Inspired living

Pastitsio Recipe

Try Georgia Harding's healthy take on Pastitsio Recipe

Credit: Georgia Harding

This is my healthy take on a Greek classic pastitsio. Instead of a rich cheesy sauce, it’s topped with a much lighter blend of yoghurt, tahini and parmesan. It can also be made with beef mince if you prefer, but I personally prefer to use lamb.

Serves: 6



  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 600g lamb mince
  • 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 60mL red wine
  • 700g passata
  • 125mL chicken-bone broth or stock
  • 1 zucchini, diced into 1cm pieces
  • 2 carrots, diced into 1cm pieces
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 250g rice & quinoa penne pasta
  • 1 cup chopped baby spinach
    1 clove garlic
  • 2 cups full-fat natural or Greek yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp tahini
    1 tsp sea salt
    Black pepper
    1 egg
    ¼ cup grated parmesan
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
    Handful parsley leaves, finely chopped, to serve
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat and add onion. Sauté for couple of mins.
  2. Add garlic and lamb mince, and sauté to brown mince. Add cinnamon, mixed spice, bay leaf and oregano and cook for 1 min until fragrant.
  3. Turn heat up high and add red wine — it should sizzle and reduce quickly.
  4. Reduce heat and add tomato passata, broth, zucchini, carrots and seasoning. Cover and simmer with lid ajar for 15–20 mins.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
  6. While sauce is simmering, boil penne. Once almost cooked, drain and rinse and mix with sauce and baby spinach. Place into ovenproof serving dish.
  7. In food processor, grate cheese and set aside.
  8. Blend garlic, yoghurt, tahini, sea salt, pepper and egg. Pour over sauce/pasta mix, and top with grated parmesan and pine nuts.
  9. Bake for 10–15 mins or until cheese is melted and top browned. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with green, leafy salad.


Georgia Harding

Georgia Harding is a naturopath with almost 20 years experience, a mother and a passionate health educator. After many years consulting in a busy practice, lecturing in natural medicine and sharing her knowledge on talkback radio, Georgia decided to reach out and share her passion for holistic health by developing her blog, Well Nourished.
On her website, she shares fad-free health advice and intolerance/allergy-friendly recipes to inspire people to live happy, healthy lives and create delicious food memories.

Georgia’s ebook Rise and Shine: A Well Nourished Breakfast will inspire and guide you to prepare the most important meal of the day in just minutes. Her latest ebook The Well Nourished Lunch Box contains over 50 nut-free, allergy-friendly wholefood sweet and savoury snacks, lunches and meals to inspire you to pack a nourishing lunch box that your kids will love to eat and you will love to make.