Mass Production Cooking/Moussaka for 25


I plan on making a moussaka for 25.  The casserole will contain one layer of eggplant, followed by a layer of filling and then the bechamel.  I'm unsure of how much eggplant to purchase.  Are there any guidelines to account for waste, shrinkage (I plan on baking the eggplant without breading, just a little brush of oil, salt and pepper), etc.?  Is there a suggested portion size for this type of casserole?  Thanks.

Hi Connie!
This sounds like a recipe question, and I'm sure you can find plenty of recipes for Moussaka for 25 people online.

I can't really answer how many eggplant to purchase because I don't know how large your casserole pan is or how thick/thin you'll slice the eggplant.

I can give you some general tips about cooking eggplant.  To make a really great eggplant dish, whether lasagna or moussaka, you can take the bitterness out of eggplant slices by soaking them in salted water for at least 2 hours.  This will draw bitterness out and keep the slices from discoloring in the air.  After soaking, they should be patted dry between two towels.

Many people leave the skin on the fruit, but I usually peel the eggplant first.  The skin is tough, doesn't cook the same as the flesh, and can add a purple color to the final dish.

Eggplant is 96% water, so any casserole baked with it will be soupy.  It's highly recommended that you quickly saute or grill the slices first to evaporate any extra moisture.

Also, in a casserole like this, I prefer the eggplant to be sliced thinly and there be many layers of bechamel and fruit.  5 layers is better than 2 layers, and if you slice the eggplant too thickly, you'll have a tougher final dish.

While most portioning is done by weight, casseroles are usually portioned by inches.  So, if you have a standard size full hotel pan which measures 20" x 12", I'd cut the final casserole into 12 or 18 portions by cutting 4 rows of 3 or 6 rows of 3.  You'll probably need two full size casseroles to feed 25 people.

If this were the case, I'd take a guess that you'd need about 5 full sized eggplant, about 4 pounds worth.  They'd be skinned, sliced and soaked in salted water as above.  After being squeezed of excess moisture, they'd be sauteed or grilled.  You'll need about 2 quarts of bechamel and 3 quarts of filling.

Remember, you have an AWESOME responsibility to assure the safety of the food you are preparing for others.  Be aware of personal hygiene, hand-washing, and correct cooking temperatures (165F), and correct hot-holding temperatures (above 140F), as well as the personal hygiene of the people serving the food.

Good luck with your dinner!

Chef Todd Mohr, CCE

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Chef Todd Mohr. CCE


I'd be glad to answer your questions about how basic cooking methods apply equally to cooking for two in your home, or 1000 for an event. Please don't ask me how much to order from the caterer or deli. That's up to them to consult you on. If you are doing the actual cooking, I can help. My expertise is in cooking for more than 100 people. Your questions concerning cooking methods, amount to purchase, portioning, strategies for food service, and food safety for large production are welcomed. There are plenty of recipe websites on the internet. Please don't ask me for recipes. I don't believe in written instructions for cooking anyway. The more information you give while asking your question, the better response I can give. "How do I feed 100 people at my daughter's wedding?" is too broad of a question. "If I plan to offer chicken and beef for 100 people, how much chicken should I purchase?" is a better question. Visit my website at LIKE ChefToddMohr on Facebook Subscribe to ChefToddMohr on YouTube


I'm certified by the American Culinary Federation as a Certified Culinary Educator. I'm currently a Chef Instructor at three different culinary schools in Baltimore, Maryland. Previously an Executive Chef at a large hospital, feeding 3000 people three times daily over 8 different menus. Also a Chef at The National Security Agency in Washington, DC, part of a team feeding 15,000 people twice daily. Then, General Manager/Executive Chef of various Business Dining Cafeterias, feeding thousands daily. My catering company has hosted many large events, feeding up to 1000 people.

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Bachelor of Arts, Long Island University Associate of Arts, Baltimore International Culinary College

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