Moussaka is a rich, flavorful Greek casserole made with eggplants, ground meat and béchamel and topped with cheese. This delicious low-carb version omits the traditional potatoes, and used Greek yogurt and cream cheese for a “faux béchamel.”
• 2 large eggplants
• 1½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
• 2 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large onion, finely chopped (8 oz)
• 1 lb. lean ground lamb (can use ground beef, or a mixture of beef and lamb)
• 1 tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained (6 oz tomatoes)
• ½ teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
• ½ teaspoon dried oregano
• ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• ½ teaspoon Kosher salt (use a bit less if not Kosher)
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper, dividedTopping:
• 2 eggs, at room temperature
• 1 8 oz pkg of cream cheese, at room temperature
• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, at room temerature
• ¼ tsp Kosher salt (use a bit less if not Kosher)
Take eggs, cream cheese, and yogurt out of the fridge to allow them to get to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with foil and brush it olive oil.
Partially peel the eggplants, leaving some unpeeled stripes. Slice crosswise into ½-inch-thick rounds. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and roast 10 minutes. Turn to the other side and roast 10 more minutes.
Note: Eggplant slices might appear too big to fit in your pan when raw, but they will noticeably shrink during baking.
While eggplants are roasting, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, 3 minutes. Add the onion and the meat and sauté until meat is browned, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and breaking it up as it cooks. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
Stir in the tomatoes, rosemary, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until liquids have evaporated.
Faux Béchamel Topping:
Put eggs, cream cheese, yogurt and ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper until creamy. Set aside
Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
Oil a shallow rectangular 2-quart baking dish.
Arrange half of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Spread the meat mixture over the eggplant slices, pressing to flatten. Cover with the remaining eggplant slices.
Pour cream cheese and yogurt mixture over the eggplants.
Bake, uncovered, 40 minutes, until top is golden and set.
Remove from oven. Carefully pour out any liquids that might have accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to slightly cool and set, about 10 minutes. Cut into 8 portions and serve.