This low carb moussaka replaces the traditional potato layer with turnips. Layers of vegetables are topped with a cheesy yogurt topping and baked for a hearty family dinner.
I have been playing with turnips as a substitute to potato for our change to a low carb. So I thought I would try it in moussaka and it worked perfectly. I've made this with layers of eggplant and zucchini for a vegetable moussaka but a traditional layer of cooked lambs mince could be added for a meaty version.
How to make low carb moussaka
A moussaka is never a quick and easy dish as it has various stages. Pop on your favourite music whilst you prepare this hearty dinner
- Prepare the eggplant. I peel the skin off in strips but that's entirely optional. Slice the eggplant into 1 cm slices, either widthwise in circles or lengthways. Sprinkle the slices with salt and sit for 30 minutes to remove the bitter juices.
2. Prepare the turnips. Peel the turnips and slice into 1cm slices.
3. Cook the turnips - place the turnips in a saucepan with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes until the turnips are soft.
4. Cook the eggplant and zucchini - Fry the eggplant and zucchini slices until golden. They can be baked or air fried if you prefer.
5. Make the topping - Beat the yoghurt and eggs together with the cheese.
6 - Assemble - Start layering the moussaka together. First, a layer of turnips on the bottom of a baking dish. I used a 9 inch circular baking dish. Either shape can be used.
7. A layer of cooked eggplant. Season the layers with herbs, salt and pepper.
8. A layer of cooked zucchini. Season.
9. Spoon half the marinara sauce over the vegetables. Repeat and then pour the topping on top.
10. Bake until golden and firm.
Recipe Tips & Suggestions
Seasoning the vegetables is key to this dish as it could turn out bland overwise. Don't be shy with your dried herbs and salt!
For a meaty moussaka, cook minced lamb and add the marinara sauce. Layer the meat sauce in place of the marinara in the recipe card.
Freeze any leftovers in a sealed container and defrost thoroughly before reheating.
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This recipe was originally posted in 2011. I've revised the recipe and updated the photographs.
Low Carb Moussaka with turnips
- 2 eggplants
- 3 medium turnips
- 1 large zucchini
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon basil, dried
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 300 ml Greek yogurt
- 2 medium eggs
- 3 oz Cheddar cheese
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Slice the top and bottom from the eggplants. Cut into 1cm slices (circular or lengthways).
- Put into a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for 30 minutes. Wash and pat dry with kitchen towel.
- Peel and thinly slice the turnips
- Place the turnips in a medium saucepan with water. Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes until the turnip slices are slightly soft.
- Drain the turnips and set aside for assembly. Season the turnip slices with the garlic powder.
- Slice the zucchini into 1cm slices (either circular or lengthways).
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan or skillet and cook the eggplant and zucchini slices until golden. This will need to be done in batches. Set aside the slices.
- Place a layer of the turnips on a bottom of a glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.
- The next layer is the eggplant slices. Season with the herbs, salt and pepper.
- Place half the zucchini slices on top and season well with the herbs, salt and pepper.
- Spoon half the marinara sauce over the vegetable layers. Repeat the turnip, eggplant and zucchini layers and pour the remaining sauce on top.
Make the topping
- Beat the yogurt and eggs together until smooth. Stir in the cheese and season.
- Pour the topping over the moussaka evenly.
- Bake in the oven at 190C/375F degrees for 45 minutes until the top is golden and firm.
- Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.