Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(144 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 2 hrs, 35 mins

Moderately easy

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

    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 (207)

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!

aaylett's picture

This was gorgeous - even though I forgot all about the parmesan until the morning after! I bought the orzo in Asda. The shoulder had the bone in but my lovely husband cut all the meat off for me. Will see if I can buy this meat ready prepared in future because I am definitely cooking this agin.

beccamoore123's picture

Can anyone tell me please - Is the lamb boneless shoulder? Or bone in chopped up?

marrwyck's picture

I have cooked this dish twice. 1st time I found it a bit dry & the 2nd time I tweaked the recipe & it was delicious.

I only used a 1LB of Lamb as I cook for the 2 of us.

I mixed the lamb with a couple of teaspoons of Mrs. Balls Original South African Chutney then left it for a couple of hours before proceeding with the recipe.

At stage 2 of the recipe I added a jar of Al'fez Apricot and Coriander Authentic Moroccan Tagine Sauce & I only used 1 pint of Bouillon Vegetable stock.

For us this dish turned out to be delicious the 2nd time around & I will be cooking this dish again.

rachelchamberlain14's picture

Best dish in the world!!! Easiest and tastiest meal ever how i love greek yvetsi! i couldnt find my greek recipe so tried this but put some red wine in and a little water in with the lamb and onions etc when cooking it for the suggested time of 45 mins as this is what i do with all my meat and it didnt disappoint the meat was sooo tender...def make this meal and save loads for the next day it tastes even better

emmaturnbull's picture

Made this with leftover barbequed lamb (still pink inside), and cooked the dish on the hob. Cooked the onions etc first, added the lamb with the tomatoes and stock and reduced the cooking time. Loved how the orzo turned a liquid sauce into something substantial, and it tasted fine, but neither husband or I would hurry to have this again. Judging from other reviews we're in a minority - perhaps the longer cooking time and raw lamb are the way forward for this dish. It does work with cooked lamb, but definitely not a 5 star dish.

mikedacook's picture

Great dish - cooked it loads
Orza hard to find (I thought it was a spelling mistake but Ouzo just doesn't do the trick!).
You can sometimes find it in Tescos but alternative small pasta shapes will do - Semi Di Melone from my local Deli (Matta's) works fine. I also add mushrooms and bacon.
I intend making it with Aubergines as a veggie alternative but not got beyond the meat counter so far.

santac's picture

Love it! Easy & so tasty - loads left to freeze to. Really liked it with the salad too


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