Moussaka is a delicious, hearty, Greek dish, usually prepared with sliced potatoes, eggplant, seasoned ground beef and lamb and a creamy topping of whipped potatoes with béchamel sauce. I’ve visited Greece several times and found that each cook has their own variation. My skinny version includes seasoned lean beef, potatoes, onions and eggplant. Instead of topping it with a fattening béchamel sauce, I’m using a store bought light Alfredo sauce and topping with fat-free feta cheese. The skinny for each serving, 218 calories, 6 grams of fat and 5 Weight Watchers SmartPoints. This dish is so dreamy!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Bake Time: 45-55 minutes
Ingredients for Moussaka:
1 pound extra lean ground beef or ground turkey, see shopping tips
2 teaspoons olive oil
6-7 cups eggplant, cubed, unpeeled (about 1 pound)
2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced (about 1 pound russet potatoes)
1½ cups onions, diced
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ cup dry red wine
1 (14 oz.) can tomatoes, diced petit or crushed
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Ingredients for Topping:
1 (10 oz) container Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, see shopping tips
1 cup fat-free feta cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly coat a 12 or 13x9x2 inch baking dish or 3-quart rectangular casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
2. In a large nonstick pan, cook beef over medium-high heat until browned, breaking up chunks, about 5 minutes. Pour meat into a colander in sink and drain all fat.
3. In same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add browned beef, eggplant, potatoes, onions, garlic, oregano and cinnamon; simmer 15 minutes.
4. Stir in wine; cook, uncovered, until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; simmer to reduce juices. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
5. To assemble casserole: layer meat mixture in bottom of coated casserole dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread top of casserole with Alfredo sauce. Sprinkle top of moussaka evenly with feta cheese. Bake uncovered until top is golden, about 45–55 minutes.
6. Remove moussaka from oven; allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes to set. It’s best made the day before, cooled and stored in the refrigerator to completely set. It makes slicing into individual servings easier to hold together. Heat in microwave or oven before serving. If you don’t have the time to store overnight, it will still taste great. It just won’t hold together into a firm slice.
6. Cut into 9 slices before serving. This casserole freezes great!
Makes 9 servings (each serving, 1 slice)
Cinnamon is a traditional spice used in Moussaka. Sounds a bit weird but using just a pinch really enhances all the flavors in this yummy casserole.
Eggplant contains a lot of water that can make moussaka soupy. Potatoes help to absorb the liquid.
Remove ends from eggplant. Slice eggplant into rounds, then into cubes. A serrated knife works best.
It’s easy to spread the Alfredo sauce over the top of casserole, if using a rubber spatula.
I used Trader Joe’s (96/4) extra lean ground beef. It contains 130 calories and 4 grams of fat for 4 ounces. Happily most supermarkets sell some type of extra lean ground beef!
Use Buitoni Light Alfredo Sauce, if possible. It comes in a 10 ounce container and can be found in most supermarkets in the refrigerator section where fresh pasta and sauces are displayed. If you can’t find it, there are several brands of jarred light Alfredo sauce in the pasta aisle.
Weight Watchers SmartPoints 5
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 5
Weight Watchers (old points) 4
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 slice
218 calories, 6g fat, 3g sat. fat, 31mg chol, 19g protein, 20g carbs, 4g fiber, 456mg sodium, 3g sugar
|FACTS: for SmartPoints
179 calories, 3g sat. fat, 3g sugar, 18g protein