Authentic Greek Moussaka

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An excellent authentic Greek moussaka recipe! It’s insanely delicious, easy to follow and always a HIT! Made up of thinly sliced potato layer at the bottom, followed by fried eggplant layer, fried zucchini layer, a flavorful, rich and thick beef sauce layer, a nicely creamy and thick bechamel sauce layer and finished off with a thin layer of Parmesan cheese. Such a great recipe to impress your family and friends!

This is my go-to Greek moussaka recipe! It’s absolutely delicious, easy to follow, versatile and you can make it ahead of time. Definitely a keeper! The first time I made it and invited my parents in law over for dinner, they raved about it after every bite. My husband even said that this was the BEST moussaka he had eaten outside Greece. He was even complaining why I invited his parents over, because there were no leftovers. Typical Jo, always wants to enjoy everything I make on its own.


I have to say that making moussaka is very time consuming but all worth it. I once told my mum in law that I now understand why a slice of moussaka at one of our favorite Greek restaurants is so expensive, thought the ingredients used are not so spectacular. Thus why I normally divide the recipe into three stages. So that I have time to clean up and relax in between. Stage 1: slice and fry eggplants and zucchinis, stage 2: make the beef sauce stage 3: Thinly slice the potatoes, make the bechamel sauce. Then assemble moussaka and bake. This is way better than making all the steps at once, especially if you don’t have time. The meat sauce can also be a day earlier to save time and improve the flavor.

What you’ll need to make Greek moussaka with potatoes

  • 700 g (1 ½ lbs) eggplants
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) zucchini
  • 700 g (1 ½ lbs) potatoes
  • 6 Tablespoons olive oil for frying eggplants and 1 tablespoon for frying zucchinis

For the beef sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 400 g (14.1 oz) pureed tomatoes
  • 200 ml (¾ cup/ 6.8 fl oz) beef stock
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the bechamel sauce (white sauce)

  • 1 liter (33.8 fl oz/ about 4 cups) milk
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) butter
  • 100 g (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 125 g (1 1/3 cups/ 4.4 oz) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make Greek moussaka with potatoes

How to slice and fry eggplant and zucchini

Begin by washing, drying and cutting zucchinis and eggplants into 1/2 cm thick slices. Line a large cutting board with paper towels. Arrange eggplant slices on the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Cover with paper towels and let sit for 30 minutes.

In the meantime heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan and brown zucchini slices on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. After 30 minutes heat 1 tablespoon of the oil for frying eggplants in a large pan over high heat. Pat dry eggplant slices and arrange them in the pan. Drizzle the slices with another tablespoon olive oil and brown them. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all the eggplant slices.

How to make the beef sauce for moussaka

Next peel and mince onions and garlic. In a large pan or pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add thyme and sugar and combine well. Then add ground beef and let cook until brown.

Add tomato paste, followed by beef stock and pureed tomatoes and cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let cook about 15 minutes, uncovered or until the sauce has thickened. (In the meantime peel, wash and thinly slice the potatoes with a box grater). Season the meat sauce with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

How to thinly peel the potatoes

Peel and wash the potatoes very well. Using a box grater slice them into thin slices.

How to make white sauce (bechamel sauce)

In a sauce pan or pot over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add flour and whisk well.

Slowly add milk while whisking (so that no clumps will appear) until you had used up the milk. Keep stirring constantly until the sauce starts to bubble and has thickened. Add two-thirds of the Parmesan cheese (from the 125 g/ 4.4 oz Parmesan cheese) and mix well until the cheese has melted. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks.

Now take 3 tablespoons of bechamel sauce that you’ve just made and add them to the meat sauce and stir well.


Preheat the oven the oven to 180 °C (356 °F) with both up and low heat.

How to assemble moussaka

Once you’ve made the bechamel sauce, meat sauce, browned zucchinis and eggplants and thinly sliced the potatoes you’re all set. So now grease a deep casserole dish (23 x 35 cm (9 x 13 inches)). Arrange the thin slices of potatoes at the bottom and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

Add the layer of eggplants followed by the zucchini layer. Season the zucchini layer with salt and pepper.

Then spread the meat sauce over the zucchini layer followed by the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 40 minutes.

Let moussaka rest for at least 30 minutes before serving.

If you serve moussaka directly after baking, you won’t really see defined layers as shown in the image below. But it still tastes great. 😉

If you want moussaka with well defined layers, just let your moussaka rest until you’ll be able to touch the casserole dish with your hands.

