Updated date:

The Best Greek Moussaka Recipe Ever!

greek-moussaka-recipe

My Favorite Greek Moussaka Recipe - An Easy Aubergine Moussaka Recipe

Do you want to make a fantastic Moussaka? On this page I will show you how to make a yummy and tasty Greek Moussaka, and, for the vegetarians among us I haven't left you out, you can try my vegetarian moussaka recipe which replaces the mince with lentils, I have often made a veggie moussaka this way and it goes down really well, in fact second helpings were requested..

Moussaka, undoubtedly one of the most well known classic Greek recipes, is traditionally made by layering meat and sliced aubergines (eggplant) and topped with a bechamel sauce.

My Greek moussaka is aubergine based, and one which I make with a yogurt based topping for a slightly lighter Moussaka. But there are lots of different Moussaka Recipes, with each cook putting their own twist on it.

It wasn't until my 30's that I was introduced to moussaka. My parents weren't exactly what you would call adventurous cooks, or indeed eaters, so dishes like moussaka and lasagna were never on the menu in my childhood years. However, these days, a Moussaka, made with lamb and aubergines, and baked in the oven until golden and bubbling is probably one of my favourite meals.

I often make my recipe for moussaka with potatoes, layering the potatoes up with the aubergine and mince. If you haven't tried a potato moussaka recipe before give it a go, it gives the recipe a whole new dimension.

greek-moussaka-recipe

Ingredients For My Greek Aubergine Moussaka Recipe - These are the ingredients needed to make this easy lamb Moussaka recipe with aubergines

About 500g of lean minced (ground) lamb
2 Aubergines (Eggplants) medium to large in size
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purée
3 fl oz (75 ml) red wine
salt and freshly ground black pepper

The yogurt topping for the Greek Moussaka

150ml greek yogurt

1 medium egg, beaten

50g feta cheese

25g freshly grated parmesan

Photo courtesy of abbyladybug

My recipe is for lamb moussaka

but beef or vegetarian moussaka taste great too!

In Greek Cuisine Moussaka Is Traditionally Made with Lamb - But how do you like your moussaka?

First, Prepare The Aubergines For The Greek Moussaka Recipe - First you need to do a little preparation to get rid of the high water content and concentrate the

greek-moussaka-recipe

Prepare the aubergines for the Greek Moussaka recipe

Leave the skins on and slice the aubergines into approximately 10mm thick slices.

Put the slices into a colander and sprinkle them with about 1 level dessertspoon of salt. Stand the colander on a plate to catch the water which comes out of the aubergine and put another plate on top of the aubergine slices.

You now need to weigh this plate down with something heavy (I find that a couple of tins of soup works quite well) and leave them for about an hour to let the juice come out.

After an hour, squeeze out any of the excess juice from the aubergines and dry them well in a clean cloth.

Spread the aubergine slices on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over them tossing them around to get a good coating.

Put the baking sheet in a pre heated oven (around 200 degrees) and roast the aubergines for 30 minutes or until they are browning at the edges.

I usually roast the eggplant simply because the baking tray is much bigger than the frying pan and I can get the slices done all in one go, but, if you would rather sautee the eggplant to use in the moussaka you can do that too.

Now the aubergines are ready to use in the Greek Moussaka recipe.

Photo courtesy of Nic0

Preparing The Lamb For Use In The Greek Moussaka Recipe - Brown and remove the fat from the lamb before layering in the Moussaka

greek-moussaka-recipe

Preparing the lamb for the Moussaka recipe

Because the mince can have quite a lot of fat come out of it I usually dry fry the mince until it is nicely browned then remove it from the pan and put it to one side then discard any of the fat which has come out of it before using it to make the moussaka.

Then heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and thyme gently, without colouring, for about 10 minutes.

Stir the minced lamb back in and add the parsley, cinnamon, tomato purée and red wine and stir to combine the ingredients. Season the mixture well and cook gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occaisionally.



