Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel.

Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel

Welcome to our first entry…again!  We’re so happy that you are here.

When we were trying to decide which recipe to launch our website with, the decision was easy.  We chose a meal which typically sends shivers of fear down the backs of Greeks and non-Greeks alike.  The mighty moussaka! Often ridiculed for sounding like the excrement of wild deer, and feared for its many steps and delectable layers, moussaka truly is a celebratory meal, and we have a lot to celebrate!  We hope you do too.

Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel.

Although it can appear intimidating, we think you’ll discover that moussaka is actually quite straightforward to make.  With some advance planning you can even whip this together during a weeknight, impressing your family (unless you house teenagers, in which case little you do will impress them) and delighting your co-workers when you pack some up for lunch the next day.

As with most meals, there are several variations of moussaka out there.  Some recipes include cheese in the béchamel sauce, others add zucchini to the more traditional eggplant-only layer.  Our parents’ moussaka has its own twist.  If you regularly visit our page (and we really, really hope that you do), you’ll notice that our parents very rarely use butter.  For them, olive oil is gold, and finds itself into most dishes.  So, the béchamel sauce which forms the top layer of their moussaka is made with olive oil (crazy right!?).


They also use lactose free milk and broil the eggplants instead of frying them.  This results in a light meal which does not leave you feeling heavy and bloated, but incredibly happy.  It is, in fact, divine.  So set aside a few hours, put on some Greek music and get ready to send your taste buds to Greece (or at least, to our house).


Helpful hints:

This recipe was made for an 11 x 14 inch baking pan, but moussaka is actually very versatile and very forgiving. If you have a smaller pan, don’t worry. You can easily half the recipe for a pan half the size.  Otherwise,  keep the quantities the same and you’ll either be faced with enough ingredients to make two smaller pans of moussaka, or you can toss any leftovers in the fridge and use them in other recipes. The ground meat can be the base for a pasta sauce, the eggplant can be used in sandwiches or chopped up in a salad, and the fried potatoes can be eaten with ketchup and a smile. As for the béchamel sauce, you can maybe use it to make some macaroni and cheese (this is very not Greek).

Our parents prepare their eggplant slices by broiling them. Be careful and keep a close watch. Ovens vary and you don’t want to burn the eggplants. If you’re a baker, not a broiler, no worries. Prepare the eggplant in exactly the same way, but instead of setting your oven to broil, bake the eggplant slices in a 350 degree oven. Just note that it will take the eggplant almost twice as long to cook this way.


This recipe calls for aged mizithra which is a hard crumbly cheese made with leftover whey from the production of other cheeses which is then combined with either sheep or goat milk. If you can’t find it, be a little bit sad, and then substitute grated parmesan or romano cheese.

The various layers of moussaka (except for the béchamel ) can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator for a day or two. This will make baking your dinner a breeze.

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Processed with Snapseed.
Moussaka...this Greek traditional recipe is loaded with delicious flavours; you won't regret making this dish
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If you love moussaka, we think you’d love these too:


Fried eggplants with tomato sauce

Roast chicken and lemon potatoes

Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel.
Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel.

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Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel.

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Moussaka is a Greek classic made of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel.


A Greek classic of layered eggplant, potato, meat sauce and béchamel
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Author: Mia Kouppa


  • mandolin (optional, but strongly recommended)
  • 11 X 14 inch baking pan
  • Sauce pots


Meat Mixture

  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) olive oil
  • 2 pounds ground meat we use a mixture of veal and lamb-but pork can also be used
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) tomato sauce we use homemade; but you can use a good quality strained tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
  • 1 1/2 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn ground pepper


  • 12 medium size potatoes we like to use yellow flesh potatoes
  • vegetable oil for frying


  • 7 medium sized eggplants
  • 1 tspn salt
  • olive oil for brushing onto eggplant

Béchamel Sauce

  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) olive oil
  • 1 cup (150 grams) all purpose flour
  • 2 liters milk we use 2% lactose free milk
  • 7 eggs beaten
  • 1 tspn salt
  • 1/2 tspn ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup (35 grams) plain breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup (25 grams) mizithra cheese or grated parmesan or romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) crumbled feta cheese optional


Meat mixture

  • In a medium sized saucepan fry the finely diced onion in the 3/4 cup olive oil until the onion is soft and slightly caramelized.
  • Add your ground meat to the pot, breaking it apart so that you don’t have clumps of meat sticking together.
  • Add the 3/4 cup tomato sauce, 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and cook over medium heat, covered, for one hour.
  • Check your pot frequently and stir your meat mixture. If it appears to be drying out, simply add more tomato sauce or water. When the hour is done, taste and adjust seasoning if required. Set aside.


  • Peel and slice your potatoes into rounds, about 1/4 inch thick. If you have a mandolin, this would be a good time to use it…otherwise use a knife (and be careful!).
  • Soak your potatoes in cold water for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and salt the potatoes.
  • Place approximately 1 inch of vegetable oil into a frying pan and fry the potato rounds in batches. (You can check if your oil is ready by dropping in one sacrificial potato slice and waiting for it to start frying.)
  • Fry the potatoes until they are golden brown on both sides and then drain them on paper towels.


  • Turn your oven on to broil.
  • Slice eggplants lengthwise (maybe you should get a mandolin) and soak them in cold water for approximately 10 minutes.
  • Drain eggplant slices and salt them evenly using 1 tsp salt
  • Line your baking tray with parchment paper. Place eggplant slices on tray, being careful not to overlap the slices.
  • Brush top side with olive oil and broil for 5 – 10 minutes. Flip eggplant slices over, brush top side with olive oil and return to broil for another 5 – 10 minutes.You will have to repeat this step several times in order to cook all your eggplant. Set aside.

