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Easy moussaka

I love moussaka, with its tasty layers of eggplant, meat sauce and bechamel sauce. It's a really hard meal to beat. I love it, but it often takes a while to make. Enter this version, which is lovely and easy, but just as delicious!
Course Main meal
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 358 kcal
Author Helen

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggplant / aubergines, cut into even ½ cm-thick slices
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves crushed or chopped
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 pound ground beef or lamb (ground beef = minced beef in UK)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree / paste mixed with about 1/2 cup water
  • 2/3 cups red wine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley chopped

For the béchamel topping

  • 2 ounces butter
  • 4 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 cups milk warmed slightly in the microwave or in a pan
  • 2 ounces parmesan cheese or Italian pecorino / Greek kefalotiri if you can find it!
  • fresh nutmeg (to taste / a good grating or sprinkling)
  • 2 eggs
US Customary - Metric

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Lay the eggplant/aubergine slices on large baking trays and brush each side with a little olive oil. Bake for about 25 minutes or until the slices are soft and floppy.
  2. Meanwhile, start making your meat sauce. Start by softening your onion for a few minutes in a little olive oil, then add the garlic, cinnamon & oregano and cook for a couple more minutes.
  3. Add the meat to the pan and brown while breaking up with a wooden spoon. Then add the tomato puree & water and wine. Let the sauce simmer gently until it has thickened (about 20 to 30 minutes). At the last minute, add in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan, then stir in the flour until you have a paste. Take off the heat, then stir in the milk little by little.
  5. Heat and stir until the sauce is almost bubbling and has thickened nicely, then add most of the cheese and a really good grating of nutmeg. Let cool for five minutes or so, then whisk in the two eggs.
  6. Now you’re ready to assemble your moussaka! (I used a 12 x 9 inch baking dish*) Start with a layer of eggplant/aubergine slices, followed by half of the ragu sauce, another layer of eggplant/aubergine, another layer of meat and a final layer of eggplant/aubergine. Finally, pour the béchamel topping over the top and smooth it out. Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese.
  7. Bake for forty to forty-five minutes or until the topping is golden and bubbling (cover it with aluminium foil if it gets too dark). Leave the moussaka to rest for half an hour before serving (so that the pieces stay together better when you cut and serve them).

Recipe Notes

Basic moussaka recipe adapted from this recipe in Guardian Life and Style.

Serve with a Greek salad and toasted fresh bread! (this way you can feed 8 with this recipe!)

*You can use a baking dish that's a bit smaller than this, but don't use a bigger one. The meat and eggplant / aubergine layers will be very thin layers, but that's fine!

You can make this moussaka ahead. Simply assemble fully and cover in the fridge until ready to bake. Add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time. 

You can also freeze the cooked leftovers, then defrost and reheat. Mmm!

Nutrition Facts
Easy moussaka
Amount Per Serving
Calories 358 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Fat 22g34%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 107mg36%
Sodium 249mg10%
Potassium 598mg17%
Carbohydrates 18g6%
Fiber 4g16%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 17g34%
Vitamin A 485IU10%
Vitamin C 5.1mg6%
Calcium 200mg20%
Iron 2.4mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.