Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta

Orzo with Lamb, Olives & Feta

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.

From EatingWell: November/December 1998, EatingWell Serves Two
Yield: 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 30
Total Time: 30


  1. 6 ounces lean ground lamb, or ground beef
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  3. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary, or oregano
  7. 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
  8. 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
  9. 2 tablespoons chopped, pitted black olives
  10. Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  11. 12 ounces orzo
  12. 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


  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 Per Serving: 461 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 31 mg cholesterol; 73 g carbohydrates; 23 g protein; 5 g fiber; 352 mg sodium; 514 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Iron (28% daily value), Vitamin C & Zinc (22% dv), Magnesium (18% dv).

4 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 1/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat, 4 starch, 1 1/2 medium-fat meat