Now the lamb is ready to use in the Greek Moussaka recipe

Photo courtesy of PAgent

In Greek Cuisine A Traditional Moussaka

is made from leftovers from a roast lamb or mutton joint. Using leftovers like this would make the moussaka a more economical dish to make.

Making The Yogurt Topping For The Greek Moussaka Recipe

Usinh yogurt means that you end up with a lighter topping for the Greek Moussaka

Prepare the topping for the Greek Moussaka recipe

It's true that Moussaka isn't the most healthy dish on the planet, that's why I prefer a yogurt topping for my moussaka recipe because it is a bit lighter than others I have tried but that is purely my preference. I will give you some alternative toppings for moussaka and you can choose which one you think that you would prefer.

Mix the yogurt with half of the cheeses and the beaten egg and season with ground pepper.


The yogurt topping is now ready to use in the Greek Moussaka recipe

Alternative Toppings For Greek Moussaka Recipes

If you don't want to use a yogurt sauce topping for your moussaka try this

White Sauce Topping For Greek Moussaka

30g finely grated Parmesan

568ml carton milk

1 bay leaf

3 black peppercorns

75g butter

75g plain flour

2 egg yolks

To make the white sauce for the moussaka put the milk along with the bay leaf and peppercorns into a saucepan. Over a low to medium heat bring the milk up to boiling point then remove it from the heat.

Cover the pan and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat and stir in the flour, to make a roux, cook this for about 3 minutes.

Strain the milk and, using a wooden spoon, slowly stir it into the roux, only adding more milk after it has been smoothly absorbed into the roux.

You should end up with a thick sauce. Simmer this over a very low heat for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Then remove from the heat, beat in the egg yolks and add salt to taste.

Putting The Greek Moussaka Recipe Together - Now we are ready to arrange everything in layers to make the Greek Moussaka

greek-moussaka-recipe

Putting everything together to make a yummy Greek Moussaka!

Line the bottom of a casserole dish with slices of aubergine, then spoon over some of the meat mixture. Build the layers of the moussaka up until all the meat and aubergine has been used.

Cover with the topping mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC / 350ºF / Gas 4 for about 1 hour until golden and bubbling.

Let the Moussaka stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting and serving and this will ensure that it keeps its shape when you serve it.

There is only one thing left to do now and that is to...

Enjoy the Moussaka!

Photo courtesy of abbyladybug

Serve the moussaka with a nice green salad and some fresh crusty bread.

Le Crueset Casserole Dishes Are Perfect For Layering Up And Cooking The Greek Moussaka Recipe. - A Le Crueset Bakeware Dish is perfect for cooking your Moussaka

I have one of the square Le Crueset baking dishes which I use to layer up and cook the Greek Moussaka then take the cooked moussaka straight to the table.

I absolutely love the quality of the Le Crueset bakeware, they are very durable, I haven't even managed to chip mine after more than 5 years of use! I have never had a problem with food sticking to the surface, food cooks nice and evenly in it, and it is easy to clean and come in a range of great colors to match any kitchen.

Moussaka With Potatoes - One Of My Favorite Ways To Make Moussaka

Try this awesome tasting potato Moussaka

Ingredients needed to make Moussaka with potatoes

500 g aubergines, thickly sliced

2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

100 ml olive oil

500 g courgettes (zucchini), trimmed and sliced lengthways in thick slices

2 large onions, chopped

450 g minced lamb

400g can of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

For the white sauce

600 ml milk

50 g butter

4 tbsp cornflour

2 eggs

60 g freshly grated cheese, I like to use a strong cheddar but haloumi is good too

A good pinch of ground cinnamon

How to make the potato moussaka

Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3.

Prepare the sliced aubergines for the moussaka as shown above, or alternatively, sprinkle the slices with salt and put them on kitchen paper for a couple of hours to let the liquid rum out. Rinse the aubergine slices and thoroughly dry with more kitchen paper.

Heat a little of the olive oil in a pan and fry the potato slices until they turn golden brown, then turn them onto kitchen paper to drain. Repeat this process the courgettes and finally, the aubergines.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over moderate heat and add the onions, cooking until softened and beginning to turn golden.

