Moussaka Made Easy!

The simplest moussaka recipe and the best thing is, you can make it with lamb or beef.

This is a fool-proof, hearty and oh-so-tasty family dinner recipe. As with all of my recipes, the focus is on simplicity and none of the measurements are particularly strict. In fact, to make the dish go further you can choose to increase the quantity of the potatoes and vegetables or even mix it up and try adding some others! It also freezes really well, just ensure you defrost it fully and heat it through before serving.

It’s the kind of dish that would suggest you’ve slaved away for hours in the kitchen (I like these!), but really there are a few simple steps and then merely the final construction then it’s in the oven to bake. It’s a goodie!

Ingredients to serve 4–400 grams of lamb or beef mince, 500 grams of potatoes (to feed 4 people), 1 bell pepper (any colour), 1 aubergine, 1 courgette, 2 medium eggs, 1 large tub of Greek yogurt (450 grams), 150 grams grated pecorino or parmesan cheese, 4 tbsp sundried tomato paste, 1-2 garlic cloves, dried oregano or mixed herbs, seasoning.

Firstly, prepare the potatoes. If you have leftovers even better but I rarely do so I’m always likely to prepare them from scratch. Peel and cut them down to bite-sized chunks, boil or steam for about 15 mins checking after 10 to ensure they don’t overcook (A little under is fine as they will bake further in the over later so if you do overcook them don’t worry, they will just fall apart a bit, it won’t affect the overall flavour or success of the dish!).

You could add in some red onion or different coloured peppers.

Next move on to the vegetable prep. Slice the aubergine and courgette into discs approximately 1 cm thick and then slice the peppers, I actually slice all my veg into similar sized chunks so my aubergine discs get quartered and so on. (I’m catering for a toddler so huge chunks just won’t do!) All can be sprayed or drizzled with olive or rapeseed oil and a sprinkling of dried herbs with a little seasoning if you wish. Roast in the oven for about 12–15 mins, checking after about 10 as depending on your oven they might not take as long. They should be almost cooked through, as with the potatoes they’ll finish off later.

You can mix the ingredients together like this or layer them, either works fine.

Now, move on to the mince. Brown the meat in a hot oiled pan as you would for a bolognese or shepherd’s pie. Once you have a little colour, add the sundried tomato paste and the garlic and continue to cook. This will take 10 minutes maximum.

Now we start to assemble! So, into an ovenproof dish you can add the mince mixture and as soon as the veg and potatoes are ready they can be added too. You can mix all of these together or keep them in layers. I personally like to mix the potatoes with the mince then layer the vegetables on top but there is really no ‘right’ way.

Lastly, we need to prepare the Greek yogurt mix topping. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs together and mix with the yogurt and the parmesan. Once combined fully this can be poured on top of the rest of the ingredients. Try to get a nice even layer, although I have to say a few chunky and sticky-out veggies will get a nice crispness when baked. The whole thing is then baked in the oven at 180 degrees for 25 mins. The yogurt mix should be firm to the touch indicating the egg has cooked and set and it will have signs of colour.

And that’s it! All that’s left now is for you to tuck in and get eating your lovely moussaka with a crunchy side salad, some greens of some sort or indeed just straight-up! I hope you enjoy it and do let me know how you get on or if you have your own version, I’d love to hear it.

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