Layered Moussaka Casserole

Welcome to another work week! I wish I was heading off to work this morning like so many of you, but instead I will likely spend my day napping. Trust me, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds.

Actually, one of the most frustrating things about chemotherapy is that I have all this free time now, and absolutely no energy to do anything with it. Usually all I can muster is a very mild “work out” and hanging out with my family. Some days I try to run a few errands or clean my room. But the best days are those I find the energy to cook.


This coming week is a chemo week – in other words, my least favourite kind of week. But the weekends preceding my chemo weeks are also my best. My body has recovered enough that I feel *almost* normal. Or the closest to normal I can get these days anyways!

So on these weekends you will likely find me in the kitchen. And boy, do I have a kitchen creation to share with you!


This recipe is “moussaka-inspred,” meaning it bears only a small resemblance to the traditional dish to make it a little healthier and easier to cook. This is definitely not a weeknight dinner, but rather something you could make on a Sunday and have the leftovers for the rest of the week. Now you know for next weekend!

Layered Moussaka Casserole

Prep time: 1 hour
Bake time: 1 hour
Makes 8 servings


  • 1.5 lb beef
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 large green pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute (or your favourite all-purpose seasoning)
  • 1 tsp allspice (or something similar to a pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like lots)
  • 1 700ml jar of your favourite tomato sauce (I used President’s Choice organic roasted garlic)
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 small zucchini
  • mashed potatoes – 8-10 small potatoes worth (I’m not going to tell you how to make mashed potatoes! I went the garlic potatoes route made with a little milk + butter and lots of salt + pepper)


Peel and cube the potatoes and add to a pot of boiling water.

Brown the beef in a large pan with onion, green pepper, garlic, and celery. Add spices and seasoning along with the jar of tomato sauce. Simmer for around 30 minutes.

While beef is simmering, make mashed potatoes. Slice the eggplant and zucchini lengthwise. Traditional recipes would have you sauté them first, but I usually don’t bother and leave them raw. I never notice how bitter the eggplant is.

Cover eggplant slices on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Spread half of the beef mixture on top. Cover with zucchini slices and add remaining beef on top of zucchini. Spread mashed potatoes over top of beef.

Bake in a 350F oven for 1 hour.


After hours of chopping, stirring, and cleaning my mess in the kitchen, I sat down to eat my hot meal only to suddenly feel too sick to eat it! Ahhh the joys of chemo.

Thankfully, I’ve since been able to eat the leftovers after a quick 2 minutes in the microwave. It is FANTASTIC and worth every minute in the kitchen. If you ask me, making hearty, healthy food is one of the best ways to use what little energy I have. Now if you don’t mind, I think it’s time for another nap.

Posted on September 26, 2011, in Recipes and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. This loos really good, I saw the name Moussaka and I had no clue what it was and to my surprise there all the ingredients I love. Speaking of love, don’t you just love’s TJ’s 21 salute? I use it on everything! I am going to make this when the weather cools off here. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I hope you have a great week!!!

    • Yes!! I put it on and in everything too. I like it best with hamburger meat, or maybe it’s just that hamburger is my favourite anyways ;)

    • Going to TJ’s this weekend in Atlanta…21 salute is on the list…what else should I get? It’s only my 2nd time.

      • Ooohh, I’m no TJs expert! We don’t have them in Canada so I’ve only ever been a few times. 21 Seasoning Salute is a must though, as well as the sunflower seed butter and soft dried mango pieces. If you want something to get addicted to, their salted peanut butter pretzels are awful for that ;)

  2. This is great! I’ll be making this next weekend with a couple tweaks to make it super Weight Watchers friendly. :-)

  3. Being Greek and a huge fan of the traditional dish, I was super excited when I saw this post title! Will definitely try your recipe. Thanks :)

  4. This looks so good! And it’s gluten-free. Woohoo! I’m glad you’ve been able to enjoy leftovers, because it really does sound incredible. I haven’t had mashed potatoes in far too long. So comforting for Fall!

  5. Thanks – this looks great. That isn’t a T.Joe’s seasoning I’ve tried so I’ll be all over it! Hope the week provides some unexpected and untaxing surprises! :)

  6. Sorry to double dip, but I bet that would be good with mashed sweet potatoes, too. Extra Mediterranean-esque?

  7. oh man I love Moussaka, and this looks awesome!

    Thanks for sharing this one!

  8. This one looks incredible and I’m hoping to make it myself this weekend:)

    Your creations in the kitchen are fantastic and I always look forward to what you are going to whip up next.

    I hope you are feeling better prior to the chemo of course. Lets hope you don’t feel too zapped after this one.

    All the best

  9. I need to start making some hearty casseroles like this to have on hand when my energy levels get low. Sometimes I get so tired (thyroid issues? Who the eff knows) and can’t muster the energy to scramble some eggs and make toast. Yet when I do have energy, I forget to cook! Drives me nuts. I have potatoes, hamburger meat, 21 seasoning and some zucchini & eggplant from our CSA so I’m taking this as a sign. I NEED to make this tonight! Thanks for sharing. (This reminds me of shepherd’s pie too. Or cottage pie? I’m Irish and I never get that right.)

    I hope this round of chemo doesn’t drain you too much and you can have a GREAT weekend afterwards.

    • The first few days following chemo, my energy levels are so low I survive off peanut butter toast. No joke. I’d have starved to death by now without it! And yes, very much like Shephard’s Pie! Probably more of a hybrid between shepherd’s pie and moussaka, as traditional moussaka has a bchamel on top, not potatoes.

  10. I LOVE moussaka. Thanks!

  11. I’m fine with being addicted to things…writing all this down. Thanks!!

  12. Yum, that looks fantastic. It’s reminding me how much I crave Shepherd’s Pie as soon as the weather turns chilly. Casseroles FTW!

  13. When I first saw that picture, I thought it was some weird savory cheesecake, haha!

  14. Oh, looks delicious. Kind of a greek version of shepherd’s pie. :)

  15. Ooooo…that looks nummy! Kinda like a shepard’s pie. Delicious! :P

  16. This looks amaaaaaaaaaazing! I bet my family would love it, I’ll be making this very soon!

  17. Sorta drooling here on my keyboard – I love meals like this that go a long way!

  18. This looks fantastically yummy!

  19. Christina (aka Mom)

    Thanks for saving me a piece it was delicious !!

  1. Pingback: Layered Moussaka Casserole « Best Body Meals

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