Homemade Moussaka

by Barry Lewis

Prep time
60 mins
Bake time
60 mins


3 medium aubergines, sliced

800g lamb mince

1 onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

3 heaped tsp dried oregano

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 bay leaves

200ml red wine

400g chopped tomatoes

250ml water

2tbsp tomato purée

½ tbsp light brown soft sugar

550g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and sliced into 5mm rounds

For the béchamel sauce

40g butter

40g plain flour

450ml milk

50g parmesan

2tsp nutmeg

1 large egg plus 1 yolk, lightly beaten

Here is how to make one of my favourite recipes – homemade moussaka! A Greek classic – plate smashing is optional of course but this loaded meaty feast of aubergines and potatoes in a delicious sauce topped with bechamel is just amazing, a real comfort food! Hope you give it a go!

Homemade Moussaka Recipe

Alright, so despite the long list of ingredients (which you could simplify too) it’s quite a lot of chucking together really once you’ve measured / prepared ingredients – you can also freeze this ahead of time!

First up get the aubergines on a baking tray, brush with olive oil and place under a grill until charred, flipping and cooking the other side once done. You can also do this step in the frying pan in batches brushing with oil and frying or even baking / air frying the aubergine. Leave to one side.

In a large frying pan add a little oil and fry the mince until browned, then push it a little further to lightly caramelise the meat and char it slightly. Stir it regularly over a medium heat and once happen with the meat tip it into a bowl to one side. Keep the pan hot, add more oil if needed then add in the onion and fry until lightly browned. Follow up with the garlic, cinnamon, oregano, bay leaves and a good grind of pepper, and fry stirring for 2 more minutes to combine. Add the lamb back in the pan with the wine and bring to a simmer stirring often, let it reduce down leaving approx half of the wine left, add in the tomato puree, tomatoes, 250ml water and sugar. Bring this to a simmer, letting it gently bubble for 25 minutes to intensify the flavours and thicken the sauce.

Meanwhile you can cook the potatoes – they won’t take long as they are so thinly sliced. Add them to a pan of boiling water and cook for ten minutes, pass through a colander and leave to cool in the colander.

With the potatoes done and the meat simmering we can make the bechamel sauce. Add the butter into a saucepan and melt it over a low hear, stir in the flour and cook for approx 1 min keeping an eye on it so it does not burn. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk, pouring in batches, until smooth and the milk is all added. Return to the heat and bring to a simmer, cooking for 3 mins stirring constantly, it will thicken. Remove from the heat, whisk in the parmesan, grated nutmeg and some salt and pepper, and also the egg and yolk until fully combined.

Now get a large baking dish. Add in a layer of the mince in sauce (about 50% of the mixture), lay over half the aubergine, then half the potato slices, then repeat with the remaining mince, aubergine and potato layers in the same order, spreading it evenly. Pour over the bechamel sauce and spread evenly to cover the tops. Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180fan/200c or equivalent for 45 minutes or until the top is well browned. Once slightly cooled from the oven slice up into wedges and serve or keep in the fridge / freezer for eating at a later date.