Moussaka with Potatoes

4.91 from 10 votes

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My lazy deconstructed Bulgarian Moussaka with Potatoes 🥔 recipe is one of my favorite comfort foods and reminds me of home. This dish is not to be confused with the beautiful layered Greek moussaka. Traditional 🇧🇬 Bulgarian Moussaka with Potatoes is made with a delicious bechamel sauce on top and baked in the oven. When I was small, I always picked off the top bechamel layer, so my mom eventually gave up and started making my great grandmother’s version, which is what you see here. This recipe is comfort food at its finest. Potatoes, ground meat, 🧅 onions, garlic, and all the delicious flavors of moussaka made into a dippable one-pot wonder.

Why You’ll Love Moussaka with Potatoes

This version of Moussaka with Potatoes is amazingly quick, perfect for a weeknight when you need dinner fast 💨. It’s cozy and comforting, full of warming flavors and hearty ingredients. This recipe only takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish, so you know you can get a nourishing, filling meal on the table in less than a hour ⏲️. What I love most about this one-skillet lunch or dinner is that you can grab a fresh loaf of bread 🍞 and dip away.

How to Prepare Moussaka with Potatoes

🔪 Begin by using a sharp knife to finely dice the onion and mince the garlic.

🥕 Now, peel and chop the potatoes and then dice the carrots, if using.

🫒 In a big pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and the ground meat of choice.

🥄 Use a wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller pieces while cooking, until the liquid has fully evaporated and the meat is brown, about 10 minutes.

🧄 Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and then stir in the onions and garlic.

🧂 Now, add the paprika, oregano, salt and pepper and stir.

🍅 Add the tomato paste and stir. Add then stir in the tomato sauce.

🥔 Then add the potatoes and carrots, if using, and stir.

💧 Now, add water or broth, making sure the meat and potatoes are just covered with liquid. Then let the contents come to a slight boil.

🌡️ Once bubbling, reduce the heat and then let simmer on medium-low heat for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked. Be sure to taste and adjust for salt.

🍞 Garnish with parsley and enjoy with fresh bread.

Nonna’s Tip 🍲

You can use any kind of ground meat, including beef, pork, lamb, veal, or turkey in this recipe. Your favorite plant-based ground would also work well!

Moussaka with Potatoes

Variations and Substitutions for Moussaka with Potatoes

  1. Add finely chopped zucchini and/or 🍆 eggplant along with the potatoes and carrots.
  2. Coat the dish with a thin layer of bechamel sauce and pop it under the oven 🔥 broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until spotted brown all over.
  3. Try making this with ground beef, pork, lamb or a combination of 1 or 2 ground meats.
  4. In Bulgaria, we actually use summer savory which we call “chubritza” as a seasoning but I replaced it with oregano for those that are unfamiliar with it.
  5. You can add jalapeños to make it a spicier stew.
  6. You can definitely make this dish vegetarian by using a plant-based ground meat. If you want to throw a bay leaf into the moussaka as it cooks, you are more than welcome to.

Similar Recipes

Best Served With

  • For a Bulgarian feast, serve this with a fresh Shopska Salad.
  • My No Knead Peasant Bread 🍞 is perfect for soaking up all the delicious flavors of this stew-like dish.
  • A 🥗 Greek Salad served alongside the Moussaka with Potatoes makes for a hearty, filling meal.

      Common Questions

      Can I make this ahead of time?

      Although fresh is best, this meal can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days and reheated in the microwave or in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat. You may want to add a bit of water to loosen up and rehydrate the leftovers.

      What kind of meat can I use for this Moussaka with potatoes recipe?

      You can use any kind of ground meat, including beef, pork, lamb, veal, or turkey.

      can I make this recipe vegetarian?

      Yes, you can certainly make this recipe vegetarian by using a ground meat substitute.

      can I freeze moussaka with potatoes?

      I haven’t tried freezing this meal but I don’t see why it wouldn’t freeze well. If you try freezing it, try with a smaller portion to see how you like it reheated.

      what type of tomato sauce did you use in this recipe?

      The tomato sauce I added in is our homemade Italian Tomato Sauce, which is only made with tomatoes, salt and basil. Please choose a good quality jar of sauce or Passata that is clean in ingredients.

      what other ingredients can I add to this stew?

      Diced eggplant, zucchini, sweet potato or even jalapenos would also be delicious in this Moussaka recipe.

      what should I serve this Mousakka with potatoes with?

      Traditionally, we serve this with a loaf of fresh bread to scoop it all up with. In Bulgaria, we also love to add plain yogurt on top or on the side as it’s extremely refreshing.

