Greek Moussaka – Eggplant Lasagna

Is there a dish more associated with Greek food than Moussaka? It is one of the most hearty Mediterranean Diet comfort foods the Greek table has to offer. It is not a light fresh dish whatsoever. Greek moussaka is heavy, filling, and incredibly delicious. If you’re going to make this dish, don’t skimp out by baking the eggplant and zucchini instead of frying it. Just go all in. I love the aroma the cinnamon, spices, and red wine gives to the meat mixture as you’re cooking it, it will fill your whole house.

I love this recipe because it uses both eggplant and zucchini instead of just eggplant. The prep time to make Greek moussaka is rewarded when you pull it out of the oven and see the bechamel cream bubbling on top. When I studied in Greece I had a friend who couldn’t get enough Moussaka. He would order it at as many restaurants as he could, eating it almost daily. If there’s one Greek food that many of the Americans would turn to when they didn’t know what to get, it was Moussaka.  This Greek “lasagna” is served at Greek restaurants and Greek pizza places all over the United States. Unfortunately, some restaurants use a frozen version and just warm it up to order. Instead of overpaying for a previously frozen piece of Moussaka at a restaurant, make a huge tray for your family and enjoy it throughout the week.

In the video, I am in my Aunt and Uncle’s village of Polemarxi, Crete. I woke up early with my Thea (Aunt) Vasso because she was going to show me how to make Moussaka. She uses her own potatoes, zucchini, eggplant, onion, olive oil, bay leaves, orange peel, and wine from the village. We enjoy this dish with a Greek salad and a glass of red wine. I want to thank Thea Vasso for showing me the recipe and letting me film her make it.

Here is our delicious recipe for Greek salad to pair with this dish! Almost Traditional Greek Salad

You can find more Mediterranean Recipe Videos on our YouTube Channel here! Med Living’s YouTube Channel

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Mediterranean Diet: Traditional Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka - Eggplant Lasagna

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Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr 40 mins
Servings 8
Calories 637 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound eggplant, cut in long thin slices
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut in long thin slices
  • salt
  • 6 potatoes, sliced thin
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup red or white wine
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tbsp  tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Béchamel Cream (See Below)

Béchamel Cream for Moussaka

  • 3 cups milk
  • 5 tbsp white flour
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Instructions
 

  • Place the eggplant and zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 20 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel.
  • Fry eggplant in one frying pan and zucchini in another, with olive oil in each pan. Fry until soft on the inside and brown on the outside. Remove fried vegetables with a slotted spoon. Let them drain on paper towels.
  • Using one of the frying pans, fry potatoes in oil until soft. Drain on paper towels.
  • Sauté hamburger and onion in ½ cup olive oil for 10 minutes. Stir in wine, salt and pepper, cinnamon stick, tomato paste, bay leaf, water, and allspice. Simmer for 20 minutes. Take out cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Add the grated cheese. Mix well.
  • Preheat oven to 350⁰ F.
  • In a large, lightly greased lasagna pan, layer ½ of the potatoes, ½ the eggplant, ½ the zucchini, and all of the meat mixture. Repeat with ½ the potatoes, ½ the eggplant and ½ the zucchini.
  • Top with béchamel cream and cook in the oven for 40 minutes. Let it cool for 20 minutes before serving.
  • For the Béchamel Cream, in a bowl, mix ½ cup of cool milk with the flour, egg, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring 2 ½ cups of milk to a boil. Add the butter and then add the flour/milk mixture. Stir continuously until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and use to top Moussaka.

Nutrition

Calories: 637kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 23gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 23gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 279mgPotassium: 1447mgFiber: 7gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 586IUVitamin C: 50mgCalcium: 216mgIron: 4mg
Have you tried this recipe? Tell us about it!Click here to rate this recipe in the comments section below.
About the Author: Koula Barydakis
Koula Barydakis was born into a long tradition of eating and living Mediterranean on the Greek island of Crete. She is a chef who has worked in many of the top restaurants in Crete and in Greek Town in Toronto, Canada. Koula is the co-author of “Foods of Crete, Traditional Recipes of the Healthiest People in the World” and is currently completing her second cookbook. Koula teaches cooking classes to tourists in Crete and has been hired to teach classes in other countries as well.

4 Comments

  1. colette chenault November 28, 2018 at 6:33 am - Reply

    That looks amazing. And what skill cutting the onion. I love old school. A friend of mine goes to Crete every year; I’m so jealous of all the food. And I love the music. thanks for the film.

    • George Zikos November 29, 2018 at 2:39 pm - Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for commenting!

      • Jane July 16, 2019 at 8:13 am

        Terrific to see the video, really good.
        However, having been to crete a few times, I was told to add fennel seeds, mint and cumin- please help me, is that more authentic or just a regional variation, etc ?
        thank you – jane

      • George Zikos July 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm

        Hello, Jane! Thanks for your kind words about the video. I have never heard of using these 3 ingredients in Moussaka so to me, it sounds like a regional variation. The recipe can change from village to village and house to house. I think it would still come out delicious if you used these ingredients, however. :)

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