This is an easy version of low-carb moussaka.
The only fiddly bit is frying up the eggplant (aubergine) slices and then assembling the moussaka, but this can be done while your oven is getting up to temperature.
I have tried many versions of a béchamel sauce, and I must say that I love my cheat's version. Just throw all the ingredients in a measuring jug and whisk with a fork.
The sauce is made with natural yogurt and feta. There's none of this melting butter, adding flour, cooking the flour, adding the warmed milk, simmering ...... blah, blah. blah. You can gather by now, that all my recipes are fast and simple.
This low-carb moussaka is tasty and packed with vegetables, layered with mince, and topped off with the béchamel (cheese) sauce.
You can also add other vegetables such as sliced zucchini. It may also be made a day or two before you need it. My low-carb moussaka is gluten-free, wheat free, primal and of course, low-carb.
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Low Carb Moussaka Recipe
Lamb Mince Layer
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 800 g (1.8 lb) tinned/canned chopped tomatoes
- 500 g (1.1 lb) ground/minced lamb
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- +/- salt and pepper to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 or 3 eggplant/aubergine aubergines
- 300 ml (1 ¼ cups) natural unsweetened yoghurt unsweetened
- 100 g (3.5 oz) feta crumbled
- 3 egg yolks
- +/- salt and pepper to taste
- Set the oven to 180C/350F then start making the lamb layer.
- Fry the diced onion in the olive oil. Add the garlic and cook until the onion is clear.
- Add the lamb and continue to cook until all the meat is slightly browned.
- Add the tomatoes and spices, then cook on a low heat for 15 minutes while you make the other layers.
- Slice the eggplants/aubergines into 1-2cm slices. Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a frying pan, and fry the slices until golden on both sides.
- As the eggplant slices are fried, place them in a single layer on the bottom of the baking pan. Keep half the slices for another layer once we assemble the moussaka.
- In a measuring jug, put the yoghurt, crumbled feta and egg yolks. Whisk together with a fork.
To Assemble The Moussaka
- Place the lamb mixture onto the baking dish that already has half the eggplant slices lining the bottom.
- Place the remaining eggplant slices, then pour the béchamel sauce over the entire dish.
- Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if you like.
- Bake at 180C/350F for 20 minutes.
YOUR HOLIDAY PANTRY & GIFT GUIDES
Approximate nutrition information is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. For the most accurate nutritional data, use the actual ingredients and brands you used in your preferred nutrition calculator.
I made this yesterday and it was very good. I used 1 can (14.5 oz) tomatoes with 1 tablespoon tomato paste + 1/2 cup dry red wine Cooked til fluids were gone. I also sliced a rutabaga thin and cooked in the microwave til softened and put that on bottom of pan in place of potatoes normally in moussaka. Delicious.
I made this fabulous recipe for last year's Christmas Eve dinner. I have it all made but unassembled and would like to freeze it for this year. Is it okay to freeze it with the bechamel sauce on it?
Another awesome way to make the sauce is to puree cauliflower (once cooked to soft) with a bit of cream and butter. Its amazing and creamy and makes the best sauce with cheese on top of this recipe....
I love this recipe as original and I have also made it subbing mushrooms for the eggplant, and shredded chicken for the lamb. I kept everything else the same and it came out phenomenal. I actually served it to guests. They loved it. Thank you for all of your creative, wonderful recipes and resources. I love this site.
Thank you so much ML, you have absolutely made my day. And I am so happy you love my recipes. My mission is simple, to make low-carb as easy, affordable and delicious for the whole family. 🙂
What size pan to serve six? Is it more like a 9x13 or a 10-in square?
Poor lamb! how can you eat this beautiful animal?
U can use ground beef; I do
with my mouth..
1. why feta
2. what cut of lamb?
1) dish is of Greek origin
2) mince means ground, so whatever ground lamb or meat you want to use.
What size casserole dish do you recommend?
