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One-Pot Lamb with Orzo (Yiouvetsi)

A Cypriot-inspired dish known as Yiouvetsi or lamb with orzo casserole. Perfect for feeding a big family, or a crowd. One of our favourites.

Cypriot Lamb with Orzo

One-Pot Cypriot Lamb

Ren Behan
Delicious and comforting and very easy to make. Orzo is a type of pasta, shaped like slightly larger grains of rice. If you can't find orzo, try macaroni, or any very small pasta shapes. 
4.88 from 8 votes
Course Main
Cuisine Cypriot


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 g lamb chopped into very small cubes (leg steaks or neck works well)
  • 2 white onions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled, grated
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 400 g tin plum tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp. fresh or dried oregano
  • 1 litre lamb or chicken stock
  • 250 g orzo pasta
  • Large handful fresh mint roughly chopped
  • 100 g feta cheese crumbled


  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large casserole pot and brown the lamb pieces, ideally in batches, making sure the first lot is brown before moving on and browning the next amount. Lift each batch out of the pan and set to one side until all of it has browned. Keep the browned lamb covered with a plate. 
  • Add a second tablespoon of oil to the pan add the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan where the lamb has been browning. 
  • Cook the onions very gently for 10 minutes until softened. Add a few tablespoons of water to help the onions along and keep the pan from drying out. 
  • Add the garlic and tomato puree, stir and cook for a further five minutes.
  • Tip the browned lamb back in, add the tin of tomatoes and then half fill the can with water and tip that in. Add the cinnamon and dried or fresh oregano. Cook on a low, gentle heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally. Bread up the tomatoes with a spoon if they were whole and not chopped. 
  • Stir the orzo into the casserole pan, stir well and pour over the stock. Cook, uncovered, for a further 10-11min or until the orzo is tender. It should not be too soft, but rather al dente. Season with lots of salt and pepper.
  • Once cooked, carefully spoon onto a large serving dish, sprinkle over the fresh mint and the crumbled feta. Serve immediately. 

You may also like:

Lamb with wild mushroom sauce and dill mash 

Polish meatballs with mushroom sauce 

Turkey and leek meatballs with tomato tagliatelle  

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  1. 5 stars
    One-pot Lamb with zero looks a charming dish to prepare. The photos and the tips are giving me real cooking goals to venture in my kitchen and try the recipe.

  2. 5 stars
    This looks so pretty. I don’t use orzo nearly enough and usually just in salad – it sounds great in a winter one-pot meal!

  3. 5 stars
    Tasty! I’m a hopeless cook but I was able to follow the recipe and the results turned out to be delicious! Thank goodness I now have a go-to recipe to serve to others! Thanks, GoodFood.

  4. 5 stars
    It was so delicious that I think I want to make it again tomorrow. Thanks you so much for sharing.

  5. So good and so easy! My son commented twice on how good they were. Will make again! Thank you!!

  6. 4 stars
    yummy recipe.. I will plan this recipe on my sister’s family reception..
    Hope the family guest will like it.. Thanks a lot for this delicious recipe idea..

  7. 5 stars
    Oh my frickedy dickedy – this looks / reads great Ren! This sort of food is right up my strada 🙂

  8. Oh my frickedy dickedy – this looks and reads great Ren. Right up my strada 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    Beautiful dish and beautiful, warm photography as ever. You’ve inspired me to get some orzo and experiment.

  10. 5 stars
    I wouldn’t have thought of pasta in connection with Greek cooking. Would also like to visit Cyprus – more too it than sandy beaches.

  11. This looks so pretty. I don’t use orzo nearly enough and usually just in salad – it sounds great in a winter one-pot meal!

  12. I have made a dish like tis before and loved it. Anything that can be cooked in one pot makes so much sense at this time of year. It is one for all the family too and I also like adding fresh mint, it gives a lovely freshness to the dish.

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