Moussaka in 30 minutes? I know you think it can't be done, but it CAN. Try this simple, DELICIOUS and easy dinner tonight.
This is moussaka but not as you know it. Forget hours of slow cooking, with a few handy tricks we'll get this simple moussaka on the table in half an hour.
But first - what is Moussaka?
Moussaka is a dish made with a layer of spiced minced (ground) meat (usually lamb or beef), eggplant and potato. It's often described as Greek, but there are many many many different versions of Moussaka originating from all over the Balkans and Middle East.
What ingredients are in Moussaka?
- Meat: We'll use lamb mince in this version, and add garlic, red onion, grated carrot, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, bay leaf, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and dark soy sauce.
- Eggplant: Thin slices of eggplant under the grill.
- Potato topping: we'll mash potato and combine with Greek yoghurt, butter, salt and pepper, then top with cheddar cheese.
How do we make Moussaka so quickly?
Moussaka usually takes hours of slow cooking, but in this simple version, we're speeding things up a bit, without sacrificing any of the flavour. How?
- We're cooking eggplant under the grill (broiler) first to tenderise it.
- We're microwaving our potatoes to cook them quickly for the topping.
- We're bringing out the flavour of the meat with garlic, onion, spices, soy and Worcestershire sauces, so we don't need to slow cook it.
- We're grating carrot so it is quicker to cook.
Is Moussaka like lasagne?
There are similarities with lasagne, because they are both delicious baked dinners with ground meat, cheese and tomato, but that's about where the similarities stop. Unlike lasagne, moussaka doesn't contain pasta or bechamel sauce, and Moussaka has a broader range of spices like cinnamon and cumin, and contains potato and eggplant.
When you line your grill tray, make sure to use foil, not baking paper or parchment paper. The paper will burn under direct heat - trust me, I did it myself.
- Alternative protein - Instead of Lamb mince you can use beef mince. I haven't tried chicken mince myself, but I think it would be really tasty too.
- Vegetarian - replace mince with lentils or beyond beef mince.
- Dairy Free - replace butter with olive oil and skip the cheese on top or use dairy free shredded parmesan. Swap Greek yoghurt for half the quantity of oat milk (or plant-based milk of choice).
- Gluten Free - swap dark soy sauce for tamari.
- This is such a kid-friendly recipe. The only thing you might want to do is hold off on salt and pepper while cooking, and add to adult plates at the end.
You will need an oven, stovetop, baking tray and deep frying pan. A cake tin is a handy option if you don’t have a small baking dish. I used a 20 cm cake tin as the baking dish for 4 serves.
More Lamb Recipes
If you like this Moussaka with Lamb, you should also try
- This Greek Lamb Spanakopita
- Cheesy Greek Lamb Meatball Wraps
- Lamb Meatballs with Red Wine Sauce
- And for a vegetarian dinner, this Vegetable Lasagne
30 minute Moussaka
- 1 Deep frying pan
- 1 Baking dish (square baking tin about 20cm)
- 1 Grill tray
- 1 Eggplant Aubergine
- 3 tablespoon Olive oil
- 2 Potatoes 600g
- 2 cloves Garlic
- 1 Red onion
- 1 Carrot
- 2 teaspoon Dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Cumin ground
- 2 Bay leaves
- 500 g Lamb mince
- ¼ cup Tomato paste
- 400 g Chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dark soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon Brown sugar
- 1 cup Greek yoghurt
- 20 g Salted butter
- 80 g Cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Turn your oven on to grill and line a grill tray with foil.
- Slice eggplant in 5 mm slices, then brush with olive oil, salt and pepper (opt). Add to the grill and cook for 3 minutes each side, until browned. Meanwhile, continue to the next step.1 Eggplant
- Peel and chop potatoes, add to a microwave proof bowl, cover with 2 cm of water and microwave for 6 minutes. Continue to the next step.2 Potatoes
- Peel and chop garlic and onion, and peel and grate carrot.2 cloves Garlic, 1 Red onion, 1 Carrot
- Place a large frying pan on high, add olive oil, onions and garlic and cook for a minute, then add oregano, cinnamon, bay leaves and stir through. Add lamb mince and break up with your spoon, cooking until browned.3 tablespoon Olive oil, 2 cloves Garlic, 1 Red onion, 2 teaspoon Dried oregano, 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1 teaspoon Cumin, 2 Bay leaves, 500 g Lamb mince
- Add tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, grated carrot, sugar and salt and pepper (opt), and cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.1 Carrot, ¼ cup Tomato paste, 400 g Chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon Dark soy sauce, 2 teaspoon Brown sugar, Salt and pepper
- Drain potatoes and place in a large bowl with butter, Greek yoghurt, salt and pepper. Use a stick blender or potato masher to mash together.1 cup Greek yoghurt, 20 g Salted butter, Salt and pepper
- Place half the lamb mixture in a baking dish, then layer over half the eggplant, then add the rest of the lamb and the rest of the eggplant.
- Add the potato topping, grate over cheese and set under the grill for 5-7 minutes, until the cheese topping is golden.80 g Cheddar cheese
- Serve up big slices of delicious moussaka.