What is Moussaka?

Photo of Greek Moussaka
Photo of Greek Moussaka. Photo © Jim Stanfield

Definition:

Moussaka is a layered oven casserole dish made with vegetables and meat. The most well known version of moussaka is made with layers of eggplant slices, cheese, and a meat sauce, topped with a thick béchamel sauce; however, other favorites call for potatoes, zucchini, or a combination of vegetables. More recently, a meatless (vegetarian) version has also become widely available.

Until the early 1900s, moussaka was a more simple dish, using just vegetables and meats.

The addition of béchamel sauce is attributed to Nikos Tselementes, a Greek chef who trained in France, and this newer version quickly became a favorite in Greece.

Pronunciation: moo-sah-KAH

Alternate Spellings: musaka, mousaka, moussakas (in Greek: μουσακάς)

Examples: Moussaka is one of the most famous Greek dishes.