I think I used my 22cmx30cm (8.5x12 inch) dish.
I’m on keto and I was sad that I couldn’t make this delicious sounding dish. Too many carbs,,,
Yes, I'm afraid this is a low-carb dish, not a keto one. Take a look at my recipe search for all my keto recipes 🙂
Seriously? You can’t fit a main course with 8 grams of carbs into your 20 gram keto allotment?
Seriously???? Of course you can! I do it all the time. Necpver ever go above 20 grams! This recipe is awesome. We are making it this Sunday as it’s going to be a stormy, rainy day a
In Florida and we both enjoy cooking together. Thank you Libby!
I’m on keto and regularly enjoy this dish. Once in a while won’t hurt at all
Just tried the recipe. It is absolutely delicious. I stir fried my mince but I used 1 fresh tomsto and cut some red,yellow and green pepper in it. So the mince was dry. Didn't use your measurement though.Thanks will definitely be making it again.
Real moussaka does Not have strongly flavored peppers, U seriously altered the character of the dish
Overall, it was delicious. The tomatoes were a little heavy and ended up making the dish a little more watery than expected. I would make it again, but with less tomatoes and would recommend oven baking the eggplant first to save time and stove space.
Could I use Greek yoghurt instead? And zucinni instead of eggplant?
yes, I'm sure they would work. Great ideas.
OMG, Libby! I usually make a moussaka recipe that was given to me by the mother of an old beau. Off the boat from Greece. This is better with half the work. My son raved and raved about the "bechamel." The entire family loved it. Easy enough for weeknight (I make it the day before), but special enough for guests.
Wow Mary, this is a compliment indeed!!! Better and quicker than and authentic Greek home recipe - you've made my day 🙂
Don't know if it bevause I used sweetened natural yogurt. But it tasted horrible!
That definitely would have screwed up the dish!
Hi Libby! I'm so excited to try this recipe for the 1st time. When you freeze it, do you cook it, then freeze it or do you assemble, freeze, defrost then cook?
I would cook it after it has been cooked. Maybe even cut it into individual portions and freeze them in an airtight container.
Pardon what doe you mean cook it after it has been cooked? I would like freezing instructions please.
I think she means she freezes it after she cooks it.
Libby this dish is SOOOOOO delish!! I made it 2 nights in a row it was so good and all my dinner guests raved about it. Thanks for making me look like a master chef!
My pleasure 🙂 x
Absolutely love this recipe! I go heavy on the seasoning and also throw in a spoon of vinegar, a few drops of liquid stevia and a stock cube. That really adds to the depth of the dish.
Also a very suitable dish if you have people over for dinner that are not on a low carb diet. Everybody seems to love it.
Hi there, I have done the break down of the recipe using various sites to work out calories etc and I cannot work it out as low as 300 cal, is there a certain site u use? All the site I have used work it out to approx 480cal
I use cronometer.com I have found many others are too inaccurate because they have 'user added' values. All nutrition calculations will differ as there are so many variables, large or medium eggplants, brand of almond flour/meal, brand of dairy products all vary considerably. Mine are a guide only, and I don't actually count anything any more. If you need to be completely accurate, I always advise readers to calculate their own using their brands they have used.
Prepared and ready to go in the oven when wife and daughter get back from MIL's. Will let you know!
It's delicious but the nutritional info is plain wrong. I used fage 2% and about 5 tablespoons of olive oil and calculated 35g fat, 28g carbs and 25g protein.
This is a delicious recipe but it isn't really low-carb. Eggplants have sugars in them: 1 whole eggplant has 19 grams of sugar + 16 grams NET carbs.
Tomatoes also have sugars.
I used Fage 2% has my yogurt as it was one of the few under 10 grams of sugar per serving.
According to MyFitnessPal, one serving of this recipe has 15 grams of sugar and 18 grams of NET carbs.
It is really healthy and a delicious dish but if you are following a Keto diet, this might not be the dish for you.
