussaka is a crowd-pleasing classic Greek dish best served during fall and winter months. This casserole also reheats and freezes well, making it perfect for batch cooking.
Moussaka layers potato, eggplant, meat sauce and béchamel sauce. The béchamel a.k.a. white sauce is normally made with milk, this version features cashew milk.
Oregano is one of my favourite herbs and is associated with Greece. It has a woody and warm flavour and many health benefits. It is an immune booster, anti-microbial and a digestive aid, to name some of the goodness oregano brings to the table.
I have layered in dried oregano in this moussaka, you’ll find it in the meat sauce and brushed on the eggplant. I hope you’re an oregano fan too!
For texture and flavour on top of the béchamel sauce I have grated dried mushrooms and sprinkled more (you guessed it!) dried, or you can use fresh, oregano.
A classic greek dish that will serve a crowd, or it’s perfect for batch cooking and it freezes well. Moussaka is the assembly of four pre-cooked ingredients that produce a delightful casserole after all the flavours have blended in the oven.
To speed up the cooking you can make the red meat sauce and/or the white béchamel sauce ahead of time.
The red meat sauce can be made with traditional lamb, beef or a mix of the two.
The white béchamel sauce is creamy goodness made with cashew “half-and-half” milk.
The eggplants get a salt bath to remove any bitterness, they are then brushed with a herb and garlic mix and pre-cooked under the broiler. The potatoes are sliced thin and steamed.
- Make 1 batch of red meat sauce, makes approx. 4 cups.
- Make 1 batch white bechamél sauce, makes approx. 3 cups.
- Rinse and slice eggplant into 1/4″ slices. Place in a bowl with 1 tsp salt for about 30 minutes. Let eggplants drain. Prepare oven tray by brushing with avocado oil.
- In a small bowl mince garlic and let sit for 10 minutes. To the garlic, add 4 tbsp avocado oil, 2 tsp dried oregano, 1 tsp salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk together with a fork.
- Dry eggplant slices with a tea towel and place on oven tray. Once tray is filled, brush with oil and herb mix. Grill under the broiler on second highest rack setting for approx. 5 minutes, or until golden and soft. Stay close to the oven and check often to avoid burning. Transfer eggplant slices to a plate and set aside. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices.
- Rinse and brush the potatoes, leave the skin on if the potatoes are organic. Slice potatoes thin (1/8″/0.5 cm) using a food processor, or by hand. Steam potato slices for about 10-12 minutes or until soft but not mushy when pierced. Remove from stove, lift lid and let cool until ready to use.
- Set oven to 350 F/175 C. Brush a large casserole dish with avocado oil. Layer in the following order: half of the potatoes, half of the eggplants, half of the red meat sauce (2 cups) and half of the white béchamel sauce 1.5 cups). Repeat the 4 layers, ending with the white sauce. Sprinkle with dried oregano and grate 1/2 dried mushroom on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for approx. 45 minutes – 1 hour, or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling. The shorter time for convection oven. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
- Serve with a mixed greens salad.
Keywords: Great casserole for cold weather, feed a crowd, gluten-free and dairy-free casserole