Greek Lamb Musaka with Goat Cheese (Keto Friendly)

Layers of tender eggplant, and rich, spiced grass-fed lamb topped with a layer of béchamel sauce made with goat cheese. Our lamb musaka is a take on the classic Greek Moussaka recipe, and with a little planning, it can be made ahead and feed a household for multiple meals for days. Chef Alan’s recipe is a slight variation on the classic, incorporating goat cheese into the bechamel topping as an homage to lamb and goat.

A slice of lamb musaka on a plate next to a green salad mixed with pomegranate seeds.
Lamb and goat cheese moussaka.

What is Moussaka?

A classic dish from the middle east made famous in Greek Cuisine, moussaka is a bit like lasagna, and rest assured, If you like one, you’ll like the other. The methods for making both are similar, but instead of pasta, the moussaka uses thinly sliced eggplant, but potatoes, or even both can also be used for a different flavor.

Another difference is that moussaka has a richly spiced lamb and tomato sauce, ours includes a combination of black pepper, cinnamon, cayenne and allspice. The cayenne can be omitted if spicy food isn’t your thing, but the amount in the dish is very modest, and would be fine to serve to children and adults.

Keto Moussaka

As Moussaka is essentially cheese sauce, meat and eggplant, it’s a relatively good choice if your own a ketogenic diet. That said, there’s still some sugar in milk used to make the bechamel, so if you look  at the ingredients and wonder if you could make it without the milk, you can, and it can be good. Here’s what to do: skip making the white sauce and crumble over soft goat cheese instead. You’ll need at least 1 lb to cover the pan. Don’t substitute feta cheese as it’s too salty.

Get Cooking

How to Make Lamb Musaka Step by Step

It’s not difficult to make moussaka but, like lasagna, there are a few steps. The images below describe the process.

A plate of lamb musaka next to a green salad and a glass of red wine with a pan of musaka being served in the background with a spatula.

This recipe is by James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo. He’s a chef from Minnesota and author of The Forager Chef’s Book of Flora. Learn more about Chef Alan at 

Alan Bergo
Chef Alan Bergo

Looking to buy lamb or goat online? Shepherd Song Farm: Grass to table. We raise lambs & goats traditionally, humanely and sustainably. 100% Grass Fed, Pasture Raised, Never Confined, no Hormones, Grains or Animal Byproducts. Born, raised and processed in the U.S.A. Good for you and good for the environment.

More Mediterranean Lamb Recipes

Braised Greek Lamb Shanks

Lamb Scallopini with Wild Mushrooms

Fennel-Lamb Italian Sausage

Grass fed lamb or goat moussaka
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5 from 1 vote

Greek Lamb Musaka with Goat Cheese (Keto Friendly)

A fresh version of moussaka made with goat cheese bechamel from James Beard Award-winning Chef Alan Bergo.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Goat, Lamb, Moussaka
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 876kcal
Cost: 20


  • 13x9 baking dish, or similar
  • 1 2 quart sauce pot for the bechamel
  • 1 Stew pot for the meat sauce
  • 1 wooden spoon


Meat Sauce

  • 2 lbs ground lamb or goat
  • 1 large yellow onion diced small
  • 2 tablespoons garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lamb fat or cooking oil
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 28 oz can tomato puree


  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • 3 medium to large sized eggplants about 3 lbs total
  • Cooking olive oil enough to grease the eggplants lightly
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Goat Cheese Bechamel

  • 1 stick + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups soft chevre goat cheese
  • Zest of ½ a lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


Ground Meat Sauce

  • Sweat the garlic in the oil until lightly browned, then add the onion and sweat for 3-4 minutes. Add the ground lamb, salt, spices and cook for a few minutes more, then deglaze with the wine, reduce by half, add the tomato puree and simmer for 25 minutes on low heat. Allow the sauce to chill uncovered. The meat sauce can be made a day ahead of time.

Goat Cheese Bechamel Sauce

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan with high sides then add the flour and cook for a minute stirring occasionally. Whisk in the milk a little at a time, whisking well after each addition. When all the flour has been added, simmer the bechamel on low-medium heat for 10 minutes, whisking here and there to make sure it’s smooth.
  • When the bechamel is nice and thick, whisk in the cheese, then season to taste with the nutmeg, salt and lemon zest. Allow the mixture to cool for a bit, covered, then, when it isn’t hot enough to cook eggs (roughly 110 F) whisk in the egg yolks. Reserve the bechamel, but don’t chill it.


  • For the eggplant, cut the eggplants into ½ inch rounds. Oil the rounds then season with salt and pepper. Bake the rounds on cookie sheets or sheet trays at 375 F until lightly browned and cooked through, about 15 minutes. You may have to work in batches. Cool the eggplant slices.

Assembling the Dish

  • Take a baking dish, grease it, and line completely with a layer of eggplant, then spoon over the meat sauce. Top the ground meat sauce with another layer of remaining eggplant slices, then top with béchamel and bake at 375 for 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Turn the heat up during the last few minutes if you need to get the top quickly golden brown, but be careful not to burn it.
  • From here, the moussaka can be served and cut into squares after resting for 15 minutes, but it’s better to make ahead, as it firms up so you can cut perfect slices and, while also allowing the flavors to meld.


Ground lamb or ground goat will work well in this recipe and have a better flavor than ground beef. It also reheats well and will improve in flavor the day after it's made. 


Serving: 8oz | Calories: 876kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 272mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 243mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 356IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 340mg | Iron: 5mg