greek pastitsio

Greek Pastitsio – a national dish

Here comes the promised Greek Pastitsio recipe

I was allowed to learn it firsthand and cook along at Vivi’s – the mother of a Greek friend. Even though we couldn’t speak that much to each other, we still understood each other. A little English, a little Italian, and a very tiny bit of Greek. (especially “hello – yassas”, “thank you – efcharisto” and “please – para calò”, unfortunately, my Greek was not good enough for more) – and a lot of “hands and feet“.

But when it comes to cooking, watching is usually enough.

Vivi does everything “by eye”, of course, but for me she weighed or measured with a spoon.

Greek-Pastitsio is a pasta casserole dish that is typical for the cuisine of the Ionian Islands

Its name probably comes from the Italian pasticcio (mess, jumble).

It’s like Italian lasagna, but it is made with tubular spaghetti rather than pasta sheets

Besides, the pastitsio has much more bechamel sauce on it.

And – it’s seasoned differently.

Typically, it has cinnamon and cloves in it

Vivi told me clearly, though, that for her, those two spices belong in sweets. Honestly, I was quite happy, I personally didn’t like the pastitsio and moussaka (another typical Greek casserole dish) I had eaten before.  Precisely because they were flavored with cinnamon.

Vivi’s pastitsio, on the other hand, tasted very good to me.

By the way, we prepared two large trays for 20 people. This was because her son had a woodturning meeting and that’s why woodturners came from all over Greece.

In Greece, of course, they cook with olive oil

There are olive trees as far as the eye can see.

With oil is also not spared. If the amount of oil in the recipe seems too much, you can of course use less.

The recipe is calculated for a large casserole dish and for 8-10 people.

Enjoy your meal!

Thank you Vivi for letting me learn from you!

Vivi – my cooking teacher

Have you ever made pastitsio?

Pastitsio in Blech

Greek Pastitsio

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine greek
Servings 10 people


Meat filling

  • 3 dl olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 kg ground beef
  • 2 tbsp tomato concentrate or double the amount of fresh tomatoes
  • Water enough to cover the meat
  • ½ tbsp pepper
  • Ev. clove powder to taste
  • Ev. cinnamon powder to taste

Béchamel sauce

  • 250 g butter
  • 10 tbsp flour (heaped)
  • 1 lt water/milk mixture
  • salt to taste
  • 2 eggs


  • 750 g tubular spaghetti no. 2


Meat filling

  • Heat olive oil
  • Sauté onions and garlic in it
  • Add meat and brown
  • Add tomato concentrate, water and spices and simmer for about 1 hour. The water must be almost evaporated.
    Fleischsauce für Pastitsio


  • Melt butter in large pan
  • Add flour little by little, whisking well until a thick paste is formed.
  • Then add milk/water mixture gradually, always stirring well so there are no lumps.
  • When the mixture is soft and creamy, add the 2 eggs and mix well again.
    Eier für Béchamel-Sauce


  • Cook “al dente” in enough salted water.


  • Put a layer of pasta in the baking dish (half of the pasta).
    Teigwaren für Pastitsio
  • Spread the meat sauce over it.
  • Spread the second half of pasta on top.
  • Spread the bechamel sauce on top
  • Bake in the oven at 250°C until golden brown
    Pastitsio in Blech
Keyword pastitsio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating