Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(143 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…

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  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 (205)

brenwilson's picture

Adapted this to use up some left-over minced lamb - browned the lamb in a saute-pan like a bolognese, adding a chopped carrot and celery with the spices, then simmered for ten minutes with the stock and tomatoes before adding the orzo and simmering a further 20 minutes. Oh and I added a couple of teaspoons of ground cumin. Didn't think the parmesan was a good idea, but would have added some feta if I'd had some. Very quick and easy, and very tasty.

jofranks's picture

Great flavours, no need for all the stock.

neezy1911's picture

Very good. I slow cooked the lamb on low for 10hrs but added 2 packs of prepared 3 bean casserole packs from Tesco. I took out the carrots as don't like ultra soft carrots but I did boil these up and served separately. Also added more herbs and spice as per the previous comments. Even added the orzo to the slow cooker and it worked really well. Meat fell off the bone, as tender as it could be. It was delish!!

katrinab101's picture

Great recipe! Only had around 600g of lamb so used an aubergine to make up the 'meat' content. Worked out very well although probably could reduce the stock as the aubergine released its liquid too. Added 5mins extra time for the orzo. Definitely will make again this way with reduced meat. Like the idea of adding feta too. Fed two adults and three kids - have about another four portions left.

archangelrich's picture

This was lovely. Doesn't need as much oil as the recipe says - once the lamb gets cooking, there's enough fat from that to keep things from burning. I too would also up the seasoning a bit. I used a mix of chicken and lamb stock (inexplicably I ran out of chicken stock cubes.....). I also found the orzo only needed just over half the cooking time - when I took it out to stir, it had already absorbed most of the liquid, so I left it out of the oven covered for a bit. Will definitely make again though.

mrsbee2389's picture

Made this for tea tonight, halved the recipe for 2 adults and 2 toddlers and there was plenty to go round. I would make again but would double the herbs and spices at least as they didn't come through. I also won't add any oil in the first stage as lamb is naturally quite a fatty meat, and it resulted in quite a greasy dish.

mollyfaganstar's picture

Really nice but think I'll add more flavour by sprinkling some feta and more oregano

michelle_30's picture

Made this tonight for was very easy to make although the orzo needed slightly longer to cook, also i would maybe double the herbs and seasoning as i think the dish could take it without being overwhelming. With a few teeeks this is a good receipe to try

Frantic Flapjack's picture

Very easy to make. Made this the day before we ate it. I used less stock (about a litre) and about 225g orzo. The orzo does suck up the liquid so keep an eye on it while cooking. Well received at the table.

localhero's picture

This is a family favourite - I halve the amounts which makes plenty for a family of 4 and serve with peas or sugar snaps. The lamb always melts in the mouth!

deedeeandme's picture

Just made this for my Belgian friend's birthday lunch (always a bit nervous and doubtful when I cook for her as she used to be the Chef in her own Belgian Cuisine Restaurant and she's GOOOOOD!). What a success and she was so impressed with the flavours.of cinnamon being added to lamb in a Greek dish!! Cooked this in my slow cooker the day before so the dish had time to develop the flavours overnight and it was beautiful and tender. No problem with finding Orzo as some people have mentioned previously. Here in Portugal it's called "Pevide (Risone)" and my Portuguese in-laws use this alot in their traditional Chicken soup (Canga). Look forward to making this again when Hubby comes home soon. Thanks GF for a successful lunch!!

saschlet's picture

To save time I use chopped lamb steaks. I don't bother with the cinnamon stick as I usually forget to take it out (bad idea!), using chicken stock gives a better flavour and I add in frozen peas for the final 5 minutes. I also use 400g orzo but 1l of stock rather than 1.2l.

CalWotty's picture

This dish was really tasty and quite easy to make. As a very amateur cook i was impressed with he results. Would definitely make it again and maybe add some more veg.

kindabola's picture

The dish was nice but not amazing, which I thought it would be after reading the reviews. I added garlic with the onions and carrots at stock point. However found this dish blend.

studentcook146's picture

This was delicious. I have never had orzo before but I agree with most people below, the dish would not be the same without it. For 3 people I used 550g of lamb and added a chopped carrot when I added the chopped tomatoes. I also served it with boiled carrots and broccoli and 2 of the baguettes which you part cook at home.

bubli's picture

Made this today and it was finger lickin' good, everyone liked it. Was a bit afraid that it'll be very runny, as after 1.5 hour in the oven there was still quite a lot of liquid left, but orzo soaked it in nicely and the resulting texture was just right.
And it is really no-stress cooking, one just chucks the casserole into the oven and can slack off for almost 2 hours. Plus, there's very little dishes to wash.

r15972's picture

I made this last night and it was rather nice. I think next time I will add a small amount of tomato purée to enhance the tomato flavour. According to my OH this recipe would also work well with hilopites

fivestillsmiling's picture

This is amazing and made a great lunch for friends and they ALL wanted the recipe. I made it the day before and added the orzo the next day as i reheated it in the oven, so it was a really easy dish on the day!

heybear's picture

This is hands down one of my favourite Good Food recipes. It's absolutely delicious and is easy to make. And best of all, it can be prepared ahead of time - so it's ideal for dinner parties. I will continue to cook this again and again.

spicelover's picture

Made this for the second time this weekend and once again it was easy to do and tasted fantastic. The great thing with this is that you can do most of the cooking in the morning, reheat it when your guests arrive and then chuck in the Orzo and Bob's your uncle - lots of time for socialising and drinking. We served with a lovely greek salad and crusty bread as suggested.


Questions (7)

alimay84's picture

Could I adapt this recipe to be cooked in a slow cooker? Thanks

alimay84's picture

Hi, could I adapt this for a slow cooker? Thanks

sbulloch's picture


I was thinking of making this for friends on saturday night. As a friend is on a gluten free diet, could I use brown rice instead and add it at the same as I would the orzo? many thanks

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi sbulloch, thanks for getting in touch. We haven't tested this recipe using brown rice so cannot guarantee perfect results. If you do decide to use rice instead of orzo you may want to boil the rice for 10-15 mins or so before adding to the dish as it takes longer to cook than the pasta. Alternatively, cook the rice separately and serve it on the side. Hope this helps. 

cjewing's picture

Lovely. Read the othe reviews and made sure it didn't dry out so kept adding a little more stock as needed. Added an aubergine and some red pepper just to increase veg content otherwise followed recipe and very tasty, will def make again. Maybe a little red wine and garlic next time.

biggsybear's picture

How much stock should be added, I don't understand 1.2l ?

goodfoodteam's picture

Hi biggsybear, you will need 1.2 litres in metric which is the equivalent to 2 pints imperial. Hope this helps.

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