icon Moussaka

Moussaka is a regional dish eaten in the Southeastern Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Egypt, and Turkey. This recipe is the Greek version, perhaps the most wide-spread moussaka recipe.

Greek moussaka consists primarily of sautéed eggplant, ground meat and tomato. The dish is built by alternating layers of meat mixture and eggplant, topped with a white sauce. This makes it somewhat similar to lasagne.


  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 eggs, well beaten
  • good grating of nutmeg
  • dash Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lb ground lamb (or beef)
  • large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 1 tsp dried leaf oregano
  • bit of salt and pepper


  1. The Eggplant: peel, slice 2/3 in. thick, salt and let drain for 1/2 hour while you prepare the white sauce and start the red sauce. Then dry eggplant and shake in a bag with flour and a good grind of black pepper. Brown in a bit of hot olive oil. Be careful with the amount of oil, and use only enough to brown a few slices at a time. T he eggplant will absorb an amazing amount of oil if you let it, and things can become very greasy indeed. Drain the eggplant and reserve.
  2. White Sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat mix together 6 tbsp Butter and 6 tbsp flour. Whisk for a couple minutes until well blended, then add 3 cups milk. Gently bring to a boil, stirring, and simmer couple minutes. Whisk a cup or so of this mixture into 3 eggs, well beaten. Whisk the egg mixture back into the white sauce and bring up to a gentle simmer, whisking until thick. Do not boil, or sauce will scramble. Add nutmeg and a dash of Tabasco sauce. Let White Sauce cool. It should be quite thick. Note that the white sauce can be prepared a day ahead of time and refrigerated.
  3. Red Sauce: Brown well together in heavy frying pan 2 tbsp olive oil and the beef or lamb. Drain grease. Add1 large chopped onion and 3 cloves chopped garlic. Saute around until onion becomes limp. Add tomato sauce, cinnamon, oregano, parsley, mint, salt and pepper. Simmer gently until quite thick. The red sauce can be prepared well ahead of time, and keeps well refrigerated.
  4. To assemble the Moussaka: use a good sized casserole with a cover. Put about 1/3 of the eggplant on the bottom in a solid layer. Trim eggplant to fit. Spread 1/2 of the meat mixture on top. Spread 1/3 of white sauce over meat. Sprinkle with 1 cup parmesan cheese, 1/3 cup of crumbs. Then, repeat in the following order:
    • Eggplant
    • 1/2 Red Sauce
    • 1/3 White Sauce
    • 2 cups Mozzarella or other white cooking cheese
    • Eggplant
    • 1/3 White Sauce
    • 1 cup coarse dry bread crumbs
    • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, optional
  5. Garnish top with a sprinkle of red chile or paprika and an small handful of chopped parsley. Cover, and bake at 350 degrees for an hour, uncover and bake until browned on top and bubbly. Serve with a green salad, good bread and a bottle of light red wine. Greek Retsina wine is an acquired taste, but quite wonderful with this.

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Last updated: October 12, 2010