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Horizontal image of two plates with a large square serving of a meat moussaka with a metal fork on one plate on top of a blue napkin.

Beef and Potato Casserole (Greek Moussaka)

  • Author: Meghan Yager
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x


This straightforward beef and potato casserole is also known as moussaka. The layered dish is to the Greeks what lasagna is to the Italians. Get the recipe.



For the Casserole:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for baking dish
  • 1 medium mild onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef (or ground lamb)
  • 23 teaspoons paprika 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 large potatoes, thinly sliced into rounds (about 1 lb total weight, 2 1/2 cups)

For the Mornay Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ounces farmer’s cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 3/4 cup), divided
  • 2 large egg yolks, beaten


  1. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with canola oil. 
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly translucent and soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring occasionally until fragrant.
  4. Add ground beef and paprika to taste. Continue cooking until beef is no longer pink, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon. Drain away excess fat. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk for the sauce until it is just bubbling on the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Keep warm over low heat.
  6. Heat butter for the sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat until melted and foaming. Add flour and whisk constantly for about 1 minute, until the roux is golden brown in color. 
  7. Gradually whisk in the warm milk. Bring to a boil, whisking until smooth and there are no more lumps, and then reduce to a simmer. 
  8. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, whisking frequently, until mixture thickens and attains a pudding-like consistency. Stir in salt and remove from heat.
  9. Whisk in farmer’s cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese. 
  10. Set aside for 10 minutes to let the cheese melt. Vigorously whisk in egg yolks until combined and mixture takes on a golden yellow color. Set aside.
  11. Cover the bottom of the prepared dish with a single layer of potatoes so they are overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  12. Spoon beef mixture evenly over the potatoes.
  13. Cover with the rest of the potatoes and sprinkle with the remaining salt and pepper.
  14. Top with sauce and smooth surface with a spoon. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  15. Cover the baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and continue cooking for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown on top.
  16. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into pieces and serving.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
  • Category: Casserole
  • Method: Stovetop/Baking
  • Cuisine: Greek

Keywords: Greek, moussaka, beef, potato, casserole