Healthier moussaka

Healthier moussaka
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 30 min, oven time 30 min, plus resting

This healthy moussaka recipe contains less than half the fat of it’s traditional version whilst retaining its meaty, herby moreishness.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
418kcals
Fat
19.6g (9.5g saturated)
Protein
35.1g
Carbohydrates
24.7g (10.7g sugars)
Fibre
7.1g
Salt
1.4g
Calories
418kcals
Fat
19.6g (9.5g saturated)
Protein
35.1g
Carbohydrates
24.7g (10.7g sugars)
Fibre
7.1g
Salt
1.4g

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tsp extra
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 400g extra-lean British beef mince
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 50ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 400g tinned green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 medium aubergines (about 750g total weight)
  • Handful fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano

For the béchamel

  • 45g butter
  • 40g flour
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 375ml 1% milk
  • 300g quark
  • 75g reduced-fat cheddar
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 200°C/ 180°C fan/ gas 6. Heat the 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan, then add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic and cinnamon and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat up to medium-high, then add the mince to the pan and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring, until browned. Add the chopped tomatoes, red wine, bay leaf and stock cube. Pour in 100ml water, taste and season the mixture if needed, then bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 30 minutes, adding the lentils for the final 5 minutes. Take off the heat and discard the bay leaf.
  3. Meanwhile, prick the aubergines all over with a fork, then microwave on high for 4-5 minutes until soft (if you don’t have a microwave, bake them in the oven for 25 minutes).
  4. Slice the aubergines into 0.5cm thick rounds, then set two thirds aside. Heat a large griddle pan until smoking. Brush the remaining third of the aubergine slices with 1 tsp oil, then griddle for 1-2 minutes on each side until charred.
  5. To make the béchamel, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the bay leaf, then slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir through the quark and 25g of the cheddar. Add the nutmeg and season. Discard the bay leaf.
  6. Stir the parsley and oregano through the mince mix. Cover the base of a 25cm x 18cm ovenproof dish with half the ungriddled aubergine slices. Top with half the mince mix, then add the remaining ungriddled aubergine slices. Spoon over a third of the béchamel, followed by the remaining mince mixture. Add the rest of the béchamel, then arrange the chargrilled aubergine slices on top. Bake for 25 minutes. Scatter over the remaining cheddar and bake for 5 minutes. Let the moussaka rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

delicious. tips

  1. Make the mince mixture to the end of step 2 a day in advance. Cool, then keep covered in the fridge. Reheat in a frying pan, then continue from step 3.

  2. We’ve replaced traditional lamb mince with extra lean beef mince, adding lentils to get you on your way to your five-a-day. Using a mix of low-fat milk and fat-free quark makes a lighter but still creamy béchamel.

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