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Moussaka Recipe

Greek Moussaka - Delicious layers of lamb mince, cooked in a tomato-based sauce.

Then it's layered with aubergine (eggplant) and topped with creamy béchamel sauce and baked until you have golden perfection.



Anyone that's been on holiday anywhere in Greece, would have most certainly have eaten moussaka and if you're anything like me, you'd have it at least 5 times in a two week holiday! 😜

Where does moussaka come from - what is moussaka made of?

Moussaka is an eggplant - or potato-based dish, with ground meat, in the Levant, Middle East, and Balkans, with many local and regional variations. You can, of course, make Vegetarian moussaka

Can you Freeze Moussaka?

Yes, moussaka can be frozen, no worries. Just be sure to defrost thoroughly before reheating.

To be honest, I've found that it turns out best if reheated in a microwave, whereas in the oven it may well dry out too much.

What do you Serve Moussaka with?

Greek salad, oh my goodness, a simple Greek salad is just the best. Whenever I've been to Greece they do tend to give you bread (baguette style) but always ask for Greek salad.

Many tourists travelling to Greece have Greek salad AND fries. 

No bread for me thank you, but yep I'm guilty of ordering a side of fries before! Greedy me ah?

Quick step-by-step Moussaka, please see recipe card for precise instructions.

Cook the potatoes and layer on the bottom of a non-stick baking dish.

Potatoes for moussaka in a dish

Now cook the meat sauce.

Meat mixture for moussaka

Top the potatoes with a layer of meat sauce.

Layering moussaka meat and potatoes

Now add a layer of aubergine, followed by another layer of meat sauce. Finishing with a layer of aubergine.

Layering moussaka with eggplant

Make the Béchamel sauce and pour it over. Add a little grated cheddar (not traditional, I'm sure but it's good)!

Moussaka ready for the oven

Bake in the oven until piping hot and golden - see the recipe for full instructions.

Moussaka out of the oven

Serve with a simple Greek salad.

How to make Greek Salad

Sliced tomatoes, cucumber (peeled, deseeded and sliced), onion, thinly sliced and cubes of feta cheese.

Sprinkle over a small pinch of oregano and drizzle with olive oil.

Greek salad in a white bowl

Now, get a glass of wine and enjoy.

Yield: 4-6
Author: Jan Bennett
Moussaka Recipe

Moussaka Recipe

You can, if you wish, make this with minced beef, but traditionally lamb is used. Any leftovers freeze well and once defrosted it's best reheated in a microwave so that it doesn't dry out.
Prep time: 30 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 1 H & 15 M


For the Moussaka
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 to 3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 large aubergine (eggplant), sliced into very thin rounds
  • 1 large onion - peeled and chopped into small dice
  • 2 nice fat cloves of garlic - very finely chopped
  • 500g minced lamb - get the best you can with the lowest fat content
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato puree (paste if you're in the States)
  • 140 ml of red wine
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes - including the juice
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 large handful of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
For the Béchamel Sauce
  • 50g butter - melted
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 500ml of hot milk
  • 2 egg yolks - lightly beaten
  • a good handful grated Romano Cheese or Parmesan (about 3/4 of a cup)
  • half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • To finish the dish you might want to sprinkle over a little more Parmesan; or grated cheddar (not traditional) but it's good!


To make the Moussaka
  1. Lightly oil a largish baking dish, mine is probably about 25cm (9x9 inches) and about 7.5cm (3 inches deep) and set aside.
  2. Brush the aubergine slices with a little olive oil. Now fry a few at a time large pan until they are golden brown then remove and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and cook the onion and until soft but not coloured.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.
  5. Now add the lamb and cook while stirring until it's lightly browned.
  6. Stir in the tomato puree and cook it for about a minute.
  7. Now add the wine and cook until it has reduced slightly before adding the oregano, basil, mint, cinnamon and allspice and cook for a minute while stirring.
  8. Add the can of tomatoes including the juice.
  9. Cook on a low heat for about 30 - 40 minutes, until the mixture thickens. 
  10. While that's happening you can get on with the potatoes.
  11. Put the sliced potatoes into salted cold water.
  12. Bring to the boil and then turn down; simmer partly covered for about 6 minutes or when you can easily insert a knife.
  13. Once cooked, drain well and leave on the stovetop (no heat) to dry out a bit.
  14. Have a taste of the lamb mixture and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  15. Arrange a layer of potatoes over the bottom of your oiled dish.
  16. Followed by a layer of meat sauce and a layer of aubergine.
  17. Sprinkle with a little cheese and then do another layer of meat sauce followed by another layer of aubergines; you need the top layer to be aubergine.
  18. Now make the Béchamel sauce.
Make the Béchamel Sauce
  1. In a saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon and cook the mixture for a couple of minutes and add the salt.
  2. Now at this point, take it off the heat and add the hot milk whilst using a balloon whisk. 
  3. Have a taste and add a little more salt if you think it needs it.
  4. Let it cool before adding the eggs (yolks only) along with the Parmesan cheese and keep whisking until it turns into this lovely smooth sauce. *If you don't let it cool the eggs will scramble. 
  5. Mix in the ground nutmeg.
  6. Pour the sauce over the top and sprinkle with a little more Parmesan and a small amount of Cheddar if using. 
  7. Top with a little sprinkling of nutmeg.
  8. Cover with non-stick foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180c / 356F Gas 4 for about 35 minutes. 
  9. Remove the foil and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and it is hot piping hot in the middle.

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