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 (214)

katerinay5's picture

Definitely definitely add garlic for the quintessential Greek flavour.
Two cloves chopped, will take it to the sky!

wombleuk's picture

I cooked this for friends on sunday for lunch - it went down very well indeed. A great dish that you can prepare early and leave it in the oven. I did have difficulty finding Orzo. None of the supermarkets near me stock it but I tracked it down in a speciality deli.

I will certainly cook it again but think I would add garlic. I do think garlic and lamb have a great affinity

pongobilly's picture

morrisons sell orzo and its quite cheap compared to the one you get in the box, asda used to sell it but cant find it there anymore, failing that i think waitrose always have it

smpdit's picture

Very Nice. Went down well. Added more vegetable in the form of carrot, celery and red pepper. and passata as well as tinned toms.

would do again

stellacsg's picture

I made this tonight and made a few changes - browned the lamb and onions, added 1.5L of stock and some tomato paste, added 2 carrots and 2 zucchinis, reduced the orzo / risoni to 300g. Served with the suggested salad and bread. The end result was delicious and had plenty of 'sauce' left. A very easy dish with very little work involved.

breakfast1's picture

Delicious! I did brown the lamb first though, as others suggested.'s picture

Needs a good seasoning so don't forget like I did! Delicious dish though & I absolutely loved the orzo which I was trying for the first time. Would definitely make again!

dashna21's picture

I love this recipe. I've made this dish several times but today I used paella rice as I didn't realise I didn't have any orzo. I always add some ginger and garlic to the mix, some corriander and cumin powder and Definately some red chilli powder. It's a must when I make this dish and its always delicious. But tasted yum with paella rice today. I always use lamb shoulder with bones & it never goes to waste. My 2yr loves eating the lamb. Great recipe but love adding my own touch.

lyncha1's picture

Yummy! Don't know I'd call it Greek though. The whole family loved it, including two fussy kids.

katerinay5's picture

Couldn't be more Greek.

CalMamaCook's picture

Made this for a party, only change was we cooked the last step on the hob as we didn't have enough space in the oven with other dishes. Result was delicious. Everyone really enjoyed it. We did use Orzo. Would make again, definitely.

carolinenelson's picture

I am confused - should the orzo be barley or a pasta? it looks like pasta in the photos. Does it make a difference to cooking time?

paulmellouie's picture

Orzo is also know as risoni in Australia, found it in Woolies 'macro' organic range in pasta the isle.

moggydrip's picture

Delicious! I made this as an alternative Sunday lunch. Served with crusty bread, the whole pot was finished off by 4 adults. Never had orzo before. I found it in Waitrose in the pasta section. It was gorgeous, really silky and worked perfectly with the lamb. Try this, you will not be disappointed!

lenamyers's picture

Yum yum!!! Just have polished off this dish and it is sooooo nice! Silky, fragrant, aromatic flavour, meat falling off the fork! 100% recommend!

lulubee's picture

Just delicious, and very easy!

sophiepayne's picture

Made this for Saturday night and ate with the Greek salad as suggested - absolutely delicious! We found orzo in Sainsburys (despite being told by two separate members of staff that they didn't stock it!). Just look out for the blue merchant gourmet packets. We will be making this again very soon!

pammatthews's picture

Very easy and tastes really good. Everyone liked it. Will do again.

cheeselover3's picture

I made this recipe when I had friends visit, it was absolutely gorgeous with such unusual flavour.

mautycka's picture

Lovely and easy, fantastic success!


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