Potato Moussaka Recipe
on Oct 21, 2022
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My lazy deconstructed Bulgarian Potato Moussaka recipe is one of my favorite comfort foods. This dish is not to be confused with the beautiful layered Greek moussaka. Greek moussaka is completely different so please be mindful that this is a faster, weeknight version of traditional Bulgarian moussaka.
Traditional Bulgarian potato and meat moussaka is actually made with a delicious bechamel sauce on top and baked in the oven. When I was small, I was always picking 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.
This dish is home for me and it reminds me of my upbringing. I can eat comforting cozy meals like this all season long. Potatoes, ground meat, onions, garlic, and all the delicious flavors of moussaka made into a dip-able one pot wonder.
This recipe takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish. What I love most about this one-skillet lunch or dinner is that you can grab a fresh loaf of bread and dip away.
Variations and Substitutions
There are so many ways to mix up the flavors and ingredients in this dish:
- Add finely chopped zucchini and/or eggplant along with the potatoes and carrots.
- 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.
- Try making this with ground beef, pork, lamb or a combination of 1 or 2 ground meats.
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 Creamy Greek Salad served alongside the moussaka makes for a hearty, filling meal.
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.
You can use any kind of ground meat, including beef, pork, lamb, veal, or turkey. You can also use a vegan ground meat substitute.
Potato Moussaka Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 500 grams ground meat, pork, beef, or 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
- plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
- 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.