Croatian Potato Moussaka (Musaka od Krumpira) Recipe

Potato lamb moussaka in individual saucepans
BRETT STEVENS / Getty Images
Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 50 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
556 Calories
22g Fat
54g Carbs
37g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 556
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 236mg 79%
Sodium 777mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 54g 19%
Dietary Fiber 6g 20%
Protein 37g
Calcium 297mg 23%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Croatian potato moussaka musaka od krumpira demonstrates the influence of Greek and Turkish cuisine on the Balkans. Instead of eggplant, this moussaka is made with potatoes. And instead of the béchamel or white sauce common in Greek versions, this Croatian moussaka sports an egg custard topping. Some toppings call for sour cream, but I've used cheese here. The potatoes are typically deep-fried or pan-fried, but I've blanched them in water to lessen the calorie load. load.


  • For the Filling:
  • 2 pounds russet potatoes (peeled and sliced 1/8-inch thick horizontally, long way)
  • 1 pound ground meat (any combination of beef, pork, lamb or veal)
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (20-ounce) can drained tomatoes (diced) or 1 1/2 pounds fresh tomatoes (blanched, peeled, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated or crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted and cooled)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (grated or crumbled)
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs

Steps to Make It

  1. Place potato slices in a saucepan of salted water. Let come to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Immediately drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well.

  2. Meanwhile, fry ground meat, onion, and garlic in a large skillet until meat is no longer pink and onion is translucent. Add salt, pepper, and tomatoes with their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, about 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Turn off heat and stir in 1/4 cup cheese and 1/2 cup breadcrumbs.

  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a medium casserole dish with cooking spray. Layer a third of the potatoes, overlapping as necessary, in the bottom of the prepared dish. Season with salt and pepper. Spread half the meat mixture on top, followed by another third of seasoned potatoes, then the rest of the meat mixture and ending with the final third of seasoned potatoes.

  4. In a small bowl, mix together butter, eggs, milk, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1/4 cup bread crumbs until just combined and pour over top of casserole. Place on a sheet pan to catch any drips and bake 35 to 50 minutes or until top is golden brown and potatoes are tender. If the top is browning too quickly, loosely cover with foil. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.