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4.81 from 21 votes

Easy Greek Pastitsio Recipe

Pastitsio is a Greek pasta bake that's bursting with flavor. Layers of pasta, meat sauce and bechamel sauce makes this dish so unique and delicious.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 768kcal

Ingredients

Bechamel Sauce

  • ½ stick butter cut into pieces
  • 5 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs

Meat sauce

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ tablespoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes 15 oz.
  • 2 bay leaves

Pasta

  • 1 lb penne pasta or pastitsio pasta No.2
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup parsley

Instructions

Bechamel sauce

  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat.
  • Add in the flour and whisk well. Cook until it doesn't smell raw.
  • Slowly pour in the milk, stirring constantly to make sure no lumps form.
  • lower the heat and add the salt and pepper.
  • Keep stirring and cooking until the sauce thickens.
  • Turn the heat off, stir the parmesan into the sauce.
  • Add in the eggs one by one and stir very well after each addition. Set the bechamel sauce aside.

Meat sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
  • Saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent.
  • Add in the tomato sauce and mix it with the onion and garlic.
  • Add in the ground beef and ground lamb. Brown them in the pan and break them as you cook them.
  • Add in oregano, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir well and cook for a minute.
  • Add in the water, canned tomatoes and add the bay leaves. Keep the heat on medium and cook the meat sauce for about 30 minutes or until the water is almost evaporated.
  • Taste the sauce to make sure it has enough salt, add more if needed.
  • Remove the bay leaves and set the sauce aside.

Pasta

  • Cook the penne according to the packaging and drain.
  • Once the pasta is cool enough to handle, place it in a bowl and mix it with olive oil, eggs, parmesan and parsley to it.

Assemble:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F and coat a 9X13 baking pan with non stick spray.
  • Transfer the pasta to the baking pan. Top it with all the meat sauce and make sure to spread evenly.
  • Top the meat sauce with the bechamel sauce and sprinkle some parmesan cheese if desired.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until it's all set and the top is golden brown.
  • To cut, let the pastitsio cool for 10 minutes, then using a large, sharp knife, slice the baked pasta into squares.

Video

Notes

  • For vegetarian pastitsio use cooked lentils or fried eggplant instead of meat. 
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat using a microwave or the oven. 
  • This Greek pasta bake recipe is made with a combination of ground lamb and ground beef. However, you can use all lamb or all beef. 
  • You can make the meat sauce and the bechamel ahead of time and store them in separate containers. When ready to bake, prepare the pasta following the instructions and assemble the dish. 
  • It's best to use lean meat when making the meat sauce for this Greek baked pasta recipe. If using meat that has fat content higher than 7%, please discard the excess fat so the final dish is not too greasy.
  • If you're not a fan of penne and pastitsio pasta is not available, try using bucatini pasta for this recipe. 
  • Instead of cinnamon, you can use a 2 inch cinnamon stick in the sauce but make sure you remove it before adding the meat sauce to the dish. 

Nutrition

Calories: 768kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Cholesterol: 181mg | Sodium: 1187mg | Potassium: 744mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1016IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 357mg | Iron: 4mg