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One-Pot Spinach and Lamb Meatballs with Orzo

  • Author: Molly Gilbert
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 60


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb (you could also use dark ground turkey meat!)
  • 9 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry and coarsely chopped
  • about 1 cup of finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, plus more for topping
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, plus more for topping
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups orzo
  • 2 1/23 cups chicken broth
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, gently combine lamb, spinach, onion, feta, egg, breadcrumbs, garlic, lemon zest, mint, and 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the salt and pepper. Mix until all of the ingredients are well combined. Form the mixture into 1 1/2-inch meatballs, being careful not to squeeze the mixture too vigorously.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium (5 to 6 quart) Dutch oven over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the meatballs and cook, turning to brown all over, about 10 minutes. It’s easier to turn the meatballs if the pan isn’t over-crowded so cook the meatballs in batches. Remove the seared meatballs to a plate to rest.
  4. Add the orzo to the Dutch oven and stir to coat with the oils in the pan. Stir in 2 1/2 cups of the broth, then return the meatballs to the pan. Instead of using a Dutch oven I transferred the mixture to a large, shallow baking dish.
  5. Cover the mixture and bake until the orzo has absorbed most of the liquid, about 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until the orzo is completely tender, about 10 more minutes. If it doesn’t look like the liquid is absorbing, give the mixture a stir. If it feels like the orzo isn’t cooked through, add the remaining 1/2 cup of broth.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Serve warm topped with more feta, fresh mint, and lemon wedges! Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 4