If you are anything like me, then you believe that eggplant is one of the most underrated fruits on the market.
This sweet and tender member of the nightshade family melds perfectly with almost any ingredient you throw at it!
While we are all familiar with the greatness that is eggplant parm, most people have not had the pleasure of tasting its Greek cousin, Moussaka.
It is akin to lasagna, but instead of noodles, the recipe calls for eggplant slices and potatoes. Then, cheeses, minced beef (or lamb) and a rich Béchamel sauce are added to the mix.
For those who are willing to step out of the box and try their hand at this heartwarming and savory meal, what do you serve with Moussaka? We look at the best dishes to pair with this popular taste of Greece!
For starters, Greek dips and a mezze board are a favored fare that require minimal effort and will not fill up your guests. Then, incorporate salads and veggie dishes for your sides to add some color and texture to the meal. The dessert course can feature traditional Greek pastries or you can go with a fluffy whipped yogurt with fruit on top. These light and airy options are a great refresher after a heavy meal. Finally, a full-bodied red wine is the ideal contrast to this savory meal that will bring out the flavors and leave you wanting more!
- What To Serve With Beef And Lamb Moussaka
- Starters To Serve With Moussaka
- What Salads Pair Well With Moussaka
- Vegetables To Serve With Moussaka
- What Breads Should I Include On My Menu?
- The Best Wines To Pair With Moussaka
- Traditional Greek Desserts To Serve After Moussaka
- Dishes To Serve With Vegetable Moussaka [Maghmour]
- Final Thoughts
- Related Guides
What To Serve With Beef And Lamb Moussaka
This tasty casserole is served hot and features a delicious tomato base that uses a spice mix of garlic, onion, oregano, bay leaves and other signature spices used in Italian cuisine.
This is important to remember when choosing side dishes for your menu. Moreover, it can be a lengthy process to prepare this delicious dish.
What this means is that you should select starters and sides that are fast and easy to make. Here are the top picks!
Hummus is a classic Greek appetizer that is rich, creamy and hard to resist. You can choose to make this from scratch or grab a pre-made package at the store.
Sabra has created an extensive line of flavored hummus products that will help to make your life simple.
I recommend choosing the classic, roasted garlic or caramelized onion flavors, as they will pair nicely with the profile of the moussaka. Add in some pita chips and you are ready to party!
Swap out those chickpeas for some roasted eggplant! You will have yourself a flawless opening act to your moussaka.
Baba ganoush is natural blend of ingredients imparts an earthy flavor, without being too overpowering. Moreover, if you are making this dip in unison with your main dish, it is actually effortless to make.
For those who like a tangy twist, olive tapenade is one of my personal favorites. This blend of olive oil, garlic, capers, mixed olives and spices takes no time to make, but is a real crowd pleaser!
This strongly flavored dip can be described as tart and salty, but this makes it the magnificent match to a creamy and savory main dish.
They say that opposites attract and the sweetness of the moussaka will be offset nicely by the briny taste of this spread.
For those who prefer a slightly sweeter taste, this yogurt and grated cucumber dip is another straightforward side. Most notably, it takes mere minutes to make. Pair it with pita chips or fresh fruits and vegetables.
While it may seem like a contrasting choice, it is a nice palate cleanser before the main course.
5.Greek Mezze Platter
Essentially a Mediterranean version of the charcuterie board, the Mezze Platter is an assortment of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, pita bread and the various dips mentioned above.
Presentation is key when serving this delectable finger food, but the world is your oyster when it comes to your signature spread!
Typical food options normally include figs, grapes, berries, cherry tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, artichoke hearts, olives and dried fruits for the produce portion of the board.
Additionally, this is accented with animal products like feta and mozzarella cheeses, salami, prosciutto and summer sausage.
This is a fantastic appetizer choice because it won’t fully fill up your guests, but it will keep them satiated until it is time to sit down and eat!
Most importantly, since the platter features basic ingredients, there is no worry about the flavors clashing.
6.Greek Lemon Rice
This light and refreshing side is simple to cook and pairs with virtually any dish. Additionally, most people have rice, lemon juice, garlic and onions lying around the house, making this an easy last minute side to throw together.
Moreover, it can serve as a spectacular palate cleanser between courses. Just remember that your main course is loaded with carbs so keep your servings small.
While slightly heavier, spanakopita is a flaky, buttery and earthy pastry-like dish that contains various cheeses, eggs and spinach.
If you are a fan of the French classic Quiche Florentine, this savory side will definitely be up your alley!
Furthermore, you can serve it hot or cold. Therefore, you have the option of making this spinach pie in advance and serving it later. Since it features those creamy cheeses, it is a nice partner to the moussaka.
This is a surprisingly elegant side that pairs perfectly with your main course. When you keep the seasonings simple — olive oil, salt and pepper — it is a healthy option that adds a little more green to the plate.
Moreover, it requires minimal time and effort to make. Consider this option when your menu also features heavier side options to give your guests some selection.
Starters To Serve With Moussaka
When entertaining guests, every host wants simple and delicious options for their guests to munch on before the main meal.