For all recipes, we are LOW carb not NO carb. Choose recipes that fit in wth your carb requirements.
Yvonne van der Westhuizen
Well said Libby
You can make a couple of modifications to reduce carbs, like using less tomato, or use a combination of raw tomatoes & paste. Instead of 2 eggplants, you can use 1 eggplant and 1 courgette which is lower in carbs (I'm Mediterranean and we use courgettes & eggplants for traditional mousakka). Also you can use quark cheese instead of yoghurt (3.7g of carbs per 100g of cheese). When I made this I used turkey mince to reduce fats.
Thanks for all the variations ! I'm on a keto diet.. I love this site .. You guys rock ?
Hi Libby, I'm looking forward to trying your recipe. I'm in phase 1 of Atkins right now and had a craving for moussaka. Found your recipe in my search for low carb options for the bechamel sauce. I can't use yogurt in phase 1. Do you think sour cream would achieve similar results? Thanks again for the recipe idea!
I'm sure sour cream would be fine, this is a firm family favourite in our house too 🙂
I use full fat cottage cheese, grated cheese and 2 eggs. Beat it together and pour over.
My mother and i are of greek heritage, so we'll give this a try. it's different than our family recipe, but we'll see how it comes out. i'll let you know.
Hi Libby - what a fantastic meal!!
I'm wanting to double the protein per serve, would you suggest just doubling the minced meat would the easiest method? Or what creative genius can you come up with?
Creative genius huh? I like you already 😉 To increase the protein I would increase the meat as you suggest, and possibly top it off with more cheese also. I'm so glad you love it, this was one of the earliest meals I adapted to our new LCHF way of eating.
Do you think this would work in a slowcooker?
Possibly, I hadn't thought of that, what a great idea. Let me know how you get on.
Made this for the first time tonight after searching the web for new low carb ideas. It was absolutely delicious and very filling. Thanks for a great recipe!
Second time making this and it's vital to cook the eggplant well in the flying pan. I LOVE this dish!
Hiya, great recipe! Can this be successfully frozen and reheated?
It can easily be frozen, just watch the cheese sauce doesn't split when defrosting.
Made this tonight and it was fantastic.. Had to tweek it a bit as only had pork mince but just added more spices. Kids loved it to and the ever fussy husband had 3 servings!
does anyone have a vegetarian version
You could try and replace the mince meat with more diced vegetables such as mushrooms, leeks, courgettes and a selection of nuts.
You can make it vegan, egg and dairy free by also replacing the yogurt/egg/cheese mixture with coconut yogurt. It sets beautifully.
Hey thanks for that. I have quite a few vegetarians/vegans asking for advice so that is superb.
I have been making this moussaka once a week for the last two months and I cannot emphasize enough how much my family loves it......even my 4 year old. My in-laws loved it so much they asked for a copy of the recipe! 🙂
I did make two changes though:
1. I only use one can of tomatoes.
2. I spray eggplant slices with olive oil and then broil them for 15 minutes on each side instead of frying. This way they are done much faster, involve less work and they don't consume nearly as much oil.
I serve it either with steamed broccoli (add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper) or a green salad with a vinaigrette.
THANK YOU for making low carb so delicious.
That's great to hear how much you love it and especially how you have adapted the recipe further. They are all great suggestions. I like the idea of broccoli with lemon too. Thanks. Libby.
I fry the eggplant/aubergine on the tray in the oven as well. Depending on how thick I cut the aubergine it's 5-10 mins a side. I do put oil on the slices, but it seems to work without the oil too (I sometimes run out of oil for the last slices). It might take a bit longer this way, but you've got your hands free to do other things like making the bechamel sauce. I think I got the idea from diet doctor, who recommends cooking aubergine this way in one of his recipes.
I bet grilling it with some olive or avocado oil on the stovetop would work well, like in a cast iron pan! I'm trying this soon.
This was fantastic, It's definitely one dush I shall use again and again 🙂