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Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

May 10, 2017 (Last Updated: March 5, 2021)

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese.

Greek Lasagna is a beautiful Mediterranean pasta recipe that takes me back to my teen years in Ohio. It reminds me of two things, the holidays with my friends and one of my favorite festivals in Warren, Ohio that Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church hosts every year; The Greek Fest. This year will be their 50th Annual hosting of the Greek Festival, one of Ohio’s largest Greek festivals.

 

 

Pastitsio - Greek LasagnaPastitsio is one of the cherished classic Greek recipes I used to beg my friends to ask their moms for. In the beginning, no one was budging for my request for their loved recipe for that delicious baked pasta. It took me years to earn the rights to the recipe. That request required me to watch a few amazing women make their traditional family recipes several times to get this recipe on point. The moral of the story, if you want something special, you need to be willing to put the labor and time in to make it properly.

 

 

Pastitsio - Greek Lasagna Let’s talk a little about the pasta in this traditional Greek recipe. Most often, you will see long tubular noodles that remind you of spaghetti length macaroni noodles. However, you can substitute them with any tubular pasta, including penne pasta. I have seen my friend’s mothers use various types of tubular pasta, including ridged pasta. So if you can not find the long tubular specialty pasta, don’t even worry about it.

 

 

Pastitsio - Greek LasagnaWe might want to discuss another ingredient in this blog post: the Kefalotyri cheese I use in my recipe. You can usually find this cheese at any well-stocked deli or specialty shop. An unpasteurized sheep’s milk cheese Kefalotyri or kefalotiri is a complex, salty white cheese made from sheep milk or goat’s milk in Greece and Cyprus.  If you can not find Kefalotyri cheese, you can use a quality Parmesan cheese in place of it.

 

 

 

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

  • Two tablespoons of extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • One large onion diced
  • One and 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
  • Two large garlic cloves minced
  • Three cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 of a teaspoon of ground cloves
  • A good pinch of ground allspice
  • kosher salt, to own taste
  • fresh ground black pepper, to own taste
  • One pound of tubular pasta noodles, cooked al dente
  • Two eggs, beaten
  • One cup of grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese divided x 2
  • cooking spray
 
 

Bechamel Sauce

  • Four tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • Three tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • One and 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 of a cup of half and half cream
  • 1/4 of a cup of Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/8 of a teaspoon of nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
 
 

Directions for Sauce

  1. Measure out whole milk and the half and half creamers, place in a microwave-safe bowl heat slowly till warm. About 2-3 minutes in the microwave oven.
  2. Melt four tablespoons of unsalted butter in a metal skillet on medium heat.
  3. Once the unsalted butter has melted, add three tablespoons of all-purpose flour, stirring until thoroughly combined and the raw flour taste has cooked off about 2-4 minutes. Careful not to burn the mixture.
  4. Slowly add the warmed milk and half and half creamer, continuously stirring until joined and there are no lumps in the béchamel sauce. Reduce the heat to low once joined.
  5. Next, add 1/4 of a cup of grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese to the sauce, stir a few times, then add the nutmeg and salt. Continue stirring till the sauce becomes thickened, about 5-7 minutes.
 
 

Directions for the Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

  1. In a large metal pan or deep metal skillet, heat two tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and sauté the diced onion for about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the lean ground beef, stirring until the meat begins to brown.
  3. Next, add the minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to the meat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes, or until most of the liquids have been absorbed and meat is thoroughly cooked. Remove from the heat source, let the meat cool slightly.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Make the béchamel sauce from the recipe and directions above.
  6. Boil the tubular pasta for about 8 minutes or al dente. Remove the pasta from the heat, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water. Drain and add in about one tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly toss the pasta to coat the pasta noodles evenly.
  7. Next, lightly toss the pasta with about one-half of the grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese. Combine the pasta with the two beaten eggs till evenly coated.
  8. Lightly coat a large baking pan with cooking spray.
  9. Add a few spoons of meat sauce to the bottom of the dish, layer with 1/2 of the tubular pasta, add a layer of the remaining meat sauce, finally, add the remaining pasta on top of the meat sauce layer. Pour the béchamel sauce over the pasta, making sure it’s evenly spread over the entire pan. Top with the remaining grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes until light golden crust forms on top of the Pastitsio.
 
 

 

 

 

Pastitsio - Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves,  nutmeg, this classic Greek dish is topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese and guaranteed to be a family favorite for the dinner table.

Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna

hmccallum
Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 35 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Rest 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 8 People
Calories 683 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion diced
  • 1 ½ pounds Ground Beef lean
  • 4 cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 cups Crushed Tomatoes organic
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 1 pinch Allspice
  • Kosher salt to own taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to own taste
  • 1 pound Tubular pasta noodles cooked al dente
  • 2 large Eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan divided x 2
  • Cooking spray

Bechamel Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons All-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups Whole milk
  • ½ cup Half and half cream
  • ¼ cup Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese grated
  • ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
  • pinch Kosher Salt

Instructions
 

Directions for Bechamel Sauce

  • Measure out whole milk and the half and half creamers, place in a microwave-safe bowl heat slowly till warm. About 2-3 minutes in the microwave oven.
  • Melt 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a metal skillet, on medium heat.
  • Once the unsalted butter has melted add 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour stirring until thoroughly combined and the raw flour taste has cooked off about 2-4 minutes. Careful not to burn the mixture.
  • Slowly add the warmed milk and half and half creamer, continuously stirring until joined and there are no lumps in the béchamel sauce. Reduce the heat to low once joined.
  • Next, add the 1/4 of a cup of grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese to the sauce, stir a few times, then add the nutmeg and salt. Continue stirring till the sauce becomes thickened about 5-7 minutes

Directions to make Greek Lasagna

  • In a large metal pan or deep metal skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and sauté the diced onion for about 6 minutes.
  • Add the lean ground beef, stirring until the meat begins to brown.
  • Next add the minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, ground allspice, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to the meat. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 35 minutes, or until most of the liquids have been absorbed and meat is completely cooked. Remove from the heat source, let the meat cool slightly.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Make the béchamel sauce from the recipe and directions above.
  • Boil the tubular pasta about 8 minutes or al dente. Remove the pasta from the heat, drain and rinse the pasta in cold water. Drain and add in about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, lightly toss the pasta to evenly coat the pasta noodles.
  • Next, lightly toss the pasta with about 1 half of the grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese, combine the pasta with the 2 beaten eggs till evenly coated.
  • Lightly coat a large baking pan with cooking spray.
  • Add a few ladles of meat sauce to the bottom of the dish, layer with 1/2 of the tubular pasta, then add a layer of the remaining meat sauce, finally, add the remaining pasta on top of the meat sauce layer. Pour the béchamel sauce over the pasta, making sure it’s evenly spread over the entire pan. Top with the remaining grated Kefalotyri cheese or Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until light golden crust forms on top of the Pastitsio.

Notes

Although themccallumsshamrockpatch.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and how ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will themccallumsshamrockpatch.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting from your reliance on nutritional information.
 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 01Calories: 683kcalCarbohydrates: 57gProtein: 33gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 143mgSodium: 475mgPotassium: 771mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 686IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 327mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Greek Lasagna, Pastitsio
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
 
 

If you enjoyed this Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna recipe, here are a few others you might enjoy.

  • Spanakopita – Greek Spinach Pie is a flavorful savory pie filled with spinach, eggs, and feta. This delicious spinach and feta pie is an iconic Greek dish that can be enjoyed as a starter for the main course, an accompaniment to the main course, or a main course if served with a light salad, cheese, and other various complimentary items.
  • Avgolemono – Greek Lemon and Egg Soup with Orzo is a timeless classic Greek comfort food at its finest. Its hearty flavors make it the perfect winter meal combining homemade chicken broth, shredded chicken, orzo, carrots, onions, garlic, and fresh asparagus with a thick creamy, lemony soup base made from adding eggs and lemon juice to thicken the Avgolemono Soup.
  • Mediterranean Cabbage Rollsaka Lahanodolmathes, are not what I would consider 100% traditional by Greek standards. However, they are utterly delicious comfort food made of cabbage, ground lamb, feta cheese, onions, dill, oregano, lemon juice, and Greek White Wine with a lavish egg Lemon Sauce.
 

 

 

 

 

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    Mediterranean Cabbage Rolls | The McCallum's Shamrock Patch
    March 5, 2021 at 3:07 pm

    […] Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese. […]

  • Reply
    Skillet Mac and Cheese with Kielbasa | The McCallum's Shamrock Patch
    February 3, 2021 at 1:36 pm

    […] Pastitsio – Greek Lasagna is one of my childhood favorites made with comforting layers of long tubular pasta, a delicious homemade Mediterranean meat sauce spiced with ground cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and topped with creamy béchamel and Kefalotyri cheese […]

  • Reply
    Mary-The Boondocks Blog
    November 11, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    Great recipe I make it often for my kids. However, I usually make the bechamel at the last minute so it will pour on easily. Otherwise it is perfect.

    • Reply
      Heidy McCallum
      November 12, 2018 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you, appreciate the tip. I’ve never had an issue but will definitely keep your idea in mind. Have a fabulous night!!!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    August 16, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    Mmmmmm. Pastitsio! Only a billion calories per slice and totally worth it! This sounds incredible!

    • Reply
      Heidy McCallum
      August 16, 2018 at 10:02 pm

      Lol, Leslie, it totally is worth it every now and then.

  • Reply
    Sharon
    August 16, 2018 at 8:23 pm

    Such a comforting dish with lots of flavor! Perfect for Sunday dinner.

    • Reply
      Heidy McCallum
      August 16, 2018 at 10:03 pm

      Thank you, yes definitely a great menu item for Sundays!

  • Reply
    Shadi Hasanzadenemati
    August 16, 2018 at 8:22 pm

    One of my all time favorite dishes, we make pastitsio so often and truly love it!

  • Reply
    Tisha
    August 16, 2018 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve never had Greek Lasagna but can’t wait to try it!!!

  • Reply
    Plating Pixels
    August 16, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Yum lasagna is on of my favorite comfort foods. Looking forward to trying a Greek variety.

  • Leave a Reply to Shadi Hasanzadenemati Cancel Reply

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