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Israeli Eggplant Moussaka

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Israeli Eggplant Moussaka

Israeli Eggplant Moussaka

Jessica Braider
Eggplant is a popular food in the Middle East, where it is often mixed with ground meat and tomatoes. Scramble recipe tester Debby Boltman said, “I didn't know I could like eggplant until I tried this dish!” If your kids won’t eat the eggplant, they will likely enjoy the meat sauce scooped up with pita bread.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Israeli
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey, beef, lamb, or meatless crumbles
  • 2 cloves garlic minced, about 1 tsp.
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 large eggplant sliced into 1/3-inch rounds
  • 28 - 30 oz. tomato sauce
  • 8 oz. hummus or baba ganoush for serving (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a large round (about 2-quart) casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the onions until they are lightly browned, 8 - 10 minutes.
  • Add the meat and garlic and brown the meat, breaking it up with the spatula.
  • Add the cinnamon, salt, and pepper and cook it for 2 – 3 more minutes.
  • Lay half the eggplant slices in the bottom of the casserole dish. Put half of the onion-meat mixture on top of the eggplant, and then pour half the tomato sauce over everything.
  • Put the remaining eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Top it with the remaining meat mixture and the remaining tomato sauce. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake it for 45 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft (or refrigerate it for up to 3 days before baking it).
  • Uncover it and allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. You can refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Top it with hummus or baba ganoush at the table, if desired.

Slow Cooker Directions:

  • Omit the oil. There's no need to pre-ccok the meat, garlic, and onion. Simply combine them and the spices in a bowl and mix well. Layer the eggplant, meat mixture, and tomato sauce in the slow cooker in order as directed. Cook on low for 7 - 8 hours, or on high for 3 1/2 - 4 hours. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the onion, peel the garlic, combine the spices, cook and refrigerate the ground meat mixture, slice the eggplant, fully assemble and refrigerate the moussaka, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the dish.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Double the cinnamon and serve it with hot pepper sauce, such as Tabasco.
Tip: While best known as a Mediterranean dish with eggplant and meat, moussaka has other variations that call for sliced zucchini, potatoes, or a combination of vegetables. You can also add cheese to moussaka if you want a richer meal.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 200, Total Fat: 7g, 11%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 5%; Cholesterol: 26mg, 8%; Sodium: 820mg, 34%; Total Carbohydrate: 20g, 7%; Dietary Fiber: 5g, 20%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 17g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword Dairy-Free, Dinner, Freezer-Friendly, Gluten-Free, High Fiber, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, No Added Sugar, Nut-Free, Potluck/Buffet, Slow Cooker, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian
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