Moussaka is a Greek dish that has become very popular lately. It is a great dish to serve during family dinners or other gatherings. However, so many people ask what to serve as a side in addition to a green salad.
Here are what to serve with Moussaka. You can serve them with:
- Green Salad
- Crusty Bread and Butter
- Grilled Vegetables
- And many more
How can we prepare those dishes? This blog post will tell you what to serve with Moussaka and how to prepare them!
What is Moussaka?
Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish that originated in the city of Thessaloniki. This recipe includes potato, eggplant, tomato sauce, and cheese layers.
It’s a rich dish made from ground meat and vegetables. It is usually served topped with feta cheese and baked until golden brown.
To make it even more delicious, you can add some herbs like oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, thyme, etc.
There are many variations in the original recipe. Some people add meat, while others use only vegetables. You can also make it vegetarian by omitting the meat.
Since Moussaka is a kind of eggplant casserole, some people think it already contains vegetables and doesn’t need any accompaniment. However, there are so many options that can make this dish fantastic.
What is the Difference Between Lasagna and Moussaka?
Lasagna is a classic Italian dish that features pasta, cheese, and sauce. Moussaka is a similar dish, but it features eggplant in place of pasta.
So what’s the difference between lasagna and moussaka? The answer is simple: flavor! Lasagna tends to be milder in flavor, while moussaka packs a flavorful punch.
What Does Moussaka Taste Like?
Moussaka is a hearty dish made of layers of eggplant, ground beef, and béchamel sauce. It’s perfect for a winter meal, because it’s warming and filling.
Moussaka usually contains cheese and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, which give it a delicious flavor.
Does Moussaka Contain Gluten?
Because these dishes often contain flour, they’re not suitable for people who suffer from celiac disease or wheat allergies.
What to Serve with Moussaka?
Moussaka is a traditional Greek dish that tastes great when served with suitable side dishes.
Moussaka is a traditional dish for Greeks also. So, Greek salad is the most popular side dish to complement it.
Greek salad or horiatiki is made with onions, cucumbers, feta cheese, tomatoes, and olives. It’s refreshing and adds so many delicious flavors to the dish.
Crusty Bread and Butter
If you want to keep the side dish simple, a piece of French baguette or a classic slice of white bread will work just fine.
To make it more flavorful, slather some butter over the bread. Then, dip your crusty bread into the Moussaka and enjoy your meal.
Grilling vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and makes them even tastier. You can grill zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, or any other type of veggies that you like.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
The combination of garlic and potatoes is a match made in heaven. They go perfectly together and are perfect for dipping.
Roasting tomatoes gives them an extra kick. Try roasting cherry tomatoes by putting them directly on the grill or under the broiler.
Eggs are always an excellent addition to any meal. Just be sure not to overcook them because they’ll lose their flavor.
Yogurt is another excellent option. It goes well with the creamy texture of the Moussaka.
Breadsticks are a must when serving this dish. They’re crispy and crunchy and add so much flavor to the plate.
Cheese sticks are another great accompaniment to the dish. They’re soft and melt in your mouth.
Chicken wings are another favorite among Greek people. They’re spicy and full of flavor.
Garlic knots are another great appetizer to accompany Moussaka. They’re easy to make and taste amazing.
Hummus is another excellent dip to pair with Moussaka or other Mediterranean food.
Pita chips are another great snack to eat, along with Moussaka and hummus.
Feta cheese is a beautiful topping for Moussaka. It has a strong flavor and complements the dish very well.
Cucumber salad is another healthy side dish. It’s light and fresh tasting and goes well with most dishes.
Greek Tomato Fritters
These fritters are filled with tomatoes and herbs. They’re served in pitta bread and dipped in olive oil.
Tzatziki is a Greek sauce made from yogurt, cucumber, salt, pepper, and dill. It’s usually served with gyros, souvlaki, and spanakopita.
Rice pilaf is another popular side dish in Greece. It’s simple to prepare and goes well with almost every meal.
Green bean is a fantastic side dish to serve with Moussaka.
Green beans with pesto, chop them up and saute them in a pan for about 5 minutes or until they become tender.
Prosciutto bread is a savory sandwich that can be enjoyed at any time. It’s a classic combination of salty prosciutto with sweet balsamic vinegar.
Roasted Garlic Lemon Soup
Roasted garlic lemon soup is a warm and comforting soup. It’s made by roasting garlic cloves then blending them into a smooth and creamy soup.
Pasta is another great side dish to go alongside Moussaka. You can choose between penne pasta, ziti pasta, rigatoni pasta, or macaroni pasta.
Crispy Fried Courgette Fritters
Courgettes are often used in Greek cuisine. These fried courgette fritters are crispy on the outside and tender inside.
Wine is optional but recommended if you want to drink while eating. A dry wine such as Riesling or Gewürztraminer pairs best with Moussaka.
Dessert is a must after a big meal. However, the dessert should complement the main course and not overpower it.
Ice cream is another excellent choice. Frozen yogurt is a good alternative if you don’t have time to make one.
