Take a trip to Greece without ever leaving your kitchen! This recipe for Eggplant Moussaka is a popular Mediterranean dish that will have your taste buds singing its praises.
In the mood for comfort food? We’ve got you covered with this amazing recipe for Eggplant Moussaka! This traditional Greek casserole is made with eggplants, potatoes, a rich, tomatoey lamb mixture and topped off with a deliciously creamy sauce–in other words, pure food perfection at its finest.
While you can make this recipe any time of year, it’s especially delicious in the fall and winter months. It also has a high nutrition profile thanks to the canned tomato products used, as they provide a plethora of antioxidants (such as lycopene) that play an integral role in the reduction of certain types of diseases and cancers. In fact, numerous studies have linked lycopene consumption with prostate cancer protection. While lycopene is present in other fruits such as watermelon and pink grapefruit, tomatoes (which are the second most consumed vegetable second to potatoes in the U.S.), account for more than 85% of the lycopene in the American diet. Interestingly, cooked tomato products may hold particular significance, as the lycopene from cooked and processed tomatoes is more bioavailable than that of fresh tomatoes. Heating or processing breaks down the tomato cell matrix and promotes isomerization of lycopene from all-trans isomers to the more bioavailable form of cis-isomers. Research shows that single daily servings of processed tomato products produce significant increases of lycopene concentrations in blood and buccal mucosal cells in healthy adults.
So what are you waiting for? Whip up this Eggplant Moussaka for a comfort food delight that you won’t soon forget!
Take a trip to Greece without ever leaving your kitchen! This recipe for Greek Moussaka is a popular, traditional Mediterranean dish that will have your taste buds singing its praises.
Prep Time50 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour35 minutes
3 eggplants, cut into ½-inch slices
1 lb. russet potatoes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground lamb
5 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 (28 oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 sprig rosemary
½ tsp. cinnamon
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
5 Tbsp. all purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 large egg
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste
vegetable oil, for frying
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Line your work surface with paper towels. Arrange the slices of eggplant on top of the paper towels. Sprinkle salt over the eggplant and let it sit for 20 minutes.
Place the potatoes into a pot filled with cold water. Bring the water to a boil and cook the potatoes for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes and set them aside to cool. When the potatoes are cool enough to touch, slice them into ¼-½ inch thick slices.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Add in the lamb. Cook and crumble the lamb until it has browned and fully cooked. Then add in the onion and garlic. Sauté until the onions turn translucent and then mix in the tomato paste and whole tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to crush and break apart the whole tomatoes. Stir in the cumin seeds, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Reduce the heat to low so that the mixture is simmering. Simmer for about 50 minutes.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 400˚F. Pat the salted eggplant dry with paper towels. Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil to a pan, enough to coat the bottom of it, over medium-high heat. Fry the eggplant slices on both sides until golden brown then transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels to drain.
Melt the butter in a sauce-pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and mix until it turns into a paste. Gradually pour in the milk while whisking constantly. Reduce the heat so that the sauce is simmering. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, while whisking constantly, until the sauce thickens. Remove the sauce-pot from the heat and mix in the egg, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste.
Spray a large cast iron with cooking spray. Arrange the sliced potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Then layer the eggplant slices on top. Spread the meat sauce evenly over the eggplant then sprinkle the parmesan on top. Finish with pouring the cream sauce over top. Bake it in the oven for 45 minutes until the top is set and golden brown. Enjoy!
For other delicious tomato-based recipes, check out some of our favorites:
Canned tomatoes are a staple in dietitian Kim Galeaz’s pantry. Here’s why she thinks that this staple is great for around-the-clock eating while being perfect for every occasion.
Can you guess what item in Kim Galeaz’s pantry is so versatile that it works for every around-the-clock eating occasion, from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to snack party-time?
Canned tomatoes and all their forms: Diced. Petite diced. Diced with chilies. Crushed. Whole. Sauce. Salsa. Pizza sauce.
Versatility is just part of the reason Kim’s pantry is filled with numerous canned tomato products. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, her goal is to create recipes that blend great taste with good nutrition while being budget-friendly and nutrient-rich. That goal is easily met with canned tomato products because they are extremely nutritious, affordable, tasty and best of all, available all year long.
Kim particularly loves that canned tomatoes are actually more fresh than fresh red tomatoes. Why? Because canned tomatoes are picked and packed at their peak, then make it in that can within HOURS. All the nutrients are retained, making canned tomatoes a nutritious choice for almost any meal.
Looking for a tasty appetizer that’s sure to please everyone? Check out this tantalizing recipe for Baked Marinara and Goat Cheese! This dip combines simple ingredients like marinara, basil, and goat cheese and will hit the spot when you’re craving Italian flavors.
To make this Baked Marinara and Goat Cheese, you just need to add the ingredients to a baking dish, throw it in the oven and (not so) patiently wait for it to finish! After the dip comes out of the oven, you will be left with a bubbly, cheesy, and melty appetizer that is perfect to pair with toasted bread. This is a recipe that can easily be finished off while you are busy entertaining guests.
Despite it’s simplicity, this recipe is rich in both flavor and nutrition. Thanks to the canned tomato product (marinara sauce), there is a plethora of nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and lycopene. Both vitamin C and lycopene are antioxidants that function in our body to reduce inflammation and destroy free radicals that can cause disease. Additionally, lycopene has been proven to protect the body against many chronic diseases and even reduce the risk of stroke, which is why canned tomatoes are one superfood you should have in your pantry.
You can also make this recipe all year round, as canned tomatoes are a nutritious and affordable pantry staple. So, what are you waiting for? Give this Baked Marinara and Goat Cheese a try for your next party. And don’t forget to make extra–this dip is so good that it will fly right off the table!
Baked Marinara and Goat Cheese
Looking for a tasty appetizer that's sure to please everyone? Check out this tantalizing recipe for Baked Marinara and Goat Cheese!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
1 (8 oz.) log goat cheese, softened
2 cups marinara sauce
½ tsp. kosher salt
½ cup fresh basil, chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray. Press the goat cheese to fit the shape of the pan, leaving a 1-inch border around the edge.
Spoon the marinara sauce along the edge and along the sides of the goat cheese. Make sure to not cover the center of the cheese. Sprinkle salt over top.
Bake it in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the goat cheese is soft and the marinara is bubbling.
Remove the cheese from the oven and top with fresh basil. Serve with bread and crackers and enjoy!
Looking for more delicious dips? Check out some of our favorites:
What could be more comforting than dipping bread into a bubbling hot dish of savory Marinara sauce laden with melted cheese? We’re not really sure, which is why this recipe for Cheesy Pizza Dip should be on your appetizer rotation this month. While it tastes decadent, you can feel good about eating it knowing that it’s good for you too.
In the winter, canned tomatoes make the absolute best dips because they are picked at the peak of ripeness and their summer flavor is locked in. (In fact, this is a secret that tomato growers have long been using to impress their party guests.) When you slow roast those canned tomatoes you concentrate their flavor even more as they become gorgeously browned and caramelized in the oven. Here, those glorious tomatoes are jarred up into a flavorful marinara sauce that serves as a healthful base for a flavor-packed party appetizer your guests will love. Serve with toasted bread and enjoy! While this Cheesy Pizza Dip may look simple, it’s filled with irresistible flavor that everyone is sure to enjoy!