More Greek recipes

Authentic Greek Moussaka

An excellent authentic Greek moussaka recipe! It's insanely delicious, easy to follow and always a HIT! Made up of thinly sliced potato layer at the bottom, followed by fried eggplant layer, fried zucchini layer, a flavorful, rich and thick beef sauce layer, a nicely creamy and thick bechamel sauce layer and finished off with a thin layer of Parmesan cheese. Such a great recipe to impress your family and friends!
Prep Time1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Rest Time (at least)30 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: European, Greek
Keyword: bechamel sauce with egg yolk, Comfort food, crowd pleaser, dinner party, fried aubergine, fried courgette, Greek lasagna, mother's day, moussaka with potatoes, Sunday dinner, Sunday lunch, Thanksgiving
Servings: 8 Servings
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Casserole dish (23 x 35 cm (9 x 1 3 inch))
  • 2 large pans
  • Wooden spoon
  • pot
  • Cutting board
  • paper towels
  • Knife
  • Large plate
  • Box grater

Ingredients

  • 700 g (1 ½ lbs) eggplants
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) zucchinis
  • 700 g (1½ lbs) potatoes
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil for browning zucchinis and eggplants
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the beef sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus extra for greasing
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 500 g (1.1 lbs) beef ground
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 400 g (14.1 oz) pureed tomatoes
  • 200 ml (¾ cup/ 6.8 fl oz) beef stock
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the béchamel sauce (white sauce)

  • 1 liter (33.8 fl oz/ about 4 cups) milk
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) butter
  • 100 g (¾ cup + 1 tablespoon) plain flour (all purpose flour)
  • 125 g (1 1/3 cups/ 4.4 oz) Parmesan cheese grated
  • 2 egg yolks
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Begin by washing, drying and cutting zucchinis and eggplants into 1/2 cm thick slices. Line a large cutting board with paper towels. Arrange eggplant slices on the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Cover with paper towels and let sit for 30 minutes. In the meantime heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in the pan and brown zucchini slices on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. After 30 minutes heat 1 tablespoon of the oil for frying eggplants in a large pan over high heat. Pat dry eggplant slices and arrange them in the pan. Drizzle the slices with another tablespoon olive oil and brown them. Repeat the process until you've used up all the eggplant slices.
  • Next peel and mince onions and garlic. In a large pan or pot heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add thyme and sugar and combine well. Then add ground beef and let cook until brown. Add tomato paste, followed by beef stock and pureed tomatoes and cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let cook about 15 minutes, uncovered or until the sauce has thickened (In the meantime peel, wash and thinly slice the potatoes with a box grater). Season the meat sauce with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
  • In a sauce pan or pot over medium heat melt the butter. Once the butter has melted add flour and whisk well. Slowly add milk while whisking (so that no clumps will appear) until you had used up the milk. Keep stirring constantly until the sauce starts to bubble and has thickened. Add two-thirds of the Parmesan cheese (from the 125 g/ 4.4 oz Parmesan cheese) and mix well until the cheese has melted. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and stir in the egg yolks. Now take 3 tablespoons of bechamel sauce that you've just made and add them to the meat sauce and stir well. Next preheat the oven the oven to 180 °C (356 °F) with both up and low heat.
  • Once you've made the bechamel sauce, meat sauce, browned zucchinis and eggplants and thinly sliced the potatoes you're all set. So now grease a deep casserole dish (23 x 35 cm (9 x 13 inches)). Arrange the thin slices of potatoes at the bottom and sprinkle them with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Add the layer of eggplants followed by the zucchini layer. Season the zucchini layer with salt and pepper. Then spread the meat sauce over the zucchini layer followed by the bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 40 minutes. Let moussaka rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. I normally let my moussaka rest inside the still warm oven with door closed. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Feel free to adjust the recipe to your liking.
  • If you don't know what to do with the eggs whites, simply beat them until light and fluffy and fold them into the bechamel sauce.
  • It's very important that you use a deep casserole dish.
  • Cover with aluminum foil if the cheese starts browning way before the end of the baking time.
  • To make a light moussaka, simply brush zucchini and eggplant slices with a little bit of oil and bake and leave out the potatoes.
  • Let moussaka rest for at least 30 minutes before serving. If you serve moussaka directly after baking, you won't really see defined layers. But it still tastes great. If you want moussaka with well defined layers, just let your moussaka rest until you'll be able to touch the casserole dish with your hands.
  • Moussaka tastes even better the next day.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a review and add rating to it. Or snap a photo and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or tag @ester.kocht on Instagram.

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2 Comments

  1. This is a recipe that I have been looking for. The egg yolks in the Béchamel is always welcome for the added richness. I might add some ground lamb, because we like it. As we are just two people, do you think it would freeze well? Thank you.

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