Greek lamb with orzo

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 35 mins

More effort

Serves 6
Entertaining doesn't have to equal stress, this spruced up one-pot is perfect for people with little time for preparation

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal696
  • fat36g
  • saturates16g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre4g
  • protein40g
  • salt0.68g
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  • 1kg shoulder of lamb
  • 2 onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 1 tbsp chopped oregano, or 1 tsp dried



    Closely related to marjoram, of which it is the wild equivalent, oregano has a coarser, more…

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1.2l hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 400g orzo (see know-how below)
  • freshly grated Parmesan, to serve



    Parmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


  1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Cut the lamb into 4cm chunks, then spread over the base of a large, wide casserole dish. Add the onions, oregano, cinnamon sticks, ground cinnamon and olive oil, then stir well. Bake, uncovered, for 45 mins, stirring halfway.

  2. Pour over the chopped tomatoes and stock, cover tightly, then return to the oven for 1½ hrs, until the lamb is very tender.

  3. Remove the cinnamon sticks, then stir in the orzo. Cover again, then cook for a further 20 mins, stirring halfway through. The orzo should be cooked and the sauce thickened. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and serve with crusty bread.

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Comments (215)

deedeeandme's picture

Just made this for my Belgian friend's birthday lunch (always a bit nervous and doubtful when I cook for her as she used to be the Chef in her own Belgian Cuisine Restaurant and she's GOOOOOD!). What a success and she was so impressed with the flavours.of cinnamon being added to lamb in a Greek dish!! Cooked this in my slow cooker the day before so the dish had time to develop the flavours overnight and it was beautiful and tender. No problem with finding Orzo as some people have mentioned previously. Here in Portugal it's called "Pevide (Risone)" and my Portuguese in-laws use this alot in their traditional Chicken soup (Canga). Look forward to making this again when Hubby comes home soon. Thanks GF for a successful lunch!!

saschlet's picture

To save time I use chopped lamb steaks. I don't bother with the cinnamon stick as I usually forget to take it out (bad idea!), using chicken stock gives a better flavour and I add in frozen peas for the final 5 minutes. I also use 400g orzo but 1l of stock rather than 1.2l.

CalWotty's picture

This dish was really tasty and quite easy to make. As a very amateur cook i was impressed with he results. Would definitely make it again and maybe add some more veg.

kindabola's picture

The dish was nice but not amazing, which I thought it would be after reading the reviews. I added garlic with the onions and carrots at stock point. However found this dish blend.

studentcook146's picture

This was delicious. I have never had orzo before but I agree with most people below, the dish would not be the same without it. For 3 people I used 550g of lamb and added a chopped carrot when I added the chopped tomatoes. I also served it with boiled carrots and broccoli and 2 of the baguettes which you part cook at home.

bubli's picture

Made this today and it was finger lickin' good, everyone liked it. Was a bit afraid that it'll be very runny, as after 1.5 hour in the oven there was still quite a lot of liquid left, but orzo soaked it in nicely and the resulting texture was just right.
And it is really no-stress cooking, one just chucks the casserole into the oven and can slack off for almost 2 hours. Plus, there's very little dishes to wash.

r15972's picture

I made this last night and it was rather nice. I think next time I will add a small amount of tomato purée to enhance the tomato flavour. According to my OH this recipe would also work well with hilopites

fivestillsmiling's picture

This is amazing and made a great lunch for friends and they ALL wanted the recipe. I made it the day before and added the orzo the next day as i reheated it in the oven, so it was a really easy dish on the day!

heybear's picture

This is hands down one of my favourite Good Food recipes. It's absolutely delicious and is easy to make. And best of all, it can be prepared ahead of time - so it's ideal for dinner parties. I will continue to cook this again and again.

spicelover's picture

Made this for the second time this weekend and once again it was easy to do and tasted fantastic. The great thing with this is that you can do most of the cooking in the morning, reheat it when your guests arrive and then chuck in the Orzo and Bob's your uncle - lots of time for socialising and drinking. We served with a lovely greek salad and crusty bread as suggested.

emmarann123's picture

We've made this three or four times now and it's always lovely - almost foolproof. Very good for when friends come round as you can just bung it in the oven and have time to chat without being flustered in the kitchen. One tip is don't be tempted to put more orzo in than stated as it swells and soaks up all the liquid so you could end up with a dry (but still delicious!) more solid meal!

hannahmary's picture

Made this last night for some friends and it was a winner! I cooked it on a very low heat on the hob, and left it for 4 hours - I think the longer the better, and the meat was gorgeous and melting. I browned the meat first, and added some garlic. I also added cumin as I think this adds a lovely flavour to slow cooked meat dishes. I don't think this would serve 6 though - more like 4

CharlotteJ1993's picture

Don't fear if you don't like cinnamon too much it adds depth to the dish and makes it taste very wholesome yet homely. Absolutely love lamb and orzo its a great combo which we have had more than once. We used feta and mint to garnish to boost the greekness! Delicious

fairystoryteller's picture

Yum. Fried off the onions and browned the lamb first and didn't have cinnamon sticks so missed them out. Otherwise stuck to the recipe. My Greek friend said that orzo would be a traditional accompaniment for a greek slow cooked casserole like this but failing that (and as the orzo was in the stew already) some rice with tomatoes and cinnamon added would be authentic. So that's the way I served it with a crispy side salad. Made it for friends and got lots of lovely compliments.

cb1234's picture

Made this today was really nice, sort of had the texture of paella, the meat was soooo soft and flavour was very good, didn't add the cinnamon powder and happy I didn't as I think that would have spoiled it, also added carrots at the stock stage and they were really needed.
Definitely make again

raven's picture

This is absolutely delicious given the relatively simple ingredients. I didn't have orzo so left that out (halved the stock) and served it with sweet potato mash. Used garlic olive oil, browned everything together, added a pinch of sugar and plenty of salt and pepper and left in oven for two and a half hours. All the family loved it, a make again. I do think it only serves 4 - 5 people though not 6 - a bigger piece of shoulder would be needed for six. Put it this way - three of us ate the lot!

natnee's picture

Very nice, and so easy to make as well. The lamb was very tender and melt in the mouth. It was a little bit too 'cinnamony' so think next time will omit the ground and just keep the stick so just to get a hint of cinnamon. Would also be nice with some peppers in it, so might try that next time. I served mine with carrots and broccoli.

clareweston56's picture

Delicious, very tasty! The only changes I made was adding 2 cloves of garlic and seasoning, apart from that I followed the recipe. If you want a Greek dish it doesn't need any other spices adding. It went down a treat. Orzo was delicious (managed to get it in Tesco). Will definitely make again.

rosannereid's picture

Made this tonight for a family meal, added garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, plenty of seasoning and only 200g of Orzo, although next time will probably use only 100g. Served with salad and bread and it went down a treat. Will be making again.

robhotspur's picture

your the one ive listen to because im a 41 yr old bloke that does things as in on tin,why add stuff this is made by people by their trade ha ha,anyway halfway threw so far so good wish me luck ,kind regards rob,ill bore you with my results later


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