Our take on this classic Greek casserole uses a mixture of ricotta and feta cheeses instead of the conventional white sauce, which is made from butter, flour, and milk.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
45 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a 4-quart ovenproof dish. On a baking sheet, toss eggplant with 6 tablespoons oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer, and roast in the oven until soft and golden, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer eggplant to prepared dish, spreading in an even layer.

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  • In a large saucepan, warm remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and ground meat; cook, stirring to prevent sticking, until meat is browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, crushing tomatoes with the edge of a spoon, 15 minutes. Spread the mixture evenly over the eggplant.

  • Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix ricotta, feta, egg, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of salt. Pour mixture over the casserole, and spread evenly to the edges. Broil until topping is browned in spots, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Reviews (32)

264 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 36
  • 4 star values: 60
  • 3 star values: 95
  • 2 star values: 56
  • 1 star values: 17
Rating: 5 stars
04/21/2019
My family loved this dinner!
Rating: 4 stars
09/09/2016
I don't mind that this dish isn't authentic since I've never had "real" moussaka to begin with. I will say that it is simple to make (though it takes time). My kids LOVED the eggplant right out of the oven, which is unheard of because they typically don't like vegetables. It was a very yummy dish and my husband ate about 6 servings of it. So, overall, we give it two enthusiastic thumbs up.
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2014
Well Martha, you can hardly call this dish "Mousaka" can you?? First .. what business does ricotta cheese have in a Greek dish especially this one … and you use it in lieu of the "White Creme Sauce" (Crema) which is a basic must in this classic Greek dish. And, Martha, where are the potato slices which are also part and parcel of the Classic Mousaka ??? Good god, you've stripped everything Greek from it…but still managed to get an Italian ingredient in where it does not belong!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Rating: Unrated
09/03/2012
My husband loves this dish, and so do I. I used turkey sausage and drained some of the fat. I also added fresh Greek oregano and basil to the tomato mixture. I'll make this again while I still have eggplants growing in the garden. Delish!
Rating: Unrated
08/23/2012
Also, double the amount of the topping...
Rating: Unrated
08/23/2012
Ok, first of all you can accomplish this dish in a 13x9 which is a 3 at dish. Second you can reduce at by using non-fat ricotta and feta. I also used potatoes instead of meat and subbed allspice instead of cinnamon and just used a pich of cinnamon. It was amazing and plenty with a 2 pound eggplant. Enjoy!
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Rating: Unrated
08/15/2012
I too plan to cut WAY back on the fat AND meat by eliminating it altogether and adding in potatoes. Also you absolutely HAVE to add nutmeg to the sauce. It's tradition and makes the dish soooo moussaka. I have several eggplant freshly picked from my garden that I plan to use. Can't wait!
Rating: Unrated
07/05/2012
Totally agreed with bburd. Just use your head here and cut down on the fat content of the beef, ricotta, feta, and substitute the squash/zucchini as mentioned before and you'll cut bunches of fat. Do you really need to be told? If you want to learn to cook, you do need to think!
Rating: Unrated
02/18/2012
Delicious!! I slimmed it down by using reduced fat cheeses, very lean meat... and most of all cutting down the serving size! It served 6, with no side dish. It would definitely serve 8 if served with a side salad or other veggie. I will definitely be making this again. You can see my review of the recipe, (with photos!) @ http://www.people-food.net/2012/02/moussaka.html
Rating: Unrated
10/22/2011
this is delicious I slimmed it down using turkey sausage and drained the fat. I also subbed skim ricotta cheese and reduced fat fetta cheese. I like the suggestion of cutting the servings in half and adding a cold salad on the side. This was amazing and I will make again!
Rating: Unrated
09/09/2011
I like the idea of using ricotta and feta instead of the white sauce. My suggestion for lightening it up is to use the dish to serve 8 instead of 4! That cuts everything in half. Add a green salad and some steamed or sauteed veggies and you have a filling meal. Moussaka is VERY filling anyway. End the meal with fresh fruit.
Rating: Unrated
03/11/2011
Knowledge is power, friends! I'm not sure how this dish could be considered "healthy". Just because it uses quality ingredients does not mean it is good to eat! At 4 servings, here are the nutrition stats: Calories: 808 Total fat: 59g (a whole days worth!) sat. fat: 20g (again, your whole days worth!) Sodium: 872 mg Carbs: 26.2 g Fiber: 7g Protein: 44g So much fat, Martha, can we not find a way to slim this down a little? Yeesh!
Rating: Unrated
11/20/2010
In Greece they certainly do use meat in moussaka unless you were eating in a vegetarian place! I have greek friends here in the states and they use either ground lamb or beef.
Rating: Unrated
11/20/2010
In Greece they certainly do use meat in moussaka unless you were eating in a vegetarian place! I have greek friends here in the states and they use either ground lamb or beef.
Rating: Unrated
08/10/2010
Can this be made in a 9x13 dish. I would like to make for a pot luck dinner?
Rating: Unrated
02/20/2009
My family really enjoyed this recipe. I would suggest ensuring the meat, onion and garlic mixture is drained before adding the other ingredients.
Rating: Unrated
02/19/2009
Could this dish be frozen (then defrosted) before broiling?
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2009
Alos,nutmeg is traditionally added to the bechamel for moussaka. this dish sounds more like a variation on papoutsakia!
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2009
sounds like an interesting dish - not like the moussaka I've grown up on. My Greek family always added sliced potatoes (Greek fries) and bechamel sauce with kefalotiri
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2009
Also, you might be able to find frozen eggplant at a grocery store like Trader Joe's. I buy frozen squash and zucchini and the best part is that it is already sliced, so I don't have to do any prep work.
Rating: Unrated
02/12/2009
If you don't like eggplant I have made a very similar recipe for a long time with summer squash and zucchini. I think it tastes awesome and the recipe was given to me by my step-dad who is Mediterranean.
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
Uh, Florida is the country's largest producer of eggplant - and it is grown year 'round. So, it IS in season, technically. If you live where it is snowing, NOTHING is in season where you live.
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
Sounds very tasty and nice for the cool months
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
I agree with the comment of "eggplant in winter". Should you not be seasonal Martha?
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
To make it lighter, use Pam or light cooking spray in place of butter, try using ground turkey meat or chicken, low fat ricotta (made w/part skim milk) and low fat feta, and egg substitute for the egg.
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
Eggplant in February? Where would it be coming from and how old would it be? I am trying to eat seasonally.
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
Moussaka is eggplant - if you are not a fan of eggplant - Moussaka is not for you.
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
can this be made a little lighter? Perhaps less oil? Ground turkey perhaps and any other ideas? We are on a clean eating plan... thanks!
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
Has anyone tried this recipe with ground turkey?
Rating: Unrated
02/11/2009
I don't like eggplant. Is there something I can substitute?
Rating: Unrated
06/25/2008
According to my husband, this recipe is "out of this world!" I highly recommend it!
Rating: Unrated
11/24/2007
Since living in Athens a few months, I can't wait to try this recipe. They did not use any meat in their Moussaka. But will try it as is before making any changes. mmsrjs