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Classic Greek Moussaka with Eggplant - Step by Step


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Prepare Moussaka Ingredients
Eggplants for Moussaka

This classic version of moussaka starts with eggplants.

Photo © Jim Stanfield

In Greek: μουσακά, pronounced moo-sah-KAH

Moussaka can be any dish created in layers of vegetables and ground meat, and dishes with the same or similar names are prepared in several areas of the world. Other Greek versions call for artichokes, potatoes, and zucchini, or a combination, but this is the classic known worldwide.

Because Moussaka takes a good bit of time and space, try increasing the recipe, using freezer-safe dishes (the one-time-use aluminum pans work well) and freeze some for later use. (How to Freeze)

Preparation time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
Yield: approximately 8 servings

Pots, Pans, Utensils

  • large, heavy-bottomed frying pan or skillet with cover
  • 1 medium saucepan (for béchamel)
  • 1 large saucepan (for béchamel)
  • 2 wooden spoons
  • 1 medium whisk (for béchamel)
  • 1 baking / roasting pan approximately 10 x 16 x 3 inches


  • 5-6 large eggplants
  • sea salt
  • olive oil
  • 4 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 1/2 pounds of ground beef or lamb
  • 3 cups of chopped ripe tomatoes with juice (or canned tomatoes)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6-8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon or a small stick (break off around 1 inch long)
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground allspice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup of grated kefalotyri cheese (or pecorino)
  • 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup of dry red wine
  • 3 tablespoons of tomatopaste
  • freshly ground pepper
  • béchamel with cheese or 6 cups of basic béchamel
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