This incredible sweet potato moussaka is a twist on the classic, famous Greek dish. It is sweet & savory and satisfying with layers of eggplant, sweet potatoes, a beef ragù and a cheesy béchamel.

A plate with a piece of sweet potato moussaka.

Greek moussaka is probably the most famous Greek food. The traditional casserole has layers of lightly fried potato slices, eggplant slices a ground beef ragù and is topped with a cheesy béchamel.

This sweet potato moussaka keeps all the traditional principles of the original dish with the twist of replacing the potatoes slices with a sweet potato mash. It is really delicious, comforting and hits all the notes you want for fall weather.

Two plates and a baking dish with sweet potato moussaka pieces.

How to make this moussaka

This sweet potato moussaka is a little easier than the original. Baking whole sweet potatoes instead of slicing and frying saves a lot of time and labor. The key to pain-free moussaka is being organized and work smart. It can be a labor intensive dish that wreaks havoc in the kitchen.

I like to bake the sweet potatoes and eggplant first. While they are in the oven, I make the beef ragù.

I assemble everything in the baking pan and make the béchamel sauce last.

A baking pan with moussaka, serving utensils and a cloth napkin.

Ingredients

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Eggplant
  • Ground beef
  • Red onion
  • Tomato paste
  • Marsala wine
  • Garlic cloves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • All purpose flour
  • Butter
  • Whole milk
  • Parmesan & gruyère cheese
  • Seasonings like nutmeg, dry oregano, chili flakes
  • Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
Left image. Baked sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Right image: Eggplant slices on a baking sheet.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Wash the sweet potatoes.

In a rimmed baking sheet place the sweet potatoes. Prick small holes in the skins with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes or until they are fully cooked and soft inside. Remove from oven and let them cool.

In a rimmed baking sheet place the eggplant slices, and brush a little olive oil all over. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of dry oregano. Add some chili flakes if you like. Bake in the oven for 15 min or so, until eggplant slices have a light golden color. When ready, remove from oven and let them cool.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half vertically. Empty the flesh in a bowl. Season with sea salt, freshly ground pepper and add a tablespoon of butter. Mash lightly with a fork and set aside.

Left image. Onion, garlic, tomato paste sautéing. Right image: Ground beef cooking.

In a large pot add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. In medium heat, add the onions, season with a pinch of salt. After 2-3 min add the garlic. Stir well. Add the tomato paste. Season with another pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and 1-2 pinch of dry oregano. Stir well. Add 1-2 pinches of chili flakes. Stir well.

Add the ground meat. Break it to smaller pieces as it sautés. Add the wine, allow alcohol evaporate for 2-3 min. Remove from heat and set aside.

Layers of ingredients being assembled for sweet potato moussaka.

Assemble

Add a tablespoon of the ragù sauce on the bottom of your pan.

Add a layer of eggplant. Follow with a sprinkle of cheese and a layer of sweet potato mash. Add another sprinkle of cheese.

Repeat layers of eggplant, cheese, sweet potato mash and cheese.

Add the ragù evenly on top and a generous amount of grated cheese. Set pan aside while you are making the béchamel..

Steps for making béchamel sauce.

Make the béchamel

Place a sauce pan on medium to low heat. Let the butter melt and add the flour while whisking continuously. 

Add the milk in batches and whisk until the sauce thickens.

Remove from the heat and add salt, pepper, the nutmeg, and whisk.

Save a tablespoon of grated cheese and add the rest in the béchamel and whisk.

Moussaka right before baking and after.

Top with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the last tablespoon of cheese and some some chili flakes on top. 

Bake for 45 min until top is nice and golden.

