Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

by 247tasty

Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 4 hrs 45 mins | Total Time: 5 hrs | Servings: 12

Greek Lasagna is my mom’s favorite. I learned to make Pastitsio from her. We all love the delicious layers of pasta, cinnamon-infused beef, kasseri cheese, and Bechamel. It’s a real treat for all lasagna lovers out there!


4 Eggs
3 lbs ground beef
2 15-oz. cans of tomato sauce
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 lb or more kasseri cheese, grated, about 4 c. (or Asiago or an Italian blend) Flora uses a lot of cheese, like a pound!)
1 package of Pastitsio noodles, or Mostaccioli
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
coarse kosher salt
5 1/2 c. whole milk
1 c. flour

How to make Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)?

Step 1: Throw the meat sauce together one day in advance. Start by heating a little olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onions and sprinkle with salt. Cook the onions until just translucent. Then, add the ground beef and continue to cook, breaking the meat into small pieces as it cooks, until no longer pink. Next, pour in 2 cans of tomato sauce and add the cinnamon. Stir and let the mixture simmer. To taste, season with salt. Cook the meat sauce for 3 hours, partially covered. Make sure to stir the sauce often. When done, remove from the heat and allow the meat sauce to cool completely. Store in the fridge overnight.

Step 2: The next day, remove the sauce from the fridge and bring it to room temperature.

Step 3: Grate the kasseri cheese to make at least 4 cups and set aside.

Step 4: In a large pot with salted boiling water, cook the noodles a minute or two shy until al dente. Drain the noodles when done and let them cool. Once the noodles are cool enough to handle, place them in a large bowl and add one beaten egg. Mix well using your hands.

Step 5: Prepare the oven. Preheat it to 350 degrees.

Step 6: Drizzle a bit of olive oil into the bottom of a lasagna pan (or other large pans). Alternately, you can grease the pan with cooking spray. In the bottom of the prepared pan, evenly arrange the noodles and sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded cheese. With the meat mixture, evenly cover the noodles and cheese, but make sure to leave room for the béchamel layer on top. On top of the meat layer, sprinkle another 1/3 of the cheese.

Step 7: For the béchamel sauce, melt 1 stick of butter in a heavy-bottomed large pot. Whisk in the flour for about 1 to 2 minutes. While still stirring, gradually add 5 c. of milk. Continue to cook until the sauce has just begunto boil. Turn the heat off when the sauce starts to bubble.

Step 8: Beat the eggs with a half cup of milk in another bowl using a hand mixer. Slowly add this to the pot while stirring constantly.

Step 9: Resume cooking the sauce over medium-high heat while stirring until thick and bubbly. Turn the heat off once you have reached your desired consistency, and allow the Bechamel to sit for a couple of minutes.

Step 10: Melt a half stick of butter in a small saucepan. Pour the Bechamel over the meat and cheese layer, spreading evenly. On top, sprinkle the rest of the cheese and drizzle with the melted butter.

Step 11: Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 1 hour or until browned and the middle is hot. Broil for about 3 to 5 minutes to encourage browning. Remove from the oven when done and allow the Pastitsio to rest for about 10 minutes, then serve. Enjoy!

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