Greek lamb with orzo

Greek lamb with orzo

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(157 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 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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1st Oct, 2014
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.
27th Aug, 2014
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.
5th May, 2014
We've made this three or four times now and it's always lovely - almost foolproof. Very good for when friends come round as you can just bung it in the oven and have time to chat without being flustered in the kitchen. One tip is don't be tempted to put more orzo in than stated as it swells and soaks up all the liquid so you could end up with a dry (but still delicious!) more solid meal!
13th Apr, 2014
Made this last night for some friends and it was a winner! I cooked it on a very low heat on the hob, and left it for 4 hours - I think the longer the better, and the meat was gorgeous and melting. I browned the meat first, and added some garlic. I also added cumin as I think this adds a lovely flavour to slow cooked meat dishes. I don't think this would serve 6 though - more like 4
24th Apr, 2014
Don't fear if you don't like cinnamon too much it adds depth to the dish and makes it taste very wholesome yet homely. Absolutely love lamb and orzo its a great combo which we have had more than once. We used feta and mint to garnish to boost the greekness! Delicious
18th Nov, 2013
Yum. Fried off the onions and browned the lamb first and didn't have cinnamon sticks so missed them out. Otherwise stuck to the recipe. My Greek friend said that orzo would be a traditional accompaniment for a greek slow cooked casserole like this but failing that (and as the orzo was in the stew already) some rice with tomatoes and cinnamon added would be authentic. So that's the way I served it with a crispy side salad. Made it for friends and got lots of lovely compliments.
1st Nov, 2013
Made this today was really nice, sort of had the texture of paella, the meat was soooo soft and flavour was very good, didn't add the cinnamon powder and happy I didn't as I think that would have spoiled it, also added carrots at the stock stage and they were really needed. Definitely make again
27th Oct, 2013
This is absolutely delicious given the relatively simple ingredients. I didn't have orzo so left that out (halved the stock) and served it with sweet potato mash. Used garlic olive oil, browned everything together, added a pinch of sugar and plenty of salt and pepper and left in oven for two and a half hours. All the family loved it, a make again. I do think it only serves 4 - 5 people though not 6 - a bigger piece of shoulder would be needed for six. Put it this way - three of us ate the lot!
20th Oct, 2013
Very nice, and so easy to make as well. The lamb was very tender and melt in the mouth. It was a little bit too 'cinnamony' so think next time will omit the ground and just keep the stick so just to get a hint of cinnamon. Would also be nice with some peppers in it, so might try that next time. I served mine with carrots and broccoli.
13th Oct, 2013
Delicious, very tasty! The only changes I made was adding 2 cloves of garlic and seasoning, apart from that I followed the recipe. If you want a Greek dish it doesn't need any other spices adding. It went down a treat. Orzo was delicious (managed to get it in Tesco). Will definitely make again.


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