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)

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!

mssteel's picture

I added chopped garlic and chilly flakes to mine and the result was scrumptuous.

ericax's picture

This was really nice. i made it for mothers day and everyone cleared their plates. couldn't find orzo anywhere, and found it difficult to track down any simular products to i used risotto rice. the was so tender, it just fell apart which was lovely, but i found the rice a bit heavy and stodgy.
Next time i would definately try with orzo, but it was still very yummy!

hedgehog77's picture

Loved this- the meat was really tender and benefited from the slow cooking- although next time I might reduce the amount of orzo. i simply couldnt fit any more than 1/2 a litre of stock in my biggest casserole with everything else so although the orzo cooked it didn't leave a lot of residual sauce.

The cinnamon was not too overpowering And there was plenty left over for the next day

kategilbey's picture

Absolutely gorgeous..I should have made more!!!!!! I used small pasta shapes and it worked really well. Cant wait to have it again.

stockman's picture

Very easy to make and very tasty, the flavour seemed to deepen when cooked the day before. Couldn't get hold of any Orzo so used Risotto rice and used too much, couldn't see the lamb for the rice. Have managed to get some Orzo so will make it again this weekend.

savylot's picture

For a family of fussy eaters, this went down really well. Easy to make and filling. I used lamb fillet, which has much less fat content than shoulder. Only problem now is getting hold of Orzo - my local Tesco's no longer stocks it.

kissyb's picture

Made this for Mother-in-Law and Brother-in-Law and his wife a couple of days after my Father-in-Law's funeral as we needed cheering up a bit. Used tiny soup pasta as I couldn't get orzo, but think I put it in too soon as it was a bit stodgy. Still, it was absolutely delicious and everybody loved it. Served it with the salad as recommended - fantastic!!!

jennakeane's picture

Very nice, kids loved it.

gillwhittaker's picture


alexandraswift's picture

delicious, used bone in cubes of lamb for extra authenticity, and cooked it in the slow cooker for 3 hours on high.

lacath's picture

i made it yesterday and it was absolutely delicious. At first as i was preparing the ingredients i was scared, so much cinnamon... As it was cooking in the oven, the smell was so powerful i got more and more scared : much too much cinnamon... And finally, il was so perfect in the mouth...
The orzo i used is called "avoinette" in French. i also saw it called "risoni". A 5-star casserole indeed!

eileenmary's picture

I first tasted this recipe in Rhodes many years ago and have been making it ever since. Everyone I've cooked it for loves it. If you live in the London area you can get Orzo (also called Puntaletta) from Greek or Italian deli's - I get mine from Lina Stores in Brewer Street.

grungle's picture

I make this quite a bit at home (was taught how to make it by hubby's greek family) - I have found that I actually prefer it with diced beef rather than the lamb! Also, I cook it in a clay pot in the oven for about 2 hours, boil the orzo on the hob with onions, and then add that to the meat & sauce in the clay pot, put back in the oven for 10 mins for the orzo to absorb some of the sauce, and it's sooo good with some crusty bread!

vikkibriggs86's picture

If your looking for Orzo rice use the website They sell it, it's called Grana di Riso 500g. Yum Yum YUM! my favourite dish from Greece by far!

seward's picture

Found it ! After hours on the internet I've found Orzo by mail order from (recommended by the Daily Telegraph to someone who had written in asking where they could get it ). Too late for my planned supper party so I'll try some of your other suggestions and if I like the dish I'll order some.
p.s. Don't tell anyone...I don't want them to run out before I put my order in !

barney123's picture

This recipe is a real winner. Delicious.

chedges's picture

I thought this dish tasted a bit weird, not really my cup of tea. I think it was the taste of cinnamon with the chunks of lamb-and the orzo was quite starchy. I had really high expectations of this but I wont be cooking again.

stephrea's picture

My tip is if you find orzo buy loads of it... cause you will want to make this recipe again and again.. We all love it even my four year old eats it!! I found orzo in Tesco for making it the first time, went back to get some more... none to be found!! so I used a very small macaroni, worked just as well... but I liked the orzo better!

sue123m's picture

we really liked the tender lamb and the flavours.


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