If I asked you to name 3 classic Greek dishes, I’m sure that this moussaka recipe would be on your list. I love moussaka! It’s absolutely gorgeous Greek comfort food…
Credits for this stunning moussaka recipe go to my 2 favorite Greek foodies Panos and Mirella who are behind the fantastic recipe website Little Cooking Tips!
Whenever I’m preparing a classic I try to do my homework to get it right the very first time. I made a moussaka recipe before once a long time ago. I remember that the flavor was alright but the whole dish kind of fell apart once I started to cut it up.
Classic Greek Moussaka Recipe
This time I have meticulously followed all the steps of Panos and Mirella’s recipe. So mine is quite a copycat recipe. I didn’t add my personal touches because I decided to stick to the original recipe to take no risks. I only adapted the amount of ingredients to make a smaller portion for the hubs and I.
How I love the potatoes on the bottom of the moussaka! I was amazed by how little time I needed to prepare the moussaka: I really though it would take much longer. You can easily prepare this is a dish a day in advance. I prefer to let the moussaka rest and chill in the fridge overnight and bake it the day after but this is optional of course.
Result in the end: a highly flavorful moussaka with some gorgeous soft layers of fried potato, eggplant, tomato minced meat. Not to mention that creamy béchamel sauce with a crunchy cheese crust on top…
We loved it.
Best moussaka recipe in the world!
- 4,5 oz potatoes (125 g), peeled
- 5,5 oz fresh eggplant (155 g)
- 9 oz ground beef (250 g), or ground lamb
- 5,5 oz fresh tomato (155 g), grated
- 80 g green bell pepper (3 oz), chopped
- ½ small onion finely chopped
- 2 meidum garlic cloves finely chopped
- ½ cup red wine (125 ml)
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 ¼ cups whole milk (300 ml)
- a handful cheese grated
- ground cinnamon
- olive oil
1. Slice the potato and eggplant into finger thick slices. Pour half a cup (120 ml) of olive oil in a large non-stick pan and place it over medium-high until hot. Then add the potatoes. Fry them on both sides for 7 minutes.
2. Let the potato slices drain on kitchen paper. Add the sliced eggplant to the hot oil and fry them for 4 minutes on both sides.
3. Then let the fried eggplant drain on kitchen paper as well. Place a layer of fried potatoes in a small baking dish and top with fried eggplant.
4. Leave about 2 tablespoons of hot olive oil in the pan you fried the potatoes and eggplant in. Place it over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, garlic and bell pepper. Season with pepper and salt.
5. Gently fry the vegetables for 2 minutes. Then add the ground meat.
6. Stir fry the mince and vegetables for 5 minutes. Then add the grated tomato, tomato paste and red wine. Season with cinnamon, pepper and salt.
7. Turn the heat up and cook the beef for a few minutes until the wine has almost disappeared. Take the pan off the heat. Let the mince cool. Then put it on top of the layers of eggplant and potato.
8. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Then add the flour.
9. Whisk well. Let the flour paste bake for 2 minutes. Then pour in the milk.
10. Keep stirring well. Turn the heat lower and let the béchamel thicken a little. Add a pinch of nutmeg and salt to taste. Take the saucepan off the heat and pour the bechamel sauce on top of the cooked mince.
11. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Place the moussaka in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) for about 50 minutes until golden. Let it cool at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.
Can you name other classic Greek dishes?
I bet you are very familiar with tzatziki, the minty yogurt and cucumber dip. And the classic Greek salad of course! Have you heard of one of my personal Greek favorite before? Avgolemono soup! That’s a superb chicken, rice and lemon soup. It’s very refreshing and filling, the perfect summer lunch!
Don’t forget to check my meatballs in avgolemono sauce too!
Another dish I like a lot are prawns saganaki: fresh prawns in a tomato feta sauce. I can go on and on about Greek food. Skordalia is a garlicky potato dip, love it as a spread on bread. Giouvetsi is a hearty stew of beef or lamb with tomato sauce and Greek pasta… perfect for the winter days!
I love Greek food.
I was in Greece twice before: once in Santorini. The second time the hubs and I visited another island: Crete. We haven’t been to the Greek mainland before but that’s still on our long travel short list. Greece is absolutely charming, not only its landscapes, nature and history but also the food.
And let’s not forget Greek wines! Do you know Greece’s popular white wine? It’s called retsina and I love by the way.
We visited a winery in Santorini, enjoyed a wine tasting on the spot and I was so blown away by the white Assyrtiko grape. Oh and another food item that I discovered in Santorini: fava bean dip! They look like yellow split peas. You cooked, strain and mash the beans into a creamy puree. I like it best when the puree is still lukewarm, drizzled with a flavorful olive oil and sprinkled with raw chopped sweet onion.
Absolutely to die for…
Crete on the other hand will remind me forever of another great Greek lunch idea: dakos or ntakos. Large barley rusk topped with raw grated tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese, dried herbs, olives and capers. Splash of olive oil, sprinkle of pepper and salt.
Oh man, that’s just out of this world.
But Greek food is so much more than the bunch I just summed up above. Way more that that! Time to go back I reckon, thinking of Greek food has made me almighty hungry!!