Easy moussaka side dish ideas, from Greek salad to crusty bread, and roasted briam to grilled eggplant. Discover what to serve with moussaka today.
Moussaka is a hearty, layered Greek dish that is the stunning centerpiece to any dinner. With rich roasted eggplant, savory ground meat, and a soft béchamel crust, all the effort that goes into making moussaka is worth it once you take that first bite.
Choosing the right side dishes allows homemade moussaka to really shine and can provide much-needed balance to your table to counteract the richness of the dish, but which dishes should you serve? These serving ideas can help you plan for your next Greek-themed dinner.
Greek salad is another iconic staple of Greek cuisine that is widely beloved for its freshness and savory flavors. The bright vegetables can cut through the richness of the moussaka, which can feel a bit heavy without the right accompaniment.
Traditionally, Greek salad starts with a base of chopped-up tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions. Feta cheese, olives, and sometimes capers add a salty, flavorful kick to this dish. For the dressing, add salt and oregano to olive oil and serve.
Try This Recipe: Simple Greek salad made with just seven ingredients. Made with the core ingredients of cherry tomatoes, kalamata olives, and crumbled feta cheese, this simple recipe is finished with a Greek salad dressing for a beautiful taste of the Mediterranean. This is fresh, full of flavor, and the perfect accompaniment to a big helping of moussaka.
Eggplant is a very popular vegetable in the Mediterranean, and grilling is one of the best ways to enhance the flavor of this vegetable. Traditional moussaka recipes already contain eggplant, but grilled eggplant on the side will only enhance the flavors of the saucy, baked eggplant in the casserole.
You need very few ingredients to make grilled eggplant—just eggplant, salt, and olive oil. Cut the eggplant into thick slices and drizzle with olive oil and seasonings. Grill it on an outdoor or stovetop grill for three to four minutes on each side.
Try This Recipe: Chili garlic grilled eggplant drizzled with coconut sauce for a quick and healthy side that takes just moments to make. While not the most obvious choice, the coconut gives the eggplant a delicately sweet flavor that’s out of this world.
Lemon Roasted Potatoes
Lemon roasted potatoes are a very popular side dish in Greek cuisine (they’re so popular that they feature in the popular rom-com My Big Fat Greek Wedding). The acidic, light flavor of the potatoes goes well with the richness of moussaka.
To make lemon roasted potatoes, you will need potatoes and lemon juice as well as olive oil, seasonings, and broth. Cut the potatoes into wedges and drizzle with the olive oil, lemon juice, and seasonings. Put them in a casserole dish and pour the broth over the potatoes. As the potatoes roast, the broth gives these potatoes their soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Try This Recipe: Roasted potatoes with delicious layers of flavor courtesy of lemon juice and fresh parsley. Coated with garlic, olive oil, and oregano, these herb-infused potatoes are cooked until golden brown and soft, for a delicious and hearty side dish.
Crusty Bread and Butter
The simplest side dishes are often the best. Crusty bread and butter are very easy to prepare but go well with moussaka for the ultimate comfort food meal. Plus, you can use the bread to mop up any leftover sauce.
All you need for this side dish is some crusty bread, such as a French baguette, and butter. You can toast the bread to make it extra crispy.
Try This Recipe: Almost every culture has its own spin on bread, but this Greek horiatiko psomi is up there with the best. Its chewy and dense texture can absorb moisture and juices easily (perfect if you don’t mind getting messy with moussaka’s meaty filling).
Potatoes go well with moussaka as their neutral flavor helps balance out the richness of the dish. If you want to add an American twist to your meal, serve moussaka with potato salad instead of Greek-style potato wedges. The light acidity of the salad also helps to balance out the meatiness of the casserole.
Most potato salad recipes start with chopped up boiled potatoes. Then, add chopped up herbs and mayonnaise and mix together. For a Greek twist, replace the mayonnaise with Greek yoghurt or add some Greek herbs such as dill.
Try This Recipe: This easy potato salad uses Yukon potatoes thanks to their ability to hold their shape after they cook. This means a beautiful side that doesn’t go soggy as you combine the other ingredients.
Briam (Roasted Vegetables)
Roasted vegetables are a simple yet delicious way to prepare vegetables. They are a popular side dish throughout the Mediterranean, including Greece. Roasted vegetables are a healthy side dish to serve with moussaka (which is quite fatty) and refresh the diner after a heavy meal.
You can roast any vegetables that you’d like, including squash, eggplant, and peppers. For the easiest preparation, chop your vegetables up into small cubes and roast on a baking tray. Season with salt and pepper along with oregano for some Mediterranean flavors.
Try This Recipe: Greek briam is a Mediterranean spin on roasted vegetables that keeps everything a tray-baked veggie side should and does away with the excess. This briam recipe boasts potato, zucchini, red onion, and chopped tomatoes. All arranged on a plate, coated with tomato sauce (or passata) before oven-roasted until tender, this flavorful side is the best way to enjoy a simple vegetable side.
Zucchini chips are an innovative way to get your daily serving of vegetables in. The crispy texture and salty flavor pairs well with moussaka. Plus, if you’re already thinly slicing eggplant and potatoes for the moussaka, you can use the same tools to slice the zucchini.
To make your own zucchini chips, thinly slice zucchini, season with salt, and bake until crispy. Some brands even make vegetable chips, including zucchini chips, if you don’t want to make your own. You can find them in specialty grocery stores and health food stores.
Try This Recipe: These zucchini chips are made with thinly sliced zucchini (or aubergine, if you will) that’s coated in olive oil and roasted for ten minutes. The thinner the slice, the better, so use a mandolin for the best results.
Fresh Tomato and Feta
Tomato and feta cheese are one of the most classic combinations in Greek cuisine. The rich acidity of the tomato and the saltiness of feta cheese pair well, and the combination of the two can also help balance out the richness of moussaka.
Making this dish is easy and only requires a few ingredients. Just chop up some fresh tomatoes and toss with crumbled up feta cheese for a simple but healthy salad. If you want to get fancy, you can add some red onion, balsamic vinegar, or the other Greek standard—olive oil.
Try This Recipe: This tomato and feta salad shows that often the most simple recipes are the best sides. Simply toss together tomatoes, onion, cucumber, and basil, before drizzling in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Perfect for when you’ve left everything to the last minute.
Fried Feta with Honey
Feta cheese is a beloved staple of Greek cuisine and its versatility makes it a star in sweet and savory dishes. If you want something sweet to serve after moussaka that won’t be as heavy as cake or cookies, try fried feta with honey.
To make fried feta with honey, make a coating by dredging small cubes of feta in egg and sesame seeds. Then, fry the feta in olive oil. Drizzle with your favorite honey and this salty and sweet dish is ready to serve.
Try This Recipe: This feta and peppered honey recipe pan fries an entire block of feta cheese to achieve a crunchy coating that is impossible to put down. Drizzled with a honey-spiced dressing, this has sweet and salt in equal measure.
Greek Tomato Fritters
Greek tomato fritters, or tomatokeftedes, are a specialty from the island of Santorini. You can serve this dish along with other meze to begin your meal or on its own. The acidity and saltiness of this dish pairs well with the moussaka.
To make tomato fritters, start by chopping up fresh tomatoes and draining them. To make the batter for the fritters, combine the tomatoes with grated red onion, crumbled feta cheese, and herbs. Add flour and baking powder as a binding agent. Shape the mixture into small balls and fry in olive oil until crispy and rich in color.
Try This Recipe: Greek tomato fritters (or tomatokeftedes) combine chopped cherry tomatoes with red onion and feta cheese to create the fritter mixture, before shallow frying for a beautiful coated finish.