Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(172 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 onions, 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 sticks, 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 low-sodium 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, questions and tips

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8th May, 2019
Always works well and tastes good - great for dinner guests, no faffing about in the kitchen!
17th Feb, 2019
Best with Beef, as in Greece. They rarely use lamb for this dish or for Moussaka.
10th Jul, 2018
My go to dish when cooking for a crowd and it always goes down so well. The fact that you just put it in the oven means you can socialise with friends before eating rather than being stressed in the kitchen! Don't be shy on the oregano and Parmesan! Simply serve with green veg and garlic bread.
15th May, 2018
Made this today after reading lots of comments. A really easy dish to make. Did the whole thing on the hob. Only used 350gms of diced lamb ( just for 2 of us). Halved liquid and onions. Kept herbs and spices the same amount. Sealed the lamb on the hob then added onions and some diced carrot to sweat down. Added cinnamon and oregano. Used 1 stock cube with tinned tomatoes and red wine. Cooked gently on the hob until tender. Added orzo until almost cooked then threw in some frozen peas. Served with crusty bead and Parmesan (would use Feta cheese next time). Simple, easy supper. Next time will make the day before and reheat.
21st Nov, 2017
This was delicious. Would definiteley make again.
7th Sep, 2017
too many of your recipes are covering up the calories for these meals my conclusion the calories are off the scale.I won't try any meals I don't know how many calories are in them.You disappoint me.
11th Nov, 2017
I have never heard anything so ridiculous. Grow up please and look at the top where it clearly shows you the calorie content.It is not high. Oh dear.
17th Oct, 2017
The calories ARE displayed top right
18th Aug, 2017
This is a delicious recipe. I get my local butcher to dice the lamb for me and it is always very tender once it's cooked . I add 200g of feta to the recipe when it comes out of the oven instead of the parmesan and it makes it very creamy. A fuss free dinner party recipe.
9th Aug, 2017
Good basic Anglicised recipe. Greeks usually use beef for this recipe not lamb. The quantity of olive oil is just right to make it silky and smooth. Beware that dependent upon the type of Orzo and size the more or less you will need. Some just sucks up the beautiful stock and some takes longer to cook, either way it is gorgeous. If feeling really piggish can be served with a small portion of Gigantes Plaki, but you won't get that in Greece, as they are generally only served as a starter.


Vedrana Lukic's picture
Vedrana Lukic
9th May, 2019
I want to make this in the slow cooker. What settings and for how long would you cook it?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th May, 2019
Thanks for your question. We haven't tested this one in the slow cooker but would say you could do pop it in the slow cooker from step 2 on Low for 6 - 7 hours. You'll need to add the orzo for the last 20 mins or so. Let us know how you get on!
23rd Mar, 2017
Can I do this with a leg of lamb on the bone? How would it effect the cooking time?
goodfoodteam's picture
29th Mar, 2017
Thanks for your question. We would suggest sticking with the diced lamb shoulder for best results and to ensure cooking times are accurate.
15th Oct, 2015
Could I adapt this recipe to be cooked in a slow cooker? Thanks
15th Oct, 2015
Hi, could I adapt this for a slow cooker? Thanks
26th Jun, 2016
I don't see why not. I did it long and slow all day and it ended up like a good risotto. I'm sure a slow cooker would be an excellent way to do it, just stir it once or twice.
24th Mar, 2015
Hi, 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
31st Mar, 2015
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. 
17th Jan, 2015
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.


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