Dinner/ Recipes

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake is packed with eggplant and zucchini for a warming, nourishing and totally satisfying dinner. We’ve cut a few corners on this 300 year old recipe to bring you a simplified version, using our homemade pasta sauce and a quick and easy béchamel white sauce.

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com

Okay so, we’ll fess up. It might have taken us a wee bit longer to cook AND shoot this recipe than we estimated.

Deciding to start a little later in the afternoon, our meek and clouded sun disappeared on us. FAST.

(Winter is definitely almost here in Australia!)

Instead of this moussaka basking in the natural light we’re used to, we had our very first shoot with artificial light – including  our trusty super bright white LED bulb that we had made for us on our Chiang Mai travels.

So far Sarah prefers shooting in natural light, but we definitely want to play around with more artificial light so we don’t always have to bend to the rules of the weather. 

To all you budding/avid photographers out there: Have you tried artificial light before? Do you like it/hate it? Or have any tips or tricks to share about shooting with artificial light?

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com

Now, back to this gorgeous melty veggie-packed and oh so CHEESY moussaka.

We’ve been experimenting with Lorraine’s ‘Lazy Housewife Moussaka’ that she posted over at Not Quite Nigella. Its heritage spans at least 300 years and was passed down from generation to generation, to finally end up in Lorraine’s inbox via an email from her friend Dimitri.

“The recipes I have for you are from my grandmother who was taught how to cook these recipes from her mother who in turn got them from hers etc, etc. These recipes are at least 300 years old. They are very simple recipes but so tasty which makes it worth your while to try and replicate them for yourselves.”

FINALLY! An easy moussaka that can be cooked during the week.Click To Tweet

 

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake

Like Lorraine, we also made a few extra shortcuts to the recipe:

  • We roasted the eggplant and zucchini slices instead of frying them. This not only helps to reduce cooking time and allow you to prepare other things while they’re in the oven, but it also reduces the amount of oil in the final dish.
  • We substituted tinned/pureed tomatoes for our very own homemade pasta sauce because a) we had a huge batch on hand and b) we wanted to give it an extra spicy kick of paprika.
  • Sarah’s got a knack when it comes to whipping up a quick and easy béchamel sauce. Unlike the 12 minute cooking time of an original béchamel , this sauce has only 6 ingredients and is ready in less than 6 minutes. 

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com

Easy Moussaka Greek Veggie Bake is such a warming dish for winter, and once assembled into layers of roasted eggplant, zucchini, potato, the beef sauce and white béchamel sauce, it’s so succulent you won’t even need a knife to eat it. Just tuck in with your fork or spoon!

It also makes for a super handy batch recipe, whether your feeding a heap of hungry people at your table or freezing a few portions for a later lunch or dinner.

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com

If you love Greek cuisine as much as we do check out these light and refreshing salads: Greek Haloumi & Mint and Watermelon, Tomato, Feta & Peppermint to lighten the dish. 

Or if Italian fusion is more your style you might want to give our Smoky Beef & Bacon Bolognese a go.

Have you cooked moussaka before?  Comment below and let us know how you go making this for a weeknight meal. 

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake - Roasting, frying, simmering and baking all the glorious flavours into this centuries old dish is a dinner delight like no other. Best part - it's SO easy. | wandercooks.com
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Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake is a recipe packed with eggplants and zucchini for a warming and nourishing dinner that doesn't take too much time.
Recipe Type Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8
Author Wandercooks

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant sliced 1 cm thick
  • 2 large zucchini sliced 1 cm thick
  • 3 medium potatoes sliced 1/2 cm thick
  • 500 g homemade pasta sauce or passata
  • 350 g beef mince
  • 1 large brown onion chopped
  • 125 ml dry red wine shiraz or cabernet sauvignon
  • 50 g feta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the béchamel

  • 100 g butter
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 3 cups full cream milk
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1 large handful tasty cheese grated
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. It's time to fire up that oven to 220 degrees celsius and get ready for a moussaka party.
  2. Set up two baking trays with baking paper and pop on your eggplant and zucchini slices. Dab them all with a little olive oil and get them into the oven for 15 minutes. Take 'em out, flip 'em over and dab with a little more olive oil before sending 'em back into the heat for another 15 minutes. Once they're done, pull them out and turn down the heat to 180 degrees celsius.
  3. Okay, now set yourself a nice saucepan over a med-high heat and drizzle in 2 tbsp olive oil. Sizzle the onion until translucent, then add the beef mince and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook away until that beef is browned and any liquid is outta there.
  4. Next you'll need a separate frying pan (sorry for the dishes). Drop in a splash of olive oil and fry those potato slices on both sides over a medium heat, until they're lightly browned and delicious. Set aside.
  5. Yay! Now it's time to add the homemade pasta sauce or passata and a good glug (ie 125 ml) of red wine to your beef and onion and cook away until the saucy mix thickens nicely.
  6. Now for the fun part. Layer up a nice large baking dish with half the potatoes, then half the beef sauce, then eggplant, then remaining potatoes, zucchini and finally the rest of the beef sauce. MM MMM.
  7. Crumble that salty feta over the top.

