Total Time

Prep: 45 min. Bake: 30 min. + standing


8 servings

Updated: Feb. 12, 2024
Moussaka is traditionally made with lamb, but I often use ground beef instead. The recipe looks a bit daunting, but if you prepare one step while working on another, it will save time. —Kim Powell, Knoxville, Tennessee


  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1-1/2 pounds ground lamb or ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups hot water
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Arrange potato and eggplant slices in 2 greased 15x10x1-in. baking pans, overlapping as needed. Bake until cooked through, 20 minutes. Set aside; reduce oven setting to 400°.
  2. In a large skillet, cook lamb, onion and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, 7-9 minutes, breaking into crumbles; drain. Stir in tomatoes, water, tomato paste, 1/4 teaspoon salt, oregano, paprika, cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
  3. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
  4. Arrange parcooked potatoes in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish, overlapping as needed. Top with lamb mixture. Arrange eggplant over top, overlapping as needed.
  5. Top with bechamel sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 20 minutes before serving.

Moussaka Tips

How do you cut eggplant for moussaka?

For this moussaka recipe, we recommend cutting eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch pieces. Have leftover eggplant stacks to spare? Try one of these other tasty eggplant recipes.

What do you serve with moussaka?

Try serving this moussaka recipe with Greek Salad, Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers or any of our other traditional Greek recipes. Or mix it up by trying out this Beef and Potato Moussaka instead!

Can you freeze moussaka?

We don't recommend freezing moussaka. Here are some other freezer-friendly meals we suggest.

Research contributed by Christina Herbst, Taste of Home Assistant Digital Editor, and Peggy Woodward, Taste of Home Senior Food Editor

Nutrition Facts

1 serving: 453 calories, 25g fat (13g saturated fat), 99mg cholesterol, 700mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 4g fiber), 28g protein.