Sure, orzo is good in soup, but there's no need to stop there. Here it's a base for a bold blend of spices, tomato sauce and flavorful ground lamb. The optional pinch of crushed red pepper will add the heat that many crave.

Marge Perry


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook orzo until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

  • Meanwhile, cook lamb (or beef or turkey) in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl. Clean and dry the pan.

  • Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper (if using); cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lamb (or beef or turkey) and tomato sauce; cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in olives, salt and pepper. Toss the orzo with the sauce. Serve garnished with feta.


Substitute ground turkey breast for lamb to save 5 grams of fat per serving.

Nutrition Facts

503 calories; total fat 20.4g 31% DV; saturated fat 7.2g; cholesterol 63mg 21% DV; sodium 399mg 16% DV; potassium 763mg 21% DV; carbohydrates 55.8g 18% DV; fiber 4.4g 18% DV; sugar 4g; protein 25.1g 50% DV; exchange other carbs 4; vitamin a iu 1183IU; vitamin c 18mg; folate 31mcg; calcium 102mg; iron 4mg; magnesium 72mg; thiamin 1mg.

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Rating: 5 stars
FABULOUS Dish! I just finished this for dinner! My husband (who doesn't like feta cheese) RAVED and ooh-ed & ahh-ed over this dish! It was fabulous! I did double the amount of ground lamb using 8 oz. I also used 1/4 tsp. both oregano & rosemary 1 1/2 garlic cloves and garnished with fresh basil chiffonade. I also added 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (and I can't take ANY spicy food - but this was delicious!) and a drizzle of some top-quality olive oil. The recipe says it yields two servings of one cup each but there was waaayyy more than that...the 1/2 cup of orzo alone once cooked made over 3/4 cup! With minimal effort and ingredients readily available (and pretty cheap too!) this is an incredibly flavorful complex-tasting dish. Really wonderful; I highly recommend it!! It's now in the regular rotation! Pros: Easy Fast Very Flavorful! Read More