Potato Musaka / Musaka od krompira
A beloved Balkan classic recipe for Potato Musaka / Musaka od krompira. Made with layers of potatoes, seasoned ground meat, a creamy topping, and baked until golden. Whether you’re familiar with this recipe or are trying it for the first time, this Potato Musaka uses basic ingredients and a few simple steps to create a comforting homemade dish. This recipe is how we have made Musaka in our household for years, and how I continue to make it myself. It is a practical way to use readily available ingredients, particularly potatoes, and create a delicious family meal. It’s the perfect dish for family gatherings, special occasions, or just a cozy dinner at home.
About this recipe
I have been wanting to share this staple recipe for a homemade Potato Musaka / Musaka od krompira for a while. Simple homemade Serbian recipes are always my go-t0, it is a way of cooking and eating that we have sustained throughout our life in New Zealand. Potato Musaka is one of those recipes that was a staple in my mum’s cooking. Sometimes it was a weekend, family gathering type of dish, but we also devoured Musaka during the weekdays, too. Nowadays, this recipe is a part of my cooking repertoire and it honestly makes me feel so connected to home. During the summer months I love to pair Musaka with Shopska Salad / Šopska Salata (a favourite salad for my brother and I). During colder days, I add a splash of tomato ketchup on the side. Yumm!
While we all know the famous Greek Mousaka, made with egg plants, in Serbia we have adapted this amazing dish into a potato and meat-based meal. This dish emerged from the influence of our neighbouring countries and as a practical way to make use of potatoes. The dish is made with a simple layer of potatoes, meat and more potatoes on top. Some households make Musaka with a few more layers, alternating between the potatoes and meat more often. However, I love to keep things simple by making the top and bottom layer of potatoes, with the meat filling in the middle. Musaka is then covered with a simple egg, milk and sour cream mixture which gives the dish that unique charm and amazing taste.
Not so traditional, but I always pre-boil the sliced potatoes for a maximum of 5 minutes. This helps to ensure that the bottom and top layers of the potatoes will bake evenly in the oven and not completely dry out or become overly crisp. Once boiled, drain the water and cool while prepping the meat.
In a large pan, heat oil and sauté the onions. Next, add the ground beef and cook until brown. Once browned, add the seasonings, mix and cook for a further 5-10 minutes.
To assemble, grease the bottom of a rectangle baking dish with some oil. Layer half of the potatoes in the pan. Top with meat and add a final layer of the remaining potatoes.
In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, sour cream, milk, salt & pepper. Pour the topping over the musaka. Bake for 45 minutes, up to 1 hour (depending on your oven). Alternatively, bake the musaka covered with foil for the first 20 minutes. Then, remove the foil, and continue baking un-covered until cooked through and golden brown.
Although this is not a very difficult recipe to make, below are some tips to make sure your Potato Musaka / Musaka od krompira turns out delicious.
Peel & slice potatoes: Slice the potatoes into even, thin rounds to ensure even cooking.
Pre-boil potatoes: Boiling for 5 minutes helps to make sure the potatoes bake evenly in the oven. Sometimes the bottom layer of the potatoes can take longer to bake, which can lead to over-baking and potatoes that are too dry.
Use Quality Meat: Try and use good quality ground beef from a butcher. Alternatively you can also go for a mix of beef and pork for a richer flavor. Make sure it’s lean and well-seasoned.
Preheat the Oven: Make sure your oven is fully preheated before baking the Musaka to ensure even cooking and browning.
Cover While Baking: Cover the Musaka with aluminum foil for the first part of the baking process to help the potatoes cook through without getting too brown. Remove the foil later for browning.
Check for Doneness: Test the Musaka’s doneness by inserting a fork or knife into the potatoes. They should be tender when pierced.
Rest Before Serving: Allow the Musaka to rest for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven. This helps the flavors meld and makes it easier to slice.
Garnish with Fresh Herbs: Finish your Serbian Potato Musaka with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness.
Reheating: Serbian Potato Musaka reheats well in the oven or microwave. Cover it with foil to prevent drying out during reheating.
Serving Suggestions: Serve your Musaka with a side salad, crusty bread, or a dollop of sour cream for a complete meal.
Looking for more?
If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:
I hope that you enjoy this simple recipe for Potato Musaka / Musaka od krompira. With its layers of tender potatoes, savory meat, and creamy topping, it’s a perfect option for a cozy family dinner or a special occasion. Be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! If you have questions, you can find me over on Instagram or tag me with your photo. You can also find me over on TikTok and Youtube.
|1kg peeled potatoes this is the weight of the potatoes after peeling|
|1L boiling water|
|2 yellow onions, chopped|
|600g ground beef|
|2tsp ground paprika|
|1tsp Vegeta (or all purpose seasoning)|
|salt & pepper to taste|
|For The Topping|
|200g sour cream|
|salt & pepper to taste|
|chopped parsley, for garnish|