This lamb-and-eggplant casserole is the national dish of Greece. It's a great recipe for entertaining. Serve the moussaka with a Greek salad.
1 1/2 pounds lean ground lamb or beef
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 (1 1/4-pound) eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 pound peeled baking potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
Oregano sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
To prepare lamb mixture, cook lamb in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until browned; stir to crumble. Remove from pan; drain. Set aside. Wipe skillet with paper towels.
Add onion to pan coated with cooking spray; sauté 5 minutes. Add lamb, currants, and next 7 ingredients (currants through garlic); bring to a boil. Cook until thick (about 30 minutes).
To prepare sauce, cook 1 1/2 cups milk and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Remove from heat. Combine 1/2 cup milk, egg whites, flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; gradually add the hot milk mixture to the egg white mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan, and cook until thick (about 15 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Place half of eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and brush with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Broil 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant and 1 1/2 teaspoons oil.
Preheat oven to 375°.
Cook potato slices in boiling water 5 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well.
Arrange potatoes in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half the eggplant slices over potatoes. Pour 4 cups lamb mixture over eggplant, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Arrange remaining eggplant over cheese, and top with the remaining lamb mixture. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese. Spread sauce over cheese, and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown. Let stand 15 minutes. Garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.
Spent a lot of time making this dish. It was totally bland, absolutely no flavor, despite all the work. I see that those who rated it higher, all added spices, etc. What is the point of a recipe if you make it 'as is' and it is terrible? Tossed all the rest out... I really hate to waste food like that...but no one was going to eat it again for lunch.
Definitely for those days when you feel like puttering in the kitchen and maybe have someone to help with dishes! I made this after lunch on Saturday, then baked it for dinner later. Did have to drain off some liquid before serving and next time would drain tomatoes as other advised. Used Hunt's Fire-Roasted tomatoes with garlic for extra flavor. Added fennel seed, about 1/3 cup red wine, and a bit of cumin to the sauce; lemon and white pepper to finished white sauce; forgot the currants. It does make a lot! I cut the recipe in half, which works fine. Didn't have quite enough eggplant and potatoes (about 4 oz. short) and was glad because it just barely fit in my 7x 11 pan. Served with roasted broccoli.
My husband(carnivore) and 2 year old both gobbled it up! I used a lot of the suggestions above, doubling the spices and draining the tomatoes, which helped. I had a little trouble with the bechamel. I make standard white sauce(2T butter, 2T flour, 1c milk) frequently, but always have trouble with eggs curdling if I try to make something like this. Maybe I'm not patient enough. I split the recipe between two 9 inch square casseroles, one for tonight and one to freeze. I'll make my go to white sauce for the top of the freezer version.
Totally delish. Made the following changes: used leftover kabob meat and even some pulled pork that was sitting around- the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, garlic) are so strong any meat will take on these flavors; used three cans of tomatoes (didnt have 4) and drained 2 of them to avoid soupy sauce; doubled the spices for the meat sauce and added a sprinkle of cayenne; added 1/2 tsp nutmeg to the bechamel; sprayed the eggplant w olive oil spray before broiling. Downside to this dish: lots of dirty pots because there are a lot of separate components (make meat sauce, boil potatoes, roast eggplant, make bechamel). But after one bite, trust me, you won't care!
Really great recipe. Even my kids ate it without complaining. Definitely drain the diced tomatoes. If I hadn't I think it would have been too runny. I also used ground veal instead of lamb and it came out fine. Really nice presentation. Can not wait to make it when it is cooler outside. Definitely a great comfort food.
I joined this website just to comment about this moussaka. It was fantastic! ..and low calorie! Make sure to salt eggplant and drain in colander for at least 15 min before applying olive oil. I used golden raisins, didn't add all the juice from the tomatoes, used fat free milk in the sauce and also added 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg to sauce(a must)...SO GOOD..cant believe its low calorie!
I've made this recipe so many times - for family, friends, recovering patients, and everyone raves about it! I usually substitute ground turkey and use lactaid milk for sauce. It's even better the next day!
I followed this recipe very closely, (I used ground beef, exactly 1.5 lbs.) but I felt in the end it was way too runny from all those canned tomatoes (perhaps different brands have different amounts of liquid). I also felt the meat sauce was not well seasoned enough. It has a lot of potential, it just needs to be amended. The eggplant part was delicious, however. I will be making Moussaka again, but I will definitely be using a different recipe. Be warned that this recipe makes a lot of food! It did not fit in a regular pyrex-type 13x9. I have noticed that the people who rated this recipe the highest made a lot of changes to the original recipe.
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!