Keto moussaka is incredibly flavorful. Yes, it's a multi-step recipe, but the hearty result is well worth the effort.
This recipe is amazing. I would urge you to make it ASAP. Except that it's an involved, multi-step recipe, so you need to be in the right mood. I suggest tackling it on a lazy weekend when you're home anyway.
Hopefully, you'll agree with me that this wonderful casserole is well worth the effort. The layers of eggplants, creamy sauce and cheese are exquisite. Moussaka is a multi-step casserole that requires some work, much like lasagna. But the delicious result is well worth it.
The ingredients you'll need
Here's an overview of the ingredients you'll need to make this keto moussaka. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below:
Eggs: I use large eggs in most of my recipes, this one included.
Yogurt: I use plain Greek yogurt in this recipe. Regular yogurt will be too thin.
Eggplants: You will need two large eggplants.
Kosher salt and black pepper: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Olive oil: I love cooking with this wonderful oil. But if you'd rather use an oil with a higher smoke point, you can use avocado oil instead.
Chopped onion: I'm lazy, so I chop onions in the food processor.
Ground lamb: I use an 85/15 ratio of lean to fat.
Minced garlic: Mince it yourself, or use the stuff that comes in a jar. Both work.
Tomatoes: I use one can of diced tomatoes, drained.
Spices: Coriander, oregano, cinnamon, and cumin. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Cheese: I use shredded Mozzarella. Provolone is also good.
How to make keto moussaka
Traditional recipes are made with fried eggplant and often contain fried potatoes as well. In this delicious recipe, I omit the potatoes (you won't miss them). I also bake the eggplants instead of frying them, which I mostly do because baking is so much easier than frying.
I also use Greek yogurt as the base of my "béchamel" sauce instead of milk and flour. It's just as creamy and tasty, but it's low carb and gluten-free. Just as important: it's also easier to make!
Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions for making this recipe. The basic steps:
1. Roast the eggplants in a hot (500°F) oven. When done, lower the oven temperature to 375°F.
2. While the eggplants are roasting, cook the onion and the lamb in olive oil. Add the garlic, tomatoes, and spices.
3. Mix the yogurt, egg, salt and pepper to create a creamy sauce.
4. Layer the casserole in a baking dish: Eggplant, meat layer, another eggplant layer, then sauce and finally the cheese.
5. Bake for 40 minutes.
Can I use ground beef instead of lamb?
Absolutely. Traditional recipes use lamb meat, but many modern recipes do use ground beef instead. Personally, I like lamb meat and make many lamb recipes. But this casserole is excellent with beef as well.
What to serve with low carb moussaka?
It's actually a full meal, so you don't really have to serve it with a side dish. However, if you'd like to add a side dish, I suggest something light, such as tomato salad or steamed broccoli (microwave broccoli is the easiest).
What about leftovers?
You can keep leftovers of this keto moussaka in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Reheat them gently, in the microwave on 50% power. They are surprisingly good when eaten cold!
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- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggplants
- 1 ½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped (8 oz)
- 1 lb. lean ground lamb
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained (6 oz drained tomatoes)
- ½ teaspoon dried coriander
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper, divided
- ½ cup shredded part-skim Mozzarella cheese (2 oz)
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray it with olive oil spray. Take the eggs and yogurt out of the fridge to allow them to get to room temperature.
- 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, spray with olive oil, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and roast 10 minutes. Turn to the other side and roast 10 more minutes. The eggplant slices might appear too big to fit in your pan when raw, but they will noticeably shrink during baking.
- While the 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, coriander, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until liquids have evaporated.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees F. Spray a shallow rectangular 2-quart baking dish (a shallow square 9-inch baking dish will probably work too) with olive oil spray.
- 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.
- Whisk together the eggs, yogurt and remaining ½ teaspoon kosher salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper until creamy, and pour over the eggplants. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake, uncovered, 40 minutes, until the 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 15 minutes. This is important - do not try to cut into the low carb moussaka while it's piping hot. Cut into 8 portions and serve.