A piece of gluten free Moussaka ready to eat.

Description

I make Greek Moussaka once or twice a year, always in the winter, served with different versions of a classic Greek salad. This meal reminds me of the first time I visited Greece and the amazing new flavours and classic dishes I was introduced to.

It seems pretty easy to me since I’ve made it many, many times but as I often say; so many recipes, so little time.

When I feel bored with my dinner offerings I imagine the world map for inspiration. Greece reminds me of calamari, tadziki, Greek salad, souvlaki, baklava and this moussaka recipe.

I first visited Greece long before the internet was invented and before tadziki was on the shelf in every grocery store. While visiting I learned about traditional Greek dishes from a physical book, my Berlitz European Menu Reader. This tiny book was filled with essential dining vocabulary, culinary terms and as I recall, an overview of the typical dishes from each country.

Our mission was to try as many of them as we could.

Moussaka was on that list.

PIN for later…

A Greek classic, oven-baked Moussaka topped with a creamy white sauce that has Parmesan and feta cheese.

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase using these links your cost is the same, but I receive a few cents for every dollar spent. I appreciate your support for this website.

I remember that first moussaka. It was an open-air restaurant in Athens with live music and a view of the Parthenon in the distance.

Traditionally moussaka would be described as a layered meat dish with eggplant (called aubergines in Europe). The meat can be ground lamb or ground beef and the cooked mixture is layered between vegetable slices. Although eggplant is the most common vegetable, many recipes call for zucchini, sliced potatoes or all three.

Tips for Making White Sauce

The topping of moussaka is most commonly a thick béchamel sauce with added cheese and beaten eggs. As the moussaka bakes it creates a slightly firm, creamy topping. This starts with the same basic white sauce you would use to make homemade macaroni and cheese.

Although many recipes for white sauce are made with wheat flour I’ve always made mine with cornstarch. That means it’s naturally gluten free.

Variations for Greek Moussaka

For an easier version of moussaka you can avoid the layering process by chopping the vegetables before you sauté them. Simply fold them into the meat mixture and spread it all in the pan. With the creamy white sauce on top it will still look like traditional moussaka and have the same great taste.

There is also some variation among recipes for the topping. Although the white sauce with cheese is my personal favourite some recipes have a mashed potato and cheese topping. The look of the finished dish is similar so if potatoes are popular in your house you might want to try it.

This recipe began from my little book of Greek Cookery, purchased on the island of Mykonos. Over time I’ve adjusted it to the version I’ve posted here.

Let me know in the comments below if you enjoyed it. As they say in Greece, yamas!


More Recipes Using White Sauce and a Greek Menu

Click on the (hard to read) text on the image to go to the recipe/blog post.

A Travel Tale from Greece

From time to time I write a guest post for my friend Sue over at Travel Tales of Life. Here’s a post I wrote about our trip to Greece and the nude beach story from Mykonos.

Greek Souvlaki – An Authentic Greek Food Recipe

Greek Moussaka

Greek Moussaka is like lasagna with layers of vegetables. A hint of cinnamon and a cheesy white sauce layer is the classic moussaka.
Author: Cinde Little
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: gluten free moussaka
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

VEGETABLES LAYERS

  • 1-2 zucchini, cut into ⅓" thick slices*
  • 1 eggplant, cut into ⅓" thick slices*
  • oil for frying

MEAT SAUCE

  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • lbs ground beef or lamb
  • 1- 19 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp dry or toasted gluten free breadcrumbs (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley (optional)

WHITE SAUCE

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups milk (1% or higher)
  • 8 oz cottage cheese (250 ml)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

VEGETABLE LAYERS

  • Heat oil in large sauté pan on medium-high heat and fry zucchini and eggplant slices in batches until browned, 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside.

MEAT SAUCE

  • Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, sauté until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground beef and cook the mixture, stirring to break up any lumps, until no longer pink.
  • Add tomatoes, tomato paste and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from heat. Stir in egg, breadcrumbs and parsley. Set aside to cool. Can be prepared 2-3 days in advance or frozen.

WHITE SAUCE

  • In saucepan melt butter. Add cornstarch, salt and pepper and whisk until smooth and no lumps remain.
  • When slightly thickened add half the milk and stir over medium heat until sauce thickens. Add the remaining milk and stir until thickened.
  • Add cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, feta and eggs. Stir until evenly combined. Set aside for assembly.

ASSEMBLY - Layer into a 9 x 13-inch baking pan in order:

  • ½ of vegetable slices
    ½ meat mixture
    ½ vegetable slices
    ½ meat mixture
    white sauce
  • Bake in preheated 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until the top is set and nicely browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

*Use any combination of sautéed vegetables including zucchini, eggplant and/or potato slices.
Check out the whole menu for a Dinner Club evening: Greek Night!
Cooked Moussaka can be cooled and frozen. Thaw overnight and reheat in 350F oven for 30 minutes.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ingredients

Directions