For the béchamel

  1. Okay, let's get this cheesy ball rolling. Melt your butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once it's melted away, add that flour and stir through (quickly, quickly!) with a wooden spoon. (This baby is going to thicken real quick. If it gets too thick, take it off the heat to cool and work those lumps out with a wooden spoon.)
  2. Slowly pour in a a cup of milk, and mix mix mix until nice and smooth. Once it thickens again, add another cup, repeat, then another cup and repeat. Yes yes.
  3. Alright now take that luscious white sauce off the heat and add in your nutmeg, salt, pepper, tasty cheese and parmesan and mix once more until smooth and cheesy.
  4. Pop it back on the heat for another 10-20 seconds or so, then pour it all over your moussaka base. Top with a few more sprinkles of grated cheese (you KNOW you want to) then pop it back the oven. Let it bubble away for another 20 or 30 minutes, or until that cheesy top is a glorious golden brown. Oh yeah.
  5. All you need to do now is pop it on a plate and get stuck in.

Notes

This recipe has been adapted from Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella.

If you want your moussaka to reach the table in nice and neat squares, try letting it cool down for a little while before serving. That will help the cheesy top settle in nicely. (Assuming you can resist long enough!) 😉

 

Easy Moussaka Greek Vegetable Bake

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  • Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    11/05/2016 at 10:12 pm

    This looks wonderful. I will schedule it to pin…and also put on my “to make” list. Yum!!

    • Wandercooks
      13/05/2016 at 11:00 am

      Awesome, thanks Gloria, hope you enjoy!

  • Sarah @ Champagne Tastes
    11/05/2016 at 10:01 pm

    Oh man.. this sounds so delicious!! Can I just say that I’ve been meaning to try moussaka ever since “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” when she packed it for her lunch, and the snobby girls called it ‘mousse ka ka’ lol. This seems easy, and I’m not sure why I haven’t tried it yet!

    • Wandercooks
      13/05/2016 at 11:00 am

      Oh gawd we love that movie! Plus we all know that windex will fix anything 😛

      We find that with heaps of recipes – they look hard then you get stuck into it and find it was a breeze! This moussaka may take a little time to cook, but it’s mostly hands-off and waiting for the magic to happen haha. Totally worth it! 🙂

  • Roy (at Poc)
    11/05/2016 at 7:09 pm

    I have never tried something like this. I am going to bookmark and try this soon.
    i love your photography.. so crisp. great job!

    • Wandercooks
      11/05/2016 at 7:18 pm

      Thanks Roy, much appreciated. Hope you enjoy the recipe, let us know how you go!:)

  • Jemma
    11/05/2016 at 6:46 pm

    When I went to Greece I ate moussaka a lot! This looks lovely!

    • Wandercooks
      11/05/2016 at 7:18 pm

      Yum, that sounds like the perfect visit to Greece! 😀

  • Bintu | Recipes From A Pantry
    11/05/2016 at 5:21 pm

    I do have artificial light but have never used it well yet. You guys managed it though. Lovely recipe.

    • Wandercooks
      11/05/2016 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks Bintu! We’re loving the challenge! Good luck with your artificial-light adventures. 🙂

  • Martin @ The Why Chef
    05/05/2016 at 6:14 pm

    I swear we have the exact same taste buds – moussaka is one of my favourite dinners EVER! I never get to make it though as Emma refuses to eat aubergine! But there is an awesome food market near where I work that do it so I have it for cheeky lunch every so often. When I get time I’ll cook up a big batch of this and freeze it – I thought my last one actually tasted better when reheated the next day!

    Living in bright sunny England and working a 9-5, I’m almost never at home during our 10 minutes of sunshine each week, so most of my photography is under artificial light. But then my photos need a lot more work anyway – I need to start making an effort at the weekends while at home!

    • Wandercooks
      05/05/2016 at 8:53 pm

      Totally agree Martin! Next day for lunch is a-mazing!!! Perhaps Emma could try it with only the zucchini and potato?

      Hey we all start somewhere right! Let us know how you go in the natural light and what you think of the difference. 🙂

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