Skillet Moussaka

Skillet Moussaka

3 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2011

In Greece, moussaka is made with beef or lamb, layers of sliced eggplant and a creamy béchamel sauce all baked together in the oven. This variation takes plenty of liberties to make it easy, quick and healthful. Serve over whole-wheat pasta or with potatoes.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 1 small eggplant (see Tips), 8 to 10 ounces
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 pound 93%-lean ground beef, lamb (see Tips) or bison
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, divided
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup water
  • ⅓ cup low-fat or nonfat plain Greek yogurt, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • ½ cup chopped fresh mint or parsley


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  • Ready In

  1. If your eggplant is skinny, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices; if it's fatter, first cut it in half lengthwise, then cut crosswise into slices. Using 1 tablespoon oil, lightly brush eggplant slices on both sides. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add half the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add meat, 1 teaspoon oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat, until no longer pink, 4 to 8 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, remove meat and garlic from the pan, draining well, and transfer to a medium bowl. Add tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes), water and ⅓ cup yogurt to the meat mixture; stir to combine.
  4. Pour off any liquid in the pan and wipe the pan clean. Heat the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add onion, the remaining garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon oregano and the eggplant; cook, stirring, until the eggplant is softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the meat mixture. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and eggplant are soft, 12 to 15 minutes. Sprinkle cheese and mint (or parsley) on top and stir to combine. Serve topped with extra yogurt, if desired.
  • Tips: If you're using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. Rinse well with cold water, then dry with paper towels.
  • It's not always easy to find lean lamb, but it's easy to grind your own in a food processor. Choose a lean cut, such as leg or loin, trim any excess fat and cut into ¾-inch pieces. Pulse in a food processor until uniformly ground, being careful not to overprocess. Or ask your butcher to grind a lean cut for you.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 cup
  • Per serving: 462 calories; 28 g fat(8 g sat); 4 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrates; 38 g protein; 41 mcg folate; 97 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 859 IU vitamin A; 10 mg vitamin C; 188 mg calcium; 6 mg iron; 734 mg sodium; 847 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Iron (33% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 4 lean meat, 3 fat

Reviews 3

April 23, 2012
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By: mollymulligan
Easy, Needs more Spices This was an easy recipe. I doubled up on spices and added more tomatoes and yogurt instead of water. Next time more spices and more garlic and onion also. Pros: Easy, Quick Cons: Not enough flavor
April 04, 2012
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By: fedfan86
Never again I was looking forward to this recipe, since I had success with several other recipes on this website. Unfortunately, the resulting dish had zero flavor. I don't know if it was the addition of the water or what but even with added spices, nothing really worked in this dish. Cons: Bland
February 09, 2012
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By: EatingWell User
Needs more spices This dish is great, it was easy, quick, and didn't create too much mess. I added a bit of cinnamon and a splash of red wine to the meat. Next time I will try adding more cinnamon as well as some allspice to get a more authentic taste.
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