Lasagna vs. Moussaka: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better?

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On the surface, lasagna and moussaka seem similar because they both have numerous layers and often feature meat. The similarity, however, suddenly stops there. So, how do lasagna and moussaka differ, and which is regarded as superior?

Lasagna is a pasta dish with Italian origins, while moussaka is a potato or eggplant-based meal with Greek and Levantine origins. Lasagna has tomato sauce, but moussaka is created with meat sauce that does not include tomato. Moussaka contains eggs, but lasagna does not. In addition, moussaka is often drier than lasagna.

Continue reading to learn how their variances affect their tastes and which one is deemed a superior lunch option.

Lasagna vs. Moussaka: Differences

Lasagna and moussaka originate in drastically different places of the globe, with various cooking techniques and ingredients. Now, let’s go further into these differences and discover what makes each meal unique.


Lasagna, like other pasta dishes, has its origins in Italian cuisine. In fact, evidence of lasagna may be found dating back to the Middle Ages. Despite the dish’s actual history is uncertain, historians think it originated in the city of Naples.

There are various ideas about the origins of moussaka. One must turn to the Middle East, notably the Levantine area. The progenitor of today’s moussaka, according to this notion, may be discovered in Levantine culture around the 15th century.

Another idea holds that moussaka originated in Greek civilization. This may seem strange given that we associate Greek food with Mediterranean spices and mild tastes.

The moussaka that we are all acquainted with now dates back to the nineteenth century.


The traditional lasagna meal is one of the most well-known types of pasta available all over the globe. It is a multilayered meal in which consecutive layers of sauce, pasta sheets or noodles, and cheese are added. Continue this step as many times as necessary to get the appropriate number of layers.

Moussaka, on the other hand, is served in a wider variety of ways. Some moussaka meals are stacked in the same way as lasagna is. Some foods, on the other hand, are more analogous to a pie. Even when they are stacked, the number of layers is smaller than that of a traditional lasagna.


There are a few characteristics that every good lasagna dish has in common. They’re pasta-based dishes. The pasta used in this meal is often known as lasagna noodles or lasagna sheets because of its flat and rectangular appearance. You next layer bechamel sauce, bolognese sauce, and cheese on each side of the pasta.

In most instances, the sauce contains meat. Ground beef or pig are the most regularly utilized meats.

This is where moussaka distinguishes itself from lasagna. Moussaka is made using potato or eggplant instead of pasta sheets. Moreover, to prepare moussaka, just sauté ground lamb or beef without adding tomato sauce. Bolognese sauce, on the other hand, is inextricably linked to tomatoes.

Moussaka is made with either lamb or beef meat.

After you’re through with the layers, top the lasagna with bechamel sauce and cheese. A true classic moussaka, on the other hand, does not include bechamel sauce and is instead topped with an egg, milk, and four combination. You may add cheese if you like, but it’s not required.

The table below summarizes the differences and similarities between lasagna and moussaka ingredients.

Ingredients Lasagna Moussaka
Pasta +
Potato +
Eggplant +
Tomato sauce +
Vegetables in sauce +
Eggs +
Milk + +
Cheese +
Flour + +
Meat + +


There is another significant difference. Classic lasagna is usually prepared with bolognese sauce, which incorporates tomato sauce.

Another sauce that is often seen in lasagna dishes is bchamel, which is a sort of white sauce. And, like every white sauce, it starts with a roux of butter and flour.

The meat for moussaka is cooked separately and then added to the dish just before baking. It does not include any onion, carrots, peppers, or other vegetables found in bolognese sauce.

The wetness in moussaka is provided by a combination of beaten eggs, milk, and flour, rather than bechamel, cheese, or tomato. Unlike bechamel sauce, moussaka topping sauce does not need pre-cooking. Just combine the ingredients and pour them over potatoes or eggplant.


When it comes to creating lasagna, repetition is crucial. First, apply a layer of sauce to prevent the dish from sticking to the pan. The sauce is then covered with a layer of spaghetti sheet. Next add bechamel sauce, bolognese sauce, and cheese to taste. Continue these procedures as needed or until the sauce runs out. Bake in the oven with cheese and bechamel sauce on top.

Moussaka cooking differs according to area. There are three strata in Greek food. A layer of eggplant on the bottom, a layer of ground beef or lamb in the center, and an egg mixture on top.

