Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

traditional moussaka

★★★★★ 6
a recipe by
Didi Dalaba
Greece, NY

I was literally brought up on this dish!! I can remember having this dish at least 8-10x a year growing up! It was alway's w/ lots of family and friends! We would all gather round, have the moussaka, some type of roasted meat- usually lamb, tons of side dishes/salads and then a table load of desserts... At the end of the nite, someone would inevitably break out in DANCE!!! The rest of us would join in, alway's a party. This dish reminds me of celebrations!! I didn't vary one iota from my mom's recipe. This is exactly the recipe she handed down to both me and my older sister... I told my sister, "I make it better"!! ;-) I hope your family enjoy's it as much as mine does. This is a little rich and labor intensive, not hard, just a few steps is all. But, well worth the drools and "ummmmms" afterwards!! Serve it with a nice salad and some crusty bread or rolls, and sit back and enjoy!!!! Opa!!!!

★★★★★ 6
serves 8-10
prep time 2 Hr
cook time 40 Min

Ingredients For traditional moussaka

  • 2 md
    eggplant (scrubbed and dried)
  • 6 md
    potatoes (scrubbed and dried)
  • 1 lb
    ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1 lg
    onion diced
  • 2 Tbsp
    fresh parsley diced
  • 1/4 c
    white wine
  • 2 clove
    garlic crushed
  • 16 oz
    or (2) 8-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp
  • 2 tsp
    dried oregano
  • salt & peppr to taste
  • 4 c
    milk (any kind)
  • 1 stick
    butter or margarine
  • 10 Tbsp
    flour (never measured differently, just went by what mama said)
  • 4
    eggs beaten
  • 1/8 tsp
  • 1/2 c
    parmesan or romano cheese grated
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c
    parmesan or romano cheese divided (1/4c + 1/4c) to sprinkle over veggies
  • 1/2 c
    olive oil for basting

How To Make traditional moussaka

  • 1
    Scrub and dry both eggplants and potatoes. In a large bowl fill with water, and add 2-3 Tbls of lemon juice to keep both the potatoes and eggplants from discoloring. Set aside. Slice the eggplants into slices. Add to the lemon water till done slicing.
  • 2
    In a preheated 425F oven, on an aluminum foiled baking sheet, baste the bottom of the aluminum foil with olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices on the baking sheet. Baste the eggplant slices with olive oil, sprinke with salt and pepper. Bake for 16-20 till golden. Remove unto paper lined plate.
  • 3
    Repeat with potato slices.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, as potato slices are baking, start your meat sauce. In a skillet, add your oil, heat, and then add your ground beef, breaking up into small pieces, drain excess grease. Once ground beef is no longer pink, add your onions. Add the rest of your spices, herbs, wine and simmer for 2-3 more minutes, add your tomato sauce. Stir thoroughly and simmer for a couple of more minutes, (sauce will be thick) turn off heat. Set aside.
  • 5
    Potatoes should be done at this point. Remove unto paper lined plate. Let cool till be able to handle. In a 15 x 10 pan ( can use 13 x 9, won't be able to use all the bechamel sauce, no worries). Spray your pan with non-stick baking spray. Lay potato slices overlapping onto bottom of pan. Make sure potatoes are overlapping, this is the crust. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese over potatoes.
  • 6
    Once potatoes are in place, add the eggplant. You can just add but don't have to overlap the eggplant. Once vegetables are in place. Press down using the palm of your hand, and then add another 1/4 c of cheese.
  • 7
    Pour the meat sauce over veggies, spread sauce to very edge of pan. Set aside.
  • 8
    In a bowl, beat your eggs and set aside. Start your bechamel sauce. In a saucepan, melt your butter. Blend in your flour using a whisk.
  • 9
    Gradually add milk stirring constantly until mixture is thick and smooth.
  • 10
    Remove from heat, temper with the beaten eggs. Add tempered egg mixture back into the bechamel saucepan, and stirring constantly, heat mixture for 2-3 more minutes.
  • 11
    Turn off heat, add the 1/2c of cheese mixture and the nutmeg spice, salt and pepper if desired.
  • 12
    Pour bechamel sauce over meat/veggie mixture. Bake in a preheated 350F oven for 35-45 minutes till lightly golden.
  • This will leave your family and guests ASKING FOR MORE!!!  So tasty, you will be getting your own kisses and hugs for a job well done!!
    Remove from heat, let rest for at least 15 minutes (I know, trust me it's hard ;-) ) and then cut into squares, serve with side of choice and be ready for total "ummmmm's" from EVERYONE!!! Enjoy!!!