This traditional moussaka is truly the best, and just as authentic as any you'd try in Greece! While it takes a bit of time, it's actually quite simple to make. Kali orexi! (Bon appetit!)

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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
1 hr 35 mins
additional:
45 mins
total:
2 hrs 50 mins
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt and place in a colander set in the sink or over a plate. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour so the salt can draw out any bitterness.

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  • Meanwhile, make bechamel sauce. Heat milk in a saucepan almost to a boil. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Whisk in flour until a smooth paste forms. Lower heat and gradually pour in hot milk, whisking constantly until bechamel sauce thickens. Season with salt. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

  • Rinse eggplant slices under cold running water. Squeeze out liquid and pat dry with paper towels. Whisk egg yolks into the cooled bechamel.

  • Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet and cook eggplant slices in batches until each side is lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side. Drain on a large plate lined with paper towels.

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil.

  • Heat remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Cook grated onion until soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef. Cook and stir until browned and crumbly, about 5 minutes. Season with allspice, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper.

  • Stir in tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Cook until all excess liquid has evaporated and mixture appears dry, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the egg white.

  • Arrange a layer of eggplant in the prepared baking dish. Cover eggplant with all of the beef mixture and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Cover with remaining eggplant and sprinkle another 1/3 of Parmesan cheese on top. Pour bechamel sauce over the top and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until the top of the moussaka is set and golden, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let rest at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Cook's Notes:

Pre-cooking the eggplant is essential, but instead of frying the slices, you can lightly brush with olive oil on both sides, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), turning once halfway through.

You can lighten the meat sauce by using 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound ground beef instead of all beef.

Nutrition Facts

628 calories; protein 26.2g; carbohydrates 35.3g; fat 44.2g; cholesterol 172.8mg; sodium 718.3mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (3)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
03/23/2020
Pretty good, not too overwhelmingly sweet from the spices. I used a little too much tomato sauce, and it turned out a bit watery and hard to serve neatly. I will make it again with the meat filling a little drier. Everyone at work was jealous when I heated up leftovers in the break room the next day! Read More
3 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
09/28/2020
We loved it perfectly spiced. A lot of work but oh so worth it Read More
Rating: 4 stars
03/22/2020
Pretty good, not too overwhelmingly sweet from the spices. I used a little too much tomato sauce, and it turned out a bit watery and hard to serve neatly. I will make it again with the meat filling a little drier. Everyone at work was jealous when I heated up leftovers in the break room the next day! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/25/2020
Fabulous! I like how the béchamel sets up nicely when it cooks. I also like that there are no potatoes - doesn't need it (and keeps the carbs out). I used ground chicken because thats what I had on hand, and didn't peel the eggplants - turned out great. Will definitely make again. Read More
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