Fast Recipes

Lamb with orzo and olives

This is comfort food in bowl.

By Emma Knowles
  • Serves 4
  • Print
Lamb with orzo and olives recipe


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 gm minced lamb
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 baby fennel, finely chopped, fronds reserved
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¾ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp dried mint
  • 400 gm canned cherry tomatoes
  • 250 ml beef stock (1 cup)
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped dill
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped mint
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 50 gm pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
  • 400 gm orzo or risoni
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Feta, to serve


  • 1
    Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add lamb and brown well all over, breaking up any clumps with a wooden spoon (2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tbsp fat from the pan. Add onion, fennel, garlic and lemon rind, sauté until translucent (4-5 minutes), then stir in cumin, coriander, chilli and dried mint, and fry until fragrant. Return lamb to the pan, add tomatoes and stock, season to taste, bring to a simmer and cook until liquid reduces by half and lamb is well flavoured (10-12 minutes). Stir in fresh herbs and olives and check seasoning.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cook orzo in a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water until just tender (4-5 minutes), then drain and toss in a bowl with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
  • 3
    To serve, divide orzo among serving bowls, top with lamb mixture and serve hot scattered with feta and fennel fronds.
  • undefined: Emma Knowles