A couple of neat tricks and cheats make this Easy Lamb Moussaka quick and simple to make – but no less tasty! Make it with lamb mince or use your roast lamb leftovers.
Of all the traditional lamb recipes, Moussaka is one of my absolute favourites – I just can’t get enough of it. But to make an authentic moussaka takes quite a bit of time and faff and, whilst lovely, is definitely not a quick and easy midweek meal option!
My Easy Lamb Moussaka, on the other hand, is quick, involves very little effort, and with just a couple of little cheats and shortcuts, you can have a totally delicious moussaka on your table in well under 45 minutes, making it do-able on all but the busiest of evenings.
So how have I done it? Well first, I’ve kept things really simple: this moussaka only focuses on what I consider the absolute essentials – aubergines, lamb and a simple cheese sauce – no courgettes, potatoes etc.
Secondly, I’ve cooked the aubergines under the grill, rather than in a frying pan, which does two things – it speeds everything up, as all the aubergine slices fit under the grill – meaning you don’t have to cook the aubergines in batches, as you would in a pan, and it means you don’t need to be so hands on – meaning you can use the time the aubergines are grilling to prepare the lamb sauce. As an extra bonus, grilling the aubergines also uses a lot less oil!
The next thing I’ve done is a little cheat with the cheese sauce – normally in a moussaka, the cheese sauce is a kind of béchamel enriched with an egg – I’ve cheated and used crème fraîche with cheese sprinkled on top – it is super quick to do, saves on washing up AND is super tasty.
And finally – to speed things up even more, I’ve made sure everything is well cooked before going in the oven, so all the moussaka needs is a quick blast in the oven at a very high temperature to brown the top and it’s done.
For this recipe I have used lamb mince, however you can easily use some leftover roast lamb, if you happen to have any…simply chop up the lamb leftovers into small pieces and add them into the pan at the same time as you would add in the mince, and continue as normal – a very tasty way to use up your leftovers!
Personally, I think this moussaka is perfect with just a big green salad, or if you have a little more time, a delicious Greek salad, but if you need a few extra carbs in your life, this dish would be lovely with a big chunk of crusty bread to mop up all the sauce.
A Rioja Crianza would be a great wine match for this moussaka, as would a Côtes du Rhone – a Sangiovese or Nero D’Avola would go fabulously too. Alternatively, if you are feeling adventurous, why not try a Greek red wine?
Easy Lamb Moussaka
- 2 medium aubergines sliced into 1cm (½ inch) thick rounds
- 4 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
- 2 red onions diced
- 500 g lamb mince or leftover roast lamb
- 3 cloves garlic crushed or grated
- 1 teaspoons cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 300 ml crème fraiche
- 100 g cheddar or other hard cheese, grated
Preheat your grill to medium high.
Lay the aubergine slices on the grill rack and brush with oil, turn the slices over and brush with more oil (roughly 2 tablespoons oil in total on the aubergines). Grill for about 5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned.
As soon as the aubergines are ready, preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7. (You can do this a little earlier if you have a separate grill and oven).
While the aubergine slices are grilling, prepare your filling: place the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and onions in a wide, deep pan and cook on low for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft but not brown. Turn the heat up and add in the lamb mince cook for 3 minutes then turn the heat down again and add the garlic, cumin and cinnamon and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the chopped tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until thick.
When the lamb sauce and aubergines are ready, layer up your moussaka: first put half the lamb sauce in the base of a casserole dish or cast iron pan, next add a layer of aubergines, then the rest of the sauce, then the rest of the aubergines. Finally spoon over the crème fraiche and then sprinkle over the cheese. Place in your preheated oven for 10 minutes, or until the cheese is browned.
Serve with a green salad or Greek salad and crusty bread, if you wish.
This is a collaborative post with the ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ campaign. ‘LAMB. Tasty Easy Fun’ is an EU funded campaign which aims to increase the use of lamb in everyday cooking. Lamb is often considered difficult to cook, expensive, or something to be saved for Sunday roasts. The aim of the campaign is to demonstrate just how tasty, easy and fun lamb is to cook with every day of the week! They also have a wonderful website, full of tasty and easy lamb recipes that go way beyond the traditional roast lamb we all know and love.
Love Lamb? Check out my collection of Easy & Delicious Lamb Recipes
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