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+ servings

Cyprus Moussaka (Vegetable and Meat Casserole)

Note this recipe can be cut in half and will come out great. However, leftovers are delicious!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Cyprus
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 8 servings
Author International Cuisine


  • Mince meat sauce:
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs. minced meat pork or pork/beef or lamb
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red or white dry wine optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Half bunch finely chopped parsley one cupful
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Bechamel sauce:
  • 1 cube butter
  • A few tablespoons flour just enough to absorb all the butter
  • Milk as needed
  • 1 cup of Halloumi cheese grated or a mixture of other cheeses like parmesan or feta
  • ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • Vegetables:
  • 4 large aubergines
  • 4 courgettes
  • 4 potatoes
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups corn or sunflower oil


  • For the meat sauce:
  • Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and sauté onions.
  • Add the minced meat until brown, for around 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the wine
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper and oregano and stir well.
  • Add the garlic, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves if using.
  • Cover and cook for 20 minutes to make a moist sauce, then remove lid and cook for a further 10 minutes (don’t let the sauce get too dry)
  • Take off the heat and add the parsley, mix well and put aside until required.
  • Parsley in Greek dishes with such sauces is always added last and after the heat is turned off.
  • For the Béchamel sauce:
  • Melt butter in a saucepan.
  • Add flour, stirring with a wooden spoon so it absorbs all butter.
  • Take off heat.
  • Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly and quickly.
  • When a smooth custard-like sauce is achieved, put on heat again
  • Carry on stirring/whisking, adding more milk as needed
  • Your béchamel should be smooth and thick but not stiff
  • When the sauce is ready, add 3-4 Tablespoons of grated cheese and grated nutmeg and mix well.
  • For the vegetables:
  • Peel and wash potatoes.
  • Wash aubergines and courgettes and cut off stems and tips.
  • You can peel your aubergines a bit but not completely.
  • Cut aubergines, courgettes and potatoes lengthwise into large 5mm slices
  • Place aubergine slices in salty water for an hour.
  • Rinse well under cold water in a colander.
  • Dry each slice very well with kitchen paper.
  • Heat up oil in a wide frying pan. You should have enough oil to cover vegetables when frying them.
  • Fry in batches in hot oil until lightly brown.
  • Drain from excess oil by placing all fried vegetables on a tray lined with a double layer of kitchen paper
  • Lastly:
  • Place a layer of vegetables on a lightly oiled baking dish or pyrex dish – first the aubergines, then courgettes, lastly potatoes.
  • Spread meat sauce over your vegetables evenly.
  • Cover with another layer of vegetables or whatever vegetables you are left with.
  • Pour béchamel sauce over the top.
  • Prick your moussaka with a fork all over to allow the béchamel to run a bit inside the vegetables and the meat sauce.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
  • Sprinkle ground nutmeg on top (or ground cloves or ground cinnamon).
  • Bake in a pre-heated oven 375 degrees until golden brown (45 mins – 1 hour)
  • If your dish is full to the rim then place a baking sheet underneath to prevent spills in the oven.