Moussaka

Greek Moussaka with a green salad

About this recipe: 

This is one of my absolute favourite dishes. This dish is the Greek version of lasagna. But instead of pasta, there are layers of grilled vegetables instead. There are many versions of Moussaka out there, some only have eggplant and other have eggplant, zucchini and potatoes. Some people fry the vegetables, but I personally like to grill them. This way the dish isn’t as heavy and more enjoyable.

Moussaka

Moussaka is the Greek version of Italian lasagna. But instead of pasta, it has layers of eggplant, zucchini and potatoes. This dish is perfect and one of Greece's most famous dishes.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 10 People

Ingredients

Mince Sauce

  • 1 kg beef mince
  • 2 Onions Diced
  • 2 Cloves garlic Sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 400 g diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 400 ml water
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 4-5 cloves
  • Fresh basil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Salt & Pepper

Bechamel

  • 150 g butter Melted
  • 150 g Flour
  • 1 ltr milk
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Nutmeg Grated
  • 3 Egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Cheese Grated

Moussaka

  • 2 Large Eggplants Sliced
  • 3 Large Zucchini Sliced
  • 4 Large Potatoes Sliced
  • olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Oregano

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 200°c.
  • Prepare vegetables. Wash eggplants and zucchinis, then slice into 1cm thick slices. Once sliced, place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt & pepper, oregano and thyme.
  • Cook for 15 minutes, then turn. Cooking again for another 15 minutes on the other side. Once cooked remove from the oven and set aside for assembly later.
  • Peel your potatoes. Once peeled slice into 1cm thick pieces. Fry your potatoes slices. Once fried, remove from the oil and place on paper towel. This will soak up some of the oil. Set aside to cool.
  • Begin making the mince sauce while the potatoes are frying and the eggplant and zucchini are being grilled.
  • Roughly dice two large onions and slice two garlic cloves. Add to a pot with some olive oil and sauté until the onions become slightly translucent. Add the mince. Once cooked through, add the tomatoes paste. Cook for roughly 2 minutes.
  • Afterwards, add in your spices. By adding the spices before adding the liquid, they have a better chance to release all their aromas.
  • Pour in the 400g of diced tomatoes and add some water. Stir and cook for roughly 15-20 minutes.
  • By now, the mince sauce should be fairly thick with little liquid. Remove from the heat and add in the chopped fresh basil and parsley. Combine, then set aside.
  • Start building your Moussaka. Begin by drizzling some olive oil on the bottom of your baking dish. Add a layer of potatoes, a layer of eggplant, zucchini and finally the mince sauce.
  • If you have leftover eggplants, you can make another layer.
  • In a medium pot, melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add in the flour and whisk.
  • Once the flour has cooked, start slowly adding the milk while continuously whisking.
  • Once all the milk has been added and the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat.
  • Season with salt, pepper and some freshly grated nutmeg.
  • Crack in 3 egg yolks and quickly whisk. You don't want the yolk to cook.
  • Pour béchamel on-top of the mince sauce. Sprinkle with some cheese.
  • Place the Moussaka in the oven and cook for roughly 20-30 minutes - until it's a nice golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. If you serve it straight away it won't hold its shape.

Notes

This dish can be easily made GF friendly by using Gluten Free flour.
If you have leftover grilled eggplant or zucchini, you can add another layer on top of the mince.
Make sure you remove the spices before you add the mince sauce to the baking tray. (Cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf)

Making the moussaka

I know a lot of people are afraid to make Moussaka, they think it’s this crazy hard and time-consuming dish. But if you multi-task, this dish can be ready to eat in under 2 hours.

Begin by turning on your oven. You want your oven to be nice and hot. In the meantime, start slicing up all your vegetables. You can use a mandolin slicer for consistency. I find it a lot faster than using a knife. Once everything is sliced, place onto a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and grill the veggies.

While your veggies are under the grill, you can start working on the mince sauce. Chop up the onions and the garlic and sauté in a pot with some olive oil. Once they have softened, add the mince. This is a super easy mince sauce to make and is full of flavour. This sauce can be done in under 30 minutes. 

By now, you should be able to start layering the Moussaka. Add one layer of the fried sliced potatoes, then a layer of eggplant, the zucchini and the mince sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated cheese. I used Romano cheese.

Making the béchamel

Béchamel is super easy to make. Make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go. Melt the butter, then add the flour to the melted butter and whisk. Slowly, slowly start adding in the milk. Once it has become a nice thick consistency, remove from the heat. Now add your seasoning. When the béchamel is done, pour it into the tray on-top of the mince sauce. The Moussaka is now ready for cooking.

Cook in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes, or until the béchamel is a beautiful golden colour. Remove from the oven and set to cool for roughly 10 minutes. If you try to cut it straight out of the oven, it will be too hot and it won’t hold it’s shape. It will be hard to resist, but trust me it is definitely worth the wait.

Can i meal prep MOUsSAKA?

This is a dish you can make before hand and freeze before cooking it in the oven. Normally when I make Moussaka, I will make two trays. One tray is for today, the other can be put in the freezer and be cooked and eaten another day. It’s super convenient for those days you don’t have time to make dinner and still want to eat something delicious. Just simply thaw it out, then pop it into the oven. Once the béchamel on-top has got a beautiful brown colour, it’s ready.

Make sure you make a big tray, because there won’t be enough for seconds if you don’t.

Other Greek food

Want to try something else, but still want to eat Greek food? Try out some of our other Greek recipes:

Greek Roast Chicken with Lemon and Thyme

Greek Roast Pork with Potatoes

 

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