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Musaka recipe

Musaka recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef mince

I learned this from my Bulgarian mother in law though it's probably Turkish in origin. The recipe calls for 'chubritsa', a Bulgarian herb that can be difficult to find, so basil can be substituted in its place.

108 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 180ml passata
  • 1 tablespoon chopped summer savoury (chubritsa)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 200g yoghurt

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr

  1. Preheat oven to 170 C / Gas 3.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook mince until evenly brown. Season with paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir in potatoes, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in passata, and summer savoury. Add enough water to just barely cover. Reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Pour meat mixture into 22x33cm / 9x13 in baking dish, and spread evenly. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and yoghurt; pour, and spread evenly over meat mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(66)

Reviews in English (59)

I am sorry. This isnt against you or the recipe. When I did the conversion on the passat it made it 12 tablespoons. Well I only put 6 because I was not sure if that was right. Mine did not come out like your picture. It was not bad but dry. I would like to try it again if we could go over the recipe to make sure the amount were right. Thanks for sharing.-08 Feb 2011

Lovely receipeI did make my own version after adding more herbs as in tbsp but did a bigger portion size...I also added aubergine, courgette and onions to it with tinned tomatoes and pinch of nutmeg for the yougut sauceBut the sauce is lovely-11 Apr 2013


This was easy to make and taste was great! I have one question for the writer. After browning the ground beef you did not say wether to drain the grease from the pan. And after pouring in the water it was soup like. So when I poured the egg and yougrt on top, before I baked it, it sunk into the liquid. Was this the intention? I wanted to follow the recipe so I did not drain. Please respond.-14 May 2003

Vegetarian Moussaka Recipe with Mushroom Sauce

Juicy, creamy and absolutely delicious! One of the most popular and beloved traditional Greek dishes, now done vegetarian! Although vegetarian moussaka is not a popular dish in Greece (as we all know Greeks love their meat!), after a lot of requests from my vegetarian friends, I was more than excited to come up with a vegetarian moussaka with mushrooms recipe that could happily replace my lamb/ beef moussaka on my family table!

This easy to follow veggie moussaka recipe never fails to impress and is always a crowd pleaser. Each stage will require dirtying some pans, but I think you will agree that the end result is well worth it! So go ahead, indulge yourself to this little sin..


As with all iconic dishes of the world, I imagine that every Greek family surely has their own version of Moussaka.

Well, I like to think they do. I have visions of Greek Mamas having heated debates about what makes a great moussaka, arguing over earth shattering things like:

beef or lamb?? (Traditionally lamb, equally delicious with beef!)

potatoes in place of eggplant? (Totally fine, eggplant is just more traditional)

blasphemy to bake rather than fry the eggplant? (Once layered up, you can’t tell if it’s baked rather than fried but your skinny jeans will thank you for it. Eggplant is a sponge for oil, my friends!)

Well, Greek Mamas might not have such a pragmatic view as the answers I’ve provided, but hopefully this recipe gets their nod of approval! It’s a traditional recipe sourced from a Greek cookbook called The Food And Cooking Of Greece which I found at my local library back in 2015.

Since this time, it has evolved a wee bit pursuant to other Greek cookbooks that have crossed my path, but the core of the recipe is still very much the original recipe.

Want more one-pan recipes like this?

  • Chicken and Rice Bake
  • Cheese Pie
  • Spinach Pie with Phyllo
  • Mushroom Lasagna with Bechamel
  • Oven Lemon Chicken

Oh and… Here is another really good moussaka you’ll love, via A Canadian Foodie. I particularly loved her story about visiting Bosnia after the floods in 2014 , and making meals for the family after a lot has been lost in the calamity. We need so little for perfect moments.

Musaka (Serbian Potato Moussaka)

Musaka is a Serbian dish similar to the Greek Moussaka, but made with potatoes instead of eggplant. Potatoes are sliced and layered with ground beef or pork, then covered in a yogurt egg sauce before baking. Chad isn’t crazy about potatoes, so he thought this was just ok. Evan and I loved it. It was a wonderful comfort food. It is fairly easy to assemble and makes quite a bit, plenty of leftovers for a family of three.

The Musaka can be assembled up to a day ahead of time before baking. Just add the yogurt sauce right before it goes in the oven. If you add the sauce earlier, it may separate a bit and won’t look as great.

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Excellent! Mixed ground mushrooms with lean ground meat to reduce fat content and added nutmeg, but otherwise followed the recipe.

This was a great recipe to a classic Greek dish which is made with eggplant instead of the potatoes. I followed the recipe exactly but added cinnamon and nutmeg to the meat mixture and a dash of nutmeg to the topping. Perfect. I will try using this topping the next time I make Greek moussaka. This topping was easy and tasted great.

This is good comfort food but it can be spiced up a little bit. I sometimes make Turkish potato moussaka which is almost similar to this but has also marjoran, bayleaf, thyme and green pepper in it (but no cheese which definitely is a tasty addition).

I forgot to buy the onions, so made without. It was missing a flavor I think it really needed, so not recommended without onions. Instead of bread crumbs, I used crushed croutons, which added a really great vinegar & spice flavor to it that it really needed. Was far too greasy, particularly with those potatoes. Unless you have a deep fat fryer, it's very hard to turn out good fried potatoes anyway, so I don't recommend you fry them without one. In the past, I've taken pre-cooked potato slices and lightly pan fried in small dollops of butter, which cuts a little bit of the grease out and has the same effect.

Croatian moussaka has potatos instead of eggplant but they are not fried. They are traditionally boiled a littl ebit before baking the dish but could probably be steamed like one the other reviewers mentioned.

