Deconstructed Moussakawith bechamel sauce / roasted potatoes and eggplant
Our deconstructed moussaka captures all the flavors of this beloved Greek dish in a weeknight friendly recipe.
Smarts: Bechamel is a white sauce that forms a creamy layer over the meat in this recipe. The key to a smooth bechamel is whisking constantly as it cooks. Heating the milk slightly before adding it to the sauce also helps to prevent lumps from forming.
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
- Allspice (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Onions, medium - 1, chopped
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Lamb, ground - 1 lb (sub any ground meat)
- Eggplant, Chinese - 1 lb, cubed (sub Japanese or regular)
- Potatoes, russet - 1 lb, peeled and cubed
- Foil - for cooking
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Wine, red - 1/2 cup (sub stock)
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Cheese, parmesan - 1/4 cup, grated
- Egg yolks - 2, whisked
- Milk - 1 3/4 cups
- Butter - 4 Tbsp
- Flour - 5 Tbsp
- Bay leaf - 1
- Nutmeg, ground (opt) - 1/8 tsp
- Make spice mix - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating before continuing with prep.) Combine salt, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Garlic / Cheese - Prep as directed. Store in separate containers. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Season lamb - Stir spice mix into lamb. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Eggplant / Potatoes - Prep as directed.
- Egg yolks - Separate yolks from whites (save whites for another use). Whisk egg yolks.
- Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
- Brush a sheet pan with some cooking oil. Spread eggplant and potatoes out in a single layer. Cover pan tightly with foil.
- Roast in the oven for 10 minutes to get the vegetables started cooking. (Watch this video for tips on roasting at high heat.)
- Once vegetables are in the oven, make bechamel sauce.
- Heat milk in the microwave just until warm to the touch (be careful not to overheat it).
- Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add flour and cook, whisking constantly, until smooth and creamy, ~2 minutes.
- While still whisking, slowly pour milk over butter / flour mixture. Keep whisking until everything is evenly combined. Add bay leaf and nutmeg and simmer bechamel until thick and creamy, 2 to 4 minutes.
- Transfer bechamel to a small bowl and wipe out skillet (you’ll use it for cooking the meat).
- Remove roasting vegetables from the oven.
- Reduce oven to 400F / 204C.
- Remove foil from vegetables and toss vegetables with first portion of oil. Season with some salt and pepper. Return to oven and continue roasting, stirring halfway through cooking, until golden brown and tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Return to skillet. Heat skillet with second part of cooking oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add lamb and saute, breaking it apart, until cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes. Drain off as much excess liquid / grease as possible.
- Add garlic to lamb. Saute for 2 minutes more.
- Stir in wine and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2 minutes.
- Whisk egg yolks into bechamel sauce. Discard bay leaves. Pour sauce over lamb. Sprinkle cheese on top. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until golden brown and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Serve lamb over roasted vegetables. If you still have green onions from earlier in the week, you can chop some and put them on top for a pop of color. Enjoy!
This meal has 25 reviews
I did all the prep work ahead and it still took me a solid 45 minutes to complete. It was very good though. I am always looking for ways to use eggplant.
This had great flavor! I had sweet potatoes, baby potatoes, and eggplant on hand, so that's what I used and it was perfect- though I really liked the eggplant with it. The sauce was a bit separated after coming out of the oven, but it still tasted good. Will definitely make again
Love, love, love it! It was a lot of work but man it was worth it. My baby ate it up too.
Delicious, but be warned - it is a time-consuming recipe.
Way too long to make for the result.
I really loved the flavors in this one! I used ground beef instead of lamb, which was great as I’m not a fan of lamb. My husband found it very rich. The downside was the cooking time. It took so long! I broiled it for 5 minutes instead of baking it for 25, which made it perfectly bubbly, but still had dinner on the table much later than I’d hoped.