Greek pastitsio pasta bake

    1 hour 50 min

    My family loves this dish. I think using minced lamb and ground cinnamon in the meat sauce, and Greek yoghurt in the bechamel sauce makes it taste like real Greek food. My son had three helpings last night. It is even better reheated in the oven the next day.

    20 people made this

    Serves: 6 

    • For the meat pasta
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 800g minced lamb
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 teaspoons salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 large onion, diced
    • 350g pasta of your choice (e.g. penne or similar size)
    • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
    • For the bechamel sauce
    • 50g butter
    • 4 tablespoons plain flour
    • 500ml whole milk
    • 1 dash ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 150g grated cheese of your choice (e.g. Parmesan), divided
    • 200g Greek yoghurt

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:1hr30min  ›  Ready in:1hr50min 

      For the meat sauce:

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced lamb and brown it for 10 minutes, breaking into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the cinnamon, oregano, cayenne pepper and mix well. Then add chopped tomatoes, sliced garlic, salt and the pepper. Cook uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while. You should see the sauce start to thicken a bit.
    2. In a separate frying pan, warm the remaining oil and cook and stir the onion for 10 to 15 minutes until soft and golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
    3. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil over a high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes (it is better to undercook it then overcook it since it will still go in the oven later). Drain and combine with the meat sauce.
    4. Add the cooked onions to the sauce and let everything cool. Once cooled, add the eggs, mix well and transfer to a baking dish.
    5. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6.
    6. For the bechamel sauce:

    7. Make the bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a clean saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and cook the mixture for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the milk whisking constantly to ensure no lumps. Add a dash of nutmeg and the salt and keep cooking on medium-low heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from the heat, let cool for a minute, then add 75g grated cheese, followed by the yoghurt and mix well. Pour on top of pasta and meat sauce, sprinkle with remaining 75g cheese.
    8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until piping hot and the cheese on top is melted and golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving. OPA!


    Instead of the minced lamb you could use beef mince. If you would rather use fresh tomatoes than tinned, you can use 5 to 6 medium sized tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped.

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    Reviews in English (2)


    Loved this and, yes, it is moreish. Moussaka w.ithout aubergines. Will make again  -  07 Jun 2015


    Delicious - A bit like lasagna meets a hand grenade.  -  02 May 2015