I’m always on the lookout for healthy recipes that can be made in bulk and frozen for later use (like when a new baby is born and cooking is difficult for a while). This moussaka recipe isn’t the quickest to prepare up-front, but it freezes really well and can be made in bulk.
What’s more, it’s hearty, filling comfort food packed with meat and veggies to feed a hungry family!
A Meaty Moussaka Recipe
Moussaka is a layered Eastern Mediterranean casserole dish made with eggplant or potato, a ground meat sauce, and a Greek yogurt and egg layer on top. It has rich flavors of herbs and spices with the subtle undertones of cinnamon and red wine frequently found in Greek food.
This eggplant moussaka recipe also is a great dinner to bring to friends who are ill or moms who have just had babies! (Think lasagna but much healthier and more creative!) I often make several of these at a time and freeze for this purpose. (Just add the yogurt and egg topping later when serving.)
I love to make this recipe especially in August-October when fresh eggplant is found at farmers markets or in the garden.
A Note on Cooking With Eggplant
One important note with this recipe: it is important to allow for time to remove much of the moisture from the eggplants. If you don’t your casserole will be runny.
About an hour before you begin cooking (or even the day before), slice the eggplants, put them in a strainer in the sink, and sprinkle them generously with salt. The salt helps to pull the water out. After about an hour, rinse the eggplant slices well and pat them dry.
If your eggplant is young and small, try leaving the peel on for extra nutrients! I peel larger eggplants to avoid any bitter taste.
More Eggplant Recipes to Try
Thanks to the eggplant, this moussaka recipe is full of fiber and phytonutrients. Studies show phytonutrients can help prevent free radical damage and balance blood cholesterol.
If you have winning eggplant recipes, I’d love to hear about them!
Greek-Style Moussaka Recipe (Eggplant Casserole)
- 2 medium eggplants
- 2 TBSP butter or coconut oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion
- 8 oz white button mushrooms
- 1 small bunch of kale
- ½ cup red wine or beef broth
- 24 oz diced tomatoes drained
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp parsley
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
- 4 cloves fresh garlic minced or 2 tsp garlic powder
- At least an hour before cooking or up to a day before, peel the eggplant if desired (recommended for large eggplant as the peel may be bitter) and slice into ¼ inch rounds or slices.
- Place in a colander over the sink and salt liberally.
- Put a heavy plate on top to create pressure and leave for an hour.
- Rinse eggplant well and pat dry.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Heat butter or coconut oil in a pan and cook the eggplant pieces for 2-3 minutes per side until starting to soften. Optionally, you can oil a large baking sheet and place all the eggplant on it and bake in a 400°F oven for 30 minutes instead.
- Brown the meat in a large skillet.
- Dice the onions, mushrooms, and kale and add them to the pan when meat is cooked.
- Saute another 5-7 minutes until all the vegetables are softening and starting to become translucent.
- Add the red wine or beef broth to deglaze the pan and then add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and all the spices except the garlic/garlic powder.
- Simmer about 15 minutes to let flavors incorporate.
- Grease the bottom of a large baking dish.
- Layer the eggplant slices and meat sauce in the baking dish and repeat until both are used up.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, Greek yogurt, and garlic powder.
- Spread evenly on top of the casserole.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Let set 10 minutes and serve. Enjoy!
Ever tried moussaka? What is your favorite Greek food? Share below!