Add the minced lamb to the saucepan, stir, and fry for a few minutes until the lamb changes color.

Now stir in the tomatoes, cinnamon and parsley and season the mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Turn down the heat and simmer until the mixture is thick and the liquid is absorbed.

To make the white sauce for the moussaka:

Put 3/4 of the milk into a small saucepan together with the butter and heat through.

Mix the rest of the milk with the cornflour, whisk in the eggs then add the grated cheese and cinnamon.

Mix a little of the warm milk, gradually, into the egg mixture, then slowly stir this mixture into the saucepan of milk and heat over a low heat, stirring continuously, until it thickens.

Assemble the moussaka by layering the potatoes, aubergines, cougettes and mince, then cover with the white sauce and bake for 1-1½ hours until the top turns nice and brown.

Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe

This veggie moussaka is sure to please both vegetarians and meat eaters alike, the moussaka is well worth trying.

You may not think that it is possible to make a good moussaka without meat but even non-vegetarians will have to agree that this vegetarian moussaka tastes great.

Ingredients for the vegetarian moussaka

2 aubergines, each 8 oz (225 g)

10 fl oz (275 ml) vegetable stock

2 oz (50 g) Puy lentils

2 oz (50 g) Green lentils

4 tablespoons olive oil

Large red pepper, deseeded and diced

2 medium onions, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes, drained

7 fl oz (200 ml) red wine

2 level tbs tomato purée

1 level tsp cinnamon

2 level tbs parsley, chopped

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Ingredients for the moussaka topping

250g tub of ricotta

10 fl oz (275 ml) whole milk

1 oz (25 g) plain flour

1 oz (25 g) butter

¼ whole nutmeg, grated

1 large egg

1 oz (25 g) freshly grated Parmesan

Salt & freshly ground black pepper

First of all pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C) and prepare the aubergines, or egg plants, by one of the methods given above.

Put the stock and the Puy lentils into a saucepan, cover and simmer for 15 minutes then add the green lentils. Cover the pan again and cook for another 15 minutes, most of the stock should now have been absorbed and the lentils should be soft.

While the lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions for about 5 minutes until they soften and and begin to go brown at the, add the chopped pepper and cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic an cook the mixture for another minute. Remove the mixture from the pan and set aside.

Rinse and dry the aubergines, then add the rest of the oil to the frying pan, and on a high heat cook the aubergines until they begin to brown a little on both sides. Add the tomatoes and the onion and pepper mixture to the pan. Add the wine, tomato puree and cinnamon and stir well.

Now add the lentils and chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently while you make the sauce for the moussaka topping.

To make the sauce for the moussaka topping place the milk, flour, butter and nutmeg in a saucepan and whisk (using a balloon whisk) until it begins to simmer and becomes a smooth glossy sauce.

Remove the sauce from the heat, let it cool slightly then season with salt and pepper and whisk in the ricotta followed by the beaten egg.

Now all that's left to do to make the vegetarian moussaka is to transfer the vegetable and lentil mix into an ovenproof dish and spoon the cheese sauce over the top. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake on the middle shelf for about 1 hour.


A Twist On Moussaka! - If you would like to be a little more creative with your moussaka...

Ever since I discovered Moussaka I have been trying out different recipes and different ways with Moussaka. Here are just a few of my favourites that are just that little bit different... A twist on Moussaka!

It all started off with my adventurous streak in cooking when I thought 'Why not have Moussaka meet with Shepherds Pie? It's not really that weird, the result is actually very nice and all that you have to do to make this 'Moussaka' that little bit different is simply replace the moussaka topping with mashed potato sprinkled with a little cheese before baking it in the oven.

moussaka

moussaka

The Great Moussaka Taste Test

Tesco Finest Classic Lamb Moussaka

We enjoyed the taste of this moussaka, it was full of lamb mince in a rich sauce, layered with aubergines, potatoes and tomatoes, and topped with a bechamel sauce and cheese.

I thought the whole slices of tomato were a little too thick and unusual though, and, I am not sure that I thought that they brought anything to the moussaka.

