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Moussaka (Layered Eggplant)

Moussaka is popular fare in countries across the Mediterranean region, including Greece, Turkey, Egypt, and the Balkan countries. The Greek variant was likely devised by famous Greek chef Nikolaos Tselementes in the 1920s and has three layers that are separately cooked before being combined for one final baking. In Greek and Greek American families, moussaka is frequently made with a béchamel sauce, though a simple red sauce, as outlined in the recipe below, is less labor-intensive to prepare. Variations include the addition of other vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, and potatoes.

Recipe Servings: 4

Prep Time
20 minutes
+ 30 minutes resting
Cook Time
1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time
2 hours 30 minutes
Gluten Free
Dairy Free



  1. Pare eggplant and cut into slices. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, brown meat in vegetable oil with onions and garlic. Drain off fat.
  3. Add salt, seasonings, parsley, tomatoes, and wine. Cover and cook slowly for 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Brown eggplant slices in vegetable oil.
  5. Mix unbeaten egg whites and half the crumbs into meat sauce.
  6. Sprinkle bottom of a baking dish with remaining crumbs and cover with eggplant.
  7. Spoon meat sauce mixture over eggplant.
  8. Top with cheese and bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.

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