Photo of Pastitsio by WW


Total Time
1 hr 50 min
30 min
1 hr 20 min
We lightened up this traditional Greek dish, which is usually made with pasta, a ground meat-tomato sauce, a béchamel sauce, and cheese, by using extra-lean ground beef instead of lamb. And for a rich cream sauce with minimal fat, we used evaporated skim milk. The meat sauce is also made with onions, canned tomato sauce, some red wine, and a dash of cinnamon. It can hang out on the stove for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the dish. The cream sauce, with butter, flour, the aforementioned evaporated milk, and egg and egg white, is a deliciously lightened version of a typical béchamel. Assemble the layers, pour the cream sauce over, top with cheese, and your impressive-looking, satisfying baked pasta dish is ready in just 35 minutes.


Cooking spray

1 spray(s)

Uncooked lean ground beef

1 pound(s)

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, chopped

Canned tomato sauce

8 oz

Red wine

2 fl oz, dry

Ground cinnamon

1½ tsp

Uncooked whole wheat pasta

8 oz, such as penne


1 large egg(s), lightly beaten

Fat free evaporated milk

¾ cup(s)

Salted butter

1 Tbsp, or margarine

All-purpose flour

2 Tbsp

Table salt

¼ tsp

Black pepper


Fat free evaporated milk

1½ cup(s)


1 large egg(s), lightly beaten

Egg white(s)

2 large, lightly beaten

Shredded parmesan cheese

½ cup(s), divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350º F. Coat a 9- X 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. To make meat sauce, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook beef and onion, stirring frequently, until meat is brown and onion is tender, about 10 minutes; drain off fat. Stir in tomato sauce, wine and cinnamon. Bring to boil and then reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Combine 1 beaten egg, 3/4 cup of evaporated milk and cooked pasta in a large bowl; toss to combine and set aside.
  4. To make cream sauce, melt butter or margarine in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir in flour, salt and pepper. Gradually add 1 1/2 cups of evaporated milk; cook, stirring, until thickened and slightly bubbly, about 5 to 8 minutes. Very gradually stir 1 beaten egg and egg whites into hot milk mixture (be careful not to ‘scramble’ eggs); set aside.
  5. Layer half of pasta mixture in prepared dish; spread with meat sauce and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of cheese. Top with remaining pasta mixture; pour cream sauce over top and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  6. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover; bake about 15 minutes more or until a knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing into 8 pieces.


See what other users think of this recipe, and give us your feedback, too. Go to the Pastitsio thread on our Recipe Review Board.