Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(149 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

    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)

clairey09's picture

This recipe went down very well indeed! I made it for 5 people and there was still some left over, I too had a problem finding the Orzo pasta but got it in Waitrose in the end. Very tasty, the lamb was cooked to perfection, and the parmesan finished it off beautifully. I made a greek salad to go on the side and the feta cheese really complimented the meal. Will definitely cook this again! :O))))

jo_c_d's picture

We really enjoyed this and I'm looking forward to making it again. I butchered lamb shoulder for the first time to make this. I did cut a corner to save on time by browning the lamb and onion first before putting it in the oven. I couldn't find orzo in my supermarket so I bought small pasta called Conchigliette. The lamb was really tender and the dish was very tasty.

sultankaa's picture

I made this with risotto rice and didn't put any cheese on top. My husband doesn't usually eat lamb but he loved it! Will cook it with orzo next time.

alexevans1's picture

This should be rated as easy. Enjoyed by all. Couldn't find orzo in Tesco so used risotto rice and reduced quantity as others comments. I've since found Ocado sells it so I'll try it next time. Also left out the cinnamon sticks and added slightly extra ground cinnamon. Served with greek salad and fresh bread.

kerriebaby's picture

This recipe is lovely, dead easy but so tasty (and morish, 4 of us devoured the lot)

deffo one for my recipe folder

coachouse's picture

Very disappointing. Not 'spiced' enough and far too much pasta. I added some allspice, garlic and extra oregano to try and give the dish some flavour. Result was not worth the effort and time it took to make. Final dish was bordering on being too dry. Next day it needed added water to render it edible.

vikster1967's picture

whole family liked this, which is a rarity, so will make again.

cathyfishcake's picture

Made this for the 1st time last night and it was a real hit, took us straight back to Greece! Easy to prepare but quite impressive to eat. Will try it out on friends next time.

ruthwaite's picture

My partner had a similar dish in a Greek restaurant last night and at the time I wished I'd have chosen it too. Couldn't resist cooking it today after discovering it on the BBC site! Fabulous dish, so easy and so full of flavours, my partner liked it more than his restaurant equivalent. I added only one cinnamon stick to avoid over flavouring and used neck fillet of lamb which added to cooking time. This is high on my recipe list now for family and entertaining.

jo_ryan's picture

I went to three tesco's and couldn't find orzo but used rice, barley and spelt mixture. I also tasted half way thro and decided it needed more oregano and cinammon and lots of seasoning. I cooked for three hours on 140 and it really was nice. Lots of great comments. good recipe.

lizandphilip's picture

Used fresh rosemary instead of oregano as this is perfect with lamb. Also added garlic, carrots and leeks with the (fresh) tomatoes and used lamb stock cube as this really enhances the flavour. Served with a Greek salad - a perfect dish to grace any dinner table and all in one pot. 5 stars. Liz currently living in Turkey.

corney32's picture

Fantastic - my whole family (includes 1 year old and 5 year old boys) loved it. I did it in my slow cooker all day (7 hours: high then low - I halved the amount of stock, as slow cookers retain so much moisture, and I added the tomatoes & stock after about 3 hours, and the Orzo for the last 30 mins). Only thing I might do differently is to add some more veg next time (maybe courgettes or celery) in order to try and increase vegetable intake around here. Otherwise fabulous though.

shenal's picture

This is a great recipe, so tasty and easy. Used trofie first time as couldn't find orzo, just as nice. Found orzo on a eastern med market stall. Firm favourite for summer family meals outside, with crusty bread. Everyone just digs in.

kerryburnett's picture

We loved it! Very tasty. I chucked in some red pepper for extra veg, but most veg would work.

teresag1963's picture

I really enjoyed this the lamb was so tender. There was far too much orzo, next time I would halve the amount for sure. I will definately make this again but with 200g of orzo.

debbys's picture

Really tasty, but made it in advance & so during the waiting the orzo seemed to soak up all of the liquid, so too much pasta, not enough meat. Will put less orzo in it in future.
The accompanying salad though was really good!

For those struggling with finding orzo, I live in New Zealand & it is sold as Risoni in my local supermarket.

elizabethcoleman's picture

This recipe is fantastic. We first had it served to us by a friend who gave me the recipe - (I have since subscribed to the good food mag!) so easy and tasty. I have found it very had to find orzo except online in large quantities and high postage costs, so I have substituted it with small sized pasta. Great slow cooker meal aswell which can be made in advance and stored to finish by putting in the pasta later. Marvellous!

wilko30's picture

I browned the lamb and onions in a little bit of olive oil first. I thought it was a little bland so I added a splash of white wine and a teaspoon of mint sauce before the orzo stage. It turned out to be a really nice wholesome mid week supper. I had never used orzo before but both of us were impressed.

cazstanley's picture

Made this for our Greek Night. It was delicious. There's a fantastic website - where you can get tonnes of speciality greek goodies, and they were very helpful!!
Will definitely be making this again.

catrov's picture

Made it for my family on Mother's Day. Found the Orzo (eventually) at a local deli. Tasted fantastic - even my fussy brother loved it. Had some left over, and I agree, it tasted even better re-heated the next day in the microwave. Will be making this again!


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