My husband is from East Germany and he loved this dish. I have been to eastern Europe many times and the food is always tasty and harty but if you are looking for tastebud popping spice you won't find it. Spices are subtle in this cuisine. The only change I made was to fry the potatoes in olive oil instead of veggetable oil to try and make it a bit healthier and I drained the cooked beef very well of all it's fat. I will definately keep this one in our rotation.

i'm eastern european and it was soo good (for american version).

I couldn't stomach the idea of all those fried potatoes, so I left the skins on for texture, sliced them as called for, and steamed them instead, which worked very well. Also substituted veggie ground round. The resulting dish was tasty but didn't make my short list of dishes that are wonderful enough to justify multiple stages of cooking. This one falls into the category of Too Much Work for me.

This was a FABULOUS recipe! We added a little more salt and pepper (just because we like a little more) and were very happy with this dish. We will definitely make this again!

I've tried this recipe and it did not taste nearly as good as I expected. I will not make this dish again.

too much fat for folks having to watch medical diets.

This was OK but a little insipid - I will make it again but using marjoram, oregano and rosemary from my herb garden. I halved the amounts and left out all the breadcrumbs - it is better to thicken the meat sauce by reducing it.


    2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick horizontally (long way)
    1 pound ground meat (any combination of beef, pork, lamb or veal)
    1 large chopped onion
    2 cloves chopped garlic
    1 teaspoon salt or to taste
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1 (20-ounce) can drained diced tomatoes OR 1 1/2 pounds blanced, peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes
    1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese
    1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
    1 tablespoon cooled melted butter
    3 large eggs
    3/4 cup milk
    1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or crumbled Bulgarian feta cheese
    1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Low-carb moussaka


  • 1 lb 450 g eggplant
  • ¼ cup 60 ml olive oil
  • 1 (4 oz.) 1 (110 g) yellow onion , chopped yellow onions , chopped
  • 2 2 garlic clove, chopped garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1¼ lbs 550 g ground chicken, or any other ground meat
  • ½ cup 120 ml tomato sauce
  • ½ cup 120 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 3 oz. (6 tbsp) 85 g (90 ml) cream cheese
  • 1 1 garlic clove, pressed garlic cloves, pressed
  • ¼ tsp ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 cups (8 oz.) 475 ml (230 g) shredded gouda cheese, divided
  • ¼ tsp ¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)

Besides being tested by the original recipe creator, this recipe has also been tested and quality approved by our test kitchen.


Instructions are for 4 servings. Please modify as needed.

Moussaka is the perfect dish to prepare when you're expecting a crowd and it also works great for your lunchbox. It's also one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day!

For the extra Greek touch, treat yourself to a nice salad to go with the moussaka - leafy greens with feta cheese, red onion and olives.

If you're using a cast-iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet) for frying the meat, you can easily pour the cheese sauce on top of the meat and build your moussaka in the skillet instead of having to use an extra baking dish. Saves time and cleaning up will be easier too!

Recipe Summary

  • 2 cups plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for eggplant
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 large egg, plus 1 large egg white
  • Olive-oil, cooking spray

Drain yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined sieve until thickened, 2 hours or overnight.

Place turkey in a medium saucepan over medium heat cook until browned, about 6 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a medium bowl. Add onion, garlic, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and pepper to saucepan cook until onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Return turkey to saucepan with tomatoes, tomato paste, and oregano. Bring to a boil reduce heat to medium low simmer until sauce has thickened, about 1 hour. Remove from heat stir in chopped parsley set aside.

Preheat broiler. While sauce cooks, cut eggplants into 1/4-inch slices. Sprinkle with salt on both sides. Place in a colander over a bowl let stand 1 hour to drain. Discard liquid rinse each slice under cold running water to remove all salt and juice. Place slices on several layers of paper towels press out water. Lay dry slices on a clean baking sheet coat with olive-oil spray broil until browned, about 2 minutes. Turn coat with olive-oil spray broil until browned, about 2 minutes more. Repeat until all eggplant slices have been broiled set cooked eggplant aside.

Place drained yogurt in a small bowl. Add Parmesan and eggs. Whisk together briskly with a fork set aside.

Bulgarian Moussaka Recipe

Moussaka is beloved Balkan and Middle East dish. Its preparation depends on the region. In Bulgaria Moussaka is based on potatoes and ground meat. The meal is served warm and Bulgarians eat it very often simply because it’s super delicious and easy to cook.

Moussaka is the perfect dish if you are in Bulgaria and want to experience traditional recipes along with banitsa, shopska salad and tarator. The yogurt and eggs layer on top gives the dish a unique taste which you can’t find anywhere else. The Greek Moussaka uses eggplant rather than potatoes.

Here’s the Bulgarian Moussaka recipe:

1 kg) potatoes, cut in small cubes
1 lb (1/2 kg) ground meat
1 onion, chopped
2 cups milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup oil
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon crushed black pepper


Start with cooking the onion in a pan with 1/4 oil until golden brown. Then add the ground meat, the pepper, the paprika, and half the salt. Fry until meat gets brown and then remove the pan from the heat.

Mix well with the potatoes and the other 1/2 tablespoon of salt. Add the mixture in a casserole pan with the rest of the oil. Bake in oven for about 40 minutes on 425 F (

In the meantime mix the milk and the eggs separately and pour on top of the meal for the last 10 minutes in the oven untill it turns brownish.

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Written by Maria Stoyanova

Travel blogger and tourism graduate from Bulgaria, working in the field of Digital Marketing and PR for travel brands.