Greek Pasta Bake with Ground Beef (Pastitsio)

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Pastitsio is a classic pasta bake with macaroni noodles & ground beef. Pastitsio is next to moussaka, souvlaki skewers and gyros probably one of the most famous dishes of Greek cuisine.

The pasta bake consists of a layer of macaroni, a spicy meat sauce and a béchamel layer sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. Have fun cooking!

Cooked/Baked today: Greek Pasta Bake with Ground Beef (Pastitsio)
Difficulty: Medium
Preparation Time: 1 hour & 30 minutes
Category: Casserole Dishes, Meat Dishes, Greek Cuisine, Hearty Meals, Pasta Bake, Pasta & Noodle Dishes
Our Recipe rating:

Greek Pasta Bake with Ground Beef (Pastitsio)

Greek Pasta Bake with Ground Beef (Pastitsio)

Ingredients for 6 – 8 servings:

…for the pasta & ground meat layer:

  • 750 grams ground beef
  • 400 grams macaroni noodles
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 – 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 – 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt & pepper

…for the béchamel layer:

  • 500 milliliters milk
  • 250 milliliter vegetable stock
  • 150 grams grated Parmesan cheese
  • 100 grams butter
  • 100 grams flour
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper

Required kitchen gadgets, helper & preparations:

  • Large pot for macaroni
  • Pasta strainer
  • Large pan for the ground beef mixture
  • Small pot or saucepan for the béchamel sauce
  • Whisk
  • Grater for the Parmesan cheese
  • Suitable baking dish



Preheat the oven to 200°C (top/bottom heat). Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni for 6 – 7 minutes or according to package instructions until al dente.



Then drain pasta over a pasta strainer, put it back to the pot adding a good dash of olive oil & set aside until further use. Pluck rosemary & thyme leaves against the growth direction from the stems & chop finely.

…for meat sauce:

Peel off 1 large onion & chop finely. Peel off 2 – 3 garlic cloves & also chop finely. Heat up a large pan with a dash of oil and sweat onions and garlic over medium heat for 1 – 2 minutes until glassy. Next increase the heat a bit, add the ground meat & fry for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preparing Meat Sauce

Preparing Meat Sauce

Finally, season with half of the rosemary-thyme mixture, 1 teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of salt & pepper. Then add 1 can of chopped tomatoes, mix well, remove the pan from heat and set aside until further use.

…for béchamel layer:

Heat up a saucepan adding 100 grams butter & as soon as the butter is completely melted & starts foaming add 100 grams of flour. Mix flour and butter well with a whisk and sauté for about 1 minute over medium heat with a constant stir.

Cooking Béchamel Sauce

Cooking Béchamel Sauce

Next, pour in 500 milliliters milk, stir in lump-free & heat up while stirring constantly. As soon as the sauce thickens, add 250 milliliters of vegetable stock and season with ½ teaspoon nutmeg & a pinch of salt & pepper.

Stir everything together well and then bring the sauce to a simmer. Allow the sauce to simmer for 2 – 3 minutes stirring constantly, then remove from heat and finally stir in 2 eggs and 75 grams of grated Parmesan.

…for pasta bake:

Season macaroni with the other half of the rosemary-thyme mixture and a good pinch of salt & pepper, also add 2 eggs, stir everything together until well combined, and then spread evenly into a large & suitable baking dish.

Layering Pasta Bake

Layering Pasta Bake

Next, stir about a quarter of the béchamel sauce under the meat mixture and then pour the meat sauce evenly on top of the macaroni layer.

Finally, pour the béchamel sauce over the meat layer, sprinkle everything with another 75 grams of grated Parmesan cheese and bake for about 30 – 45 minutes until golden brown.

Take the done pasta bake out of the oven, allow to cool a bit in the dish and then cut into pieces and serve. Have fun cooking!

Video Tutorial:

Watch the video tutorial to see the recipe and the preparation method precisely (German Audio only, English Subtitles available):


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