I suppose the advantage of a ready made moussaka is that it comes in its own baking try which you just pop into a pre heated oven, this one takes between 45 to 50 minutes to cook, and you just throw away the tray afterwards so you don't have any stubborn, burnt on bits to cope with in the washing up.

The moussaka is plenty for 2 generous servings, we served our moussaka with a green salad and crusty bread on the side, so it made a filling meal.

Nutritional values for a half pack of moussaka:

580kcal, 24.2g Protein, 24.7g Carbohydrate (of which 10.3g are sugars), a scary 42.6g Fat (15.0g saturates), 10.9g Fibre, 1g Sodium, 2.5g Salt Equivalent.

greek-moussaka-recipe

Tesco Finest Moussaka Pros

The moussaka is ready made so no preparation time is required.

There is no stubborn washing up to do as the moussaka comes in its own foil tray which you just throw away after cooking.

2 generous servings, and, overall a nice flavoured lamb moussaka

The tomatoes are really too thick, the woody cores were left in (one of my pet hates with tomatoes), and the flesh was still firm.

Tesco Finest Moussaka Cons

Though the top of the moussaka looks reasonably similar to the photo on the box before you serve it up I defy anyone to remove the moussaka from it's cooking tray and have it look on the plate as it does in the picture on the box... Impossible!

Overall Rating For Tesco Finest Classic Lamb Moussaka: 7/10

Real Greek at Home: Dishes from the Heart of the Greek Kitchen

Have You Tried Moussaka? - Tell me about your favorite Moussaka recipe or leave other comments here

Margarita Iliadis on October 17, 2020:

very good aspects of Greek Moussaka, my only additional comments are that when we make potato or zucchini moussaka we use only one of the too as zucchini tends to be ready earlier than the potato, also not too much of cinnamon because a lot of people don't like it in food, I put instead nutmeg which is not too strong, has a lighter aroma and taste which suits the food.

Nyesha Pagnou MPH from USA on March 21, 2020:

This looks like a delicious dish. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Paula on December 20, 2019:

Great recipie especially I like the potato version. I put lots of cinnamon in the main dish and a mix of moussaka herbs I got from Crete island quite a few years ago. They still taste great. The sauce is better more liquid as it shrinks as it cooks and goes down all the layers. Hell of a lot of washing up but so worth the effort as portions freeze so well. Love fried moussaka for breakfast! Probably not what the doctor ordered!

Virginia Billeaud Anderson from Houston, Texas on September 27, 2019:

Don't agree Moussaka with bechamel topping is unhealthy. Thank you for these notes

Muhammad Amjad Khan from Karachi on July 11, 2019:

looks delicious

abhi raj from patna on April 25, 2019:

delicious

Lareine on March 25, 2019:

The moussaka using the yogurt mix for the topping was really dry. Not enough of the yogurt and cheese mix to cover the meat mix. Won’t be doing that one again!

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on May 20, 2014:

Wow!! I'm glad that I found this recipe. I can't wait to try it, as love lamb, but have never heard of this before. Thanks!!!

Paul Lenton from El Calafate, Argentina on December 22, 2013:

I tasted the Greek Moussaka in the UK and forgot all about it. In Argentina, there is a great production of aubergines and specially in Patagopnia, the lamb is absolutely marvellous! Gotta try it out soon. Thanks for reminding me of the Greek Moussaka!!!

Erin Mellor from Europe on June 12, 2013:

There was no option for "store bought moussaka is horrid", in your poll. Home made is so much better.

LadyDuck on May 12, 2013:

I love lamb Moussaka, thanks for sharing these great recipes.

othellos on May 03, 2013:

Excellent lens. Your moussaka options cover every aspect of this traditional recipe. I didn't know that you can use lamb mince meat. Thanks for sharing:)

moonlitta on April 22, 2013:

Oh you do cook:) Moussaka is a traditional dish home (living in the neighboring Greece Bulgaria) but even so there are some differences with your recipe. With or without them it is a favorite dish!

ismeedee on April 14, 2013:

Well I'm going to be busy in the kitchen later... will have to tweak the recipe as always happens with me because I never have all exactly the right ingredients. I'm sure it will be nice but not the same!

