Easy Greek Moussaka with ground beef, eggplant (aubergines), zucchini (courgettes) and potatoes topped with a creamy bechamel sauce, a complete dinner recipe that gives comfort food a new meaning. Hearty, big on flavours, and so yummy, this Greek moussaka goes well with the whole family no matter the season.
A traditional Greek recipe
If you are looking for a hearty meal that is healthy and delicious at the same time, then you got to try this super easy moussaka. The Greek cuisine is well knows for making wide use of fresh seasonal vegetables, olive oil, good fish and meat, and all sorts of fruits and nuts.
It is said that the Greek diet is by far one of the healthiest diets in the world, and rightly so. If you are looking for healthy food ideas, the Greek cuisine is the place to start looking.
Now, we love moussaka in Romania too. Our cuisine has evolved and absorbed numerous influences over the years, and so we enjoy a wide range of dishes that we even adopted as national dishes.
So, what's the fuss with this Greek moussaka? Well, it's got layers of healthy baked veggies, lean ground beef or turkey, and a creamy bechamel sauce. Pretty amazing, isn't it?
Step-by-step photos and instructions
It might not be a quick recipe that I usually blog about, but it's certainly dead easy to make, and worth every single second you spend preparing it. And it's healthy too, since all the veggies are baked, rather than deep fried. The secret is to bake the vegetables separately, so that you can easily create perfect layers.
The beef mince is all cooked separately, then arranged nicely between layers of baked vegetables, then topped with a beautiful bechamel sauce.
How to cook the beef
- to cook the beef, sautee the onion, add the ground beef and use a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces and cook until no longer pink
- add the carrots and chopped tomatoes, broth, and leave to cook on a medium heat until the liquid is absorbed
- season well with salt, pepper and Italian herbs
How to cook the veggies
- slice the aubergine, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
- grease a baking tray, and arrange the slices in a single layer
- leave to bake for about 15 minutes until they soften, flip the slices over, then add the sliced courgettes and bake for a further 15 minutes
- slice the potatoes, drizzle with more olive oil, season well, and arrange in one single layer on a greased baking tray
- bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden, turning the slices over half the way through
How to make the bechamel sauce
This sauce can be used for so many dishes, it's quick and easy to make, rich and flavourful, and it tops the moussaka beautifully.
- melt the butter, add the flour and stir well
- gradually add the milk, whisking well until it thickens into a sauce
- add the grated cheese, parmesan, salt and pepper and a bit of dijon mustard
To put the moussaka together, add one layer of aubergines and zucchini, one layer of beef, one layer of potatoes, another layer of beef, top with more veggies, and cover everything with the white sauce. Bake until golden.
What dishes are similar to the Greek moussaka?
If I am to compare the traditional Greek moussaka to other dishes, I would first think of cottage or shepherd's pie, or even the Italian lasagna, if you replace the lasagna sheets and go for a low carb lasagna with zucchini.
The moussaka is richer in flavours though, since you've got more choice of veggies, and make plenty of use of olive oil. One herb that is a complete game changer is thyme, either fresh or dried, so do use it as you like. One dish after my own heart, that's for sure!
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- 500 g ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 eggplant (aubergine)
- 1 zucchini (courgette)
- 4 medium potatoes
- 2 onions
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup vegetable broth (stock)
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
- 5 teaspoon olive oil
For the bechamel sauce
- 30 g butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup full-fat milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- ½ cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit).
- Slice the eggplant, drizzle a bit of olive oil over, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and arrange on a baking tray.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until the eggplant slices begin to soften, turn them over, then slice the zucchini, and again drizzle over some olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the zucchini over the eggplant, and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
- Once they eggplant and zucchini have softened, remove from the tray, slice the potatoes and one of the onions, and repeat the process, baking them for about 20-25 minutes until golden.
- Meanwhile, chop the other onion, and heat up one teaspoon of oil in a pan.
- Add the ground beef, and cook until the meat is no longer pink, then add the chopped tomatoes, carrot and the broth, and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.
- Season with salt, pepper and herbs.
- To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and whisk well.
- Gradually add the milk, whisking continuously to avoid lumps forming.
- When the sauce has thickened slightly, add the cheddar, parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg and remove from the heat. Add one tablespoon of sauce in the beef mixture.
- To assemble the moussaka, grease an oven-proof dish with olive oil, add one layer or the baked eggplant and zucchini, one layer of the cooked beef, one layer of potatoes and onion, another layer of beef, then top with the bechamel sauce.
- Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until the top is golden. Garnish with chopped parsley (optional).
- Click on the US Customary link to see the measurements displayed in cups and ounces.
- The servings can be adjusted by clicking the number next to Servings.
I was excited to try this as I had all the ingredients except I used ground turkey. The positive comment: step by step instructions were good. Baking rather than frying veggies was good. End result is delicious!
OK - so from the beginning...wasn't clear if veggies were supposed to roast or just get soft. I assumed just soft. The baking time was too short - I added 10 minutes to all the veggies.
No baking pan size was given. I started with one pan and it turned out too big so had to unload it and find a smaller one.
Nutmeg was mentioned in the instructions but not in the ingredients so I didn't know the quantity. I don't like nutmeg anyway so I used cinnamon. Guestimated.
This took me 2 hours not 1 hour to make. Though I like the end result, I will not make it again as it wasn't worth investing so much time even if it was a bit healthier with baked rather than fried veggies.
Indeed, it’s not a dish that can be prepared on a busy evening. Some recipes do take time, but the result is well worth it. Perhaps you can slice the veggies thinner so they can bake faster?
I will edit the recipe to add the nutmeg to the instructions.
I have made this dish many times when I cook a greek themed dinner. My hisbands famiy of 35 come for dinner every Sunday and everyone loves it. I am making it for 20 girlfriends Wednesday and would love to know how much nutmeg I should add?
I am glad you enjoy the recipe, it's delicious! I would add half a teaspoon of nutmeg, it's pretty strong, so you don't need to add much.