Pastitsio is a delicious Greek baked dish of pasta, minced meat and Bechamel sauce.


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  Serves:  8       Print   


  • 500 g (1 lb) macaroni
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g (2 oz) kefalotiri cheese, finely grated
For the meat sauce
  • 500 g (1 lb) minced beef or lamb
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) water
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  • Pepper
For the Bechamel sauce
  • 750 ml (24 fl oz) milk
  • 100 g (3½ oz) kefalotiri cheese, finely grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 60 g (2 oz) butter
  • 60 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
Prepare the meat sauce and pasta
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook gently for 4-5 minutes to soften them.
  2. Add the minced meat and cook until all the pinkness has gone.
  3. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf, season with salt and pepper and add the water.
  4. Turn the heat down, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water until al dente.
  6. Drain the pasta and add the olive oil. Mix well.
  7. Pour half the macaroni into a lasagne dish and spead into a layer. Sprinkle on the cheese. Add the meat sauce, then finish off with a layer of the remaining macaroni.
Prepare the Bechamel Sauce
  1. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat. Add the flour, mix well and cook gently with stirring for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the milk a little at a time and beat. Make sure the milk has been incorporated before adding more milk.
  3. Once all the milk has been added bring to the boil.
  4. Once it comes to the boil turn off the heat and beat in the eggs. Beat in the nutmeg and most of the cheese - keep a little back for sprinkling on the top of the pastitsio.
  5. Pour the sauce onto the pastitsio and spread evenly. Sprinkle on the remaining cheese and bake at 190°C/380°F for 25-30 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Titli's Tips
There are many slight variations on this dish. You can, for example

- Use a different pasta. Spaghetti, rigatoni or penne work well too.

- Vary the layering. Put all the pasta on the bottom followed by the meat sauce then the Bechamel.

- Use different cheese.

For Kefalotiri you could use Manchego, Pecorino Romano, or if you are desperate use Parmesan!

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Calories 807 40%
Calories from Fat 435
Total Fat 48.4g 74%
Saturated Fat 15.6g 78%
Unsaturated Fat 25.8g
Amount Per Serving       % Daily Value
Total Carbohydrate 62.8g 20%
Dietary Fibre 3.0g 12%
Sugars 6.0g
Protein 30.9g 61%
Cholesterol 189.3mgs 63%
Percent Daily Values based on a 2,000 calorie diet.