Classic Pastitsio Recipe

Pastitsio is a classic and traditional Greek dish, full of richly flavoured meat, pasta and béchamel sauce.

Here is our delicious family recipe for Greece’s ultimate comfort food!


The Meat Sauce

– 1/2 kilo of beef mince

– 1 x white onion, chopped

– 2 x cloves of garlic

– 2 x tablespoons chopped parsley

– 5 x freshly grated tomatoes

– 1 x tablespoon tomato paste

– 1/3 cup of olive oil

– salt and pepper to paste

The Pasta

– 6oo grams pasta

– 2 x eggs

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

– salt

The Béchamel Sauce

-1.2 litres of full cream milk

– 1 cup of all purpose flour

– 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese

– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter

– 3 x eggs

– salt and pepper to taste


– Heat olive oil in a large pan and sauté the diced onion over medium heat. Add the beef mince to pan and break it up thoroughly. Keep stirring constantly over a medium/high heat for 5 minutes or until meat is browned.

– Once the meat is ready, add the garlic, grated tomatoes and tomato paste to the pan along with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Bring to a boil and make sure to immerse them in the sauce, then reduce the heat to medium/low. Simmer for about 30 minutes or so. Stir the sauce occasionally. When ready, the meat will have absorbed the liquid.

– Bring a large pot of water with a tablespoon of salt to a boil, add the pasta to water and boil until soft but not fully cooked (about 3/4 of the suggested cooking time on the package).

– While the pasta is cooking, make the béchamel sauce. Start by melting the butter in a deep saucepan filled with the milk over a medium heat, then, using a whisk slowly incorporate the dissolved flour (dissolve with a dash of milk) by adding it to the melted butter in stages while stirring continually to avoid the formation of lumps. Continue to constantly stir the butter and flour to ensure a smooth consistency. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the grated Parmesan cheese and eggs while continuing to rapidly stir the mixture. Set aside when smooth.

– Drain the water completely from the pasta pot and return pot with pasta to the heat, add olive oil to the pasta and mix well. Remove the pot from the heat, let stand for a few minutes to cool and then add the egg to the pasta, along with the ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese and mix well, then set aside.

– Rub a little olive into the sides and bottom of your baking dish, and then add about two-thirds of the pasta to the dish to form a bottom layer. Make sure to spread the pasta evenly in order to completely cover the bottom of the dish, make sure not to leave any empty spaces.

– Spread the meat sauce over the pasta layer, ensuring to distribute it evenly and right to the edges of the dish.

– Add the remaining pasta over the top of the meat layer.

– Pour the béchamel sauce over final pasta layer, make sure to cover the entire surface area of the dish.

– Place the dish uncovered in a pre-heated oven (180°C) and bake for approximately 50 minutes, or until the béchamel sauce is golden brown.

– Allow it to cool before cutting and serving.

*Recipe & Images by IN+SIGHTS GREECE © (Copyright) 

Top 10 Traditional Dishes You Must Try in Greece

Greek gastronomy focuses on authentic ingredients of high quality, and there is no denying the passion Greeks have for their cuisine. With so much tempting Greek food to choose from, we’ve rounded up the Top 10 traditional dishes we recommend you try when visiting! 


Healthy and bursting with fresh and vibrant flavours and colours, Gemista are stuffed tomatoes- and other vegetables- including capsicums, eggplant, and zucchinis, that are baked, until soft and nicely browned. The vegetarian version is filled with rice, chopped vegetables, and baked in a tomato-based sauce and the meat version is rice with minced beef or pork. 


Often referred to as the Greek version of lasagne, this dish consists of three layers: pasta; meat sauce; and a topping of creamy smooth béchamel. Pastitsio is the ultimate Greek comfort food and the trick is the pasta being mixed with egg white and cheese to bind it together before being topped with the rich meat sauce. 


Similar to Pastitsio as there is both mince and béchamel, Moussaka is one of Greece’s most popular and well-known dishes. Packed with layers and layers of eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and mincemeat, it is topped with a creamy béchamel sauce. Many taverns will use lamb however some recipes include beef mince. 


Greek Fava is different from fava bean dip- it’s not even made from fava beans- it’s made using yellow split peas. This delicious traditional vegan dish originated from the island of Santorini. Creamy and super tasty, the split peas are cooked with garlic and onion, then blended into a smooth and creamy puree that is served with a drizzle of olive oil, diced onion, and cappers.


These fried and crispy Greek zucchini fritters are a perfect pairing of zucchinis, Feta, and an array of fresh herbs, including parsley, dill, and mint. Over the summer, this is a very popular vegetarian dish that’s served with a dollop of refreshing yoghurt. 

Gigantes Plaki

Greek cuisine has several bean dishes as sides and mains. One of them is Gigantes Plaki. Gigantes are a type of large white bean, ‘Plaki’ refers to the method of cooking, which means baking in the oven with a homemade sauce consisting of tomato, onion, garlic, and parsley. Packed with plenty of fresh flavours as well as protein and fibre, it’s a healthy and delicious vegan dish.


This is one of Greece’s most popular pies! The savory pastry is made of perfectly crispy layers of homemade phyllo dough and a comforting filling of spinach and Feta. This classic pie makes a perfect light lunch or dinner and has such a fabulous combination of flavours. You will find it in every Greek bakery you come across.

Prawn Saganaki

A simple dish of fresh prawns that are cooked in a beautiful tomato sauce, Feta, and a dash of Ouzo! You will find it on the menu at most Psarotavernas (fish taverns) and it’s likely to be served with chunks of freshly made bread so you can dip it into that irresistible sauce!


Stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most well-known Greek recipes. They are traditionally stuffed with rice as a vegetarian option or more commonly served ground meat, rice, and herbs. Some places include an egg and lemon sauce (avgolemono), while others prefer to pair them with a dollop of Greek yogurt. They can be eaten as a side dish, meze, or as a main. 

Psari Plaki 

This delicious recipe features fresh fish baked in the oven with vegetables, olive oil, and fresh tomatoes, as well as onions, garlic, leeks, and celery- to round out the flavours.