Béchamel sauce

  • Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a heavy saucepan over high heat.
  • Add 1 cup flour and mix continuously so that flour does not burn and cook for approximately 2 to 3 minutes. You don’t want your flour to brown
  • Slowly add 2 liters of milk and then slowly stream in 7 beaten eggs. You must stir this mixture constantly with a wooden spoon or whisk.
  • Add 1 tsp salt.
  • Cook béchamel sauce for about 10 minutes, until it has thickened but is still easily poured. You can tell if your sauce is ready if it coats a wooden spoon and you can draw a line across it with your finger.


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Pour any juices from the meat mixture into bottom of a 11 x 14 inch pan. If there are no juices, oil the bottom of the pan slightly with some olive oil.
  • Layer the fried potato slices on the bottom of pan. It is fine if they overlap.
  • On top of potatoes layer meat mixture using a slotted spoon to drain off any excess liquid.
  • Sprinkle meat with a light dusting of nutmeg.
  • Layer the eggplant slices on top of meat.
  • Add crumbled feta cheese over eggplant (optional)
  • Pour béchamel sauce over eggplant, spreading it evenly so that all eggplant is covered.
  • Sprinkle the béchamel with 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup mizithra. Bake for 40 minutes until heated through and top is golden brown. Enjoy.


Make ahead tip: You can prepare the meat sauce ahead of time; just make sure you drain it before storing it. Just keep about 3 tablespoons of the liquid to line the bottom of your pan, when it's time to assemble your moussaka. 
You can also prepare the potatoes and eggplant ahead of time as well.

Thanks for sharing!


  1. This is great. Important blog to keep these great recipes going for eternity.

    1. miakouppa says:

      Thank you Nick!! We think so too!

  2. Nick Evangelista says:

    Wow! nice job! will have to get this to my Syrian wife to make

    1. miakouppa says:

      Thanks Nick… let us know if you have any questions, and feel free to put any comments in, after you’ve tried it 🙂

  3. Nahla Al-Horani says:

    I made it today. It’s super delicious. Thank you very much Helen. The way you explain the recipe was very clear and the pictures made it very easy to visualize what you were describing. Good job!!!!

    1. miakouppa says:

      That is wonderful to hear Nahla!! I am so glad you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for your comments 🙂

  4. I made this again today. 2nd time. The bechamel is delicious on it’s own with a spoon. Best I’ve ever had. I did a meatless version and 1/2’ed the recipe with 4 eggs. I love your recipes and continue to check your site regularly. Thank you for the detailed pictures (which I consult a lot) and the explanations. I took out a greek cookbook from the library – nowhere as fun as your site is. Cheers!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Oh thank you Marina for your feedback and kind words of support. We are so happy that you are enjoying Mia Kouppa and hope that we continue to provide you with inspiration and recipes you are interested in trying 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made this today and it was delicious! The only issue I had was that they expanded to the point where one of the sides would always break. Could it be that I’m wrapping them too tight?
    Thanks again!

    1. miakouppa says:

      Hi Jon!! Thanks for your comment. Is it possible you posted this question on the wrong recipe? Let us know what you were making, and we’ll try to help. Thanks!

      1. Oh geez! I was so taken by your website I must have lost track. My comment was meant for the bougatsa. It was delicious, but most exploded out the side of the filo parcels. I believe I should have let the custard cool, as many other sites warn that the custard should cool completely or else condensation will occur within the bougatsa.
        P.s. Your website is great!

      2. miakouppa says:

        LOL…that’s okay!! We’re happy to hear that 🙂 Thank you for your kind words about our site. As for the bougatsa, we will be sure that we edit the post to indicate that the custard should not be piping hot. It’s true that this can make a difference, as well as being sure not to overstuff each bougatsa. Thanks again for your comment and we’re so happy you enjoyed your messy bougatsa 🙂

  6. Susan Reed says:

    SO delicious and decadent! I feel as though I could fall asleep right now! Haha!
    We filled our bellies with this along with Maroulosalata. Thank you for sharing your family’s recipes with us!

    1. miakouppa says:

      That makes us so happy Susan! Thank you for inviting us to your family table. We’re so happy that you loved our recipes 🙂 Thanks for letting us know!

  7. laptopleon says:

    I’ve been reading a lot of moussaka recipes, out of curiosity for the variations.
    One thing I’ve found after making moussaka myself a few times is that really, all the ingredients are already done when you put it in the oven, except for the browning of the béchamel sauce. My tip is to also turn on the grill of the oven – if it has one. That way, the top layer is ready after about ten minutes, depending on the distance to the grill element.
    If you make it fresh, with still warm ingredients and put it in a preheated, hot oven and grill, this saves you half an hour of cooking time 🙂

    1. miakouppa says:

      Pre-planning is definitely helpful!! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  8. Bessie Kolliopoulou says:

    Koritsia😋(Girls) YOU ARE THE BEST, not forgetting your Mom &
    Dad too!!
    Thank you for “breaking” down the recipes to measured ingredients!!😄 as the “word of mouth” recipes from my mother & Godmother (immigrants to the States) had to be developed myself so as to be passed on to my daughter (1) & daughters-in-law (4). Now they can carry on with your recipes. BRAVO, to your patience in creating these accurate & fantastic recipes.5 stars

    1. miakouppa says:

      Thank you SO much Bessie for your kinds words and encouragement! We are so grateful and happy to know that you are appreciating our efforts. Thank you so much for taking the time to write! It really means a lot to us 🙂 xoxo Helen & Billie

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