Oven-Baked Greek Moussaka – A Hearty Layered Eggplant and Meat Casserole

Oven-Baked Greek Moussaka – A Hearty Layered Eggplant and Meat Casserole

Moussaka is a classic Greek dish, known for its flavorful layers of eggplant, potatoes, and a rich, meaty sauce. Topped with a creamy béchamel sauce and baked to perfection, this comforting dish is perfect for a family dinner or a gathering with friends. The combination of cinnamon and nutmeg in the meat sauce gives it a unique, warm flavor that sets it apart from other casseroles.

– 2 large eggplants, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
– 2 large potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 1 large onion, finely chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 500g ground beef or lamb
– 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
– 2 tablespoons tomato paste
– 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
– 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
– 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

For the béchamel sauce:
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
– 2 cups milk
– 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– Salt and pepper to taste
– 2 egg yolks
– 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).

2. Arrange the eggplant and potato slices on baking sheets. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until tender and slightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, sautéing until softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

4. Add the ground beef or lamb to the skillet, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until browned. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg, then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and red wine (if using). Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the chopped parsley and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

5. To prepare the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, cooking for 1-2 minutes without letting it brown. Gradually add the milk, whisking constantly to avoid lumps. Continue to cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat, then stir in the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Let the sauce cool slightly before whisking in the egg yolks and Parmesan cheese.

6. In a large baking dish, begin assembly by layering half of the roasted potatoes on the bottom. Add a layer of roasted eggplant, followed by half of the meat sauce. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, eggplant, and the rest of the meat sauce.

7. Pour the béchamel sauce evenly over the top, spreading it to cover the entire dish. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the moussaka is bubbling around the edges. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy your delicious, hearty Oven-Baked Greek Moussaka!