Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(145 ratings)

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

    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)

houseofaskew's picture

my sister used risotto rice instead of orzo pasta as recommended in one of the reviews-BIG mistake! It completely ruined the dish and turned into a dried - up disaster

jenienoyce's picture

Absolute fave dish ever! Have made it a number of times, always for 'dinner parties' and it goes down such a treat! There really isn't a simpler supper to serve. I usually do steps 1 and 2 the day before I need it, refrigerate over night and then simply bring back to a boil and complete step 3. I do find the Orzo tends to need about double the cooking time though. I get mine from Waitrose. We serve with crusty ciabatta and a simple feta salad, the feta really compliments the sweet taste of the cinnamon. Wonderful!!

natvy1983's picture

Lovely! Lamb was very tender....yum!!

littleanga's picture

My aunty in greece makes this and I would say this tastes better! love it. Didn’t use the cinnamon tho and used leg of lamb instead of shoulder. Any shop that sells world foods should have orzo, ask if not sure as the pack i bought didn’t actually say orzo on it as it was all in Greek.

pendrichphilippa's picture

This was a great hit in our house. I fried the meat to seal and also fried the onions lightly before putting in the oven. I think this added to the dish. Will certainly make this again. I got my orzo at Waitrose.

911mum's picture

I have made and recommended this recipe a lot since finding it. I usually stick to using lamb however today I'm going to try beef as one of the other reviewers suggested.

Hopefully it will be as good as ever

tamylucy's picture

Just making this recipe. Sounds really nice. I will let you know how it tastes. Found barley in Tesco

amja100460's picture

Before I cooked this I read the reviews and couldn't believe it would be as easy as it sounded or taste as good as everyone said. However, it was even easier and even tastier than I hoped. And Orzo is a brilliant new discovery - I can see myself adding it to multiple recipes and obviating the need to cook separate rice/spuds/pasta.

mrsladyml's picture

Really nice family dish, but would use a little less cinnamon next time. It tasted better the next day with feta crumbled over the top.

ansuya78's picture

This was delicious and really easy to make. Also I added crushed garlic and bay leaves at the beginning.

tomato1968's picture

very easy dish, smelt lovely and tasted even better. Asda sell the orzo for around £1.85 as not all tesco stock it. will definitely make this again as my 6 year old loved it. I added chopped swede and carrot into it to get extra vegetables. :)

marylucia's picture

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the orzo. It is a tiny rice shaped pasta which is also called puntaletti, rosmarino, risoni or misko. It's worth looking in any ethnic food shops for it, especially Italian or Middle Eastern grocers, as it's worth the hunt. Other small pasta shapes also work well but there's nothing quite like the silky, slightly slippery texture of orzo. Bon appetit everyone, I'm so glad you like the recipe!
mary cadogan

sigridverbert's picture

I think there some confusion here: orzo is indeed italian for barley, but from the picture you can clearly see that it's not about barley, but about greek pasta (yes, greeks have pasta, and it has the shape of rice-grains, just as the ones in the picture), and this very kind of pasta, in Italy, is sometimes called 'risoni' and sometimes they call it 'orzo' (oh, look, how strange...?! :-)) So I think you should use greek pasta in stead of barley, I'll try it tonight.. :-)

embles's picture

Really lovely dish. I fried the onions and browned the meat before starting. Next time I might use powdered cinnamon so the kids aren't spitting bits of stick out!
Enjoyed by all this is going to become a standby dish for weekend family or entertaining.

emilyhadden's picture

this is a fab recipe, we discovered it a few weeks ago and have made it 5 times already! tesco world food aisle has orzo, gotta use that as the texture is amazing

d41d0y's picture

Oh yes and instead of orzo I used risoni pasta!

d41d0y's picture

Absolutely gorgeous! So easy and tasty. Wonder if anyone has tried making this with beef as lamb is hard to get here in Norway out of season?

dancingbunny's picture

Really delicious flavours and textures. I accidentally bought leg of lamb instead of shoulder but it was absolutely fine. Instead of the cinammon powder I put in half a teaspoon of greek moussaka mix instead which I brought home form a greek holiday which worked great. I found orzo in Waitrose. I actually made mine in the slow cooker and I put the meat, stock, tomatoes onions and spices in for about 3-4 hours on high and then added the orzo and went out for 4 hours. When I got back it was just perfect. There is a tiny bit left over which I'm looking forward to trying tomorrow. Would definitely make again!

emma052's picture

Absolutely delicious!..we all loved this recipe, so easy and lamb was sooo tasty. I served it with the suggested feta salad and pitta's with a greek yoghurt dip. Is most definatley now one of our favourites!!! (Oh and found Orzo in Tesco's specialist world food aisle) You have to try it...........

cam2507's picture

This was very good and I loved the orzo - first time I had tried it and I really enjoyed it in this dish. It was very "lamby" tho - I would add some other flavours and probably another tin of tomato, some tomato puree and less stock. I also addded a glass of red wine, a bouquet garni and used fresh and dried oregano.

Went down a storm with my dinner party guests who all asked for seconds and the recipe!


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