      Moussaka with Potato

      This Bulgarian Moussaka with Potatoes is amazingly quick, perfect for a weeknight when you need dinner fast. It's cozy and comforting, full of warming flavors and hearty ingredients.
      4.91 from 10 votes
      Course: Main Course
      Cuisine: Bulgarian
      Servings: 4
      Author: The Modern Nonna
      Prep Time: 15 minutes
      Cook Time: 35 minutes
      Total Time: 50 minutes

      Ingredients 

      • 2 tablespoon olive oil
      • 500 grams ground beef, or pork, turkey, lamb
      • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
      • 3 cloves garlic, minced
      • 1 teaspoon paprika
      • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
      • salt and pepper, to taste
      • 1 ½ tablespoons tomato paste
      • ½ cup tomato sauce
      • 4 large yellow potatoes, finely cubed (about 1 pound or 5 cups)
      • 1 carrot, diced (optional)
      • 3 ½ cups water , or vegetable broth
      • fresh chopped parsley, for garnish
      • 1 tablespoon plain yogurt, for serving (optional)

      Instructions 

      • In a big pot over medium-high heat, add the oil and the ground meat of choice. Let cook, using a wooden spoon to break the meat into smaller pieces, until the liquid has fully evaporated and the meat is brown, about 10 minutes.
      • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the onions and garlic and stir. Add the paprika and oregano and season with salt and pepper and stir. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the tomato sauce and stir. I want you to stir in between each ingredient.
      • Add the potatoes and carrots, if using, and stir. Add water or broth. Make sure the meat and potatoes are just covered with liquid. Let the contents come to a slight boil.
      • Once bubbling, reduce the heat and let simmer on medium-low heat for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked. Be sure to taste and adjust for salt. Garnish with parsley and enjoy with fresh bread.
      • In Bulgaria, we love adding yogurt on top or eating it with plain yogurt on the side as it’s extremely refreshing but feel free to enjoy it as is if you wish.

      Video

      Nutrition

      Calories: 546kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 16g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 89mg, Sodium: 310mg, Potassium: 1321mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 3031IU, Vitamin C: 41mg, Calcium: 80mg, Iron: 5mg

      Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

      Additional Info

      Course: Main Course
      Cuisine: Bulgarian
      Love This Recipe?
      Share your pictures or videos of you making my recipes by mentioning #themodernnonna on all socials ❤️

      Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

      I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

      Keep up to date with me on social media! Follow @themodernnonna

      4.91 from 10 votes (5 ratings without comment)

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      18 Comments

      1. Love this! I add two cups cooked lentils an a large can of diced tomatoes with Italian seasoning

      2. 5 stars
        My family absolutely LOVES this dish. It has become a staple over the last year. We make it almost once a month. Makes delicious leftovers!

        This recipe is delicious as it’s written, but I’ve made it so many times (I have it memorized by now lol) that I’ve started to make a few additions that our family loves:
        1. I double the meat and do 2 pounds. We have weightlifters in our family so we need lots of protein.
        2. I always add the optional carrot, and I also add a diced zucchini to sneak in some extra fiber. You can’t even tell it’s in there. (To offset the added water content of the veggies I sometimes add a little corn starch slurry at the end to thicken.)
        3. To add a spicy kick, I blend up a can of crushed tomatoes with habaneros and use that instead of plain tomato sauce.

        Thank you Modern Nonna for this recipe! ❤️

        1. Oh my goodness, Naomi, you are SO SWEET!! Thank you so much. This truly warms my heart. And I LOVE the changes/additions you’ve made!

      3. I really love your recipes I have tried so many of them .. but I find it impossible to see or follow recipes on the site there are so many pop ups and advertisements it’s frustrating to navigate thru and when you try to (X) out it brings you to the add anyway and than I need to start over .. I’m I navigating this incorrectly or is this just how it is ?

        1. Hi Kenneth, so sorry to hear. Sounds frustrating. You may have a pop-up setting on your web browser that could help.

      4. 5 stars
        Great recipe! I’ve made it a few times now and my husband and I enjoy taking it for lunch. I add a teaspoon of cinnamon and always add spinach or kale as well.

        Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

      5. 5 stars
        I have made this a couple times now and love it! Super easy to tweak. We have tried it with ground turkey, pork or just veggies and have enjoyed it every time. Thanks for sharing great recipes!

      6. 5 stars
        Made this recipe tonight with a side of homemade focaccia bread! It was easy and very tasty. Perfect savory hearty meal for the fall and winter. I’m sure kids and husbands alike will love this! Thanks for a great recipe!

      7. 5 stars
        Just made this tonight and it was wonderful! Hearty and full of taste. I added zucchini and the suggestion of having sour cream on the side was great.