Coffee is a great way to end a meal. It helps cleanse your palate and relaxes the body.
Tea is also a great way to finish off a meal. It helps clear your head and leaves you feeling refreshed.
Lemonade is refreshing and light. It’s a perfect beverage to enjoy with Moussaka, especially during hot summer days.
How Do You Cook Moussaka?
Some people think that making Moussaka is hard. That couldn’t be further from the truth!
To make this Greek recipe come out right, follow these four essential step-by-step recipes.
Preparing the Eggplants (Aubergines) and Potatoes
The Moussaka eggplant and potato dishes are usually deep-fried until golden brown in traditional Greek cuisine.
Most taverna owners use this method for making Moussaka because they want to add an extra layer of flavor by deep-frying them.
- 6 eggplants
- 5 potatoes (optional)
- vegetable oil (for frying the eggplants)
- First, you’ll need to prepare the eggplant. Cut off the stems from each eggplant and slice them into thin strips (about one centimeter)—season with salt and place in a colander for about half an hour.
- After rinsing them well under running tap water, squeeze out any extra moisture from between their skin layers by pressing firmly against their skin using both hands. Fry the eggplant slices in plenty of oil (or bake them) until they’re nice and browned.
- Place them on a plate lined with paper towels, so they absorb any extra oil from cooking. Set aside when done.
- Now, if you add potatoes to your moussakas, it’s time to cut them up into 0.5 cm (about 1/2 inch) thick slices. Bake them or fry them like the eggplant. Season with some salt and set them aside when done.
Preparing the Meat Sauce
Traditionally, Greek Moussaka called for either lamb mince (or sometimes mixed) or a mixture of lamb and beef. You can even make Moussaka without meat if you want!
Essentially, a lamb moussaka meat sauce is quite similar to a basic bolognese sauce. First, the ground beef or lamb is cooked in olive oil, onion, and garlic. Then, after deglazing with some red wine, simmer with chopped tomatoes until thick.
- 750g beef or lamb mince (26 oz)
- 2 red onions (chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 glass of red wine
- Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- A bit of cinnamon or one cinnamon stick
- 1/4 of a cup or 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
- Add some extra virgin olive oil to a hot frying pan.
- Add the chopped onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the minced beef to the pan and stir well for 2 minutes until cooked through.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste when they start to turn golden brown. Sauté them for a few minutes, so the garlic softens but does not let them burn.
- Pour in the red wine to deglaze the meat juices and wait to evaporate.
- Put the tinned tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, bay leaf, salt, and pepper into the pan. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and let it cook gently for about 30 minutes or so, occasionally stirring until most of the liquid has been reduced.
- Set aside when done.
Preparing the Bechamel Sauce
Moussaka requires a rich béchamel sauce or white sauce. A thin béchamel sauce will soak through the meat sauce. And that won’t give you that thick creamy layer that sits on top and makes your Moussaka stand out.
When making your béchamel sauce, make sure you let it simmer long enough so that it becomes like thick custard.
- 900ml milk (31 fl. oz)
- 120g butter (4 oz)
- 120g flour (4 oz)
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 2 egg yolk
- 100g Parmigiano-Reggiano or Kefalotyri or your favourite hard cheese (3.5oz)
- salt to taste and white pepper
- Melt the butter in a medium skillet over low-medium heat until melted. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a couple of minutes, until smooth.
- Add the warm milk slowly so that your sauce doesn’t get lumpy. Turn off the stove once the sauce has thickened enough for your taste. It should be similar in texture to a thick cream.
- Take off the bechamel saucepan from the heat and add the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and half of the grated cheese; mix well. Reserve some cheese for sprinkling on top!
- Whisk quickly so that the eggs don’t turn into an omelet. Salt seasonally to taste. Add one tablespoon of bechamel to the meat sauce.
- Set the béchamel sauce aside.
Assemble the Moussaka
Now that your vegetables, your béchamel, and your meat sauce are ready, it’s time to assemble your dish!
- For this Moussaka recipe, you will need a large baking dish, approx. 20 x 30 cm (8″ x 12″) And 8cm Deep)
- Butter the bottom and side of the pan and lay down a layer of potatoes first, followed by half of the slices of eggplant.
- Pour in all of the meat sauce and spread it out evenly.
- Add a second layer of eggplant, top with all of the béchamel sauce and smooth out with a spatula.
- Sprinkle some grated cheese on top for good measure. As soon as your Moussaka has been cooked for 20 minutes, the cheese inside will start melting, giving it an excellent golden brown color.
- Greek Moussaka is now ready to bake or store it in the fridge and bake it later!
What is a good side dish for moussaka?
A simple green salad would go really well with this dish. Or if you want something more substantial, try serving it with Greek Salad or Feta Cheese Dip.
Can moussaka be made in advance?
Yes, you can make Moussaka in advance and store it in the fridge. You can bake it later when you want to eat it.
What national dish is moussaka?
Moussaka is a Greek traditional dish.
Can you eat moussaka cold?
Yes, you can serve it cold if you want.