Unlike other cultures, the Mediterranean diet is filled with rich and flavorful foods that are enhanced with natural herbs and spices.
Therefore, this makes your task of choosing appetizers quite easy – dips and finger foods are your best bet!
1.Stuffed Grape Leaves
Otherwise known as dolmas, this appetizer uses an array of ingredients that will also be found in your main dish.
Ground beef is combined with herbs and rice and then intricately wrapped in these tangy plant parts and cooked until soft.
This gives them a pronounced wine-like flavor that will provide a surprising start to your meal. Just remember to keep the quantity limited because these will fill your guests up!
This Mediterranean take on an Italian classic features tomatoes, capers, red onion and feta cheese toasted on thin slices of a baguette. It is a simple appetizer that is filled with zest and will not fill up your guests.
This makes it a great match to serve with moussaka! Better yet, it features similar ingredients so the flavors will meld together nicely.
This creamy and flavorful spread is made with yellow split peas, onions, olive oil, and lemon juice. The velvety texture and earthy flavor makes it an easy starter to any Greek themed meal.
Moreover, it is another effortless dish to throw together! Additionally, this is another great dip for your Mezze Platter.
What Salads Pair Well With Moussaka
Moussaka is an extremely hearty meal, which is why it is best to select lighter sides to pair with the main course.
Fruit and vegetable based cuisine will add a pop of color, a crisp texture and an organic flavor component to the menu.
This light and refreshing mix is the ultimate combination of romaine lettuce, kalamata olives, feta cheese, hearts of palm, artichoke hearts, red onions and avocados. The radiant bouquet of flavors and textures will tantalize your taste buds.
It will also provide a healthy contrast to the heavy moussaka casserole that you serve. It is also a great way to ensure that your Mezze Platter spread does not go to waste.
2.Tomato And Feta Salad
Simple, sophisticated, juicy, and subtly sweet. Tomato and feta salad is an exceptionally easy dish to make that even your kids will love!
All you need to add to the two main ingredients are basil leaves, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
Best of all, most of these ingredients are featured in the majority of moussaka recipes, making it an optimal side to serve.
3.Greek Salad Kabobs
For those looking to serve large groups without creating a lot of dishes, consider making your salad to-go!
Slide grape tomatoes, feta cubes, cucumber slices and kalamata olives onto barbecue skewers, and voila! You have an effortless, yet elegant side dish that won’t overpower your meal.
Moreover, Greeks consider meal times a social event, so why not mirror this tradition and have you kids join in on the fun!
They can help with the assembly of this side and try out the various flavors and textures of these typical Mediterranean ingredients.
Vegetables To Serve With Moussaka
As mentioned, every meal needs a pop of color! If salads are not your thing, then consider these delicious vegetables.
They all feature ingredients that are either similar to eggplant or are included in your main course.
Grilled zucchini is a great complimentary vegetable to serve with Moussaka. Why? It is similar to eggplant in texture and the mild flavor ensures that it won’t steal attention from the main course.
Simply apply a thin layer of olive oil to the vegetable. Then, add salt and pepper for taste.
For a heartier vegetable side, ratatouille is a tantalizingly tangy blend of eggplant, tomatoes, bell peppers, yellow and green squash, and carrots. It is acidic, earthy and herbal.
These components make is a unique side dish to pair with the rich and full flavor of Moussaka, but is is sure to be a crowd pleaser!
Just like many of our other options, it also features many of the same ingredients as the main dish.
3.Greek Couscous Salad
Couscous is a fairly bland grain that takes on the flavors around it. This is what makes it such an amazing ingredient to add to Greek food!
Mix in olives, tomatoes, onion banana peppers and feta cheese or aim for similar ingredients to the main course. Either way, you will have a protein filled side that is light and delicious.
No casserole is complete without bread to go along with it! However, you want to avoid options that add too much flavor to the menu. Stick to basic bread types that will compliment the meal instead.
This bread is an Italian classic that can easily compliment Moussaka! First, the garlic is present in both dishes.
Second, the flavor profiles go hand in hand. Best of all, it is sturdy enough to help soup up some of the extra sauce!
A Mediterranean meal is never complete without pita bread in the mix. In fact, pita translates to pastry in Greek!
This is also another great bakery item for scooping up sauces. Make sure to look for pocketless varieties when you serve them with moussaka.
Whether you choose the crispy or doughy versions, these are a quick and easy side dish to pair with your casserole. Most importantly, they will not steal any attention from your main attraction.
Look for plain options or those seasoned with garlic and butter. However, stuffed bread sticks should be avoided to prevent your guests from becoming overfilled.
The Best Wines To Pair With Moussaka
Red wines are always best with this rich, tomato based dish. Here are some of the best choices for your bar selection to ensure that your guests will get the most out of every bite!
This is a bold and beautiful choice for those palates that appreciate rich and savory wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon will feature delicious berry flavors along with hints of vanilla, tobacco, wood and spice. Something to note is that this is a highly acidic option.
This means that there will be a bit of bitterness, which can be off putting to some.
However, this attribute is actually what makes this an ideal choice to serve with moussaka. Each sip will contrast the richness of this heavy dish, leaving you wanting more.
