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5 from 7 votes

Pastitsio (Baked Greek Pasta)

Pastitsio is a Greek lasagna style dish with layers of bucatini, bolognese and bechamel. Make this pastitsio recipe for a comforting meal!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time1 hour 35 minutes
Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean
Servings: 10
Author: Kevin


Meat Sauce

Greek Bechamel Sauce


Meat Sauce

  • Place a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the olive oil, onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and the ground beef. Break up the meat with a spoon and brown for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the red wine, cook until evaporated. Add the tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon stick, clove, bay leaf and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer covered for about 30 minutes until liquid is mostly gone. Sauce should be thick. Discard the bay leaf, clove and cinnamon stick. Let cool to room temperature.

Greek Bechamel Sauce

  • In a large saucepan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the flour, whisking continuously to form a paste. Slowly add the warm milk, whisking to prevent lumps. Whisk until the sauce is smooth and thick, cooking for 5 minutes. The bechamel should be thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. You'll know it's ready when you can run your finger through it to create a solid strip.
  • Remove from heat and add a pinch salt, black pepper, nutmeg and 2 ounces of the Kefalotyri cheese. Whisk until smooth. Let cool 5 minutes and whisk in egg yolks. Cover and set aside.


  • Cook the pasta 2-3 minutes less than the package instructions, so it doesn't get mushy after baking. Drain, then return to the pot. Allow to cool for 3 minutes and stir in the egg whites and feta cheese and mix gently with a spatula.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.


  • Use olive oil or butter to coat the bottom and sides of a deep pan. Use either a 2.75" deep 9x13" baking dish or a larger 10x15" baking pan. Layer the pasta on bottom (spreading to even layer with spatula), top with the meat sauce (again spreading to even layer with spatula) then top with the bechamel sauce (again spreading to even layer with spatula). Sprinkle remaining 2 ounces of shredded Kefalotyri cheese over the top.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, until crust turns a light golden brown. Allow pastitsio to cool down before slicing and serving.



  1. You can substitute the thinner Italian bucatini for the pastitsio pasta or even use penne or ziti. Just be sure the pasta is smooth, without any ridges.
  2. You can substitute Mizithra (a Greek whey cheese or mixed milk-whey cheese from sheep or goats) or a Parmigiano-Reggiano for the Greek Kefalotyri cheese.


Calories: 730kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 43g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 1040mg | Potassium: 623mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 699IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 353mg | Iron: 4mg