Eleni Bat from Greece on March 15, 2013:

I don't know why, people think we eat lamp so often. We do eat every part of the lamp, but we do not make mince of it. We mostly prefer beef or pork meat. Nice lens though.

kabbalah lm on March 01, 2013:

I love Greek food

anonymous on September 17, 2012:

Best topping I've ever had on a moussaka. Will never do it with béchamel sauce and potatoes again, this yogourt topping is the way to do! Just added a few spices (cumin, clove, bay leaf, oregano and coriander). This is delicious and officially my new Moussaka recipe. Thank you!

rawwwwwws lm on July 19, 2012:

I have never tried moussaka, however I will try it some time. Moussaka looks extremely delicious!

kevkev227 lm on July 12, 2012:

One of my favorite dishes. I have only made it once, and I used a bechamel. The yogurt alternative sounds interesting :)

poorwendy lm on July 01, 2012:

This dish seems familiar. And tasty. I'm just don't know the names of many Greek food that I've been eating all these years.

SailingPassion LM on July 01, 2012:

I travel a lot to Greece and keep forgetting to bring back a recipe, so this will be a great help :-)

sibian on June 26, 2012:

Fabulous food, thanks for giving me a few hints about a great dish. You are not gonna believe this, just last night me and my better half spoke about musaka, planning to bake one soon. Yyyyyuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmm, looking forward to that...

Enigmaa8 on May 30, 2012:

I have made moussaka but have cheated with white and bolognase sauce. A hit in my house. I want to try the potato version and also vegeterian one. Two thumbs up for moussaka :)

jholland on April 14, 2012:

I love moussaka, but did not realize it could be made vegetarian. Thanks for sharing these great recipes.

Renaissance Woman from Colorado on April 10, 2012:

I first tried moussaka when I was an international exchange student living in Greece. Of course, everything tastes better in Greece. I've not tried making this myself yet. Thank you for the recipes and instructions.

anonymous on February 17, 2012:

I love Moussaka, my husband is Cypriot so Moussaka is one of his favourites too.

great lens.

irenemaria from Sweden on February 02, 2012:

This dish is more than good. I have tried the real ones. There is a Greek woman, my friend, that made it for me more than once. Strong recommendations to try it! Blessings for topping.

momilp on January 27, 2012:

The moussakas I ate in Greece had the potatoes layers, and I could have eaten them morning, lunch, and dinners non-stop. I want to try the lentils one. Great lens!

piedromolinero on January 25, 2012:

I love Moussaka and I do it at least once a month. I use to make it with potatoes, as it is the most tasty for me. Here in Cyprus you can find it also layered with macaroni in some restaurants.

Edutopia on January 25, 2012:

I've never even heard of Moussaka before stumbling across this lens and I suddenly feel like I've been missing out. This looks very tasty and I can't wait to try out the recipe! Great lens!

Sniff It Out (author) on January 25, 2012:

@dolphinstar lm: Yes, it is printable dolphinstar... the link is at the end of the recipe, you will be taken to the pdf on Google Documents then just click on the printer icon in the top left corner.

dolphinstar lm on January 25, 2012:

I like moussaka and i might try out your vegetarian moussaka but is it printable?

Kathryn Grace from San Francisco on January 23, 2012:

Oh, hooray! I have wanted an authentic moussaka recipe for years, ever since a friend, who had lived in Greece for some time, served vegetarian moussaka. I have never had another moussaka as good. Your vegetarian recipe has the spices and vegetables I remember, though I don't believe they used peppers in theirs. Can't wait to try this!

