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Ultimate Comfort Food: Meatballs with Orzo | Recipe

June 14, 2018

I saw this recipe on a fave food blogger of mine’s instagram and I couldn’t not have a go myself. It’s a staple from Nigella apparently and I found a few variations online. In the end I took a few of these and put my own recipe together for Meatballs with Orzo.

So first up thanks Gemma for the inspiration for this dinner! I’ve been meaning to cook with orzo for ages now and this was the perfect excuse. Whenever I’ve seen people feature it, it always looks so comforting. Plus looking through recipes, it’s not difficult to cook with at all (just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t stick when cooking)!

Meatballs with Orzo Recipe

A comforting mid week meal.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author MissPond


  • 300 g 10% Fat Beef Mince
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning
  • 2 White Onions chopped finely
  • 3 Garlic Cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 200 g Mushrooms chopped finely
  • Oregano fresh, chopped roughly
  • 2 Yellow Peppers sliced
  • 275 g Orzo
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 litre Rich Beef Stock


  1. Season the mince with salt and pepper and combine using a fork to make more of a 'doughy' mixture with the mince. Don't overwork though.
  2. Pinch out pieces of the mince and roll to form meatballs that are around a cherry tomato size, putting them on a plate as you go.
  3. Make up a measuring jug with 1 litre of hot beef stock and put near the hob.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-based casserole dish that comes with a lid and is large enough to take the meatballs and pasta.
  5. Cook the meatballs in batches until browned and then leave to one side on a plate.
  6. Then cook the chopped onion over a medium heat in the remaining oil from the meatballs, stirring every now and again, for about 10 minutes, or until completely softened. Add in the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  7. Stir in the oregano and cook, stirring for a minute or so before adding the tomato puree and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Let this bubble up for a minute and then tip in the chopped tomatoes. Fill the tin with stock from the jug you have at the ready, it a good swill, and pour into the pan.
  8. Then add the rest of the stock and lots of ground pepper. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down, put on the lid and leave to simmer gently for 10 minutes.
  9. Uncover the pan and drop the meatballs into the simmering sauce. Bring it back up to the boil, then turn the heat down again, put the lid back on and simmer the meatballs for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, tip in the orzo, stir gently and turn up the heat to bring back to a gentle bubble. Cook at a simmer for 10–15 minutes, until the pasta is cooked.
  10. Don't forget to give it the odd gentle stir throughout this time to make sure the orzo isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  11. Serve in shallow bowls, sprinkle on some cheese and add more ground pepper if needed!

Recipe Notes

I don't add breadcrumbs or eggs to my meatballs, neither are really needed unless using lean beef mince (then I would just add egg).

Adapted from Nigella Lawson

This really was a super tasty mid week dinner. Yeah it’s not an entirely quick dinner, but honestly it’s so worth the wait. So have you cooked with orzo before? Would you give my Meatballs with Orzo a go? Let me know in the comments,


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  • Reply Chloe June 16, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    Orzo is one of my fav pastas – I have a recipe where it goes in the over with brocoli, lemon, chilli, garlic – it’s gorgeous!

    Life & Loves: A Foodie Blog

    • Reply MissPond June 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      Oooh have you shared this on your blog?

  • Reply Jasmin Charlotte June 14, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    Yum! I have some leftover orzo which definitely needs using, so I will give this a try! x

    • Reply MissPond June 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

      It’s so easy and so tasty!

  • Reply Jo June 14, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I really like Orzo and do anther Nigella recipe of Orzo with pancetta and peas. It’s in the Nigellissima book.

    • Reply MissPond June 17, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Oooh I’ll have to look at that 🙂

  • Reply Sophie June 14, 2018 at 11:23 am

    this sounds so simple and delicious. I’m away in Wales this weekend and have a feeling it might rain so this would be lovely for a cosy night in!

    • Reply MissPond June 17, 2018 at 6:44 pm

      It’s the perfect cosy night in food 🙂

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