A Greek(-ish) One-Pot Workhorse That Feeds You All Week Long

April 18, 2017

With spring in full swing, cooking with ground lamb feels like such a treat. Its rich, slightly grassy flavor works beautifully in these simple meatballs, which are brightened with spinach, lemon zest, and crumbled feta.

In this workhorse from my book One Pan & Done: Hassle-Free Meals from the Oven to Your Table, the meatballs cook alongside creamy orzo, but after you’ve gotten your fill for Sunday dinner, both the meatballs and the orzo can be easily repurposed throughout the week for any number of bright and satisfying meals.

Photo by Aran Goyoaga

Here’s how: Block out an hour or so on Sunday to assemble and cook your meatballs. While the meatballs and orzo bake (in the oven! hands free!), whip up a quick batch of pesto or two and some pizza dough (and if time eludes you, add the readymade versions of these things to your grocery list for the week).

If you’d rather skip the orzo and just make meatballs—say, if you’re doubling the meatball recipe—bake the meatballs on a lightly greased sheet pan (or two) at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until just done.

Then, make sure you have these things on hand:

And, with those, make these delicious meals:

  • Put your own spin on a Gyro sandwich by stuffing some pita bread with leftover meatballs, cucumbers, red onion, feta, and a quick Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce.
  • Make cheesy orzo fritters: mix leftover orzo with some beaten egg and plenty of Parmesan cheese, and shallow fry in olive oil until hot and golden. Serve the fritters over arugula, or with some pesto or marinara sauce for dunking.
  • Slice meatballs in half and use as a hearty pizza topper, with a few spoonfuls of pesto and sliced fresh mozzarella. Top your hot pizza with some olive-oil-and-lemon juice-drizzled arugula for a perfect pizza/salad combo situation.
  • Assemble a mean meatball sub with the lamb meatballs, marinara sauce and some melted cheese on a Kaiser or brioche bun.

  • Drop the leftover meatballs into a simple tortellini soup—sauté the onions, fennel and red pepper flakes with some garlic and salt, add the chicken broth and meatballs to warm, then stir in the tortellini until tender. Add a dollop of pesto, if you like.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Susan Sutherland
    Susan Sutherland
  • brenda
  • krikri
Author, podcast host, food blogger


Susan S. April 19, 2017
I don't understand the instructions. I read this that you put all these ingredients into one pan and cook. But for how long, on the stove or in the oven? or do you make the meatballs separate and the orzo separate and then combine them? It was one pot but I'm thinking if you mix all the ingredients together you'd just have a big mess.
brenda April 20, 2017
did you click on the recipe link? It has all the instructions there.
krikri April 20, 2017
Click on the "Recipe" button to the right of the "Save" one above and it will take you to the full recipe with instructions.