Mousakas

Explore how to make your own homemade Mousakas at home, easily and quickly!

Mousakas is a layered oven casserole dish made with vegetables and meat. The most well-known version of mousaka is made with layers of aubergine slices, cheese, and a meat sauce, topped with a thick béchamel sauce; however, other favorites call for potatoes, courgettes or a combination of vegetables. Until the early 1900s, moussaka was a more simple dish, using just vegetables and meats. The addition of béchamel sauce is attributed to Nikos Tselementes, a Greek chef who trained in France, and this newer version quickly became a favorite in Greece.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3 potatoes
  • 5-6 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 aubergines
  • Thyme
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients you will need for the ground meat:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, for sautéing
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 pinches of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 level teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 500g ground beef
  • 400g chopped tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Ingredients you will need for the béchamel sauce:

  • 100g butter
    • 100g all-purpose flour
    • 750 ml milk (3.5%)
    • Ground pepper
    • 1 pinch of nutmeg
    • 100g parmesan cheese, grated
    • 3 egg yolks

The steps:

  • Place a deep pan over high heat. Add the sunflower oil and let it get hot.
  • Peel the potatoes and slice them into thin rounds.
  • Slice the eggplants and zucchini into thin rounds and fry in a separate pan for 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels. Allow to drain from excess oil.
  • Place a pot over high heat and add the olive oil.
  • Coarsely chop the onion and add to pan.
  • Finely chop the garlic and add to pan along with thyme and sugar. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until they caramelize nicely.
  • Add the ground meat and break it up with a wooden spoon. Sauté until golden brown.
  • Add the tomato paste and sauté so that it loses its bitterness.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from heat and add the parsley and coarsely chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Place a pot over medium heat.
  • Add the butter and let it melt.
  • Add the flour and whisk until it soaks up all of the butter.
  • Add the milk in small batches while continuously whisking so that no lumps form.
  • As soon as the béchamel sauce thickens and bubbles start to form on the surface, remove from heat.
  • Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper, 100 g parmesan and 3 egg yolks. Whisk thoroughly.
  • Preheat oven to 180* C (350* F) Fan.
  • In a 25×32 cm baking pan, spread a layer of potatoes, cover with a layer of eggplants and top with a layer of zucchini. Season in between layers.
  • Add 2-3 tablespoons of béchamel sauce to the ground meat mixture and mix. Spread the ground meat over the vegetables.
  • Cover with the béchamel sauce, spreading it evenly and sprinkle with 50 g of grated parmesan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool.
  • Serve with fresh herbs and olive oil.
  • When ready, remove from oven and allow to cool. Serve with fresh herbs and olive oil.
  • Enjoy your delicious Mousakas!