Moussaka is a tasty Mediterranean casserole made from layers of meat and vegetables. This Greek version is made with ground beef or lamb, creamy béchamel sauce, grilled eggplant, and potatoes.

Moussaka is a very rich, specialty casserole that’s perfect for Sunday lunches or potluck get-togethers.

The Eastern Mediterranean recipe takes a little time to put together, but like a good lasagna, it’s worth it!

What is Mussaka?

This version is Greek, although each country in the region makes its own version of moussaka.

Even the Greek versions have endless variety, from different ingredients in the meat sauce, the choice of meat, the amount of béchamel, how they cut and cook the aubergines, whether potatoes are used, etc.

How to make moussaka

Moussaka is best made in stages. Start with the meat sauce and while it simmers, prepare the potatoes and eggplant. Make the béchamel last because it’s not a sauce that keeps very well.

Don’t be intimidated by the many steps. We have only carefully described the process to make it easier to follow.

Do you have a favorite way to make moussaka? Please let us know!

Tips for preparing the eggplant

If you’re unfamiliar with eggplant baking, follow these tips.

  • Removing most, but not all, of the eggplant’s skin. The skin can be bitter and make slicing the casserole difficult after baking. Leaving just a little skin reduces potential bitterness while still adding an appealing texture to the casserole.
  • Salt the sliced ​​eggplant. The flesh of the eggplant can also be bitter. Salting before cooking minimizes any bitterness in the meat.
  • After salting, dry the aubergines well with kitchen paper so that the casserole does not become watery.

How to store and reheat moussaka

Store leftover moussaka in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or oven at 350°F until just heated through.

Freeze leftover moussaka by wrapping it first in plastic wrap, then in foil, whole or in individual portions, for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or oven at 350°F until just heated through. (Although this casserole is still delicious frozen, be prepared for the potatoes to have a different texture once they have been thawed and reheated.)

More Greek recipes that go well with moussaka

  • Greek chicken skewers with flatbread and yoghurt sauce (chicken souvlaki)
  • Easy Greek Salad
  • Cucumber Yoghurt Salad (Tzatziki)
  • Avgolemono soup
  • Baklava

From the editors of Simply Recipes


preparation time
30 minutes

cooking time
2 hours

total time
2 hrs 30 mins

8 servings

All cheeses can be used here, and to be most authentic, use kefalotyri. We used Mizithra, which is becoming more common in supermarkets. You don’t have to search the world for these cheeses, however, as a pecorino or any hard grated cheese works well.

This makes a large casserole and works best in a deep 9″ x 13″ casserole.


meat sauce:

  • 2 lb ground lamb or beef

  • 2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 Onionchopped

  • 4 garlic cloveschopped

  • 1 teaspoon pimento

  • 1 teaspoon Cinammon

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste

  • 1/2 Cup dry red wine

  • seasoning of 1 lemon

  • 2 tablespoon lemon juiceor more to taste

  • Kosher Salt taste


  • 1 floor unsalted butter

  • 1/2 Cup all purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher Salt

  • 4 cups whole milk

  • 4 egg yolk

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  • 3 big globe eggplants

  • 1/2 Cup Salt

  • 8th cups water

  • 2 to 3 Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes

  • 1 Cup grated mizithra (or pecorino or parmesan) cheese

  • extra virgin olive oil


Prepare meat sauce:

  1. Fry the minced meat, add onions:

    Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the ground beef. The meat browns best if you don’t stir it.

    Add the onions about halfway through browning. Sprinkle salt over the meat and onions.

  2. Add spices and tomato paste:

    Once the meat has browned and the onions have softened, add the garlic, allspice, cinnamon, black pepper, oregano, and tomato paste. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add the wine and let it simmer:

    Add the red wine and stir well. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes. Turn off the heater. Season with salt.

  4. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice:

    Mix well and taste. If the sauce needs more acidity, add more lemon juice.

    Set the sauce aside.

Prepare potatoes and eggplant:

  1. Make the brine:

    Mix the 1/2 cup salt with the 8 cups water in a large saucepan or container. This is the brine for the eggplant.

  2. Prepare eggplant:

    Cut the top and bottom off the aubergines. Cut thick strips of skin from the eggplants to give them a striped appearance.

    A little skin on the eggplant is good for texture, but leaving everything on will make the moussaka difficult to cut later and may add bitterness, which you don’t want. (Some moussaka recipes leave the skin on and have the eggplant sliced ​​lengthwise, which is an option if you prefer.)

    Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds and drop into the brine.

  3. Salt eggplant:

    Let the eggplants sit in the brine for 15-20 minutes, then lay them out on a set of paper towels to dry.

    Place a paper towel on the counter, place some eggplant on top, then cover with more paper towels and repeat the process.

  4. Peel, slice and cook the potatoes:

    While the eggplants are pickling in the brine, peel and cut the potatoes into 1/4-inch rounds. Cook them in salted water for 5-8 minutes – you want them to be undercooked but no longer crispy. Drain and set aside.

  5. Cook the eggplant rounds:

    To cook the eggplant, fry or grill the rounds. You can also fry the eggplants, but they tend to absorb a lot of oil that way.

    To grill the eggplant rounds, heat a grill very hot and close the lid. Brush one side of the eggplant slices with olive oil and grill for 2-3 minutes. When they’re done on one side, oil paint the other side and flip them over. When the aubergines are nicely grilled, set aside.

    To grill, line a grill pan or roasting pan with aluminum foil. Paint with olive oil. Place the aubergine slices on the foil and brush with olive oil. Roast for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned on one side, then flip and roast a few more minutes. Put aside.

Prepare the béchamel:

  • Heat milk:

    In a medium-sized saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until steaming. Don’t simmer.

  • Make the roux:

    Heat butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter is completely melted, slowly stir in the flour. Allow this roux to simmer over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Don’t let it get too dark.

  • Add milk:

    Gradually pour the frothed milk into the roux, stirring constantly. It will rise and thicken dramatically initially, but keep adding milk and stirring; the sauce will dissolve. Increase the heat to medium. Add the nutmeg and about a teaspoon of salt. Mix well.

  • Temper eggs:

    Place the egg yolks in a bowl and whisk. Temper the eggs so they don’t scramble when you add them to the sauce. Using two hands, one with a whisk and the other with a ladle, slowly pour a few ladlefuls of hot béchamel into the eggs, beating all the time.

    Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the béchamel while stirring. Keep the sauce on a very low heat; do not simmer or boil.

    Finish the moussaka:

  • Layer the potatoes and aubergines in the dish:

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the potatoes in a casserole dish, overlapping slightly. Top the potato layer with a layer of aubergine slices (use only half the slices).

  • Continue layering:

    Cover the potato and aubergine layer with the meat sauce. Then put the remaining eggplant slices on the meat sauce.

  • Add cheese and béchamel:

    Sprinkle half of the cheese on top. Ladle the béchamel over everything in an even layer. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

  • Bake:

    Bake at 350°F for 30 to 45 minutes or until top is nicely browned.

    Allow the moussaka to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

nutritional information (per serving)
792 calories
49g Fat
45g carbohydrates
43g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!