Pastitsio – Greek Pasta and Lamb Casserole #SundaySupper

Looking for a dish to bring to family for dinner or need something you can make ahead and throw in the oven? Then casseroles are your best friend. Pastitsio is a greek casserole made of ground lamb, beef and pasta.
Pastitsio - Greek Pasta and Beef Casserole, Low Calorie, Low Fat Healthy Dinner Recipe

We now interrupt our regular scheduled summer recipes for Pastitsio. I feel like I have suddenly taken a left turn with this recipe. Usually in the summer, I post lots of light dishes. So now you get Pastitsio. What the what? I have been holding on to this recipe for months and am just too excited to keep it to myself any longer. Plus we have been eating it like crazy. Even my little one is obsessed with Pastitsio. Hey, wait a minute. What is Pastitsio? It is a Greek casserole normally made with ground lamb, pasta and the queen of all sauces, Béchamel.  The real key to me is the warm spices, like cinnamon.  That is what makes this dish extraordinary.

Pastitsio - Greek Pasta and Beef Casserole, Low Calorie, Low Fat Healthy Dinner Recipe

When Sunday Suppers set a theme of Food that travels, I could have gone with a picnic theme, but I liked the idea of food you bring to a friend in need. Any time I have to bring dinner to someone who has had a baby or lost a loved one, I always think of a casserole. It is so hard to come up with something different. That is where Pastitsio comes in. It is extremely comforting with the pasta, meat and sauce, but the spices give it a little “Je ne sais quio”. That certain something special. That phrase is stuck in my head since watching an American Girl video with my daughter. It also happens to be one of the few phrases I remember from high school french, so sad. The spices are not overwhelming though. When you need comfort, you want something familiar. So the flavors are not so far out as to make  your taste buds think what the heck? Cinnamon is a soothing spice and incredibly good for you.

So don’t wait for cold weather to enjoy this delicious casserole. Whip up a batch now. It freezes extraordinarily well too. We cannot even begin to eat a whole baking dish of it. I cut it into dinner size portions and freeze. Then I can reheat and serve. I like to serve it with a big salad like Food Done Light’s Greek Isles Salad. You have yourself one tasty dinner.

Pastitsio - Greek Pasta and Beef Casserole, Low Calorie, Low Fat Healthy Dinner Recipe

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Yields 12

Pastitsio #SundaySupper

20 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 20 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil or grape seed oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 3/4 lb. ground chicken
  • 1/4 lb. ground lamb
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 (28oz.) can crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced fat milk
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 7 oz. 2% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 12 oz. small whole wheat pasta shells or elbows, cooked al dente

Instructions

  1. In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the oil and onions. Saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken and lamb. Break up and crumble with a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is no longer pink.
  3. Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the next 5 ingredients (garlic through cayenne). Cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes with puree, 1 tsp. kosher salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper.
  6. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer for 40-45 minutes, until liquid has evaporated.
  7. Stir in the cooked pasta. Set aside.
  8. Preheat oven to 350•. Spray a 11 x 15 x 2 inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  9. In a small saucepan, heat the milk over medium-low heat, until simmering.
  10. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes, whisking constantly.
  11. While whisking, pour the hot milk into the flour mixture. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk in the nutmeg, 1 tsp. kosher salt, and 1/4 tsp. fresh ground black pepper.
  12. Stir in 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Cool for 10 minutes.
  13. Stir in the yogurt and eggs. Set aside.
  14. Pour the pasta and lamb mixture into the baking dish.
  15. Spoon the bechamel on the top and even out. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup parmesan cheese on top.
  16. Bake for 1 hour, until golden brown and bubbly.
  17. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Notes

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

7.8.1.2
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https://fooddonelight.com/pastitsio-greek-pasta-and-lamb-casserole-sundaysupper/

Happy Healthy Eating,

Christie

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

 

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More Tips

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

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Comments

  1. I love Greek food and wondering where Patitsio has been all my life. This is a must try.
  2. I have never had Pastitsio before, but it sounds wonderful. So many great flavors going on in there!
  3. I don't make a lot of Greek food, but will have to try this soon. Especially love the hint of cinnamon.
  4. I have not had this in simply forever, this looks so good. I have to make this soon!! Wish you were traveling my way!!
  5. This is one of my favorite pasta dishes but I usually use ground beef. I kind of love the addition of the ground lamb!
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Traditionally it is made with lamb. By adding just a little, you get delicious flavor but not all the fat and calories.
  6. I have never had Pastitsio, but all the ingredients sound amazing! It's got to be good! Can't wait to try this!
  7. Casseroles are always a great idea to gift to friends and family. This is a nice change-up from regular old lasagna!
  8. Sounds like pure comfort to me! And I think the whole family would love it.
  9. This looks great! I am always on the lookout for new lamb recipes.
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Thanks Jackie. Lamb can be much high in calories but a little really flavored the entire dish.
  10. OMG…I would be obsessed too…just like your little one! The layers of flavors here look absolutely delicious! BRAVO!
  11. What a fantastic sounding dish! You had me at ground lamb and cinnamon... totally intrigued!
  12. It's like a Greek lasagna! I love it!
  13. that looks astoundingly good!
  14. This looks divine. Who cares that it is summer, I'd dig right in.
  15. This looks fantastic, love the flavors!
  16. Only ever had this once, and it was divine! Lucky guests of yours!
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Thanks Sarah. It is something that freezes really well too so I keep some in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner.
  17. Looks delicious and would be a wonderful entree to serve with my entry this week as an appetizer.
  18. I have never heard of this before, but it looks and sounds so good. I have been making more Greek dishes lately and have really enjoyed them. I will have to put this on my list.
  19. I've never had Pastitsio, but it looks delicious! I will have to put this on my to try list!
  20. This looks mmmmm good! Need to try this soon.....
  21. I was near the end of making this dish when I realized you did not mention where or when to add the 2 beaten eggs. And my bechamel sauce never thickened. Were the eggs supposed to go in the sauce or are they added to the pasta? I'm confused and a bit irritated. I have a 6 person family to feed and can't afford to waste milk and I don't know that I did the sauce right because I feel that you out left out an important direction.
    • Christie Daruwalla says
      Hi Alexis, Unfortunately you are correct. The recipe was wrong. The eggs did go into the sauce with the Greek yogurt. You have my sincere and utmost apology for this terrible error. I am so sorry my mistake caused your dinner not to be perfect.

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