How to Make Traditional Greek Moussaka

Aug 20, 2019

Are you craving delicious Greek comfort food and a warm, inviting Moussaka seems to shout your name? Or, are you doing a bit of research to discover what exactly Moussaka might be?

Either way, we’ve got you covered. We’ve brought you a brief description of the history of Moussaka, and in case you want to try it at home, we’ve even included a few traditional Greek Moussaka recipes to get you started. 

What is Moussaka?

Moussaka is an eggplant, or potato-based, a dish prepared with meat that is often served in the Middle East as well as in Greece. It first appeared on the public horizon during the 1920s, when the Greek chef, Nikolaos Tselementes’, cookbook was published. 

The Greek version typically uses eggplants, ground lamb, and a beautiful white Bechamel sauce. It is served warm to ensure it sets up perfectly before slicing. 

This is comfort food at its finest. So, if you’re ready to try it at home, here are a few Greek Moussaka recipes

Greek Dish Moussaka 

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggplants
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 3 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Fresh chopped oregano leaves (about 1 handful)
  • Chopped parsley, chopped (about 2 handfuls)
  • 2 pounds quality ground lamb
  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 (16-ounce) can crushed and drained tomatoes
  • 8 ounces of crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

Directions:

  • First, remove the eggplant stems and peel the skin. Then, cut the eggplant into half-inch, lengthwise slices. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle a skillet with oil and heat to medium-high. Fry the eggplant, until golden on both sides. Let the eggplant drain well on paper towels. 
  • Next, add a bit more oil and sauté the garlic, onion, oregano, parsley and lemon slices for about 2-3 minutes. Now, add the ground lamb, a bit of salt and pepper and cinnamon. Stir in the tomato paste and crushed tomatoes. When the liquid has evaporated, you may remove the pan from the heat. 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  • Take a large glass casserole dish and line it with the eggplant. Then, add a layer of meat sauce. Sprinkle on one half of the feta and parmesan. Now, repeat layers until all the ingredients have been utilized. 
  • Make the final layer a topping of breadcrumbs. Bake until golden brown—about 35 minutes. Be sure to let the Moussaka cool before serving, by giving it at least 20 minutes to set. Delicious! 
  • Makes 6 servings 

Moussaka with Bechamel Sauce 

Moussaka with Bechamel Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables
  • 4 eggplants 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 lb sliced potatoes
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil 
  • 8 large egg whites (hold back yolks for the sauce)
  • 2 ⅓ cups breadcrumbs

Meat Filling

  • 1 1/2 pounds quality, ground lamb 
  • 2 diced onions 
  • 3 minced garlic cloves 
  • ⅓ cup red wine
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ⅓ cup chopped parsley 
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup tomatoes (crushed and drained) 
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste 

Béchamel Sauce

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 cups warm milk
  • 8 beaten egg yolks 
  • Pinch of nutmeg

For the Casserole

  • Breadcrumbs 
  • 1 cup parmesan

Directions:

  • Peel the eggplants. Then, cut them lengthwise into ½ inch slices. 
  • Salt the eggplant. 
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Lightly oil 2 baking sheets. Rinse and dry the eggplant. Dip each slice in the beaten egg whites, and then coat in bread crumbs. 
  • Place the slices on the sheets and bake for about 30 minutes, turning once for consistent cooking.
  • Remove the eggplant from the oven and reduce the heat to 350 degrees.

Meat Filling 

  • Place the ground lamb in a sauté pan and brown. Then add onion until soft, and follow it up with the garlic. 
  • Add the wine and simmer. Then add allspice, sugar, parsley, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and the cinnamon. 
  • Simmer until much of the liquor has evaporated, to create a thicker sauce. This may take about 20 minutes. 

Béchamel Sauce

  • Melt the butter on low in a saucepan. Then add the flour. Be sure to whisk well to create a smooth mixture. Allow the flour to cook (less than a minute) but do not brown the mixture. 
  • Now, slowly add the warm milk while continuing to whisk the entire time. Simmer on low, just until it thickens. Be sure not to let this mixture come to a boil. 
  • Then, remove the pan from the stove and stir in salt, pepper, and the nutmeg. 
  • Take the pan off the heat source, stir in beaten yolks and nutmeg. Now, return to the heat and allow the sauce to become thick.  

The Moussaka

  • Use a nonstick spray in a large glass casserole dish. Place breadcrumbs on the bottom of the dish.
  • Layer the sliced potatoes into the bottom of the pan. Now, add a layer of eggplant.
  • Spoon on the meat sauce, and add some of the cheese. Then, add another layer of eggplant and cheese. 
  • Pour the sauce over the entire casserole and sprinkle with more cheese. 
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, or until it’s a beautiful golden brown. Cool before attempting to slice. Enjoy! 
  • Serves 6–8

Easy Moussaka Recipe 

Ingredients 

  • 2 thinly sliced large eggplants
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium chopped onion 
  • 5 chopped garlic cloves 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 pound of ground lamb 
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste 
  • ½ cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley

The Bechamel Sauce 

  • 2 ounces of butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese 
  • nutmeg (to taste)
  • 2 medium eggs
  • Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees 
  • Place the eggplant slices on large baking sheets and brush with olive oil. Bake about 20 minutes or until soft. 
  • Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent. Then add cinnamon, oregano, and garlic. Cook for a couple of additional minutes. 
  • Add the ground lamb and brown thoroughly. Now, add the tomatoes and wine. Allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, add parsley, salt, and pepper 
  • For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. Now, add flour creating a paste. Remove from the heat source and slowly add the warm milk, stirring constantly. Once the sauce is thickened, add part of the cheese and nutmeg and allow to cool for about 6 minutes. Then whisk in the eggs. 
  • For the assembly, take your glass casserole dish and layer with eggplant slices and the meat mixture. Repeat until ingredients are all used. Now, pour on the Bechamel sauce and sprinkle with cheese 
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow it to cool at least 20 minutes before slicing. This is a crowd-pleaser! 
  • Serves 6

Now that you can’t seem to get enough of authentic, traditional Greek food, be sure to look for Lemon and Vine products in the freezer section of your local grocery store. We use only the finest ingredients, and old-world recipes, to create our dishes. You’ll love the flavor, convenience, authenticity, and quality. 

Try out some of our Mediterranean-based products today!

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