I intend on cooking a lamb moussaka (having never eaten one before); in planning to do this I've referred to numerous recipes. The meat filling of the moussaka seems to be it's most integral element however in looking at all these recipes I've been unable to reach any consensus as to how this should be cooked. The sticking point seems to be the choice of ingredients to cook the meat filling with. My options seem to be:

  1. tomato passata/canned tomatoes/peeled tomatoes
  2. tomato puree
  3. or a combination of both.

I am under the impression that the meat filling in a moussaka tends to be less tomatoey and thinner than say a Ragu alla Bolognese meat sauce. When cooking a Ragu alla Bolognese meat sauce you're aiming for a nice thick consistency with caramelisation of the tomatoes in the sauce.

I feel that cooking moussaka meat filling with tomato passata/canned tomatoes will result in the meat sauce being similar to that of a Ragu alla Bolognese. Is this desirable for moussaka?

Can someone tell me the consistency I should be striving for?

  • Which type of moussaka are you talking about? Adding a cuisine tag would help - Turkish is very different from Greek, for example, and those aren't the only variants.
    – Aaronut
    Dec 31, 2014 at 18:46

1 Answer 1


From my travels in Greece I can say that it's 100% dependent upon taste. I've had it many different ways. In some restaurants it's so thick that the servings sit like a block on your plate and some that the filling was quite runny and there are staunch defenders and critics of both.

As with most traditional dishes there are as many variations as there are cooks who prepare it.

The traditional recipe calls for chopped tomatoes to be mixed with the aubergine(eggplant) and meat and spices and reduced to the desired consistency.

  • What would you say about the spices? Allspice, Cinammon, cumin, cloves, does that sound about right?
    – seeker
    Dec 31, 2014 at 18:00
  • That sounds right to me, but there are many variations. Dec 31, 2014 at 18:25

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