Rustic Eggplant Moussaka

4.9 from 46 reviews

An authentic, delicious recipe for Rustic Eggplant Moussaka- perfect for entertaining or serving at a  special gathering. Can be made ahead and baked prior to serving.



Tomato Meat Sauce:

Bechamel Sauce:


  1. Pre heat oven to 400 F. Cut eggplant into ⅓- ¼ inch thick disks (no thinner), sprinkle with a little kosher salt and let sit in a colander or bowl for 20-60 minutes. Eggplant will start to release liquid (making it less bitter) Rinse well, pat dry and brush each side with olive oil (or use spray oil).
  2. Place on a greased sheet pan and roast in a 400 F oven until golden, about 20-30 minutes. Alternatively you can grill the eggplant- wrapping it in foil after, so it steams and cooks through.
  3. While eggplant is roasting -make the meat sauce: Saute diced onion in oil on med high heat for 3-4 minutes, add garlic, turn heat down to med low and saute for 8-10 minutes until onions are tender. Add ground lamb, turn heat up to med-high and brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Drain fat if any. Add the rest of the ingredients -diced tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, fresh chopped parsley, sugar, cinnamon, kosher salt and pepper. Stir and cover and let simmer on med low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Make Bechamal: Melt 3 T butter. Whisk in 4 T flour ( or rice flour) and let cook for 2-3 on med heat, stirring often. Whisk in 1 C milk. Whisk well, and add the 2nd cup. Stirring constantly bring to a boil, and let simmer on low for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add nutmeg, 2 T Cheese, salt, pepper. Set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, lightly beat an egg, but do not add it just yet.
  5. Assemble: Divide eggplant slices into three stacks, reserving the best looking largest pieces for the top an bottom layers. The others can be placed in the middle layer which will be concealed. In a greased 8x 13 in pan, place one layer of eggplant. Add half the meat sauce. Add another layer of eggplant, and the remaining meat sauce. Add the third and final layer of eggplant. Whisk in the beaten egg into the bechamel sauce until nice and smooth. Spread the bechamel over the final eggplant layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and place in a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes, until beautiful and gold. let stand 10 minutes before serving.


  1. Notes: You can make this ahead and refrigerate for a couple days before baking. You can also freeze this after baking.
  2. An easy way to approach this is to make this in stages. For example, roast or grill the eggplant a couple days ahead, make the meat sauce the next day, make the béchamel the last day and assemble the day of baking.
  3. My personal preferences here are to grill the eggplant if possible and to use ground lamb ( or a mix of beef and lamb). Soooo good!

Keywords: moussaka, eggplant moussaka, moussaka recipe, authentic moussaka, eggplant moussaka recipe, vegetarian moussaka