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I made this last night and this was the best I ever had. Sure there were a lot of moving parts but it was worth it. I did not change the recipe but only made half and it fit perfectly in an 8×8 casserole dish.
Great! I’m so glad you liked it Jody!
I think this is the best moussaka I’ve ever had.The lemon zest and juice added a new dimensionThis is tge recipe I will use from now on.
I saw this made on T.V. they used zucchini instead of egg plant.
I love Moussaka but have never made it. Thanks for this recipe. It sounds do-able. One question, no one in the family likes eggplant, ok to omit it and maybe increase amt of potatoes to compensate?
Hi Sheila, I’ve not tried making this recipe without the eggplant, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
Hi, Sheila. I have a different suggestion for you. If you don’t like eggplant, rather than the eggplant/potato ingredients in the recipe, substitute cooked pasta…and do all the rest the same.
And then you will have made pastitsio, another great Greek casserole dish.
thank you, E, for a great site, & a great recipe! a trick i’ve learned regarding prepping eggplant may be a help for some—trim as E suggests, then dice or slice & nuke covered for 3-4 mins, then proceed to roast or saute thereby doing with the need for oiling or salting. it works perfectly for all eggplant dishes, esp. east indian & chinese & o/c greek.
I agree with the other reviewers-EXCELLENT recipe. Given that moussaka is normally a labor intensive dish, this is a relatively simple recipe, and easy to follow the steps. I used 1lb of ground lamb, and 1lb of ground sirloin. I didn’t have allspice, so I substituted cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Also, I used about 6-7 small/medium sized yellow potatoes, and 2 large eggplant. Since this is a somewhat time-consuming dish to make, and because I actually had enough ingredients, I made 2 pans of moussaka. I was worried that I would be short on the meat sauce and béchamel, but there was plenty for 2 pans. I used 2% milk and included a 1/4 cup of half/half. This was the nicest bechamel sauce I’ve ever made. VERY TASTY MOUSSAKA!!PS: Is it okay to freeze one of the pans of moussaka for later?
Hi, Jane! Yes, this moussaka should freeze well. Just make sure to wrap it well in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Enjoy!
Half way thru making this I wondered what was I doing, it had better be the best moussaka I’d ever tasted. Now that its out of the oven and Ive tasted it, I can say it really is a tasty dish. I mixed 2 lbs of ground chuck and 1 lb of ground lamb so I adjusted the ratio of spices, tasted the meat mix and it needed a lot more salt, cinnamon and allspice. I threw in about a half cup of crushed tomatoes. I brined the eggplant and then lightly floured and fried the slices. I used grated Kasseri cheese – sprinkled half over the first layer of eggplant – and folded it into the bechamel right before spreading it on top of dish and sprinkled some Parmesan on top just because. I love the potatoes on the bottom, it soaks up some of the grease and compliments the eggplant and meat sauce. The bechamel is spot on, creamy but not eggy. All in all a great recipe for when time is no consideration and eggplant is on sale.
I’ve made your recipe, and loved this, but don’t think I’ve taken the step to brine the eggplant, but it does make sense. Other recipes don’t include the sliced potatoes on the bottom, but I like it. There are a lot of recipes posted online, and comments are criticized because directions weren’t followed 100%. I think the joy of sharing recipes on the internet is just learning and trying new ways of making classic recipes. We all know that so many international recipes for the same thing vary based on region or country, so let’s all try to embrace all the differences, and incorporate what we’d like from each of them. This is how foods evolve and we find ways to make them better.
This is a good recipe with very good tips on cooking in general. Just making this the way described will make you a better cook.
If one has fresh smaller eggplants skip the brining they do not need it. Older, larger, eggplants can benefit from brining, again young ones not.
Please, what is the substitute of red wine in this recipe?
Hi, Tania! Emma here, managing editor. I’d substitute 1/3 cup of unsweetened pomegranate juice in this recipe. Enjoy!
I love this recipe but I have a question. Should I drain the meat after browning? and before adding spices? There is at least one cup of lamb fat liquid in the pan and I am afraid the dish will be too watery.
Hi Susan, yes, if your meat as released a lot of fat, you should drain the excess fat (leave at least a tablespoon still in the pan).
This is the best moussaka I’ve ever had!
Thank you for such a great dish!!! I love to cook and was looking for something a little different. This was well worth the effort!! I did skip the brine step “nervously” especially since I’ve never cooked eggplant before, it didn’t hurt a thing!!! The only ground meat I had on hand was moose meat. My family was very sceptical when I announced eggplant was on the menu for supper but they just devoured this meal. I served it with a greek salad and homemade bread. Thank you again!!!!
Oh moose meat is so delicious!
What size casserole dish do you use? 9×13? I really don’t want to overflow the pan in the oven!
Hi Tammi, I haven’t made this for a while, but I’m guessing it was a 9×13 pan I used.
OMG this is delicious!!!! Thank you!
Whether this is an authentic recipe or not, I just want to say “it is delicious”. I made it tonight and it is by far the best version of the recipe that I have tried. 5 stars Thank you!
My eggplant slices are overwhelmingly salty from the brine. Is that how they should be? I’m hoping they’ll be ok in the finished dish, but tasting them on their own has me worried.
Hi Megan, I’ve not tried tasting the raw brined eggplant, so don’t know what to tell you other than the recipe as we’ve described it works well for us.
I usually rinse the brined eggplants for any recipe under running water in a colander and then dry slices between two towels. That gets rid of the salty taste.
Followed the recipe but changed wine for balsamic vinegar and parmesan for cheddar cheese…simply because i did not have the recommended ingredients. I work for a family and they loved it…we are three adults in the house and even though it was supposed to serve 8, we ate it all.
Thank you very very much!! Delicious!
I just wanted to say that this was a fabulous recipe! Better than any moussaka I’ve had. I’ve always loved the idea of moussaka, but have never had one that tasted as delicious as this. The only thing I did differently was to broil then fry the eggplant. I don’t have a grill and my father/family in general enjoys fried eggplant much more than any other way – I think it brings out a different taste! I know I know, not as healthy, but when you’re putting in the time in a dish like this it’s worth it :)
I just wanted to thank you for sharing this, I will definitely be making it again! Aside from choosing to fry the eggplant I did nothing else differently and it turned out just great!! My dad was so happy and impressed, and my Greek husband said it was the best moussaka he’d ever had :)
This was a great recipe. Certainly time consuming so plan ahead. It easily cut in half and I baked it in a (very full) 11×7 pan. I put a little bechamel under the top layer of eggplant because I had my eggplant packed in pretty well; I wanted some of the sauce to ooze into the dish and was afraid that with all on top it might overflow.
The only change I made was to microwave the milk for a couple of minutes to heat it up (rather than another pot on the stove). I don’t think heating the milk is necessary, but I do think it sped up the thickening process.
Thanks for the recipe. Your blog is one of my first “go to” places when I’m looking for a recipe.