Swap The Sauce With Canned Tomato Soup For A Simpler Moussaka

Moussaka is a Greek comfort dish beloved for its rich, hearty layers of tomato sauce-drenched eggplant, meat (or mushrooms and lentils in the vegetarian version), and various other vegetables, all topped with a creamy bechamel sauce. With so many different elements coming together, this dish requires a multi-step process that can be surprisingly time-consuming and arduous. Some shortcuts save some time while ensuring the dish still turns out magnificent. The next time you're craving moussaka, reach for canned tomato soup instead of whipping up the sauce from scratch. It may not seem like much, but this switch-up makes a world of difference.

Normally, moussaka includes a meat sauce made by simmering the meat with ripe tomatoes, aromatics, broth, red wine (or water), and a plethora of seasonings. This requires some boiling, chopping, and simmering, which can be tiring if you already have a lot on your hands. Canned tomato soup, on the other hand, is seasoned and cooked already. You can breeze through all those previous steps and jump straight to mixing the soup with the meat. This saves a ton of time and effort, which makes putting the dish together much faster and simpler.

Tailor the flavors to fit your liking

Substituting your homemade tomato sauce with canned tomato soup is a relatively straightforward process. You'll still need to saute the garlic and onion and stir the ground meat in the skillet. After that, all that's left to do is pop open the canned tomato soup and pour it in. Then, let everything simmer until the sauce thickens into a rich, luscious consistency. Make sure there is as little excess liquid as possible to keep your moussaka from becoming soggy.

It's important to note that canned tomato soup may not always provide the best flavor. If it's a little too flat or one-dimensional, simply dress it up with other condiments for a more satisfying, intense taste. They could be anything you typically use for the original recipe, from spices and dried herbs to a small dollop of tomato paste (this also works if you're trying to reduce the soup's watery texture). Warm spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, paprika, allspice, etc. are ideal choices, especially for giving the dish a cozy flair.