Dehydrated Backpacking Meals: Moussaka Casserole

Evoke your taste buds with this colourful and flavor-rich Moussaka recipe!

Moussaka is layered eggplant and meat casserole, a popular dish served throughout Balkans, Greece, Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean. Usually it’s made with an eggplant, tomatoes and ground lamb or beef. However, each country has its own local variations of the recipe. For example, in Greek version red wine is added to the meat mixture, and casserole is topped with bechamel sauce and cheese. Turkish moussaka is not layered and prepared with basic ingredients such as an eggplant, green peppers, tomatoes, onions and minced meat.

 In this recipe, I decided to grill all vegetables first to reduce fat content and add even more flavor to the finished dish.

Moussaka Casserole 

* Serves 3 * One-Pot* 100gr/3.53oz * 399kCal*

You’ll need:
Parchment paper
1 medium eggplant
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 tomato
2 tbsp olive oil ( 1 tbsp for drizzling and 2 tbsp for frying)
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500g lean beef mince
1 cup canned tomatoes (crushed)
1 tsp dried or 1 handful fresh chopped parsley

moussaka casserole ingredients

At home:

1. Heat the oven to 400°F/200C.  Line a baking dish with parchment paper. Roughly chop eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. Pour vegetables into prepared baking dish, season with salt and drizzle evenly with olive oil. Roast vegetables  for about 20-30 minutes until tender.

moussaka step 1

2. Meanwhile, heat the oilive oil in a shallow pan. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring until onions are soft and translucent.

3. Add the ground beef and cook until fully brown. Transfer in a colander. Drain. Return the meat to the saucepan. Pour the diced tomatoes together with juice into a saucepan. Turn heat to low.

4. Add roasted vegetables and parsley, stir well. Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar. Put a lid on and leave to cook for another 5 minutes.

5. Remove from the heat and cool thoroughly. Spread moussaka on dehydrator trays covered with non-stick sheets or parchment paper. Dehydrate at 63C/145F for 8-10 hours until brittle.

moussaka on the tray

6. Divide moussaka in portions and pack in separate zip lock bags.

moussaka dried

On the trail:
(to rehydrate 1 portion=1 cup dried moussaka):

Pour dry moussaka  mixture into the pot; add 1 cup  water and stir well.
Place pot over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand another 5-10 minutes to rehydrate meal completely.


  1. Kathy on May 6, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    Great recipe! I cut the veggies small and just rehydrated by adding a cup of boiling water to the bag (did not heat on a stove). Worked great. Tried adding dehydrated mashed potato, which was okay.

  2. Keith on August 11, 2020 at 7:15 pm


    This recipe sounds great but I’m vegan. Have you ever tried dehydrating Impossible or Beyond Meat?



    • Tanya Krezevska on August 12, 2020 at 9:06 am

      Hi Keith! Sure, you can use Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) instead.

  3. Julian on December 19, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    May I suggest a modification.
    Don’t use any added oil during meat cooking, add some water instead to begin cooking the onions and garlic, cover them, so that water does not evaporate too fast and cook on low heat, water will come out of onions too, When they get soft, add the beef. Wait until water evaporates while beef is cooking, mix it in small pieces.

    Instead add the olive oil (more?) during the re-hydration and consume, What do you think?

    BTW, other types of oil are also possible during re-hydration. If you are not Muslim, a pork belly fat is OK too, because moussaka can be prepared also with pork. Even butter can be used like this.

  4. Hannah on July 28, 2019 at 2:18 am

    I’m planning on making this for an upcoming trip. The picture of the canned tomatoes doesn’t look diced, it looks like a sauce or puree. We made the Chana Masala recipe which calls for the same ingredient and it came out looking nothing like the picture. It turned into really small pieces, as opposed to an almost “bark” layer. Could you clarify?

    • Tanya Krezevska on July 28, 2019 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Hannah! Both types of canned tomatoes (diced or crushed) are suitable for this recipe. If you prefer the thicker consistency of final dish, use the crushed ones.

  5. Ilana on August 28, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Wow, this looks great! My partner and I are planning to make some for our upcoming backpacking trip. Because of the fat in the casserole, how long will this keep unrefrigerated? Also, we are planning to replace the beef with the tofu. Would you suggest we add oil to the tofu (to mimic the fat in the beef) before cooking or that we should just add oil after we cook it on the trail? Thanks

    • Tanya Krezevska on August 29, 2016 at 5:52 pm

      Hi Ilana! You can keep dehydrated meals in zip-lock bags for several weeks or can vacuum-seal and freeze them for longer shelf life. If you want to replace beef with tofu, I’d recommend you to rehydrate vegetables first and then add fried tofu.

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