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a bowl of orzo with lamb

Moroccan Orzo Recipe with Lamb

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  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree, Dinner, Lunch
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan


This Moroccan orzo recipe combines orzo cooked in a herby tomato sauce and rich Moroccan spiced lamb or beef. Top with minced fresh parsley (optional)! It’s a recipe passed down to me from my grandma that is a family favorite for kids and adults alike.


Units Scale
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 lb lamb or beef stew meat (cubed)
  • 1 yellow onion, minced
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 34 saffron strands, bloomed with an ice cube
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, minced
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups orzo


  1. Sauté the meat & onion. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the stew meat and minced onion and sauté until the onion becomes translucent and the meat begins to brown and tenderize, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Season & transfer to a saucepan. Add chili flakes, salt, pepper, ginger, saffron, turmeric, bay leaves, cilantro, and parsley and mix to combine everything. Transfer the meat and onions to a smaller saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer, before covering and simmering on low heat while the orzo cooks.
  3. Cook the orzo. In the same large pot where the meat cooked, add 5 cups of water, 1 can of tomato sauce, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil before adding orzo and lowering to medium low. Cover & cook, stirring regularly until the pasta is al dente and most of the sauce is absorbed, about 9 minutes. 
  4. Serve. Add some of the orzo to a bowl and top with a few spoonfuls of the meat mixture. Enjoy!