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Greek Pastitsio

Greek Pastitsio with Yogurt Béchamel and Mixed Greens

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Recipe Details


A Greek casserole dish combining layers of pasta, ground beef or lamb, grated cheese, tomatoes, cinnamon, and creamy sauce, pastitsio has long been one of Chef Taylor’s favorites. Her take on the dish uses hollow ziti noodles perfect for scooping up the hearty beef and tomato sauce, and lightens up the traditional béchamel with a Greek yogurt–based version. It’s all sprinkled with salty Parmesan and baked until golden for a meal you’ll want to make again and again.


    Quick facts

    Serving size
    Prep & cook time
    Cooking Skill
    By Chef Taylor

    By Chef Taylor

    Nutritional info

    • Calories 1060
    • Protein 59g
    • Total Carb 101g
    • Total Fat 50g

    Given the cook-at-home nature of Plated and natural variation in ingredients, nutritional information is approximated. See details.

    Ingredients & Equipment

    What we send

    • mixed lettuces
      3 ounces
      mixed lettuces
    • grape tomatoes
      1/2 pint
      grape tomatoes
    • parsley
      1/8 ounce
    • lemon
    • yellow onion
      yellow onion
    • garlic
      2 cloves
    • ground beef
      12 ounces
      ground beef
    • 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
      15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • ziti pasta
      6 ounces
      ziti pasta
    • nonfat Greek yogurt
      1 container
      nonfat Greek yogurt
    • grated Parmesan cheese
      1/2 ounce
      grated Parmesan cheese
    • 8" aluminum tin
      8" aluminum tin
    • dried oregano
      1/2 teaspoon
      dried oregano
    • dried thyme
      1/4 teaspoon
      dried thyme
    • ground cinnamon
      1/4 teaspoon
      ground cinnamon

    What You’ll Need

    • olive oil
    • eggs
    • kosher salt
    • black pepper
    • 10" large pot
    • 10" medium pan
    • baking sheet

    Cooking Steps

    1. Prepare ingredients

      Prepare ingredients

      Preheat oven to 425°F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Rinse all produce. Pat mixed lettuces dry with paper towel. Halve grape tomatoes. Roughly chop parsley leaves, discarding stems. Halve lemon. Peel onion, halve, and cut into small dice. Mince garlic. Reshape aluminum tin if bent, then coat with ½ teaspoon olive oil and set aside.

    2. Make meat sauce

      Make meat sauce

      Pat beef dry with paper towel. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and cook until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add spice mix and garlic. Stir to combine, 1 minute. Add beef and season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, breaking up, until browned, 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and cook until thickened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in half of parsley.

    3. Cook ziti and make béchamel

      Cook ziti and make béchamel

      Season boiling water generously with salt, then add ziti. Cook until al dente, 7 minutes. Drain and return to pot, off heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt, half of Parmesan, 1 egg, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to make yogurt béchamel. Stir in remaining parsley.

    4. Assemble and bake pastitsio

      Assemble and bake pastitsio

      Transfer half of cooked ziti to tin. Layer over meat sauce, then remaining ziti, then yogurt béchamel. Finish with remaining Parmesan. Place tin on a baking sheet. Bake until béchamel and cheese are browning, 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, wash bowl from béchamel for the next step.

    5. Make dressing

      Make dressing

      In bowl from béchamel, combine juice of 1 lemon, 1½ tablespoons olive oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired. Set aside.

    6. Toss salad and plate pastitsio

      Toss salad and plate pastitsio

      Once cooked, allow pastitsio to cool slightly before serving, 5 minutes. Add mixed lettuces and grape tomatoes to bowl with dressing and toss to coat. Divide Greek pastitsio between serving plates and serve with salad. Enjoy!

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