Bulgarian Moussaka Recipe

Simple Moussaka Recipe

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 timesaver, 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.

Delicious Meets Healthy recipesMY OTHER RECIPES

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

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

Simple Moussaka Recipe

How To Make Moussaka

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 into 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 vegetable 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 a 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

 

5 from 3 votes
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Moussaka
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs 20 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 30 mins
 

Bulgarian Simple Moussaka Recipe - A Delicious traditional Mediterranean dish made with potatoes, vegetables & ground beef. One pan meal.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 10
Calories: 406 kcal
Author: Neli @ Delicious Meets Healthy
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 have it, use mediterranean seasoning/
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
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
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 into 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 vegetable 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 a mixer until fluffy. In a separate bowl beat 4 egg yolks with a 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!
Nutrition Facts
Moussaka
Amount Per Serving (403 g)
Calories 406 Calories from Fat 128
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14.2g 22%
Saturated Fat 5.6g 28%
Polyunsaturated Fat 8.6g
Cholesterol 190mg 63%
Sodium 1182mg 49%
Total Carbohydrates 33.5g 11%
Dietary Fiber 5.6g 22%
Sugars 8g
Protein 35.1g 70%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Bulgarian Simple Moussaka Recipe - Delicious traditional Mediterranean dish made with potatoes, vegetables & ground beef. One pan meal.

20 comments on Bulgarian Moussaka Recipe

  • Molly Kumar

    This looks awesome and I’m sure must be delicious too 🙂

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      Thanks, Molly! Yes, it was super delicious!

  • Mirlandra @ Mirlandra's Kitchen

    This should be more popular here in the US. It looks amazing. I know it is on my list now for winter. Thanks! I have never made it and I can’t wait to try something new.

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      Thanks, Mirlandra! Hope you enjoy this meal! 🙂

  • allie @ Through Her Looking Glass

    This looks like such a wonderful dinner Neli! My family would love this. I can imagine it would be a great meal especially in cooler fall weather. Can’t wait to try this!

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      Absolutely, it’s perfect for in cooler fall weather. I think you will love it, Allie! 🙂

  • Joy @ Joy Love Food

    I love moussaka but have never made it at home, this sounds wonderful, I will have to give it at try!

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      Thanks, Joy! Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

  • Michelle @ The Complete Savorist

    I had a good chuckle, an hour in the kitchen for 10 people…I easily spend an hour in the kitchen for just two, but I love it, so not complaining.

    I have never had moussaka. But I love everything about this.

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      I know, me too. I easily spend close to an hour in the kitchen for two as well. That’s why I think, even though this large meal is a little bit more time consuming, it’s not that bad. 🙂

  • Anne Murphy

    That’s a great dish for a group! Sounds delicious.

    And, yeah, the time is perfectly reasonable for what you get – a one dish meal for a bunch of people. You could easily spend as much time cooking meat, vegetables, and potatoes separately.

  • Byron Thomas

    This dish looks lovely! I’ve eaten moussaka many times, but never knew what the topping consisted of. Good to know! Fantastic, vibrant photos too!

  • Heather

    I love that this recipe is packed with so many ingredients and they all are staples in most peoples pantry. I look forward to trying this 🙂

  • Nicole @Little Blog on the Homestead

    Oh my, this looks amazing! It kind of reminds me of shepherds pie in a way, which is a huge hit in our house so I think we might need to branch out and try moussaka sometime soon!

  • ali b

    uh-hh – Topping ingredients not listed in recipe … ?!
    caught in the middle of making with no yogurt or eggs or substitute

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      Ali, I am SO sorry the topping ingredients were not listed in the recipe card. I don’t know what happened… I updated the recipe card. Hope it still turned out delicious!

  • Jewels

    What kind of cheese did you use for this recipe. My best friend and her Bulgarian husband are coming to visit tomorrow and I wanted to make something Bulgarian, which I guess this is the quintessential Bulgarian meal.

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      Yes, this is authentic Bulgarian meal. You will love it!

  • Jewels

    Wha kind of cheese did you use to top the moussaka? My best friend and her Bulgarian husband are coming to visit tomorrow and I wanted to make something Bulgarian for dinner. Hope this works, just don’t know what kind of cheese to get.

    • Delicious Meets Healthy (author)

      I used Provolone cheese. You could use any similar type of cheese. Hope you all enjoy it! 🙂

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