Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

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This recipe for traditional Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna) was given to me by a Greek family who has had this recipe in their family recipe collection for a very long time.

Watch the video showing you how to make Pastitsio, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can make it at home.

slice of pastitsio sitting on a white plate on a white napkin

Pastitsio is a favorite traditional Greek dinner recipe.  It’s a Greek version of lasagna- characterized by a white and creamy bechamel sauce used in place of marinara and a hint of cinnamon.  And I think you’ll find that this is one of the most delicious dinner recipes you’ve ever had!

overhead shot of making pastitsio in process looking at noodles and cheese in the casserole dish

How do you make Pastitsio?

It’s layered just like traditional Italian lasagna.  The layers are as follows:  noodles tossed in egg are topped with Greek cheese.

overhead shot of making pastitsio in process looking at the meat and cheese

A generous layer of meat sauce makes up the next layer.

overhead shot of making pastitsio in a casserole dish in process - noodles and cheese

Then, more noodles and cheese!

overhead shot of pastitsio in a casserole dish ready to go in the oven

On top is the final layer of the bechamel sauce and more cheese!

overhead shot of pastitsio in a casserole dish just out of the oven

It’s baked for 40 to 45 minutes, blending all of those layers together to create a fabulous meal.

overhead shot of pastitsio in a casserole dish using a spatula to take out a slice

The best tip I received about making Pastitsio is to make it early in the morning (or the night before), and then warm up individual slices when ready to eat.  You certainly don’t have to make it this way, just know that the pasta dish will be more “loose” and will not likely cut into neat squares as you see in the photos here.

overhead shot of pastitsio in a casserole dish with spatula taking a slice out

It will be tremendously delicious either way you decide to make it!

slice of pastitsio sitting on a white plate on a white napkin

I do love how the layers are clearly seen in the slices.  They’re a little mesmerizing.

My family LOVES, LOVES, LOVES this recipe.  The bechamel sauce is a welcome change over the usual marinara, the hint of cinnamon in the meat layer is an interesting addition, and the Greek cheese connecting all of the layers is delicious!  Authentic Greek recipes are the absolute best!

slice of pastitsio sitting on a white plate

If you enjoy Greek recipes, you might also like my Greek Spinach Pie or my Greek Butter Cookies.  You definitely have to try making Greek Tzatziki too!

Slice of Pastitsio on a white plate with a white napkin
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4.73 from 33 votes

Pastitsio (Greek Lasagna)

This is truly a unique dinner recipe that is very different than traditional lasagna!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Calories 707kcal
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Keyword greek, Lasagna, Pastitsio



  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart whole milk, warmed until hot
  • teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 pounds 90% lean ground beef
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 pound ziti pasta
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • teaspoons salt
  • 12 to 16 ounces Kasseri or Kefalotiri cheese, grated (see notes below)



  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the flour and then gradually whisk in the hot milk. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Stir in the salt, remove from heat and let cool. When the sauce is lukewarm, whisk in the eggs. Set aside.


  • Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet. Add the onions and saute until softened and golden. Crumble the beef into the skillet and cook with the onions until the beef is browned. Stir in the cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir in the water and tomato paste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.


  • Cook ziti according to directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cool water. When pasta has cooled down, stir in the beaten eggs and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt.


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a deep 9x13-inch casserole dish with nonstick spray. You really need a deep casserole dish for this recipe (deeper than the usual 9x13-inch pyrex).
  • Scoop half of the pasta into the bottom of your prepared dish. Sprinkle generously with cheese. Spoon on the meat mixture to create an even layer; sprinkle with another layer of cheese. Scoop the remaining pasta on top of the meat and sprinkle with more cheese! Top with the cream sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
  • Bake 45 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and golden on top. Let sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before serving (but it is suggested that you refrigerate to let the layers set... and then warm up later to serve).



  • *Whole Foods carries Kasseri cheese- or check a specialty cheese shop.  If you have trouble locating Greek cheeses, you can sub Parmesan.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 707kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 44g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 233mg | Sodium: 1417mg | Potassium: 664mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 980IU | Vitamin C: 2.3mg | Calcium: 558mg | Iron: 4mg
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  • Clare wrote:

    I made this tonight and it is amazing! Very authentic, I’ve made a few different recipes bc this is what I always order at Greek restaurants but they haven’t really come close to “real” pastitsio. I did add a little garlic to the onion and beef mix and I couldn’t find the right cheese so I used parmesan mixed with a little feta and it worked great. I haven’t gotten to eat out at any restaurants with the pandemic so this really hit the spot! Thanks

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Great to hear!

