Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni and Meat)

1 Jan

Last year for New Year’s Day, I cooked a variety of Greek dishes for my family, and continued on with that tradition this year.  It’s the best time to make all this food, lots of hands here to help with the preparations.  I really love Pastitsio.  It’s almost like a lasagna or baked Italian pasta dish would be, just seasoned a little differently.  It’s a little time-consuming to get all the parts done, but worth it in the end.  This can be made up ahead of time and frozen just before baking, then thawed and baked when you are ready to have it.

Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni and Meat)

1 lb macaroni (supposed to be long macaroni noodles, but they are hard to find, so elbow macaroni or a noodle like penne or ziti works too)
3 eggs
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
Grated Kefalotiri, Parmesan, or Romano cheese
1 lb ground beef or lamb
1 medium onion
1 12 oz can tomato paste
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Cream sauce (krema):
2-1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper to taste

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Boil macaroni according to package; drain; return to pan.  Melt the 1/2 cup butter, beat in eggs, and stir in with macaroni.  Spray a 9″ X 13″ X 2″ pan. Add macaroni mixture to pan and press down with a piece of wax paper.  Sprinkle generously with the grated cheese.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, brown onion and ground beef or lamb; add tomato paste and seasonings.  Cook for 5 – 10 minutes.  Spread meat mixture over macaroni noodles in pan and spread evenly.

Meanwhile, make cream sauce. Melt 1/4 cup butter and pour in 1/4 cup flour; brown slowly. Beat 2 eggs with 2-1/2 cups milk, salt, and pepper, and pour into butter and flour mixture very slowly; mix well. Cook over low heat until it thickens. Pour over macaroni/meat mixture.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 – 50 minutes, or until golden brown.

Freezes best unbaked, thawed for 1/2 hour, then baked as above.

4 Responses to “Pastitsio (Baked Macaroni and Meat)”


  1. Weekly Meal Plan: 1/8/12 – 1/14/12 « My Gems of Parenting - January 9, 2012

    […] night with a friend, I think we’re having Pastitsio and […]


  2. Moussaka (Eggplant Casserole) « My Gems of Parenting - January 16, 2012

    […] it myself.  It’s been on my list of recipes to try for a while, and I knew it was close to Pastitsio, so it shouldn’t be too difficult.  When I got eggplant in my Italian themed veggie pack […]


  3. Moussaka and Pastitsio all in one! « My Gems of Parenting - February 23, 2012

    […] too creative at the moment.  This is a combination of 2 of my favorite Greek dishes, Moussaka and Pastitsio.  I got the Italian themed veggie pack from Bountiful Baskets this week, and it had an eggplant […]


  4. Baklava Two Ways | My Gems of Parenting - January 2, 2014

    […] my sister and I decided we wanted a Greek feast for dinner, and we spent 3 hours prepping tiropita, pastitsio, and dolmathes.  We had a roll of phyllo dough left, so we decided to make a dessert to take to my […]


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