Greek Lamb stew with Orzo pasta recipe (Lamb Giouvetsi)

Greek lamb stew with orzo pasta recipe (Giouvetsi with lamb)

The perfect Greek lamb stew recipe with orzo pasta (Greek lamb giouvetsi)!! Juicy and tender, melt-in-the-mouth lamb stew with a delicious, intense tomato-based sauce and traditional orzo pasta…The ideal dish for a Sunday family dinner of course together with moussaka, pastitsio and a delicious Greek Salad

Greek Lamb Giouvetsi (Lamb stew with orzo pasta) – A traditional Greek dish

Lamb Giouvetsi (Greek Lamb stew with orzo pasta) is a centuries old dish that was traditionally served as a one-pot meal and in the old days it would have been baked in a home’s wood burning oven. The simplicity of its preparation reminds me of lamb kleftiko, this honey glazed lamb roast with lemon potatoes and of course these marinaded lamb chops (paidakia)

There were also many instances where a home did not have an oven but each village had at least one bakery supplying bread for the guaranteed demand of the villagers. It was quite common for a family to lug the day’s dish over to the bakery and have dish cooked in the baker’s oven… (See also Beef stew with orzo pasta)

Greek Lamb Giouvetsi- How to make the perfect lamb stew with orzo

Have you ever wondered how some stews have this melt in the mouth texture while others taste like chewing rubber? It’s all about choosing the right cut and cooking it the right way.

For a Greek lamb giouvetsi (stew), you need to choose large cuts of good quality leg of lamb, which, when cooked for a long time, become fork tender.

When cooking a Greek lamb stew (giouvetsi), the meat is first browned and sealed to keep it nice and juicy, then added to a tomato-based sauce along with onion, carrots and wine and cooked at a low temperature. Then it is cooked for a while in the oven along with the orzo pasta to allow the flavors to mingle into something much much more. This is the secret to achieve the melt in the mouth texture, that will make your lamb giouvetsi just perfect!

Of course if you love lamb, then my Spicy minced Lamb Kofta Kebab Recipe (Giaourtlou), lamb kleftiko, lamb meatballs, lamb souvlaki, lamb chops and honey glazed lamb roast with lemon potatoes will amaze you!

Follow our instructions and cook the perfect lamb giouvetsi (Lamb stew with orzo pasta)! Got any questions or comments? Feel free to add a comment in the section below and we’re more than happy to help! Also don’t forget to share with your friends on your favorite social networking site using the links above.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Greek lamb stew with orzo pasta recipe (Giouvetsi with lamb)

Greek Lamb stew with Orzo pasta recipe (Lamb Giouvetsi)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (555 votes, average: 4.70 out of 5)
  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time: 100 min
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 portions 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Stew
  • Cuisine: Greek


The perfect Greek lamb stew recipe with orzo pasta (Greek lamb giouvetsi)! Juicy, melt-in-the-mouth lamb stew in a delicious tomato-based sauce and orzo.


  • 1 kg/35 ounces leg of lamb, boneless, cut into chunks
  • 2 medium red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced (1 cm thick)
  • 1 tin of chopped (tinned) tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 250g orzo pasta (9 ounces) ( kritharaki / manestra )
  • 100g grated kefalotyri or feta cheese (5 ounces)


  1. To prepare this lamb giouvetsi recipe, start by cutting the lamb into chunks. Wipe the lamb with paper towels. Heat 1/2 of a cup of olive oil into a pan, add the chopped onions and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes in medium-low heat. Turn up the heat and add the lamb; brown the meat on all sides until crusty.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and pour in the red wine. Wait for the wine to evaporate. Add the tinned tomatoes, a glass of water, the nay leaf, sugar and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for at least 45 minutes.
  4. In the meantime into another pan heat 3 tbsps of olive oil and the orzo pasta. Sauté, until golden.
  5. Place the orzo pasta along with the meat and sauce in an oven tray (remove the bay leaf) and mix with a spatula. Cover the tray with some aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven at 180C for 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil, add a glass of water if needed, and put back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with some grated hard yellow cheese (kefalotyri) and enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 plate
  • Calories: 650kcal
  • Sugar: 8.2g
  • Sodium: 403.9mg
  • Fat: 31.9g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 20.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.9g
  • Fiber: 3.9g
  • Protein: 43.1g
  • Cholesterol: 122.5mg

Keywords: Greek Lamb Stew, Lamb Youvetsi recipe, Lamb and Orzo, Greek Lamb Casserole

Recipe image gallery:

Sign Up to Our Newsletter


  1. Kalyan Panja

    Greek Lamb Giouvetsi 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. Can anyone tell me whether a “tin” of tomatoes is 14 or 28 ounces?

  3. Ann-Marie

    I make a recipe my YiaYia gave me very similar to this. She added green beans and more tomato paste with water to cover all so it was a bit more loose. Delicious, I make it a lot!

  4. Can I cook in the oven in my le creuset with the cover on or would I need to use a higher temp?

  5. Nancy Siaconi

    I’ve made this many times before and always find it delicious however I’m wondering whether it could be prepared in advance, then just put in the oven when ready to be cooked! Thank you for your advice.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *