Greek lamb & macaroni bake

Greek lamb & macaroni bake

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(24 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins

Skill level



Serves 6

A cross between moussaka and macaroni cheese, this thrifty Mediterranean pasta bake makes for a hearty meal

Nutrition and extra info

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Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 500g lean lamb mince
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 beef or lamb stock cube
  • 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 400g macaroni
  • 250g tub ricotta
  • 50g parmesan, grated
  • 50ml milk
  • garlic bread, to serve (optional)

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  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook for 10 mins until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 min more, then tip in the lamb mince, turn up the heat and brown, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon.
  2. Once the lamb is browned, add the cinnamon, crumbled stock cube, tomatoes and oregano. Stir well and simmer for 15 mins, covered, then for 15 mins, uncovered, until the sauce has thickened and the tomatoes have cooked down.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni following pack instructions. Drain well. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  4. Mix together the ricotta, most of the Parmesan and the milk with plenty of seasoning, and stir into the macaroni. Tip the mince into a large baking dish, top with the macaroni mixture, and scatter over the remaining Parmesan. Bake for 30 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve hot with garlic bread, if you like.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2013

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bikerbell's picture

This was for me a total disaster and a waste of ingredients. The meat element was tasteless apart from an overwhelming flavour of cinnamon, even though I used less than the recipe stated. The topping was clagy with a 'dry' taste due to the ricotta. My portion went in the bin, husband struggled through it but asked me not to make it again.

deedeeandme's picture

Great dish! Always follow this recipe as it is (except for adding extra garlic!!). Have cooked this many times and always have empty plates at the end. No complaints here.

joanna1972's picture
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Really enjoyed this, very simple and tasty. Had a cinnamon stick so threw that in instead of the powder. Made it a day before to throw in the oven when home from work! Clean plates all round.

halcyondays's picture

Good hearty winter dish with excellent flavour. Easy peasy to make.

maggiebleksley's picture

I didn't have any ricotta or parmesan, so I blitzed some feta-style cheese in the food processor to get the right consistency and whisked in some milk. It was a great success - we all enjoyed it. As there are only three of us, I halved the macaroni and cheese, but made the full quantity of mince and tomato mixture and froze half for next time. Went very well with courgette, which I steamed with garlic salt and fresh dill. Will definitely make again and probably repeat the feta, as this worked very well.

teresaheffer's picture

Lovely easy supper dish. I've been cooking the pastitsio from the October 1997 Good Food for years but this is more straightforward for a work day. I did add a few mushrooms as I had some to use up, but this quantity is probably enough for 5 or 6 portions.

ncrossby's picture

Great recipe. Slightly altered the lamb mix as I was debating whether to cook this or Jamie Olivers Lamb Pastilas (which are amazing). So added a bit of that to this. I added 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1tsp of turmeric to onions when frying. Also threw in a few sultana's. Also did half the pasta but kept a whole tub of ricotta. I have to say the whole thing was delicious!! a real surprise as I'm not overly keen on macaroni cheese, but this makes it so tasty, but very light. Much better than the normal claggy one :-)

cjsansom's picture

Very disappointed. Had high hopes of a pastitisio-type dish, simplified, but didn't like the ricotta topping (I do like ricotta so that's not the issue). The lamb lacked depth of flavour. Think I will stick to a traditional recipe next time.

chickenofpie's picture

Delicious! Halved the mince and macaroni for 2 of us. Still made a good sized dish full probably enough for 3/4 but we managed to eat the lot as it was so tasty! Easy to make, not much mess or fuss. Will make again soon.

sharangoose's picture

Hi chickenofpie
Did you keep all other quantities the same? Thanks

marlboro1's picture

Enjoyed this a nice easy midweek meal, very filling and tasty too would serve 6 easily. Thanks

debbielee77's picture

Absolutely delish. Although I did make a few alterations - used cream cheese instead of ricotta and cheddar instead of parmesan. Both my other half and my little boy loved it. Definitely will be a regular in our household from now on.

jeanius's picture

Mixed feelings for us with this one. Hubby said "nice", adult son loved it and had seconds. Me - I love my macaroni cheese and my shepherds pie separately and found this nice enough but won't rush to cook it again.

bluejay's picture

Pastitsio is one of my very favourite Greek dishes and I will definitely give this version a try at home

dutes8080's picture
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Just great, easy, and tastes fab, what more could you want.

bandcamper's picture

This was a hit with my 3 kids, clean plates and fussy 18 month old couldn't shovel it in fast enough. I enjoyed it too, and I'm not generally a fan of lamb mince. I think it would be too heavy served with garlic bread, nice as a summer meal with salad.

lilac-fairy's picture

I have always loved this from my many visits to the Greek islands and this recipe tasted very authentic, the aroma of the lamb with the cinnamon very evocative of sitting outside Greek tavernas by the sea. Easy to make too, so pleased to have found this recipe, will now go in my favourites folder.'s picture

A great dish, typically Greek flavour. Loved by the whole family, might substitute the parmasan with mature cheddar next time as always have cheddar in. Will also double up main meat part of the recipe and freeze, making it quicker to put together mid week.

annbirchall's picture
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I used lean beef mince instead of lamb and its gorgeous, will definitely make it again and again!