Greek Lamb with Orzo

Greek Lamb With Orzo

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My mom found a recipe for Greek Lamb with Orzo in a magazine Cooking Light or Eating Well or one of those types and tried it out on us. It was a hit and became a mainstay of our family meals even today.


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25 Min
1 Hr
Stove Top


  • 1 lb
    ground lamb
  • 1 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 1 large
    yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 6 clove
    garlic, sliced thinly
  • 2 tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp
    dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 2 tsp
    ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp
    crushed red pepper
  • 28 oz can(s)
    of whole tomatoes, drained and smooshed with your hands
  • 14 oz can(s)
    chopped/diced tomatoes
  • 5 oz
    fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 lb
    orzo pasta
  • 2 c
    chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c
    lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • ·
    salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 c
    kalamata olives, pitted and finely chopped
  • 1/2 c
    crumbled feta

How to Make Greek Lamb with Orzo


  1. In a good sized Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pan, heat the one tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat until it is shimmering. Add the lamb and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Cook, stirring to break it apart, until it is nicely browned.
  2. Remove the lamb with a slotted spoon and drain all but 2 tablespoons of the fat. Return the pot to the stove top and add the onion and garlic (still over medium high). Cook, stirring occasionally,until they are softened and golden,about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the spices cinnamon,oregano,cumin, coriander and red pepper and cook until they start smelling extremely toasty and fragrant (1-2 minutes). Then stir in the smooshed tomatoes. Cook the smooshed tomatoes in the spices stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
  4. Then, add the can of diced tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the cooked lamb back to the pot,give a good stir. Then cover the pot and leave it to cook,stirring from time to time for 20 minutes.
  5. At this point, stir in the fresh spinach and cook just a couple more minutes until the spinach is wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste (keeping in mind you'll be sprinkling just a touch of feta and olives on, which will add to the saltiness).
  6. While the lamb and tomatoes are simmering together and marrying their flavors,bring a large pot of well-salted water (it should taste like sea water,basically) to a boil. Add the orzo and cook until al dente,about 7-8 minutes usually. Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water.
  7. Drain the orzo. Toss the orzo with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil,the lemon juice and all of the parsley. Add a bit of pasta water at a time if you feel it needs additional liquid. Spread the orzo out on an enormous serving platter.
  8. Spoon the lamb and sauce all over the top,then sprinkle with the feta and chopped olives. Pass the dish around the table and relax. A good red wine on the dry side,is a highly recommended companion here.

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