Make this classic moussaka for a comforting dinner and accompany with a Greek salad or pick your favourite from our easy Greek recipes to create a Mediterranean-style spread. Then check out our veggie moussaka and other aubergine recipes.

Looking for more comfort food? Try our pie recipes such as classic cottage pie, shepherd's pie and classic fish pie.

What is moussaka?

Moussaka is a traditional dish of baked sliced aubergines with a tomato and meat (usually lamb) sauce and an egg-enriched béchamel topping. It’s most commonly associated with Greece (where most of us probably first tried it on holiday) but versions of it exist in lots of other countries including Turkey, Egypt and the Balkans.

Many recipes include a layer of cooked, sliced, potatoes – this gives the moussaka a little more bulk and structure and if you are cooking for a crowd it will make everything go a bit further but if you don’t want to add the extra carbs it works equally as well without.

How do you make the best moussaka?

The trick to a perfect moussaka is getting the aubergine slices lovely and tender before you bake them with the sauce. This means they soak up all of the rich flavour and the finished texture is meltingly tender. Undercooked aubergines are spongy and unpleasant so make sure you don’t skip this step.

How do you make the béchamel topping?

The topping for a moussaka is a thick béchamel sauce which is beaten with eggs. Get the sauce nice and smooth before the eggs are added (use a whisk) and season it quite heavily as otherwise it can be bland. The eggs mean that the topping soufflés up in the oven and goes a lovely deep golden brown when cooked.

How do you serve moussaka?

It’s important to leave the moussaka to sit before you serve it up as it’s easier to keep the shape if it’s not molten hot. 10-15 minutes is fine but it’ll still be hot after 30 minutes sitting. In Greece it’s often served just warm.

Which spices are in moussaka?

The classic spice in a moussaka is cinnamon. You might think it’s strange to add what is traditionally a sweet spice to a savoury dish but it works brilliantly with rich lamb and tomatoes and gives the sauce its distinctive flavour.

Easy moussaka recipe


  • 2 large or 3 smaller aubergines, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 750g minced lamb
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • a glass red wine
  • 1 × 600ml bottle passata
  • 75g butter
  • 75g flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 2 eggs
  • green salad, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Brush the aubergine slices with olive oil and season, put them in a single layer on non-stick baking sheets (you’ll probably need 2 large ones). Cook for 30-40 minutes, turning once, until the aubergines are tender and golden.

  • STEP 2

    Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just tender, then drain well.

  • STEP 3

    Fry the onion in a little oil until soft, then add the garlic. After a minute, add the mince and brown it, breaking up any lumps. Add the cinnamon, wine and passata, season and simmer for about 30 minutes, then bubble off any excess liquid.

  • STEP 4

    Heat the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for a few minutes. Gradually add the milk, stirring until you have a smooth sauce. Season.

  • STEP 5

    Turn the oven down to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Layer the lamb, aubergine and potato in an ovenproof dish. Whisk the eggs into the white sauce and spoon it over the top. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is puffed and dark golden brown. Leave to sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting into large squares to serve.

Try our Greek salad recipe to go with your moussaka

Greek Salad Recipe

Discover more of our best aubergine recipes

Fish-fragrant aubergines

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