Greek Pastitsio Recipe

Pastitsio is one of the most iconic dishes in Greek cuisine. It is a creamy and cheesy casserole that is a favorite of all ages. This traditional dish is made with layers of pasta and seasoned ground beef, smothered in a bechamel sauce, and finally topped with more cheese and butter.


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups uncooked macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (such as mozzarella, feta, or gruyere)


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with butter or cooking spray.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef until browned. Add in the onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, cinnamon, sugar, pepper, and salt. Cook until the mixture is thick, about 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  4. To make the bechamel sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add in 1 cup of shredded cheese. Stir until melted.
  5. Spread half of the macaroni on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Top with the beef mixture, then the remaining macaroni. Spread the bechamel sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  6. Cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
  7. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving and enjoy!