Tamara14 on January 23, 2012:

Yummy! I often make moussaka as it's one of very common dishes in Croatia, passed over to us during the time when Ottoman Turks invaded and occupied Bosnia (our neighboring country). Here's it usually made with beef and kids love it. Very good lens!

girlfriendfactory on January 22, 2012:

Awesome job! If one must eat eggplant, this is one of the best ways to do it (that and parmigiana, of course but this is my favorite)! You did a terrific job and you definitely deserve a Flyby Winging! You can see your blessed lens there! :) ~Ren

glenbrook on January 22, 2012:

I love lamb and I love eggplant but it never occurred to me to combine them. This sounds delicious, I'm going to have to try it.

Hana4 on October 11, 2011:

I love moussaka, however I don't use aubergines because I don't like them, and I put sliced hard boiled eggs among the potatoes - delicious!

anonymous on September 20, 2011:

I am Greek and I L O V E moussaka! Your recipes are truly great! You've made very good work! Keep it up!

anonymous on September 18, 2011:

I chose this lens as a Related Lens for my lens, "Everyday Exotic Spices" because I love Greek food!!! Especially moussaka.

anonymous on August 23, 2011:

Before this, I couldn't have told you what moussaka is. Now I've got to try it. Since I'm a mediocre cook, this much detailed instruction is greatly appreciated. Thank you for visiting and liking my lens! Best wishes.

Yvonne L B from Covington, LA on August 14, 2011:

Great moussaka recipes. I'm going to try them all. Sprinkled with dust from the Angel of the farmyard on a Back to School Field Trip.

anonymous on August 03, 2011:

The classic Greek mousaka has potatoes also. And we don't use yogurt on the top only bechamel. That is ...if you want to make the traditional Greek musaka. Cheers

TravelingRae on July 30, 2011:

This is a great recipe lens; I like how you separated the steps and provided tons of images. I've had moussaka (vegetarian) once, about 13 years ago. It felt like a fancy shepherd's pie and didn't wow me. I like most Greek food, but this isn't a dish I'm eager to revisit.

Lindrus on July 28, 2011:

I love Greek food and will have to try one of your moussaka recipes. Thanks for sharing!

blanckj on July 26, 2011:

Great lens. I love Moussaka but don't have it very often. There are a few Greek restaurants nearby but they don't have excellent Moussaka, just okay. Thanks for the recipes.

marpar lm on July 22, 2011:

I adore Moussaka, it's one of my favorite dishes. On the island of Karpathos they put cinnamon in it as well and it tastes delicious!

NoYouAreNot on July 05, 2011:

"Moussaka isn't the most healthy dish on the planet" -- I laughed a lot with this one!

I usually make moussaka with aubergines and potatoes (not courgettes), but this veggie version looked appealing, I will definitely give it a try, I like vegetarian dishes.

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on June 28, 2011:

Mmm, I remember eating Moussaka, tastes so good! Never tried making it though - maybe this will encourage me to try.

Krafick on February 22, 2011:

Nice lens. I love moussaka. Thank you for the great recipe.

Diana Grant from United Kingdom on February 14, 2011:

Lovely lens, and I love moussaka. I bought a bottle of roasted aubergine the other day, from a Turkish shop, so I might see what I can do with that - never seen it before.

Here's a Cupid Kiss from a Squid Angel for Valentine's Day

Michey LM on December 05, 2010:

I like the moussaka! My recipe is a little different but both recipes are delicious ( I make it with beef, not lamb)

Regards

anonymous on September 30, 2010:

I can wait to make your moussaka recipe. i really like the idea of using yoghurt for a lighter bake. Thanks for a great lens

Cynthia Arre from Quezon City on September 23, 2010:

I just love moussaka! I've never tried to make it though so thank you for sharing your favorite recipe with us.

LilliputStation on September 08, 2010:

We are studying Greece in our homeschool this month and will be preparing Moussaka for dinner this week. Thank you for the clear directions and pictures. This lens is very beautifully done and makes this recipe seem a lot less intimidating.

anonymous on February 26, 2010:

Oh I just love Moussaka and this is a recipe I really must try! Thank you!!

KimGiancaterino on September 02, 2009:

Yummy lens. I make my moussaka without lamb, but it's a truly satisfying dish. Blessed by a Squid Angel.