Lighter Moussaka

Moussaka is a classic Greek casserole made with layers of sliced eggplant, ground beef or lamb, and a topping of rich béchamel sauce.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 5 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 6


  • 2 eggplants (1 lb. each), peeled
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes in purée
  • 1⁄2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1⁄2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp. allspice
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lb. 94% lean ground beef
  • 1 cup fat-free evaporated milk
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour


  • Slice the eggplants lengthwise vertically into 1⁄4-inch slices. Place slices in a colander and divide salt between the slices. Let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse well to remove salt and pat dry.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on two parchment paper–lined baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes and reserve.
  • Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion and garlic for 1 minute, then add the tomatoes, wine, tomato paste, cinnamon, allspice, oregano, parsley, and ground beef. Break up the tomatoes and beef into small chunks using a potato masher. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned and most of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes.
  • Ladle half of the tomato and beef mixture onto the bottom of a 4- or 6-quart oval slow cooker. Top with a single layer of eggplant, taking care to leave no gaps between slices. Top with remaining tomato and beef mixture. Top with another layer of eggplant. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours.
  • In a small saucepan, whisk together the evaporated milk, butter, egg, and flour. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to low. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat.
  • Pour the sauce over the eggplant and cook an additional 1 to 1 1⁄2 hours on high.
  • Preheat broiler. Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes. Slice into servings and place under a broiler to brown the top. Serve hot.