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Low Carb Moussaka in Blue and White Flowered Dish on Wooden Table
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Low Carb Moussaka (Greek Beef Eggplant Casserole)

This gluten free Low Carb Moussaka (Greek Beef Eggplant Casserole) recipe has a couple non-traditional elements that make it truly special.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 16 servings
Calories 355kcal

Ingredients

Meat Sauce:

Eggplant:

White Cheese Custard Sauce:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten with the 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 large egg yolks lightly beaten with the 2 large eggs
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 6 ounces hard aged cheese such as Gruyere, sharp white Cheddar, or a mixture, shredded

Optional:

  • A few fresh herbs such as oregano or basil, for topping

Instructions

For the Meat Sauce:

  • Add the beef, onion, and garlic to a large, deep-sided skillet over high heat; cook (uncovered) until the meat is browned well, about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the wine and cook (uncovered) until the liquid is mostly evaporated off, stirring frequently. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Herbes de Provence, salt, cinnamon, allspice, black pepper, and water.
  • Bring up to a boil, and then cover the skillet, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook until it’s a rich, thick sauce (see photo in the post above for how the meat sauce should look), stirring occasionally. It took me about 2 hours, and I uncovered the sauce for the last 30 minutes to help speed the process up a bit. Note that if you uncover the sauce you have to stir it quite a bit more frequently.

For the Eggplant (make this while the meat sauce is cooking):

  • Once the eggplant is sliced, sprinkle a little salt on each slice and place it in a colander in the sink; let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse the eggplant under cool running water, gently wring out each slice, and arrange the slices in even layers on 2 large baking sheets. Drizzle the olive oil on top and use your hands to coat each slice. Sprinkle on a little black pepper.
  • Roast the eggplant in a 425F oven until the slices are tender and starting to turn golden, about 35 minutes, rotating the trays and flipping the slices over once halfway through.

For the White Cheese Custard Sauce (make this toward the end while the meat sauce is cooking):

  • Heat the cream and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Beat the eggs and egg yolks together in a medium bow.. To temper the eggs, gradually whisk 1/2 cup of hot cream into the eggs, starting out with just a drop at a time, until the full 1/2 cup is incorporated. Turn the heat down to low; add the tempered egg mixture to the hot cream and heat until steaming. Whisk in the cream cheese until melted, and then and whisk in the shredded cheese a handful at a time until the sauce is smooth. Turn off the heat.

To Assemble and Cook the Casserole:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread half of the eggplant out in a 5-quart casserole dish and spread half of the meat mixture on top; repeat. Pour the sauce on top.
  • Bake until the sauce is set and starting to turn golden, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

  • Net Carbs: 7g per serving
  • White Cheese Custard Sauce: Adapted from this recipe on New York Times Cooking.
  • What Kind of Cheese to Use: You could always go with a mix of Gruyere and sharp white Cheddar, but I like to use Cabot Alpine Cheddar because otherwise, I’d probably use a combination of Gruyere and sharp white cheddar to the get the flavor profile I’m going for. If you’re not familiar with this cheese, it has a lovely nutty flavor, and at the same time is creamy-textured with a slight grana similar to Parmesan.
  • Make Ahead: You can make the meat sauce 2 to 3 days ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you make the casserole.
  • Freezer Friendly: This casserole is freezer friendly! Once this casserole is cooked, I like to portion it into individual portions and freeze it like that so I can grab out a single serving whenever I need a quick meal. You can also freeze the entire casserole.
  • To Reheat the Whole Casserole: Thaw the casserole at room temperature overnight. Cover it with foil. Place it in an 350F oven until hot and bubbling throughout.

Nutrition

Calories: 355kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 140mg | Sodium: 512mg | Potassium: 515mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 964IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 2mg