Moussaka – aka “Eggplant Lasagna”

I spent most of my childhood in Dallas and it’s a place that i’ve called home for so many years now. So, since I had some time off school, I decided to go visit family that I have in Dallas.  While I was there I spent some serious quality time with my Teta (Grandma, in arabic).  I took full advantage of this time and was able to get some awesome recipes from her! 🙂

My goofy little cousins!

Tonight I made moussaka for dinner and it turned out delicious.  If you don’t know what moussaka is, the best way to describe it is as an eggplant lasagna. This is one of my hubby’s favorite meals so I was pretty nervous about making it.  I know I don’t quite have the skill level of my grandma or even his mom, so expectations were high! Nonetheless, it turned out yummy!!

Just as a heads up, this took me about 40 minutes to get everything together and in the oven. If you’re making this recipe for 2 people, cut all ingredients and cooking time in half!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Eggplants
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (optional, added for spice)
  • 2 cans tomato sauce
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • Shredded mozzerlla cheese
Instructions:
  1. Make 1 cup of rice.  Allow to cook while you prepare the rest of the meal.
  2. Prepare 2 eggplants: cut off ends of eggplant, peel eggplant using vegetable peeler.  Cut lengthwise in to 1/2 inch thickness.
  3. Take each slice of eggplant and brush olive oil on both sides.  Then sprinkle both sides lightly with salt and pepper.  Place on baking sheet.
  4. Set oven to broil.  Place baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes.  Then remove from oven and flip slices of eggplant over.  Put back in oven for 5 more minutes. Then set aside.  (This is an alternative to the traditional way of making moussaka, which is deep frying the sliced eggplant.)
  5. Heat 1 tsp olive oil, brown 1/2 cup of chopped onion. Then add ground beef and brown.  Drain any excess fat.  Season ground beef with salt and pepper.  (I used approximately 1/2 tsp of each).  Set aside.
  6. In small pot heat 1 tsp of olive oil.  Brown 1/4 cup of chopped onion.  Add 1 can of tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes.  Bring to boil.  Season with 1/2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper, and 1/4 tsp of ground red pepper.  Set this sauce aside.
  7. In a separate bowl, add 1 can of tomato sauce with 1 cup of water.  You also want to season this watered down tomato sauce with salt, pepper, and ground red pepper.
  8. Now we are ready to assemble the lasagna!  Use a 13×9 baking dish.  Brush baking dish with olive oil.  Line bottom of pan with a small amount of the watered down tomato sauce.
  9. Line baking dish with sliced eggplant.  Add ground beef on top of the first layer of eggplant.   Then add layer of tomato sauce with diced tomatoes.  Sprinkle a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese.
  10. Place a second layer of eggplant.   Spread remaining watered down tomato sauce on top layer of eggplant.  Sprinkle top of “lasagna” with shredded mozzarella cheese.
  11. Cover baking dish with foil.  Bake in oven on 400 degrees for 35 minutes. You should see some of the tomato sauce bubbling on the very bottom of the baking dish.  Remove foil and bake for 10 more minutes.
  12. Remove from oven.  Serve over rice and enjoy.
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6 thoughts on “Moussaka – aka “Eggplant Lasagna”

  1. hahahaa @ mouse kaka…we make a similar dish without the cheese….called ‘sinniyat bitinjaan’ eggplant pan lol, i love it!!

  2. Pingback: Okra with rice « Cavities & Cravings

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