A Seasonal (Read: Squash-Forward) Spin on Beef Moussaka

Traditional Greek moussaka is a hearty casserole layered with meat, eggplant, and creamy sauce—but this version gives the classic a seasonal spin, swapping out eggplant for tender roasted delicata squash and stuffing it with spiced, browned beef. Topped with tangy yogurt sauce and served with a bright spinach salad, this dish tastes as good as it looks (and boy, does it look good).

delicata squash
¼ ounce parsley, divided
clove garlic
yellow onion
½ ounce grated Parmesan cheese
5⅓ ounces nonfat Greek yogurt
12 ounces ground beef
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
teaspoon tomato paste
tablespoons red wine
ounces baby spinach

You’ll Need
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
baking sheet
12″ large pan

Recipe Tips
Delicata squash is so-called for its delicate skin, which is edible and delicious when roasted—no need to remove it!

Pouring oil or melted fat down the drain may damage your pipes. Instead, pour it into a heatproof container or bottle once it’s cooled slightly, and dispose in the garbage.


Roast Delicata Squash:

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Rinse all produce. Halve squash lengthwise, then scoop out and discard seeds (see Recipe Tip). Place on a baking sheet, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over cut sides, and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Arrange squash cut-side down and roast, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes total. Remove baking sheet with squash from oven and set aside, leaving oven on.

Prepare Ingredients and Make Yogurt Sauce:

While squash roasts, pat spinach dry with paper towel. Roughly chop parsleyleaves, discarding stems. Halve lemon. Roughly chop garlic. Peel onion and cut into small dice. In a medium bowl, whisk together Parmesanyogurt1 egg¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to make yogurt sauce, then set aside until Step 4.

Brown Beef:

Pat beef dry with paper towel. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add garlic and onion and sauté until onion is soft and translucent, 2-3 minutes. Stir in spice mix, then add beef. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper as desired. Cook, breaking up, until browned, 4-5 minutes.

Season Beef:

Add tomato paste to pan with beef, still over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until fully combined, about 1 minute. Stir in red wine and simmer until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 seconds more. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to a large bowl. Discard excess fat (see Recipe Tip). Add half of parsley and half of yogurt sauce to bowl with beef and stir to combine. Save remaining yogurt sauce for the next step.

Assemble Moussaka:

Once squash is roasted, still on baking sheet, scoop out half of flesh from each and, using the back of a fork, mash and stir into bowl with beef until combined. Spoon filling evenly into squash halves, then top with remaining yogurt sauce. Return baking sheet with moussaka to oven and bake until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.

Make Sauce and Plate Moussaka:

While moussaka cools, in a separate medium bowl, whisk together juice of ½ lemon (save remaining lemon for another recipe) and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with ⅛ teaspoon salt and pepper. Add spinach and toss to coat, then transfer to serving plates with moussaka. Garnish with remaining parsley, and dig in!

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in Nourish

tags beef, dinner, fall


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