A Spicy Perspective

Greek Lasagna (Pastitsio)

Greek Pastitsio – You’ll love this Greek-style lasagna recipe! It features layers of tender pasta, zesty meat sauce, shredded cheese, and creamy bechamel, all baked together for a deliciously comforting dish.

Greek pastitsio recipe with meat sauce and bechamel

Classic Greek Pastitsio Recipe

A popular dish at Greek restaurants, Pastitsio is a rich and hearty lasagna-style recipe with a Mediterranean twist. It’s made with a layer of tender bucatini pasta on the bottom, zesty Greek meat sauce in the middle, and a creamy bechamel cheese sauce baked to perfection on top!

Our classic Greek Pastitsio recipe is great to serve at Sunday dinner with the family. Not only will you all enjoy a deliciously comforting meal together, but Pastitsio also makes a marvelous leftover!

This Greek lasagna can even be prepared ahead to save yourself a bit of time on the day you plan to eat it. Either make it the day before, or you can freeze (before or after baking!) and have it ready to enjoy for up to 2 months.

golden bechamel sauce on Greek lasagna

What is Bucatini?

Bucatini is a long spaghetti-like pasta. However, it has a hole running through the middle, like a thin straw. This allows the sauce to get inside the pasta to add flavor in every bite.

You can find bucatini with a fine hole or sometimes with a larger hole through each strand. Choose whichever version you prefer!

No bucatini? No problem. Penne pasta is similar in that the noodles have holes through the center, so the same saucy noodle goodness is achieved throughout the Pastitsio.

bucatini noodles, meat sauce, creamy baked beschamel Greek lasagna recipe

Ingredients You Need for This Pastitsio Recipe

For the Pasta Layer:

  • Bucatini pastaor penne pasta
  • Egg whites with yolks reserved
  • Feta cheesecrumbled
  • Shredded Italian blend cheesedivided

To make the Meat Sauce:

  • Butterunsalted
  • Onionpeeled and chopped
  • Garlicminced
  • Ground beefwe suggest a lean beef, such as 90-95%
  • Spices ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, salt and pepper
  • Tomato saucecanned

For the Bechamel:

  • Butterunsalted
  • All-purpose flour
  • Milkwhole milk is best
  • Egg yolksreserved from the making the pasta layer
  • Seasoningssalt and ground nutmeg
bucatini pasta, eggs

How to Make Authentic Greek Lasagna (Pastitsio)

First, soak the bucatini pasta. Set out a 9X13 inch (3 quart) baking dish. I suggest that you use a deep-dish pan if you have one. Place the bucatini in the dish and cover it with very hot tap water. Add a teaspoon of salt and mix the pasta around so it doesn’t stick together. Then let it soak for 30-40 minutes while the sauces are cooking.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and chop all produce.

soaking the noodles for pastitsio

Next, make the meat sauce. Set a large 6-quart pot over medium heat on the stove. Add the butter, onions, and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes. Then add in the ground beef, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt. Break the beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon as you let it brown. Once the ground beef is cooked through and no longer pink, add in the tomato sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.

Make the bechamel as you prepare the meat sauce. Set a separate pot over medium heat, and add the butter and flour. Whisk well as the butter melts to remove all clumps. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes as you whisk constantly – do not let it brown. Once it thickens, whisk in the milk, salt, and nutmeg. Stir and let the bechamel thicken into a gravy-like consistency. Immediately turn off the heat. Whisking vigorously, add in the egg yolks. Be sure to whisk well so they fully incorporate. Lastly, stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese blend. Stir until the cheese has melted and the bechamel is smooth and creamy.

creamy homemade bechamel sauce for pastitsio

Drain and prep the pasta. Carefully drain the salt water off the pasta. It’s ok if a little water is left in the dish. Then toss the soaked pasta with the egg whites and feta cheese. Spread the pasta out in an even layer, and sprinkle the top of the pasta with 2 cups of shredded cheese.

Layer the Greek lasagna. Next, spread all of the meat sauce over the cheese layer in the baking dish.

Get the Complete (Printable) Greek Pastitsio Recipe + VIDEO Below. Enjoy!

zesty tomato meat sauce

Then gently spread the bechamel over the meat sauce.

pouring bechamel over the Greek lasagna meat sauce

Finally, sprinkle the last 1 cup of shredded cheese over the bechamel.

Bake the Pastitsio. If you are using a standard 9X13 inch dish, set it on a rimmed baking sheet. There’s no need for the baking sheet if you have a deep-dish pan. Bake uncovered, on the lowest rack, for 30-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown… If it starts to turn dark too quickly, cover loosely the top with a piece of foil.

golden baked Greek lasagna

Rest and serve. Let the Pastitsio sit untouched for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

square of homemade pastitsio

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make gluten-free Greek lasagne?

