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Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka is a casserole with layers of rich tomato meat sauce, eggplant, potato, & zucchini slices and topped with a thick and creamy layer of béchamel sauce.

Greek Moussaka

This delicious Greek moussaka recipe I found on Don’t Go Bacon My Heart takes time to assemble–but it’s well worth the extra effort! I’ve only had a moussaka once years ago and thought it was delicious. It was a great afternoon project and I had a lot of fun making this tasty casserole. I halved the original recipe and adapted it a bit by roasting the veggies instead of frying them and I also used less cinnamon. The moussaka was comforting, filling, and paired nicely with a greek salad and freshly baked bread.

Greek Moussaka

How to Make Greek Moussaka

Make the rich tomato meat sauce by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat into small crumbles, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato passata, beef broth, thyme sprigs, parsley, bay leaf, sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; stir to combine. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally until nice and thick.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Prepare the vegetables by seasoning the eggplant slices with a sprinkling of sea salt on both sides then place them on a few tea towels and cover them with another tea towel. Next, sprinkle the zucchini slices with sea salt and place them on top of the eggplant tea towels then place another towel on top. Press down firmly. Allow the veggies to sit and release liquid for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, roast the vegetables in batches by tossing the potato slices with some olive oil then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes.

Shake off the excess salt from the eggplant slices then toss them with some olive oil and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the eggplant slices on the same baking sheet as the potatoes in a single layer. Return to the oven to roast for 10 minutes.

Next, shake off the excess salt from the zucchini slices then toss them with some olive oil and sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the zucchini slices on the same baking sheet. Flip the potatoes and eggplant slices then return to the oven to roast for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside until needed.

Greek Moussaka

Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Make the béchamel sauce by heating the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk while whisking until thick and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Season with nutmeg, sea salt, and white pepper, to taste.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese until creamy and smooth. Next, whisk in the egg yolk until creamy and smooth. Taste the sauce and re-season with sea salt and white pepper, as needed.

Take 1/4 cup of the béchamel sauce and mix into the tomato meat sauce until well combined.

Assemble the moussaka by laying the potato slices on the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping if needed. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Greek Moussaka

Next, do a layer with half of the eggplant slices. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Greek Moussaka

Next, do a layer with the zucchini slices. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Greek Moussaka

Next, spread the tomato meat sauce evenly on top.

Greek Moussaka

Layer the remaining half of the eggplant slices on top of the meat sauce. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.

Greek Moussaka

Finally, spread the béchamel sauce evenly over the top and do a final sprinkling of pecorino cheese.

Greek Moussaka

Bake the moussaka for 30-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on a rack to cool for at least 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley prior to slicing. Enjoy!

Greek Moussaka

 

 

Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Course: Main
Cuisine: Greek
Servings: 6
Author: Adapted by Pam - For the Love of Cooking / Original Don't Go Bacon My Heart

Ingredients

Tomato Meat Sauce:

  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ¾ lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup red wine
  • ½ cup tomato passata
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped **Plus a bit more for garnish
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Dash of cinnamon **Original recipe said 1/4 teaspoon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Vegetables:

  • 1 large eggplant, ends trimmed & cut into 1/3-inch thick slices, lengthwise
  • 1 large zucchini, ends trimmed & cut into 1/3-inch thick slices, lengthwise
  • 1 large russet potato, peeled & cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, lengthwise
  • Olive oil, to taste
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Béchamel Sauce:

  • ¼ cup salted butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • Sea salt and white pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup pecorino cheese, finely grated
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions

  • Make the rich tomato meat sauce by heating the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes. Add the beef and cook, breaking up the meat into small crumbles, until cooked through, about 3-4 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the tomato passata, beef broth, thyme sprigs, parsley, bay leaf, sugar, cinnamon, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; stir to combine. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally until nice and thick. 
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. 
  • Prepare the vegetables by seasoning the eggplant slices with a sprinkling of sea salt on both sides then place them on a few tea towels and cover them with another tea towel. Next, sprinkle the zucchini slices with sea salt and place them on top of the eggplant tea towels then place another towel on top. Press down firmly. Allow the veggies to sit and release liquid for 10-15 minutes. 
  • Meanwhile, roast the vegetables in batches by tossing the potato slices with some olive oil then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. 
  • Shake off the excess salt from the eggplant slices then toss them with some olive oil and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the eggplant slices on the same baking sheet as the potatoes in a single layer. Return to the oven to roast for 10 minutes. 
  • Next, shake off the excess salt from the zucchini slices then toss them with some olive oil and sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.  Carefully remove the baking sheet from the oven and place the zucchini slices on the same baking sheet. Flip the potatoes and eggplant slices then return to the oven to roast for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside until needed. 
  • Reduce the heat of the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Make the béchamel sauce by heating the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Slowly add the milk while whisking until thick and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Season with nutmeg, sea salt, and white pepper, to taste. 
  • Remove from the heat and whisk in the cheese until creamy and smooth. Next, whisk in the egg yolk until creamy and smooth. Taste the sauce and re-season with sea salt and white pepper, as needed. 
  • Take 1/4 cup of the béchamel sauce and mix it into the tomato meat sauce until well combined. 
  • Assemble the moussaka by laying the potato slices on the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping if needed. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. 
  • Next, do a layer with half of the eggplant slices. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. 
  • Next, do a layer with the zucchini slices. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. 
  • Next, spread the tomato meat sauce evenly on top. 
  • Layer the remaining half of the eggplant slices on top of the meat sauce. Sprinkle with some pecorino then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. 
  • Finally, spread the béchamel sauce evenly over the top and do a final sprinkling of pecorino cheese. 
  • Bake the moussaka for 30-45 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on a rack to cool for at least 20-30 minutes prior to slicing. Enjoy!
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10 Comments

  1. I made a similar recipe last week with a lentil sauce instead of meat. It was delicious but I also found it quite time-consuming. I would do it again though, but I might give thought to trying to shorten the time preparing it if possible,
    Keep safe Diane

  2. This looks delicious Pam and I’m sure you know I like Greek food. Moussaka has been on my list for awhile but for my current eating plan I could only eat about a teaspoon of it. So when I get off this diet, I look forward to giving your version a try.

  3. Pam, to shorten time on this recipe, could I make the sauces ahead, just leaving the vegetables to roast and assemble the dish on the day I would bake it?

  4. I made this. Very good. Time consuming, though. I served it with the Greek Cobb Salad and the dishes were a hit. Be careful about the salting. I put ¾ t salt in the tomato layer and it was much saltier as it cooked down. Also, I added no additional salt when I assembled the layers. This may be a personal preference. Just know that you need to think about salting.

    1. Judy,

      It is a time-consuming recipe but I just love making it, especially on a cold rainy day. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Great tips about the salt.

      -Pam