Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta

Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta

7 Reviews
From the EatingWell Kitchen

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.

Ingredients 4 servings

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Original recipe yields 4 servings
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  • 6 ounces lean ground lamb, or ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary, or oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
  • 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped, pitted black olives
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 ounces orzo
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
  2. Cook lamb (or beef) in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain in a sieve set over a bowl.
  3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper, if using; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add lamb (or beef).
  4. Puree tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth. Add to the meat mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, cook orzo until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve garnished with feta.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1 1/2 cups
  • Per serving: 461 calories; 9 g fat(3 g sat); 6 g fiber; 72 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 18 mcg folate; 31 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 472 IU vitamin A; 16 mg vitamin C; 100 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 324 mg sodium; 518 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 5
  • Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat, 4 starch, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat

Reviews 7

May 09, 2012
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By: juliaoceanchild1
Plenty flavorful and easy to make! I wish I'd read the reviews before I made this because other people were right - it needs more lamb. I can never get enough lamb, though! Also, I'm not a fan of cinnamon in dishes like this so I cut the cinnamon in half and I was happy with that choice. Definitely making this again!
May 21, 2011
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By: dancermelody
Absolutely wonderful!! This recipe is fantastic, my family and I loved it. I love topping it with some freshly chopped basil and oregano. A denfinite keeper I will be sure to make again.
March 08, 2010
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By: Priscilla Call Essert
I made this for my son's 16th birthday dinner and he LOVED it. We all loved it. Having two male meat-loving teens, I did add more lamb than required. I also added more red pepper than called for as we tend to like a little more punch in our food...I would make this again for my family and have added it to my list of pot luck recipes given the ease of making this as well as cost.
November 07, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
This is great, you should use at least 1/2-3/4 lb of the ground lamb and be generous with the feta cheese and hot pepper or it tends to be a little bland.
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
Outstanding dish, full of flavor and very filling. Deborah S., Germantown, MD
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
To me, this tastes just like moussaka without the bechemel. I didn't find 4 ounces of lamb to be enough to make a main meal, so increased it to 8 ounces and used diced tomatoes instead of sauce. Good, hearty dish. Stephanie, Friday Harbor, WA
September 23, 2009
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By: EatingWell User
If you like lamb, even remotely, you will love this recipe. It is easy to put together, and is a hearty, flavorful dish that will wish you had a recipe for 20 instead of 2. Happy eating! , Santa Cruz, CA