Artichoke, aubergine & lamb moussaka

Artichoke, aubergine & lamb moussaka

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(10 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr, 40 mins

More effort

Serves 8 - 10

A lightly spiced lamb bake with artichoke hearts, a cherry tomato ragu and layers of fried aubergine and potato

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving (10)

  • kcal588
  • fat33g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs35g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre7g
  • protein34g
  • salt1g
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  • olive oil, for frying
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

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

  • 1kg lamb mince
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped



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

  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 x 395g cans cherry tomatoes in thick juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp dried oregano



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

  • pinch of sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 2 medium aubergines



    Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…

  • 700g large potatoes



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 2 x 390g cans artichoke hearts, drained really well (see tip)

For the sauce

  • 100g butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 100g plain flour
  • 900ml milk



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

  • very generous grating of nutmeg



    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 125g grated gruyère



    Gruyère is an undoubted pinnacle of traditional Swiss cheese-making, a culinary masterpiece as…

  • 25g grated parmesan



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

  • 3 medium eggs, lightly beaten


  1. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a broad, heavy-bottomed pan until hot, then fry the lamb until golden brown all over, about 10 mins (it’s important that the oil is hot, otherwise you’ll end up steaming the lamb instead of frying it). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl. Pour off all but 2 tbsp oil in the pan (the lamb will release quite a bit). Heat this and fry the onions over a medium heat until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for another few mins, then add the tomatoes, bay, cinnamon, oregano, sugar and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Return the meat to the pan, cover and cook for 40 mins over a low heat. Take off the lid and cook until you have a thick sauce (it shouldn’t be too ‘soupy’).

  2. While the meat is cooking, cut the aubergines into rounds. Cut the potatoes into thin slices. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and cook the aubergine in batches until golden on both sides (get two pans on the go if you have them), then turn down the heat and cook until soft. Season and remove from the pan. Add a little more oil and cook the potatoes in batches, on both sides, until pale gold, removing them as you go. You’ll need to add more oil to the pan when you fry each batch. Season and set aside.

  3. Fry the artichoke hearts in olive oil over a high heat to get some colour, but be careful that they don’t fall apart. Season.

  4. Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick from the meat and taste for seasoning. Layer up the moussaka in a dish measuring roughly 32 x 23 x 6cm. Start by putting all the potatoes in the bottom, then add half the meat. Arrange a layer of aubergine on top of this, then the rest of the meat. Spoon the artichoke hearts on top.

  5. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pan and stir in the flour until it becomes slightly dry and sandy in colour. Take off the heat and start to add the milk, a little at a time. Beat well after each addition and keep the mixture smooth. Keep adding until you have used up all the milk. Put the pan back on a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring continuously, until it thickens to form a sauce. Add lots of nutmeg, salt and pepper. Turn down the heat and cook gently for about 5 mins – this just helps to cook the flour in the sauce. Add three-quarters of the cheese and stir to help it to melt. Check the seasoning – it needs assertive seasoning. Leave to cool a little, then beat in the eggs.

  6. Pour this over the layers in the dish and scatter the remaining cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 30 mins until the top is brown and bubbling. Leave to cool for about 10 mins – Greeks never eat it piping hot – then serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Irene Moyo
4th Feb, 2019
It's lovely but I have been in the kitchen for nearly 5 hours. The time is very off... Don't make this on an evening when you have work the next day. It is a lovely recipe though.
25th Apr, 2018
Is a bit of a faff to make and the mixture was a little too scrambled egg like for me
6th Jul, 2020
I changed the ingredients, substituting French green lentils for the lamb mince (approx 400gm dry weight = 1kg just cooked lentils) to create a vegetarian moussaka. The result was superb so I give this recipe 5 stars. I offer the following tips: Remove the eggs from the fridge at the start; if they're much colder than the sauce, they will scramble when added. When making for the first time, add at least 30 mins to the overall time of 2 hours 20 mins or make it in stages. My sauce thickened in 10 mins. Don't worry too much about browning the aubergine. I sliced the potatoes very thinly for frying quickly and transferred to the cooking dish - don't keep warm, they'll go soggy. Use jackfruit if you can't find artichokes. Leave out the eggs for a thick sauce and scorch under a hot grill. Yum!
1st Feb, 2017
I have made this several times. My dinner party guests raved about it. I don't add potatoes, just serve it with a big salad. Everyone loves the artichokes in it. A winner.
circe12's picture
17th Jul, 2019
I would love to make this at the weekend when I have some time. But there's only one of me to eat it! Has anyone tried freezing this?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Jul, 2019
Thanks for your question. This dish freezes well. You can portion up the leftovers to be used as needed.
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