Classic Moussaka


Prep time: 
15 minutes
Cooking time: 
90 minutes


Moussaka is a classic Greek dish made from aubergines and lamb mince. This tasty recipe is well worth the wait, and can be made ahead.


  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 200ml red wine
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Pinch of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2-3 large aubergines, thickly sliced
  • 75g butter
  • 75g plain flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 1 large free-range egg yolk
  • 75g Parmesan, grated
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for 5 minutes, stirring, until soft. Add the garlic and cumin and fry for 1 minute. Add the purée and fry for 1 more minute. Turn up the heat, add the lamb, season and fry for 5 minutes until browned all over. Pour away any excess oil.
  2. Add the wine and cinnamon, then, after 2-3 minutes, add the tomatoes, 100ml water, the sugar and oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. Season.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a griddle pan until very hot. Brush the aubergine with the rest of the oil, season and griddle on both sides until golden brown. Set aside on kitchen paper.
  4. Make a white sauce. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the flour and stir to make a roux (paste). Remove from the heat and gradually stir in the milk. Place over a gentle heat and simmer, stirring, until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the egg yolk and half the cheese. Season to taste.
  5. Layer the aubergine and mince in a 2-litre ovenproof dish. Repeat, then spread the white sauce on top. Scatter with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with the nutmeg.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve with a green salad.


Make this 2-3 days before and chill – the flavours intensify. You can also freeze it uncooked, then defrost and bake.

Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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