Simply use your favorite GF bucatini penne pasta, and swap all-purpose flour for gluten-free alternative flour.

What dishes go well with Greek Pastitsio?

We love to enjoy this warm, comforting dish with a refreshing Horiatiki (Greek Village Salad) or simple green salad topped with a bright and zesty Greek Salad Dressing. For an extra filling meal, you can also serve Greek lasagna with a side of Greek Lemon-Garlic Potatoes!

How long will leftovers keep well?

This lasagna will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Allow leftovers to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating.

How do I freeze Pastitsio?

You can easily freeze Greek lasagna before or after baking! To freeze before baking I recommend preparing the dish in a freezer-safe pan that you can then heat in the oven when ready to serve. If freezing leftovers, allow them to cool and transfer to a freezer-safe container that seals. Freeze Pastitsio for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before heating per the recipe instructions.

homemade pastitsio recipe

Looking for More Deliciously Comforting Dinner Recipes?

Greek Lasagna (Pastitsio)

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Greek Pastitsio – This Greek-style lasagna recipe features layers of tender pasta, zesty meat sauce, shredded cheese and creamy bechamel.
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For the Pasta –

  • 12 ounces bucatini pasta or penne
  • 2 large egg whites save the yolks
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 cups shredded Italian blend cheese divided

For the Meat Sauce –

For the Bechamel –

Instructions

  • Soak the Pasta: Set out a 9X13 inch (3 quart) baking dish. (Use a deep-dish pan if you have one.) Place the bucatini in the dish and cover with very hot tap water. Add a teaspoon of salt and mix the pasta around so it doesn’t stick together. Then let it soak for 30-40 minutes while the sauces are cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Chop all produce.
  • Make the Meat Sauce: Set a large 6 quart pot over medium heat. Add the butter, onions and garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, then add in the ground beef, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon salt. Break the beef into small pieces with a wooden spoon as you let it brown. Once the ground beef is cooked through, add in the tomato sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste, then add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Make the Bechamel: Set a separate pot over medium heat. Add the butter and flour. Whisk well as the butter melts to remove all clumps. Cook the roux for 1-2 minutes, do not let it brown. Once it thickens, whisk in the milk, salt, and nutmeg. Stir and let the bechamel thicken into a gravy-like consistency. Then turn off the heat. Whisking vigorously, add in the egg yolks. Whisk well so they fully incorporate. Finally stir in 1 cup of shredded cheese blend. Stir until the cheese has melted and the bechamel is smooth.
  • Drain and Prep the Pasta: Carefully drain the salt water off the pasta. It’s ok if a little water is left in the dish. Then toss the soaked pasta with the egg whites and feta cheese. Spread them pasta out in an even layer. Then sprinkle the top of the pasta with 2 cups of shredded cheese.
  • Layer All: Next spread the meat sauce over the cheese layer in the baking dish. Then gently spread the bechamel over the meat sauce. Finally sprinkle the last 1 cup of shredded cheese over the bechamel.
  • Bake: If you are using a standard 9X13 inch dish, set it on a rimmed baking sheet. (No need for the baking sheet if you have a deep-dish pan.) Bake uncovered, on the low rack, for 30-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown. If it starts to turn dark too quickly, cover loosely with a piece of foil.
  • Rest: Let the Pastitsio rest for at least 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Video

Notes

This lasagna will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. Allow leftovers to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and refrigerating.
You can easily freeze Greek lasagna before or after baking! To freeze before baking I recommend preparing the dish in a freezer-safe pan that you can then heat in the oven when ready to serve. If freezing leftovers, allow them to cool and transfer to a freezer-safe container that seals. Freeze Pastitsio for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight before heating per the recipe instructions.

Nutrition

Serving: 1pc, Calories: 586kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 37g, Fat: 33g, Saturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 165mg, Sodium: 1138mg, Potassium: 750mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 1214IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 468mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: dinner, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Author: Sommer Collier

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5 comments on “Greek Lasagna (Pastitsio)”

  1. Pingback: Greek Pastitsio (Greek-Style Lasagna) | OREKTIKO

  2. wonderful, what a creative lasagna! Love this Greek version, feta is a great choice, thank you!

  3. Can’t wait to try this, I know it’s going to be a hit!

  4. Thanks for including the freezing instructions. My sister is having a baby in a couple of weeks and this is on the menu for her family!

  5. This has got to be one of the tastiest lasagna recipes that I have found, that is also very very easy! Love it!