  • Clare wrote:

    I noticed the egg thing too so I wanted to.clarofy before I make this tonight. The ingredients list only says 3 eggs but in the written instructions it says to add the beaten eggs to rhe beschsmel sauce but then in the instructions for the pasta it also says stir in heaven eggs. Are there 6 eggs total? 3 in the sauce and 3 in the pasta or 1.5 in each? Its just a little unclear

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Hi Clare, If you print out the recipe– it calls for 3 eggs in the sauce and 3 eggs in the main part of the dish, so yes… 6 eggs.

  • Kathleen wrote:

    My daughter in law who lives in Greece and is full blooded Greek, uses feta cheese in hers instead of the Kassari Cheese.

  • Sunshine wrote:

    Overall a good recipe. I was a little shocked that there wasn’t any garlic, so I added some. I also found that the 3/4 cup of flour was too much for me so I backed it down some. I also added a little oregano which really punched up the flavor. Using whole milk was such a good recommendation!

  • Ness wrote:

    Just FYI, my Greek friend uses ground lamb in her recipe.

  • Anita wrote:

    This was definitely missing flavor. My husband was afraid to tell me how bland it was, so I had to sprinkle taco seasoning on it after it was all done. Not exactly the type of flavor I wanted it to be, but after it was baked, I had very little choice. It needed way more cinnamon than the recipe called for and god only knows what else, but it sure was boring. I’m not one to write negative reviews just to complain, but I have had genuine Greek Pastitsio before, and this was recipe was lacking.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t know what happened with your recipe, but it definitely shouldn’t have been bland! This is the first bad review I’ve seen on this one– so I’m not sure where things went wrong. Sorry you didn’t enjoy!

  • Abbey wrote:

    Is there a good substition anyone has found for the eggs? I have an egg allergy, I can handle a couple eggs, but 6 in the recipe makes me cautious. Thank you in advance 🙂

  • MarySC wrote:

    Everyone absolutely LOVED this; it is far superior to my old recipe. It made more than even my deep 9×13 could hold and I had to make a foil collar to get all the bechamel on (worked fine, and reduced to fit the pan after baking) and next time I will make 2/3 the recipe for my normal 9×13. I used block parmesan and added some white pepper to the bechamel and some garlic to the meat mixture. I made a day in advance and baked twice as suggested in reviews, which was nice because this does take some time and use a lot of dishes… but the result is well worth it!!

  • Nick S wrote:

    I’ve been making pastichio for over 30 years, and I can say that this recipe is better than the last one I’ve been using. Flavor is just right, and it’s very firm when I cut it.

  • Carla C wrote:

    Had to use Colby cheese because I couldnt find the Greek cheese.It was great!!!!!

  • Kim wrote:

    This was amazing!

  • Jacqui Costello wrote:

    An excellent recipe. Thank you.

  • Sara wrote:

    This recipe is perfect and one of my absolute favorite meals! Made it three times now 🙂

  • SCV wrote:

    I want to make this weekend May 16th or 17th 2020 and you said that you should refrigerate to let the layers set… and then warm up later to serve).long in the refrigerator and then should you bring it back to room temperature before you put it in the oven?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Just until set… and then yes, probably a good idea to let it sit at room temperature again before heating. I’d heat individual slices in the microwave it is were me!


    My family all loved this pasticho, some of them even had seconds, served with a salad also

  • GaryRoth wrote:

    Nice recipe, which we have used several times. The only change, is that we use ground lamb instead of ground beef (Aldi’s carries it). Really adds SO much! A really nice recipe!

  • Steve wrote:

    You have written 3 large eggs for the sauce and then 3 large eggs for the main dish, however in the method you only reference 3 eggs for the sauce. Is this a typing error or does the main dish require an additional 3 large eggs?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      There are 3 eggs in the sauce and 3 eggs in the pasta. It’s all laid out in the written instructions for the recipe. Good luck!