This meal is warm and comforting, whether you use a store-bought pasta sauce or decide to make you own and whether you decide to use turkey or a vegetarian meat substitute. This recipe can be prepared the day before you intend to bake it; simply refrigerate the eggplant, turkey sauce and "cheese" sauce in separate containers and assemble just before you bake your moussaka.
Note: if you decide to use a vegetarian meat substitute, saute the onions, garlic and spices in a bit of oil and just add the vegetarian meat to the pan with the sauce.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
- For the Broiled Eggplant:
- 2 large eggplants, cut into long, thin strips
- Salt, for sprinkling
- Olive oil, for brushing
- For the Turkey Sauce:
- 1 pound uncooked ground turkey
- 1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 t. ground cinnamon
- 1 t. salt, plus more to taste
- ¼ t. black pepper, plus more to taste
- 2 ½ cups dairy-free pasta sauce, plus more if desired
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- For the "Cheese" Sauce
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1 T. all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cup dairy-free plain soy yogurt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- ¼ t. salt, plus more to taste
1. Preheat the broiler. Lightly oil an 8” x 8” baking pan or ovenproof dish and set aside an ungreased baking sheet. Sprinkle salt generously on both sides of the eggplant slices, and place in a colander set over a bowl for 20 minutes to drain the liquid. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and pat the eggplant dry with paper towels, pressing out as much water as possible. Place the egg plant on the baking sheet, brushing the slices lightly with olive oil. Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until browned, then flip, lightly brush the alternate sides, and broil for 2 minutes more, or until browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. Turn down the oven to 400 F.
3. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook the turkey, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon to reserve the juices, transfer the turkey to a dish and set aside. Cook the onion and garlic in the reserved juices over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and fragrant, about 5-6 minutes. Add the cinnamon, salt and black pepper and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the turkey, pasta sauce and the nutritional yeast to the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir in the fresh parsley and remove from heat.
4. Assemble the moussaka. In the prepared 8”x8” baking dish, place a layer of turkey and sauce mixture, then a layer of broiled eggplant, followed by another layer of turkey and sauce and a final eggplant layer.
5. In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil, stirring in the flour with a wooden spoon once hot. Cook for 1 minute, or until the flour smells toasty but has not browned. Gradually stir in the dairy-free soy yogurt followed by the nutritional yeast and salt. Cook until slightly thickened and remove from heat.
6. Spread the soy-yogurt sauce over the moussaka and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top starts to brown. Remove from heat and let cool for several minutes before serving. Serve warm.