Greek moussaka

What Kind Of Ingredients Can You Use With Moussaka?

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Moussaka may have originated in Greece, but slowly it made its way to become one of the most iconic dishes around the globe. While the taste of Moussaka is unmatched, it is a time-consuming dish that can wreak havoc in your kitchen. But when you have all the ingredients right at your fingertips, the job becomes ten times easier! 

The ingredients for moussaka might include eggplant, minced meat, bechamel sauce, potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. You can also use other vegetables like zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, and spinach.

If you want to master the art of cooking Moussaka, knowing what to include in your recipe is inevitable. In this article, I will unravel all the major ingredients you will need to incorporate into the recipe. Stick around till the very end to know more about what kind of ingredients can you use with Moussaka

Ingredients That Make A Traditional Moussaka 

Like every other ancient dish, there are tons of regional variations to this recipe. Although a traditional moussaka tastes absolutely delectable, it is one of the most time-consuming and difficult Greek dishes to cook. It takes a great deal of patience and attention to detail to pull off a traditional Moussaka recipe. If you want to stay true to the original Greek recipe, below is a list of ingredients that you have to include in your Moussaka recipe! 


Whether you like it or not, a traditional Moussaka recipe requires at least two veggies. Slicing the veggies into thin rounds and deep-frying them until golden brown to layer on the baking sheet is an inevitable step of cooking Moussaka. 

While the liberty is all yours when it comes to choosing the vegetables, the dish will taste a lot better if you can include eggplants and potatoes in it. Nevertheless, any vegetable that can be finely sliced will do the job. Be it tomato, winter squash, pumpkin, or zucchini. 

If you want to add a hint of sweetness to your Moussaka, replacing the sliced potatoes with sweet potatoes is the way to go. Using sweet potatoes instead of regular ones will save you a lot of time and labor during the process. But above all, sweet potato has an incredibly hearty taste to it that hits all the right notes for the chilly fall months! 

Ground Meat 

Minced meat of lamb
Minced meat of lamb

The traditional moussaka recipe calls for minced meat. Any red meat will do the job, but lamb meat tends to fit the best with this recipe. However, if you are not a big fan of the strong flavor of lamb, you can substitute it with good-quality beef or veal meat. 

Given the lengthy process, the recipe requires, the stakes of overcooking the minced meat are pretty high. To keep the minced meat moist the whole time and to add a bit of flavor to it, consider opting for non-lean meats. No matter which meat you choose, make sure it has at least 25% fat content. 

Bechamel Sauce 

If you want to indulge in a creamy and luscious Moussaka, you have to add bechamel sauce to your recipe! Bechamel sauce will help you create a base so you can layer all the other ingredients on top. It also assists in holding all the layers together. 

If you don’t have much time in your hand, you can go for store-bought options. But know that béchamel sauce is super easy to make! First thing first, you have to make the roux by adding butter and flour to a pan. Once the roux achieves a light brown color, keep whisking in the milk until it starts to thicken, and voila! A rich and smooth bechamel sauce is ready to use! 


The rich filling and blast of flavors are what make Moussaka the ultimate comfort food, but it is the gooey baked cheese on top that takes the recipe to a whole new level! While you can incorporate any cheese you want into the recipe, some particular cheeses tend to work really well with Moussaka. These include feta, ricotta, parmesan, provolone, mozzarella, and the list goes on and on! 

If you want your Moussaka to be on the creamier side, add some cream cheese to it. But, when it comes to creating an unparalleled depth of flavor, nothing can beat Greek feta! And, if you are all about having a string cheese pull moment, adding grated mozzarella will do the trick!

Ingredients That Go Into A Vegan Moussaka Recipe 

Being vegan should not stand in your way of devouring this surprisingly versatile dish. Just because there are a plethora of regional variations to this recipe does not necessarily mean that you cannot come up with your very own version. So, if you don’t want to deprive yourself of the joy of eating this dish, then scroll down below to know what ingredients go into a vegan Moussaka recipe! 


A vegan Moussaka can be as good as the “traditional” one if you manage to substitute the meat with something else. Mushrooms have a savory flavor to them which makes them nothing short of magical! They are rich in texture and versatile when it comes to their cooking potential!

If you want to incorporate a meaty and umami flavor into your Moussaka, Portobello mushrooms are the way to go! These are healthy and filling and do not require a splurge, unlike other meat substitutes. 


As mentioned earlier, minced lamb or beef meat creates a smooth base for a spot-on Moussaka. If you want your vegan Moussaka to be rich in terms of taste and texture, consider adding some lentils to it. 

Mashed lentils with crushed tomatoes will create the perfect base for a vegan Moussaka, all the while adding an earthy flavor to it. If you’re looking for lentils that you can use as an alternative to meat, black lentils, preferably with their skin on, will be your best bet! 

Vegan White Sauce 

The ultimate Moussaka recipe requires a creamy bechamel sauce. But just because an ingredient isn’t vegan doesn’t mean that you have to throw it out of the dish. Instead, you can add your own vegan white sauce to it!

The first thing you have to do is soak up some cashews overnight. Drain the soaked cashews and add them to a blender. Slowly add in some olive oil, one or two cloves of garlic, and water to it. Blend it until smooth and that is it! It will be as wholesome and creamy as bechamel sauce, that’s for sure! 

Nutritional Yeast 

Moussaka without cheese is like a present without a bow! If you happen to be a vegan then you already know how nutritional yeast works as a healthier alternative to cheese. 

It has the same nutty flavor and creamy texture to it that makes it the perfect substitute for cheese. Once you are done layering the Moussaka, add some nutritional yeast on top and bake until golden. You won’t be able to spot a difference, no doubt in that! 

Can You Put Potatoes In Moussaka? 

Of course, you can. In fact, some Moussaka recipes call for it. You can use potatoes instead of eggplant in your Moussaka recipe. 

Potatoes are a great alternative to eggplants for those who do not like eggplants. Some people have terrible allergies to eggplants. So, that is another reason why you might want to replace them with potatoes. But if you feel adventurous you can use both as well. No, harm in it. 

You can slice the potatoes as you would for chips, maybe a bit thicker. Then place them as a final layer on top of the bread crumbs or as the first layer.

Can You Use Crème Fraiche In Moussaka?  

If you would like some tanginess to your Moussaka then you can use crème Fraiche instead of adding the bechamel sauce. 

I’m personally not a fan of crème Fraiche in Moussaka. I think overall the bechamel sauce brings out the best of a Moussaka. Also, the tart taste of crème Fraiche is not fancied by my taste buds. 

But there are recipes that use crème Fraiche for Moussaka. And it is quite convenient to use as you can find good store-bought crème Fraiche. But, I’d say, if convenience is the only issue, making fresh bechamel is absolutely worth it.  

Can You Add Chicken To Moussaka? 

Yes, you can put the chicken in Moussaka. Though chicken can be a bit bland tasting compared to the traditional lamb or beef filling. 

Moussaka is a very complex dish. And usually has many ingredients adding a ton of different flavors. The problem with chicken is, it can be a bit bland and fail to express its flavor among all the other ingredients. 

Lamb and beef have a much more concentrated flavor that pops even amongst all of the ingredients in a Moussaka. That is why they are more popularly used than poultry. 

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