Cheat’s moussaka

Winter is perfect for a hearty moussaka, but sometimes you're just not in the mood for all those steps and dishes. This quick recipe has all the key elements and flavours, but without the fuss.

By Nici Wickes
  • 50 mins cooking
  • Serves 2
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  • 1 eggplant, cut into 2cm rounds
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 250 gram lamb mince
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 200 gram tinned chopped tomatoes
  • pinch of allspice
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper
  • basil to garnish
Béchamel sauce
  • 30 gram butter
  • 1.5 tablespoon flour
  • 300 millilitre milk
  • 50 gram grated cheese*
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 1
    Brush each side of the eggplant rounds with olive oil and place on a tray to grill until browned, then flip and cook the other side.
  • 2
    To make the meat sauce, heat the remaining olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add the mince and brown. Splash in the wine before simmering for 1 minute.
  • 3
    Add tomatoes, spices and seasoning. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the mince is cooked and flavours have developed.
  • 4
    Spoon the meat sauce over the eggplant. Pour the béchamel sauce (recipe below) over and bake for 20 minutes at 180°C or until the top is nicely browned in places.
  • 5
    Garnish with fresh basil.
Béchamel sauce
  • 6
    Melt butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • 7
    Whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring it to prevent lumps. Keep cooking until thick and you can no longer taste the raw flour.
  • 8
    Remove from the heat. Add the cheese and whisk well. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  • This recipe works just as well with par-boiled potatoes cut into thick slices in place of the eggplant. - Nici used Meyer tasty gouda in the béchamel sauce.

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