In Egypt, eggplants are cooked with tomato sauce. In countries such as Albania and Romania, eggplant is substituted with potatoes, and ground pork may be used instead of beef.


Serve the lasagna warm, but not hot, from the oven. If you attempt to chop it and remove it from the pan too soon, it will become overly watery.

It is not necessary to wait so long for the moussaka to set. It immediately sets after being removed from the oven. You may also serve it heated as a main course or cold as an appetizer.


Lasagna is a traditional Italian dish that has gained worldwide popularity. This is due to the multitudes of Italians who have settled around the world, bringing their culture and food with them.

While the dish’s origins are most likely in the Middle East, the Greek version has gained popularity in Western nations. Versions of the dish are popular across the Middle East, Egypt, and Turkey, as well as southern Europe.

Lasagna Vs. Moussaka: Which Is Better?

Lasagna and moussaka are quite different foods. Lasagna is a good option for those who like tomato sauce, pasta, or cheese.

Yet, if you prefer a vegetable-based meal over pasta, moussaka will not disappoint.

Nevertheless, since lasagna has more wet components, moussaka is often drier but lighter than lasagna.

What Came First: Lasagna or Moussaka?

Lasagna may be traced back to the 14th century Italy, when the first occurrence of a meal resembling traditional lasagna occurred.

In contrast, while the precise history of moussaka is unknown, it was not invented until the nineteenth century. In truth, the more popular variant of the meal first appeared in the early nineteenth century.

Hence, it is apparent that lasagna outlives moussaka in terms of age. The Italians had been eating lasagna for centuries before the Levantines or Greeks invented moussaka.

To summarize, moussaka and lasagna are two culturally important foods that will provide your taste senses with two distinct yet enjoyable sensations. Thus, the next time you want to try something new, try any of these recipes.


Why is lasagna the best?

Lasagna is hearty, relatively quick to construct and create, extremely customizable, and stores well, making it an appealing option for both restaurant chefs and home cooks.

Does moussaka taste good?

Moussaka is popular because it tastes like an unusual form of lasagna (without the pasta). It’s also very healthful since it contains so many green veggies. It takes around 2 to 3 hours to cook and may easily feed 6 people depending on the size of the pot or casserole.

Why is moussaka healthy?

Yet, moussaka, a dish made of potatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and minced beef in a rich tomato sauce, is a much better option than a highly processed, white bread sandwich.

Does moussaka taste better the next day?

Moussaka, for example, frequently tastes better the second time around. That’s why cooking a large batch of moussaka and freezing the leftovers makes perfect sense. If you make more moussaka than you can consume in one sitting, just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

What is the disadvantage of lasagna?

It cooks in an uneven manner. Most people prepare such a large lasagna that it cannot be cooked evenly. At at least three levels, the pile is so thick that even a standard oven cannot handle it. As a consequence, there is a sad, lukewarm mound of food.

Why do Italians love lasagna?

Lasagna had its debut in the 14th century in Naples, Italy, during the Middle Ages. This meal was originally designated for special occasions and holidays. Strangely, this pleasurable dish was introduced to Italians during the Black Plague.

Does moussaka taste like lasagna?

Moussaka is the Greek equivalent of Lasagna. This classic Greek dish, with a rich tomato meat sauce layered with eggplant instead of spaghetti sheets and covered with a thick coating of béchamel sauce, takes time to create – but it’s definitely worth the effort! This is genuine comfort food, and it’s low carb!

What is best served with moussaka?

12 Greek Sides to Serve with Moussaka
Bread with a crust and butter. Sometimes the simplest options are the best! Cucumber salad. Lemon roasted potatoes. Spanakorizo. Mixed leaf salad. Crispy fried courgette fritters. Greek tomato fritters. Wilted spinach with garlic.
Additional details…•November 1, 2021

How do Greeks eat moussaka?

Maghmour, also known as Levant Moussaka, is a vegetable stew cooked with eggplant and chickpeas or meat. It does not include potatoes, and the bechamel sauce is similar to that found in Greek moussaka. Warm rice, crusty bread, or soft pita bread are served with the stew.

Does moussaka have a lot of calories?

A portion of traditional moussaka has 820 calories, 58g fat (24g of which is saturated fat), and 1.06g salt.

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