FoodThe ultimate guide to perfecting Greek pasticcio casserole

The ultimate guide to perfecting Greek pasticcio casserole

pasticio - a delicious casserole from Greece
pasticio - a delicious casserole from Greece
Images source: © Canva | from_my_point_of_view

26 June 2024 16:26

The Greek casserole recipe I’m about to describe is one of my favourite souvenirs from the land of Hellas. It’s better than a refrigerator magnet or a glass ball—and certainly much more useful!

Pasticio is a pasta, ground meat, and béchamel sauce casserole found in homes and restaurants across most Mediterranean countries. It’s similar to the famous moussaka but quicker and easier to prepare because the recipe doesn’t require eggplant and potatoes. Interestingly, the name ‘pasticio’ (also known as ‘pastitsio’) comes from the Latin “pascicium,” which was used metaphorically to refer to a mess. Well, in my opinion, something is enchanting in this chaos.

When I first tried pasticio, I knew yet another Greek dish had totally captivated me. There was no doubt I would want to make this casserole not once or twice a year, but much more often. As I predicted, that's what has happened. I found a recipe—very simple, intuitive, and affordable—and embarked on my culinary journey. The result? Simply delicious! I highly encourage you to try it.

Greek pasticio casserole


  • 800 grams ground meat (originally: beef),
  • 500 grams raw pasta (tube type),
  • 800 grams tomatoes,
  • olive oil,
  • 2 cloves garlic,
  • 2 small onions or 1 large,
  • spices: salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin, oregano, thyme.


  • 100 grams butter,
  • 100 grams flour,
  • 800 ml milk,
  • 2 eggs,
  • block of yellow cheese (about 300 grams),
  • 100 grams feta cheese,
  • spices: salt, pepper, nutmeg.
Simple, quick, and cheap. That's the Greek pastitsio casserole.
Simple, quick, and cheap. That's the Greek pastitsio casserole.© Canva | from_my_point_of_view


  1. Pour some olive oil into a frying pan. Sauté the finely chopped onion and crushed garlic. Add the ground meat, spices, and cook on low heat.
  2. In the meantime, peel the tomatoes (for example, this way) and chop them. Add to the meat and cook until they evaporate.
  3. Prepare the béchamel sauce: heat the butter in a deep pan, add the flour, and gradually add milk to the roux, stirring continuously. Finally, season it, add grated cheese, crumbled feta cheese, and beaten eggs.
  4. Grease a baking dish. First, lay out the cooked pasta (keep some aside), then pour half of the béchamel sauce. Now, it's time for the meat with tomatoes. Place the remaining pasta on top and pour the remaining béchamel over it.
  5. Bake uncovered at 180°C. The top should be distinctly browned; usually, half an hour is enough, but it’s better to closely watch your pasticio. Better not burn this culinary masterpiece!
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