Extra Lemony Moussaka

Extra Lemony Moussaka

Extra Lemony Moussaka

Lemon is already part of a traditional moussaka recipe, as it is for so many healthy Greek dishes. Our version adds an extra pop of lemon in the creamy topping, and swaps beef and pork for the lamb to make it easier to find in your local grocery store. Baked until it’s browned and bubbling, it’s classic comfort food, Mediterranean style.
Course Main Dish


Bottom layers:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large eggplants
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound bulk pork sausage
  • 1 lemon zest & juice
  • 16 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 egg beaten

Bechamel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 lemon zest only
  • 2 eggs separated


  • 1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese


Potatoes & eggplants:

  • Preheat the oven to 450 F.
  • Peel and slice both the eggplants and potatoes to about 1/4-inch thick.
  • Place the eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet, and brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, turning about half way through.
  • Remove and set aside.
  • Place the potato slices on the baking sheet, and brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through.

Meat sauce:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet over a medium-high setting. Saute the onions and garlic until fragrant, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and pork sausage, and brown the meat for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the lemon zest and juice, crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, seasonings, and red wine. Stir to combine, and simmer on a medium-low setting for about 40 minutes.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk until it is almost - but not quite - boiling.
  • Add the butter to a large skillet, and melt over a medium-low setting.
  • Once the butter has melted, add the flour a little at a time, stirring with each addition. Do not allow it to brown.
  • Whisk in the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Continue to simmer as you stir.
  • Add the salt, nutmeg, and lemon zest, blending thoroughly.
  • Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the egg yolks quickly.
  • Beat the egg whites until firm peaks form. Fold them gently into the sauce.


  • Heat the oven to 350F and prepare a large glass or ceramic baking dish (13 x 9 inches) by lightly oiling it.
  • First, add the roasted potato rounds in a single layer.
  • Next, add half the eggplant slices on top.
  • Top with half the meat sauce, and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of Parmesan.
  • Repeat the eggplant, meat sauce, and Parmesan layers.
  • Top the casserole with the béchamel sauce.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 35 to 45 minutes. The top should be golden brown.
  • Allow the moussaka to cool for about 20 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.
Keyword Lemons
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