Cheat’s moussaka

Lamb and Mutton SA
6 servings Prep: 15 mins, Cooking: 1 hr 15 mins
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An easy shortcut moussaka, smokey eggplant slices filled with herb flavoured lamb mince, on a bed of crushed baby potatoes baked with a fragrant tomato sauce, drizzled with thin cream and a sprinkling of pecorino cheese.

By Independent Contributor January 26 2023
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Ingredients (30)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion — finely chopped
500 g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves — crushed
4 sprigs fresh oregano — or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup tomato passata
2 large aubergines
12 baby potatoes
Cheese filling
150 g ricotta cheese
150 g feta cheese
2 cup Greek yoghurt — plain
1 egg
1/2 cup fresh parsley — chopped
1/2 cup provolone cheese — finely grated
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Tomato sauce
1 tin baby cherry tomatoes
1 cup tomato passata
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup pouring cream
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Prepare the lamb sauce
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat.

Brown the onion in the oil. Add the mince, breaking it up and stir-fry until brown about 10 minutes.

Add the garlic, oregano, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper, tomato paste, wine and tomato passata. Cover and let simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.

Remove from lid from the pan and simmer uncovered until thickened.

While the meat is cooking prepare the aubergines. Using a mandolin, slice the aubergines lengthways into 2-3mm-thick slices. Lightly brush each slice with olive oil and place on a baking tray.

Pre-heat the oven to180°C. Roast aubergines in the oven for 4-5 minutes until light golden. Set the aubergine aside. The aubergines can also be prepared in a grill pan.

Parboil the potatoes in salted water for until tender, drain and smash each potato with a potato masher. Set aside.

Prepare the cheese filling
Place the ricotta, feta, yogurt, egg, parsley, provolone cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl, stir and well combined.

Prepare the tomato sauce
Place the tomatoes in a medium size sauce pan over medium heat. Using a fork break the tomatoes up, add the passata, tomato paste, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano and season with salt.

Cook for 5 minutes until heated through. Pour half of the tomato sauce in a medium sized ovenproof dish.

Assembling the dish
Place the smashed potatoes in the oven proof dish on top of the tomato sauce.

Spread a teaspoon of cheese filling on each slice of aubergine and top with a teaspoon of the lamb mince mixture. Roll up to enclose the filling.

Place on top of the potatoes. Repeat with the remaining aubergine slices. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce, drizzle with cream and sprinkle with pecorino cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes at 200°C until golden brown. Remove from the oven. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve with a Greek salad and rustic loaf of bread.

Supported by the Red Meat Industry of SA – Recipes and styling by Gerrie du Rand and photos by Michelle Parkin.

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