Greek lamb & macaroni bake

Greek lamb & macaroni bake

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(26 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins


Serves 6
A cross between moussaka and macaroni cheese, this thrifty Mediterranean pasta bake makes for a hearty meal

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal548
  • fat21g
  • saturates10g
  • carbs56g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre4g
  • protein33g
  • salt1g
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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 large onion, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 garlic clove, 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



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • 400g macaroni
  • 250g tub ricotta



    Ricotta is an Italian curd cheese. Made from whey, it is traditionally a by-product of making…

  • 50g Parmesan, grated



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…

  • 50ml milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • garlic bread, to serve (optional)



    Part of the lily, or alium, family, of which onions are also a member, garlic is one of the most…


  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.

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Comments (31)

christinashuttleworth's picture

Very nice! Added some extra spices and garlic and me and my husband really enjoyed it!

nmaslin's picture

Soon good added a few more things such as carrots, peppers and a little chilli. My other half does not like cinnamon so i always replace this with nutmeg. definitely making again

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

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

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.


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