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GF Friday: Gluten-free moussaka loaded with Greek-inspired veggies

Some people don’t like to mess with the classics, but I say why not? This gluten-free moussaka recipe switches things up but still delivers classically great flavor.

Moussaka is a layered, traditional Greek dish made with eggplant and typically beef or lamb. Seasonal veggies give us plenty of opportunity to experiment with our food, so here’s your chance. I’ve incorporated a favorite fall veggie — sweet potatoes — into the mix of things for this recipe. I also decided to leave behind the meat and replace it with hearty lentils and earthy mushrooms.

Replacing meat with grains, beans and veggies every now and then can be a good thing. It can help to keep costs down, serve as a healthier meal option and introduce you to new ways to use ingredients. This dish isn’t complicated to make. You’ll need about an hour to get things going from start to finish, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Moussaka, heavy on the veggies

Note: Gluten can be found in many different foods and products, from ketchup to soy sauce to candy and seasonings. While SheKnows tries to ensure that these recipes are gluten-free, carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use for these recipes to ensure they are also gluten-free.

Gluten-free vegetarian moussaka recipe

I like to break with tradition a bit, which is why I left out the meat in this popular Greek dish. I kept the eggplants and ditched the beef (or lamb), and used a lentil-and-mushroom mixture instead. It has a meaty quality that makes a fine stand-in, complements the eggplant and is hearty too. Although this is easy to make, give yourself almost an hour from start to finish.

Serves 6

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 25 minutes | Rest time: 5 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes


  • 1 medium eggplant, end trimmed, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups diced mushrooms
  • 1 (15 ounce) can lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free red wine (you could also use gluten-free vegetable broth)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. Add the eggplant and sweet potato rounds to 2 baking sheets, and drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over both. Season all the rounds with a little salt and ground black pepper.
  2. Place in the oven under the broiler, about 6 inches from the top, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, and set aside. Turn the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with the cooking spray, and set aside.
  3. To a large skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, mushrooms, lentils, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, allspice and wine (or vegetable broth) to the skillet. Cook the mixture, stirring, until the liquid evaporates (about 5 minutes).
  4. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the lentil mixture into the bottom of the baking dish.
  5. Arrange 1/2 the eggplant slices over the mixture. Spoon another layer of the lentils over the eggplant, and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Add a layer of the sweet potatoes, overlapping a bit if necessary. Add a layer of the lentil mixture, and sprinkle with 1/2 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. The final layer will be the eggplant rounds.
  6. Add the cream cheese to a microwave-safe bowl, and heat just until soft. Whisk in the milk until smooth, then 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese. Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the tops of the eggplant in an even layer. Bake for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and add the remaining Parmesan cheese to the top. Turn on the broiler, and place the dish back into the oven for 30 seconds or so, until the top of the cheese is golden.
  7. Remove from the oven, and allow the moussaka to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

Layer up this classic dish for dinner.

More gluten-free recipes

Grilled steak salad with caramelized onions and blue cheese
Vegetable ceviche and quinoa salad
Spaghetti and meatball-stuffed peppers

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