Healthy Recipe: Eggplant Moussaka

Healthy recipe for eggplant moussaka with lamb

Baked Eggplant Moussaka

Recipe by Ivy Manning | Photo by Erin Kunkel

This deeply satisfying Greek dish layers tender eggplant, zesty meat sauce, and a creamy yogurt topping. Roasting instead of frying the eggplant helps to reduce the amount oil, as well as intensifying the flavor. Ground lamb is the traditional choice, but you could substitute lean beef or even bison.  


2 eggplants (about 1 lb/500 g each)
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb (500 g) lean ground lamb
4 cups (32 fl oz/1 l) marinara sauce, reduced sodium
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1½ cups (12 oz/375 g) plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons (1½ oz/45 g) crumbled feta cheese
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Trim the tops from the eggplants and discard. Cut the eggplants lengthwise into slices about 1/3 inch (9 mm) thick. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets without overlapping. In a small bowl, combine the 3½ tablespoons of the oil and the lemon juice. Brush all over the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Bake until the eggplant is tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).

While the eggplant is baking, make the sauce: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm ½ tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the ground lamb and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and no longer pink in the center, 6 minutes. Drain off any fat from the pan, if necessary. Add the marinara sauce, oregano, cinnamon, cloves, and a few grinds of pepper and bring to a simmer. Cover, adjust the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded, 15 minutes.

Spoon ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch (23-by-33-cm) baking dish. Place half the eggplant on top of the sauce in an even layer. Spoon half of the remaining meat sauce over the eggplant. Repeat with another layer of the remaining eggplant and sauce.

In a bowl, whisk together the yogurt, cornstarch, eggs, feta, nutmeg, and several grinds of pepper. Spread the yogurt sauce over the top of the eggplant and meat sauce. Bake until the top is golden and slightly puffed and the red sauce is bubbling up around the edges, 45 minutes. Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting. Cut into squares and serve the moussaka warm.

Makes 8 servings


Nutrition Facts (per serving)

Calories 326
Protein 19 g
Total fat 19 g
Saturated fat 5 g
Carbs 22 g
Fiber 7 g
Total sugars 14 g
Added sugars 1 g
Sodium 126 mg

5 Comments   Join the Conversation

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • As with every ethnic recipe, locals will disagree 😀

    First of all, moussaka(s) is always made with eggplant, so an ‘eggplant moussaka’ is redundant.

    Fried eggplant has a distinctly different flavor. You can’t just roast it. Not moussaka any more.

    No, the top layer is not made with yogurt.

    And finally, although it’s not impossible, I can’t remember ever eating lamb ground meat in a moussaka – only beef 🙂

  • Would it be possible to freeze and then reheat this? For prep cooking. Don’t have a lot of time during the week, but would love to make this on the weekend and freeze individual portions for work lunches.

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