An Easier Version of Moussaka

Here’s a fine recipe for a fall weekend meal, plus leftovers

Mark Bittman
Published in
2 min readNov 13, 2020


A slice of moussaka.
Photo: nata_vkusidey/iStock/Getty Images Plus

There are countless versions of this lasagna-like Greek eggplant dish, but I’m not crazy about the kind with the custard on top. In Dinner For Everyone, I have recipes for mushroom and sweet potato moussaka, one with stewed lamb, and this one, below. Meat-eaters will be glad they decided to make it: All of the flavors and ingredients of the classic are captured without needing to cook and assemble a bunch of separate components. Read on for this weekend’s one-dish meal.

Miracle Moussaka

Makes: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 pound ground lamb or ground chuck
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ⅔ cup milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F. Grease a large ovenproof skillet with 2 tablespoons oil. Add the eggplant, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Scatter the onion and garlic over the eggplant, followed by the tomatoes.
  2. Generously season the lamb or chuck with salt and pepper. Dot the tomatoes evenly with dollops of ground lamb or chuck, sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake, undisturbed, until the mixture sizzles, and browns in spots, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Put the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and the flour in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, whisking almost constantly, until the flour turns golden and begins to stick, 8 to 12 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, oregano, and sprinkle of salt and pepper, and keep cooking and whisking until fragrant, less than a minute more.
  4. Remove from the heat and add the milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Whisk in the egg yolks.
  5. Remove the skillet from the oven and drizzle the sauce over the meat and vegetables; shake the pan to distribute the liquid. Continue baking until the moussaka is hot and bubbly but the sauce is still a little loose, 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and let the moussaka set for 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.



Mark Bittman

Has published 30 books, including How to Cook Everything and VB6: The Case for Part-Time Veganism. Newsletter at