Since my mom and grandmother were visiting us last month, we cooked a lot of traditional Bulgarian meals. And today, I am sharing with you one of my all time favorite Bulgarian meals – Moussaka. This is a traditional moussaka recipe made with potatoes, ground beef and vegetables like carrot, red bell pepper, celery, tomato, onion, and garlic. It’s absolutely delicious and I bet you will ask for seconds.

It can be time consuming to make moussaka but I love that it’s a great meal for large crowds –  it’s enough to feed 10 people. Considering that you cook for about 10 people, spending an hour in the kitchen prepping and cooking is really not that bad. It’s actually a pretty quick meal. I have made several moussakas and I finally was able to make one that takes only about 1 hour to make. I think this is the quickest moussaka recipe I have ever cooked.  One trick that I have come up with is to sautée the vegetables and ground beef before they go in the oven. It’s a time safer, and it lets the flavors combine nicely. This moussaka recipe is a perfect comfort food.

I don’t think moussaka is a very popular meal in the States but it certainly has become more popular in Europe over the last decade. I love that the ingredients are super simple, everyday pantry staples, and there are no complicated techniques to cook this meal. This quick and simple moussaka recipe is also healthy – I used only vegetables, ground beef, eggs, yogurt and spices.

For Paleo version – substitute potatoes with sweet potatoes, and milk with almond milk. Also omit shredded cheese.

I hope you give this moussaka recipe a try and hope you enjoy it!

Simple Moussaka Recipe

What you need

1 lb ground beef

2 lbs potatoes

1 medium onions

1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 medium tomato

olive oil

2 tsp paprika

salt & ground black pepper, to taste

summer savory, to taste (bulgarian spice: chubritsa) /If you don’t it, use mediterranean seasoning/

ground cumin, to taste

Topping

1 cup yogurt

1/4 cup milk

4 egg yolks & 4 egg whites

4 Tbsp water

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup cheese

Preparation

Heat oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and saute until lightly translucent (about 2 minutes). Add chopped carrots, celery and red bell pepper, season with salt and saute until vegetables are tender (about 3 minutes). Add finely chopped tomato to the skillet and minced garlic, and cook for few minutes until it looks  like sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper, paprika and summer savory, and stir well. (Picture doesn’t show the celery and chopped tomato.)

Simple Moussaka Recipe

Transfer vegetables to a plate. Add ground beef to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes until brown. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, summer savory & cumin. Break it up in small pieces with wooden spoon. Mix vegetables and ground beef together. Transfer to a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.

Simple Moussaka Recipe

In the same large skillet heat oil and add HALF of the chopped potatoes (cook them in batches as you want them to cook evenly). Season with salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper and summer savory. Let potatoes cook covered for about 10 minutes until slightly tender (they will cook more in the oven later) and stir every couple minutes. When the potatoes are done, add them to the beef and vegetables mixture in the 9 x 13 baking dish. Repeat with the second batch of potatoes.

Pour 1 1/2 cups water over the moussaka. (The water should not cover the potatoes, the water line should be just below them.)

Simple Moussaka Recipe

Place in a preheated 400 F oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until most of the water has evaporated and the potatoes are tender.

Topping

Simple Moussaka Recipe

About 10 minutes before moussaka is ready, prepare the topping. Beat 4 egg whites with mixer until fluffy. In a separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks with mixer and add 4 Tbsp water. in another small bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt with 1/4 cup  milk, and add 1/2 tsp baking soda, gently fold in egg yolks and egg whites. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread over baked moussaka, top with freshly shredded cheese and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes. Let moussaka cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

Simple Moussaka Recipe

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3.5 from 2 reviews
Moussaka
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 lbs potatoes
  • 1 medium onions
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium tomato
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp summer savory (bulgarian spice: chubritsa) /If you don't it, use mediterranean seasoning/
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
Topping
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 4 egg yolks & 4 egg whites
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat. Add chopped onions and saute until lightly translucent (about 2 minutes). Add chopped carrots, celery and red bell pepper, season with salt and saute until vegetables are tender (about 3 minutes). Add finely chopped tomato to the skillet and minced garlic, and cook for few minutes until it looks like sauce. Season with freshly ground pepper, paprika and summer savory, and stir well.
  2. Transfer vegetables to a plate. Add ground beef to the skillet and cook for about 6 minutes until brown. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, summer savory & cumin. Break it up in small pieces with wooden spoon. Mix vegetables and ground beef together. Transfer to a 9 x 13 greased baking dish.
  3. In the same large skillet heat oil and add HALF of the chopped potatoes (cook them in batches as you want them to cook evenly). Season with salt, paprika, freshly ground black pepper and summer savory. Let potatoes cook covered for about 10 minutes until slightly tender (they will cook more in the oven later) and stir every couple minutes. When the potatoes are done, add them to the beef and vegetables mixture in the 9 x 13 baking dish. Repeat with the second batch of potatoes.
  4. Pour 2 cups water over the moussaka. (The water should not cover the potatoes, the water line should be just below them.)
  5. Place in a preheated 400 F oven and bake for about 50 minutes.
Topping
  1. About 10 minutes before moussaka is ready, prepare the topping. Beat 4 egg whites with mixer until fluffy. In a separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks with mixer and add 4 Tbsp water. in another small bowl, combine 1 cup yogurt with ¼ cup milk, and add ½ tsp baking soda, gently fold in egg yolks and egg whites. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Spread over baked moussaka, top with freshly shredded cheese and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Let moussaka cool for about 15 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!

♥ FAVORITE THINGS ♥

Used in this post:

       

FB-InstaMoussaka recipes from around the web:
Moussaka – Food Network
Moussaka – Foodess
Moussaka with Bechamel Sauce – My Greek Dish

 

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