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Close up of Greek moussaka with all the juicy layers.
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Easy Greek Moussaka Bake

Filled with layers of baked eggplant, zucchini and fried potato, this Easy Greek Moussaka is infused with a beef and red-wine sauce, topped with a béchamel golden cheesy crust. This simplified version uses our homemade pasta sauce (or sub with passata) plus an easy-mode béchamel white sauce!
Course Dinner
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 451kcal
Cost $10-$15

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 passata
  • 350 g beef mince
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 125 ml 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 / all purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk full cream
  • 1/3 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese grated
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 220˚celsius (430˚F).
  • Line two baking trays with baking paper and layer with eggplant and zucchini slices. Dab with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Take them out and flip them over, then dab with a little more olive oil, then bake again for a further 15 minutes. Once they're done, pull them out and turn down the heat to 180˚C (360˚F).
    1 large eggplant, 2 large zucchini
  • Setup a saucepan over a med-high heat and drizzle in 2 tbsp olive oil. Pop in the onion and fry until translucent, then add the beef mince and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook away until the beef is browned and any liquid is reduced.
    350 g beef mince, 1 onion, Olive oil, Salt and pepper
  • Next you'll need a separate frying pan. Add a splash of olive oil and fry the potato slices on both sides over a medium heat, until they're lightly browned and delicious. Set aside.
    Olive oil, 3 medium potatoes
  • Now it's time to add the homemade pasta sauce or passata with red wine in with the beef and onion and simmer until the saucy reduces nicely.
    125 ml red wine, 500 g passata
  • Now for the fun part. Layer up a 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.
  • Crumble the feta cheese over the top.
    50 g feta cheese

For the bechamel

  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, flour and milk. Stir constantly and thoroughly with a small whisk to keep it smooth. This step goes against most bechamel recipes, but it hasn't failed us once! It will start to thicken after around 5 minutes.
    100 g butter, 1/2 cup plain flour / all purpose flour, 3 cups milk
  • Remove the white sauce from the heat and add in the nutmeg, salt, pepper, shredded cheese and parmesan. Mix once more until smooth and cheesy.
    1/3 cup parmesan, 1 pinch salt, 1 pinch pepper, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Pour the white sauce all over your moussaka base. Top with a few more sprinkles of grated cheese if you like then pop it in the oven. Let it bubble away for another 20 or 30 minutes, or until that cheesy top is a glorious golden brown.
    1/2 cup shredded cheese
  • Serve immediately while hot, with garlic bread or a thick and crusty piece of fresh bread.

Video

Notes

  • If you can't source one of the veggies, such as the eggplants or zucchini, you can leave them out and increase the quantity for the other veggies to round it out. 
  • To make this dish more filling, you can also add a layer or two of cooked pasta to the bake. You'll probably need an extra large baking dish or split it across two baking dishes if you do!
  • Using homemade tomato sauce will give you the best, richest flavour, especially if you use ripe, in season tomatoes. However, the dish will still taste delicious even if you use passata or canned tomatoes. 
  • Can this be made in advance? Yes, it can! We made our last batch to take to our best friend's 30th birthday party in the country. We made it the night before, cooking it in the oven until the cheese was just starting to brown before letting it cool and placing it in the fridge overnight. We then popped it back in the oven the next night while we were away, and cooked it for around an hour until it was completely heated through and the cheese has browned more on top. You can also take it out of the fridge an hour or two before re-heating to cut down on oven time.
  • What should you serve with Greek Moussaka? There's nothing better than a fresh loaf of bread, such as lapinja, sliced and buttered to dip into the moussaka's sauces that end up on the bottom of the plate. You can also serve moussaka with a simple salad like Greek Haloumi & Mint or Italian Fennel & Orange to lighten the heaviness of the dish and make sure your guests have a drink to wash everything down.
  • What wine is best to use in moussaka? Laura and I love using a strong, dry red in our moussaka, so we used a Shiraz in ours. You could also try a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Tempranillo if you have one in the cupboard.
  • If you don't like eggplants or zucchini you can leave them out, just up the amount of the other veggies to round it out. 
  • Roasting the eggplant and zucchini slices instead of frying them helps to reduce cooking time and allow you to prepare other things while they're in the oven. This also reduces the amount of oil in the final dish.
  • To speed up the prep time even further you can skip the baking and frying step and use fresh veggies instead. Keep in mind that this will increase the cooking time to give the potatoes enough time to soften. 
  • 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 white sauce recipe, our version has only 6 ingredients and is ready in less than 6 minutes.
This recipe has been adapted from Not Quite Nigella.

Nutrition

Calories: 451kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 1136mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 997IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 281mg | Iron: 5mg