Okay, did you ever see My Big Fat Greek Wedding? It’s one of my all time faves. There’s a hilarious scene where the main character (a Greek girl) takes her lunch to school. She opens it up and the very American, blonde girl at the next table asks, “What is that?” with a disgusted face. The sweet little Greek girl replies, “It’s Moussaka!” with a very strong Greek accent. The future Mean Girl then scoffs, “Did you say moose caca?” and the whole table laughs at the sweet Greek girl.
Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish that has a layer of delicious, starchy fluffiness on top followed by a very Greek, hearty meat bottom. It’s like the Greek version of lasagna. So. Dang. Good. Especially when paired with a Greek salad and maybe some pita. Mmmmmmm I can taste it now.
Mine is still delish, but it’s adapted from a Cooking Light recipe so that I can eat it more often without gaining the extra 24 pounds it would give me.
Plus, like most of the things I make, it freezes well. #score
To cut the potato slices, I use a mandolin. They seem scary [and they are if you don’t use them correctly], but they make slicing go SOOOOOO much faster! Here’s the one we have:
First, we’re going to brown our potato slices. Just heat a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Spray it with cooking spray, and brown the slices in batches (about 3 minutes per side). Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350.
Now let’s make the filling! Sauté some onion, red bell pepper, and green bell pepper in some olive oil until softened (about 8 minutes).
Add in some minced garlic and cook an additional minute.
Add in 12 oz. – 1 lb. of ground lamb and cook until browned.
Now add in 2 cans of diced tomatoes that have been drained, some cinnamon, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine, turn heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add in some chopped parsley.
Now we’ll build the layers. Lay half of your potato slices on the bottom of a greased 9×13 oven-proof dish.
Spread the lamb mixture on top.
Top with remaining potato slices.
Now whisk together 2 eggs with 1 cup of milk. Pour the mixture over the casserole. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with more parsley.
This recipe makes 6 hearty servings, each coming in at around 315 calories each! I actually froze 4 of the servings so that we could have them later in the month. I’ll just thaw them overnight in the fridge and reheat the following day!
Potato and Lamb Moussaka
1 large Russet potato, sliced thin (1/4”)
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
12-oz. (or 1 lb.) ground lamb
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
¾ tsp. Kosher salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup 1% milk
2 large eggs
Spray a large Dutch oven or nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Turn the heat to medium-high and allow to heat up for a couple of minutes. Brown the potato slices in batches (about 3 minutes per side) being careful not to crowd the pan. Remove browned slices to a plate and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350.
In the same skillet, bring the olive oil to a shimmer over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, green bell, and red bell peppers. Sauté until softened (about 8 minutes). Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Add in the ground lamb and cook until browned (about 4 minutes). Add in the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, cumin, and cinnamon. Stir to combine, lower the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in the parsley. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Layer half of the potato slices on the bottom, then pour in the lamb mixture, and top with the remaining potato slices. In a large bowl or measuring cup, whisk the eggs and milk together. Pour the mixture over the potato slices.
Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 30 minutes, or until top is golden and set. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.