Looking for something new but still comforting for dinner? This Turkish Moussaka recipe is a perfect weeknight meal that everybody will love! Seasoned tomato sauce, ground beef, and delicious roast eggplant slices melt together in this recipe and will keep you scooping for more.
Turkish moussaka, unlike the popularly known Greek moussaka, is made a bit differently. Instead of having a layer of eggplant, then meat sauce, and finish with a béchamel sauce (white sauce), the Turkish version is more a stew of beef or ground lamb with savory, creamy roasted eggplant.
I like to use a combination of sumac, Aleppo pepper, and Turkish pepper paste for the seasoning. This is what gives this dish it's backbone of spicy, tart, and peppery flavor.
In my opinion, the yogurt sauce on top is non negotiable! Seasoned with garlic, lemon, and chopped dill it perfectly rounds out the dish and adds a creamy texture.
This is a great meal to serve family style along with some other middle eastern mezze sides such as Turkish beet salad or a Mediterranean cucumber salad. Don't forget some pita bread and rice to soak up all of the sauce!
- Ground beef (or ground lamb)
- Aleppo Pepper
- Red Pepper Paste
Full ingredient list below.
I use ground beef in my version, but this dish is often made with ground lamb instead.
Roasting the eggplant slices in the oven before adding the stew makes them very tender and creamy. If you never tried roasted eggplant before I highly recommend it over pan frying.
More Middle Eastern recipes
Still looking for more middle eastern recipes? Take a look at some of these,
Simple Turkish Moussaka Recipe
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
- 1 tablespoon salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon black pepper (divided)
- 1 white onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon sumac
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
- 2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lb ground beef (or ground lamb)
- 2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon Turkish red pepper paste (or tomato paste)
- fresh mint (for garnish)
- 2 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 2 tablespoon fresh dill (minced)
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- Heat your oven to 400°, cut the eggplant into large pieces, about 2" and place on a sheet pan. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Toss well and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the eggplant is very soft and tender. Set aside.
- Heat a large fry pan or sauté pan to medium-high and add the rest of the olive oil, onion, garlic, sumac, Aleppo pepper, coriander, and bay leaf. Season with another pinch of salt and black pepper and sauté for about 6-7 minutes or until the onions start to brown.
- Push the onions to one side of the pan and add the ground beef. Break the meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon and let cook undisturbed for about 6-7 minutes, or until the bottom of the meat starts to brown.
- Then, add the tomatoes, Turkish pepper paste, and roasted eggplant to the pan. Mix well and cover and cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
- While the moussaka is cooking, mix the yogurt sauce. Add the Greek yogurt, garlic, dill, and lemon juice to a small bowl and mix well.
- Serve the moussaka with the yogurt sauce and some fresh mint on top.
Did you make Turkish moussaka? Rate the recipe above!
Follow Redwood Kitchen on social media!
If you like this recipe be sure to comment or subscribe below for more great recipes!
- Cook meat to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove