Traditional Moussaka with Zucchini

Kyra Williams for The Upside Blog

by | Updated: May 3rd, 2022

Greek moussaka — the layered casserole of eggplant, potato, meat sauce and cheesy béchamel — is about as delicious as Mediterranean comfort food gets. This recipe mixes in zucchini for a denser vegetable base layer. The scent of cinnamon, oregano, ginger and red wine in the tomato-based sauce will spark appetites and memories. Moussaka is traditionally served in large pieces, undoubtedly to reward the cravings that the aromas arouse.

Greek moussaka casserole on white plate next to clear glass dish on blue napkin |

Greek moussaka casserole on white plate next to clear glass dish on blue napkin |
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Traditional Moussaka with Zucchini

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 696 kcal
Author Kyra Williams


Béchamel Sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and place between paper towels for 15 minutes to draw out moisture.
  3. On roasting pan, arrange eggplant and spray evenly with olive oil; roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
  4. In large pan over medium-high heat, add beef/lamb, cinnamon, oregano, ginger, allspice, cayenne, salt and pepper and brown for 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  5. To pan, add onion and bell pepper and sauté 5 minutes. Add serrano pepper and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes, then stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir meat into pepper and onion mixture, add red wine and cook for 5 minutes, until reduced and wine is almost evaporated.
  7. Add tomato puree, bring to boil then reduce to simmer. Add sugar, bouillon and water, stir to combine. Let simmer.
  8. In 3-quart baking dish, layer potato first, then zucchini, followed by half of eggplant. Add beef mixture, then top with remaining eggplant.
  9. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  10. To make béchamel sauce, in saucepan over medium heat, melt butter then stir in flour until well combined.
  11. Slowly whisk in milk and stir until thickened, 5-10 minutes. Add salt, bay leaf, nutmeg and pepper. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Whisk in egg yolks. Once well combined, pour over eggplant in baking dish.
  12. Bake for 45 minutes. Let rest 20 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

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Nutrition Facts
Traditional Moussaka with Zucchini
Amount Per Serving
Calories 696 Calories from Fat 324
% Daily Value*
Fat 36g55%
Saturated Fat 20g100%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 10g
Cholesterol 167mg56%
Sodium 936mg39%
Potassium 1705mg49%
Carbohydrates 66g22%
Fiber 11g44%
Sugar 21g23%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 2136IU43%
Vitamin C 73mg88%
Calcium 442mg44%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Kyra Williams

Kyra Williams hasn’t always been fit. She used to be quite the opposite, in fact. During her college years, she lived on pizza and beer and packed on an unhealthy amount of pounds, due to total inactivity. One day, something clicked, and Kyra knew it was time to lose the weight. Since that time, she’s fallen so in love with fitness that she’s made it her life’s work to help others to make the changes they need to become fit, active and healthy.

Kyra is a self-employed, NASM-certified online personal trainer and nutrition expert, Crossfit Level One Trainer, USA Weightlifting and USA Powerlifting Coach, and she’s helped women all over the world through her online training services and training programs. For more info or to connect with Kyra, visit