  • If béchamel is not thick enough. Dust more flour while whisking until it reaches the desired consistency. Keep in mind that it will also thicken when the cheese is added. Since this béchamel goes on top of a casserole it should not be too runny like a sauce. 
  • In case the béchamel is too thick. Thin it out by adding a little warm milk and whisk while it incorporates in the sauce.
  • Use white or red wine instead of Marsala or omit all together from the recipe if you prefer.
  • You can substitute ground pork or sausage for ground beef.
  • For a dairy free moussaka use cashew milk, vegan butter and grated vegan parmesan for the béchamel. You can substitute the ground meat with plant based meat for a truly vegan moussaka.

This sweet potato moussaka can be a great sweet potato casserole for the holidays. I would make it the day ahead and just reheat 30 min before dinner.

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Check out my Greek pantry staples 

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A plate with a piece of sweet potato moussaka.

Sweet Potato Moussaka

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
This sweet & savory moussaka has layers of eggplant, sweet potatoes, a beef ragù, and a cheesy béchamel. 
4.80 from 10 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6
Calories 782 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 sweet potatoes medium size
  • 1 large eggplant thinly sliced
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 red onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup marsala wine
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced

for the béchamel

  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour heaping tablespoons
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup whole milk

you will also need

  • 4 oz parmesan cheese grated
  • 4 oz gruyère cheese grated
  • nutmeg grated
  • dry oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • chili flakes
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
    Wash the sweet potatoes.
    In a rimmed baking sheet place the sweet potatoes. Prick small holes in the skins with a fork in each one. Bake for 45 minutes or until they are fully cooked and soft inside. Remove from oven and let them cool.
  • In a rimmed baking sheet place the eggplant slices, and brush a little olive oil all over. Season with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of dry oregano. Sprinkle some chili flakes if you like. Bake in the oven for 15 min, until eggplant slices have a light golden color. When ready, remove from oven and let them cool.
  • Cut the sweet potatoes in half vertically. Empty the flesh in a bowl. Season with sea salt freshly ground pepper and add a tablespoon of butter. Mash lightly with a fork and set aside.
  • In a large pot add 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. In medium heat, add the onions, season with a pinch of salt.
    After 2-3 min add the garlic. Stir well.
    Add the tomato paste. Season with another pinch of salt, freshly ground pepper and 1-2 pinch of dry oregano. Stir well. Add 1-2 pinches of chili flakes and the bay leaf. Stir well.
  • Add all the ground meat. Break it to smaller pieces as it sautés. Mix everything well. Add the wine. Allow the wine to evaporate a little for 2-3 min. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble

  • Mix grated gruyère and parmesan in a bowl.
    Add a tablespoon of the ragù sauce on the bottom of your pan. Add a layer of eggplant.
    Follow with a sprinkle of cheese and a layer of sweet potato mash.
    Add a generous sprinkle of cheese.
    Repeat layers of eggplant, cheese, sweet potato mash, grated cheese.
    Add the ragù sauce and a generous sprinkle of cheese.
    Set pan aside.

make the béchamel

  • Place a sauce pan on medium to low heat. Add the butter. 
  • Add the flour while whisking continuously.
  • Add the milk in batches and whisk until the sauce thickens.
  • Remove from the heat and add salt, pepper, the nutmeg, and whisk. Save a tablespoon of grated cheese for later.
    Whisk in the béchamel the rest of the cheese.

Final step

  • Top ragù layer evenly with béchamel sauce. Sprinkle the saved tablespoon of cheese and some some chili flakes on top.
    Bake for 45 min until top is nice and golden.

Notes

Béchamel notes
  • I add the flour through a sieve. I dust it on the butter as I wisk. It helps making the béchamel without any clumps.
  • If the béchamel has some clumps in it, it is not the end of the world! Pour it over the ragu, add the cheese and chili flake and bake. The clumps will go away with the baking and you won’t even notice them when enjoying this fabulous moussaka!
 
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 782kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 31gFat: 51gSaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 643mgPotassium: 1051mgFiber: 7gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 22176IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 536mgIron: 3mg
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Sweet Potato Moussaka Sweet Potato Moussaka Sweet Potato Moussaka

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