Delia Smith Moussaka Recipe

Last updated on April 12, 2024

Moussaka Recipe Delia Smith
Yields: 1 Serving Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 30 Mins Cook Time: 1 Hr Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Mins

Today, I’m taking you through the classic Delia Smith Moussaka, a standout dish that brings together the heartiness of Greek cooking with Delia’s unique flair. Picture this: soft eggplant layers, and rich ground lamb, all topped off with a creamy béchamel sauce. It’s the kind of meal that’s perfect for any event, from big celebrations to quiet family dinners. This recipe can feed 6-8 people and takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to prepare.

I’ll guide you step by step on how to make Delia Smith’s Moussaka, sharing my personal tips to enhance the dish and insights to make your cooking experience enjoyable and straightforward.

What is Delia Smith Moussaka?

Delia Smith Moussaka is a refined take on the classic Greek dish, layering slices of aubergine with a rich tomato and minced lamb sauce, all topped with a velvety béchamel. It’s a testament to Delia’s ability to blend tradition with her culinary flair, resulting in a dish that’s both comforting and sophisticated.

Delia Smith Moussaka Recipe

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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Rich and Flavorful: Every bite offers a harmony of flavors, from the earthy aubergine to the hearty lamb and the creamy sauce.
  • Perfect for Any Occasion: Whether it’s a casual family dinner or a festive gathering, this moussaka fits the bill.
  • A Culinary Adventure: Delia’s recipe brings a piece of Greek heritage into your home kitchen, making it an exciting cooking project.

Ingredients Needed for Delia Smith Moussaka

For the Lamb Sauce:

  • 500g minced lamb
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes (400g)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for frying

For the Aubergine Layers:

  • 3 large aubergines, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • Olive oil for brushing

For the Béchamel Sauce:

  • 50g butter
  • 50g all-purpose flour
  • 500ml milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 100g grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Instructions to Delia Smith Moussaka

Step 1. Preparing the Eggplant

  • Slice and Salt: Begin by slicing the eggplants and laying them out on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt to draw out moisture.
  • Rinse and Dry: After 30 minutes, rinse the slices and pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Bake or Fry: Brush each slice with olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C for 20 minutes, or fry in a pan until golden.

Step 2. Making the Meat Sauce

  • Sauté: Cook the onion and garlic in a pan until soft.
  • Brown the Meat: Add the ground meat, browning it until fully cooked.
  • Add Flavors: Stir in the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon, allspice, and red wine. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3. Creating the Béchamel Sauce

  • Melt and Mix: Melt butter in a saucepan, whisk in flour to form a roux, then gradually add milk.
  • Thicken: Continue cooking until the sauce thickens. Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
  • Final Touch: Off the heat, stir in grated Parmesan and egg yolks until smooth.

Step 4. Layering and Baking

  • First Layer: Arrange a layer of eggplant slices in a greased baking dish.
  • Add Meat Sauce: Spread half the meat sauce over the eggplants.
  • Repeat: Add another layer of eggplants and the remaining meat sauce.
  • Top with Béchamel: Pour the béchamel sauce over the top, spreading evenly.
  • Bake: Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 45 minutes or until golden and bubbling.
Delia Smith Moussaka
Delia Smith Moussaka

What Do I Serve With Delia Smith Moussaka?

  • Greek Salad: A fresh, crisp salad complements the richness of the moussaka.
  • Garlic Bread: Ideal for mopping up the delicious sauces.
  • Tzatziki Sauce: A cool, creamy dip that balances the savory flavors.

Expert Tips to Make Perfect Delia Smith Moussaka

  • Salt the Eggplants: This essential step removes bitterness and excess moisture, ensuring a better texture.
  • Simmer the Sauce Slowly: Allowing the meat sauce to simmer gently develops deeper flavors.
  • Thinly Slice the Eggplants: Even slices promote uniform cooking and layering.
  • Use Quality Ingredients: Opt for fresh spices, quality meat, and the best olive oil for a tastier dish.
  • Be Generous with Seasoning: Proper seasoning brings out the flavors of the ingredients.
  • Let It Rest: Allow the moussaka to set for 10-15 minutes after baking for easier serving.

Variations of Delia Smith Moussaka

  • Vegetarian Version: Substitute lentils or a mix of mushrooms for the meat to cater to vegetarians.
  • Cheese Topping: Sprinkle extra cheese on top before baking for a golden, cheesy crust.
  • Different Meats: Experiment with ground turkey or pork for a variation in flavor.
  • Spicy Kick: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the meat sauce for a bit of heat.
  • Low-Carb Option: Use thinly sliced zucchini instead of eggplants for a lower-carb alternative.

How Do I Store Delia Smith Moussaka Leftovers?

  • Refrigerate: Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Freeze: Slice portions and freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
  • Airtight Containers: Use containers with tight-fitting lids to prevent odors from affecting the moussaka.

How Do I Reheat Delia Smith Moussaka’s Leftovers?

  • Oven: Reheat in a preheated oven at 180°C until thoroughly warm.
  • Microwave: Use a microwave-safe dish and cover, reheating on medium power to avoid drying out.
  • Add Moisture: Sprinkle a little water over the moussaka before reheating to keep it moist.

Nutritional Value (per tablespoon, approximately):

  • Calories: Approximately 400-500 kcal
  • Protein: 23g
  • Fat: 27g
    • Saturated Fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 35g
    • Dietary Fiber: 9g
    • Sugars: 13g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 700mg


Can I make Delia Smith Moussaka without wine?

Yes, you can easily make Delia Smith Moussaka without wine. Just substitute the wine with beef or vegetable broth to keep the rich flavor in the meat sauce. Adding a tablespoon of vinegar can also mimic the acidity of the wine.

What’s the best way to slice eggplants for Moussaka?

The best way to slice eggplants for Moussaka is to cut them lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices. This thickness ensures that the eggplants cook through without becoming too mushy, maintaining a firm texture that holds up the layers of the dish.

Can I use a different type of meat instead of lamb in Moussaka?

Absolutely, you can use different types of meat in Moussaka if you prefer not to use lamb. Ground beef is a common substitute, offering a slightly different flavor but still delicious. For a lighter version, ground turkey or chicken can also be used.

How can I prevent my béchamel sauce from getting lumpy?

To prevent your béchamel sauce from getting lumpy, start by melting the butter and adding the flour to create a smooth roux. Gradually whisk in the milk, ensuring it’s warm to help it blend more easily. Keep the heat low and continue whisking until the sauce thickens to a smooth consistency. If lumps do form, a quick blend with an immersion blender can smooth things out.

Final Words

The Delia Smith Moussaka recipe is more than just a meal; it’s a celebration of flavors, textures, and the joy of cooking. Whether for a special occasion or a cozy family dinner, this dish promises to transport you to the sun-drenched landscapes of Greece. With its layers of tender eggplant, rich meat sauce, and creamy béchamel, each bite is a testament to the timeless appeal of Mediterranean cuisine. Follow this guide to create a moussaka that not only satisfies the palate but also warms the heart.

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