Mushroom-Sweet Potato Moussaka

Author Mark Bittman uses mushrooms to replace the traditional lamb in his take on moussaka. His twists to the classic result in a vegan dinner recipe packed with 20 grams protein and 15 grams fiber.

mushroom sweet potato moussaka
Photo: Carson Downing
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 25 mins


  • 1 cup raw cashews

  • 2 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 tablespoon olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • 2 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

  • 2 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks


  1. For cashew cream: Soak cashews in 2 cups water at least 4 hours. Drain, reserving liquid. Transfer cashews to a blender. Blend, adding reserved liquid 2 tablespoons at a time until the consistency of buttercream frosting, 6 to 8 tablespoons liquid total.

  2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Add mushrooms and 2 Tbsp. oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper; toss to coat. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until mushrooms are crisp and pan is dry, stirring every 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and oregano; season to taste. Reduce oven to 350°F.

  3. For tomato sauce: In a large pot heat remaining 2 Tbsp. oil over medium. Add onion; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 8 minutes or until onion softens and starts to turn golden, stirring occasionally. Add cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tomatoes. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally; season to taste.

  4. For mashed potatoes: Place potatoes in a large pot with enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Add a generous pinch of salt. Bring to boiling. Keep water bubbling steadily until potatoes are fork-tender, 10 to 25 minutes depending on size of pieces. Drain, reserving some liquid.

  5. Using a potato masher, mash sweet potatoes in pot. Add two-thirds of the cashew cream and about 1/4 cup reserved cooking liquid; sprinkle with salt and pepper. If potatoes are too thick, add cooking liquid 1 tablespoon at a time until creamy. Season to taste.

  6. Spread tomato sauce in a 2-quart baking dish. Add mushrooms in an even layer. Carefully spread mashed potatoes on top to completely cover. Spread on remaining cashew cream. Place a foil-lined baking sheet on oven rack below dish. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and top is browned. Let stand a few minutes before serving. If desired, sprinkle with additional oregano. Serves 4 to 6.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

595 Calories
29g Fat
75g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 595
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Sodium 1641mg 71%
Total Carbohydrate 75g 27%
Total Sugars 25g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 32.1mg 161%
Calcium 188mg 14%
Iron 7.6mg 42%
Potassium 2199mg 47%
Folate, total 99.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg
Vitamin B-6 1.1mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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