When it comes to finding the perfect pairing, both lamb and beef based dishes as well as red sauces all partner well with a robust red wine. For those folks who tend to steer more towards whites, merlot is a nice choice.
This full bodied red exhibits sweeter and more delicate flavor notes and has a smooth finish.
Additionally, just like the cabernet, you will notice the presence of dark fruits like blackberries, blueberries and black cherries.
Cherry, fig, tobacco, and wood are some of the tantalizing flavor notes that envelope the taste of Tempernillo. This is full bodied wine, but it is much less acidic.
Moreover, it is a classic choice to pair with lasagna, making it an obvious option for this kindred dish.
This is another smooth and savory choice that will leave a delicious flavor lingering on your tongue after each sip!
This is a sweet, fruit forward red wine features hints of strawberries, peaches, blackberries and cinnamon.
Unlike the other options on our list, the Zinfandel has a much lower acidity, making it the best choice for those guests who normally prefer white wines.
It is also great for those folks who tend to fill up quickly due to the sweeter and more moist mouthfeel. It will also pair perfectly with most desserts!
Traditional Greek Desserts To Serve After Moussaka
End your meal with a light and refreshing dessert that will help to mellow the palate. Moussaka is a heavy dish so simple recipes are your best bet.
If you have never tried this nutty and sweet pastry, you are in for a treat! This is a trademark dessert in Turkey and Greece, but you can also order it straight to your home.
Best of all, it matches your Mediterranean theme, but the more subtle flavor profile provides a nice finish to such a bold meal.
However, moussaka is a heavy entree, so if you choose to serve rich dish like baklava, then keep your portions small.
2.Whipped Lemon Greek Yogurt
This light and airy dessert is an amazing palate cleanser that won’t overfill your guests. Whipping cream, greek yogurt, lemon juice and honey are combined in a mixer and then topped with fruit!
This equates to a simple, and yet, a lavish end to the meal! It also guarantees that your guests will leave satiated and satisfied.
Made with either lemon or lime juice, Revani cake is a light and zesty dessert choice! Moreover, it is made with semolina flour, which gives it a crumbly texture.
This is a great contrast to the creamy main course. Best of all, it is easy to make, making it a great option for the chef who has no assistance preparing the menu.
This is another simple cake to make, that uses Greek yogurt as one of the ingredients!
This makes for an extremely moist dessert that has a bit of tang to it. This is enhances by the tart flavors of lemon and orange. Needless to say, guests will leave refreshed and full!
Dishes To Serve With Vegetable Moussaka [Maghmour]
Maghmour is the Lebanese version of Moussaka. This dish is somewhat similar in terms of ingredients, but not in preparation or presentation.
While it still features the delectable eggplant, a tomato base and Italian-like spices, it nixes the meat, potatoes and cream sauce and swaps them out for chickpeas.
Therefore, this is a great Vegan dish! Maghmour has a consistency comparable to chili and it is served on a bed of rice.
If you choose this recipe, then rice is appropriate. However, rice will be overkill if you use the potato based recipe that is popular in Greece and Turkey.
Thankfully, since most of the ingredients still remain the same, all of the aforementioned dishes will still pair perfectly with this dish.
When serving vegetable based dishes, it is important to serve side dishes that increase the protein content of the meal.
Moreover, look for seasonings and sauces that utilize similar ingredients to the moussaka. This will ensure that your dinner is seamless and that guests leave satiated.
1.Greek Lamb Meatballs
This rich and meaty side is not only savory, but it can be seasoned to match the flavors of your vegetable moussaka!
This makes it an easy choice when selecting menu items. Moreover, these are simple to make and will ensure that your guests stay full long after the meal.
Additionally, if you serve them in a tomato based sauce, this will only make the combination of dishes more ideal since this is also the base for the moussaka.
For the vegetarians and vegans in the room, chickpea fritters are a fantastic choice. As a member of the legume family, these seeds have an ample amount of protein and provide a similarly earthy flavor to the menu.
This will correspond well with your vegetable based dish. Moreover, these can serve as an appetizer or a side, making them a very versatile option.
Most notably though, if you are making the Lebanese version of moussaka, the chickpeas will effortlessly tie these two dishes together.
For those who are in the mood for a wrap, a gyro is the perfect choice! This Greek delicacy features either lamb or chicken made on a rotisserie that is paired with feta, fresh vegetables and topped with Tzatziki sauce!
What this means is that the flavors will meld well together and this dish will provide some protein to pair with your veggie moussaka. Best of all, it is quite easy to make!
There is something magical about moussaka that is hard to replicate. Moreover, you can completely customize the recipe to your liking!
Thus, you can make your moussaka with lamb or nix the meat and have a vegetarian casserole.
No matter what, this selection of starters, sides, desserts and wines you serve will be a crowd pleaser with your Moussaka casserole!
We are a team of passionate moms and homemakers. Among us are certified nutritionists, chefs, certified food handlers, accountants, financial gurus, and other professionals. Our joint goal is to educate homemakers. Check out the about us page for more information about our team’s credentials.