Tuesday 27 September 2011

Lamb Moussaka with Courgettes

Moussaka is a dish found in many Mediterranean areas including Greece, and I’ve only eaten it at Greek restaurants. I have always wanted to try to make it, and in this case I replaced the traditional aubergine with only courgettes, because it’s what I had at the time, and this came out to be a really lovely meal accompanied by peas, but I do think some roast potatoes would go along nicely. It freezes well. Or serves 4.

500g lean lamb mince (~1lb)
3 courgettes (zucchini)
1 large onion
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp. dried basil
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. flour (divided half and half)
1 Packet Coleman’s savory white sauce mix OR white sauce recipe (see below)
1 egg yolk
½ c. grated cheddar cheese

Simple White Sauce:

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. flour
1 ½ c milk (~300mls)
Salt and pepper
touch nutmeg if you have it

To Start:
With a sharp knife ), slice the courgette lengthwise as thin as you can get (if you’re not sure do thin round slices).
Place the courgettes in a colander and salt liberally so moisture is released.
Dice onion and garlic, set aside.

To Cook:
In a large pan, sauté the mince lamb with the onion, garlic, basil, cinnamon and oregano.
When completely brown, try to lean the pan out and spoon some of the grease into the bin.
After most of the grease is gone add the canned tomatoes and 1 tbsp. flour.
Stew for 10-15 minutes on medium heat.

To Make the White sauce (with packet):

While the mince is cooking, follow directions on the white sauce packet, see below for cream sauce from scratch.
When the white sauce has come together and thickened, add 1 egg yolk and half of the grated cheese.
Set aside.

To Assemble:
After draining some of the liquid off the zucchini, rinse thoroughly and pat dry to remove salt.
In a shallow casserole dish or baking pan, begin layering the zucchini with the mince lamb mixture until both the courgettes and lamb mixture are used up.
Make sure to layer to leave ½ at the top of the dish.
Carefully pour the white sauce over the top of the casserole.
Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
Cook in a 170C (350F) oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown on top.

White Sauce topping: (If no packet)
Melt butter in a pan.
Add the flour and mix thoroughly until a paste.
Move that paste around in the pan for 1-2 minutes on a low-medium heat just to get some of the flour flavor off.
Slowly add 300ml (~1 ½ c milk), and stir with a whisk to ensure no lumps (may need a bit more milk to thin it out).
When thickened add half the cheese and yolk.
Continue with the recipe above.

Addendum: I have since revised this recipe with potatoes on May 7, 2014 Moussaka with Courgettes and Potatoes


  1. Thank you for this recipe, I've never cooked moussaka before and would have never known to salt courgettes in this way, I only knew of salting aubergine. This looks like a relatively easy and tasty meal! I can't wait to try it out.

  2. I debated on whether to call it moussaka or not because it doesn't have the aubergine or potato, but the flavors and technique are similar enough. If you make it please tell me how it comes out.

  3. I've just now noticed this recipe. We will certainly be trying it soon! If I use aubergine, do you prep it the same as courgettes?

  4. Yep, the original moussaka has aubergines and yes do the same salting method if you don't your casserole will be watery.

  5. Cooking this for the second time. I switched out the lamb for beef and this time am using turkey mince. The first one tasted fab and the second one is still cooking, but it looks like another winner.