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Greek Meat Sauce
with orzo and herb house salad

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min

I love moussaka and pastitsio (both Greek bake-in-the-oven dishes). However they can be heavy and require the oven, so I decided to give these dishes a summer makeover. The result? A meat sauce that's full of spices that remind you of the Mediterranean that still feels light enough for the season. Paired with our simple house salad that's punched up with feta and herbs, dinner is going to rock.

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Our House Salad:
  • Red pepper - 2, chopped
  • Cucumber - 1/2 lb, cubed
  • Parsley - 3 sprigs, leaves torn
  • Dijon mustard - 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp
  • Red wine vinegar - 2 Tbsp
  • Olive oil - 4 Tbsp
  • Salad greens - 1/4 lb
  • Feta - 4 oz
Greek Meat Sauce with Orzo:
  • Ground beef - 1 lb
  • Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
  • Onion - 1, diced
  • Italian eggplant - 1, cubed
  • Orzo - 8 oz
  • Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
  • Cooking oil - 1 1/2 Tbsp
  • Crushed tomatoes (28 oz / 794 g can) - 1 can
  • Thyme - 1 Tbsp, dried
  • Oregano - 1 Tbsp, dried
  • Allspice - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon - 1/2, juice of
  • Feta - 4 oz
  • Parsley - leaves of a few sprigs

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
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Prep

  1. Ground beef - Season with salt & pepper. (Can be done the night before)
  2. Garlic / Onion / Eggplant - Prep as directed
  3. For salad: Red pepper / Cucumber / Parsley - Prep as directed

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Make

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt heavily (that water should taste like the ocean!) and add orzo or other pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain and toss with 2 tbs. (30 ml) of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add cooking oil and then garlic and to heated oil. Once you can smell the garlic, add the diced onions with some salt. Saute until softened, ~3 minutes.
  3. Next add ground beef. Break up with a wooden spoon and brown for ~5 minutes.
  4. Next add in eggplant with a dash of salt. Saute for another 5 minutes.
  5. Add in crushed tomatoes and thyme, oregano, allspice, and cinnamon. Lower heat to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes. Finish with some lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. While sauce is cooking, whisk together mustard, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, and olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper. For more vinaigrette ideas, check out this video.
  7. Toss vinaigrette with greens, red peppers, cucumber, and parsley. Top with feta.
  8. Enjoy sauce with orzo and top with feta and parsley leaves and your house salad.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (18)
No ratings yet.
Gluten-free (0)
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Paleo (0)
Vegetarian (1)

8 reviews

Used zucchini instead of eggplant in the meat sauce and really liked it. I served it over brown rice instead of orzo because I already had some on hand. Sauce was very good! Really liked the salad dressing also.

By: Amanda
Posted: Apr 24, 2017
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Very hearty! Total comfort food.

By: Carlos
Posted: Jul 26, 2015
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Good flavor...although I did add a bit more allspice and cinnamon.

By: Jenny
Posted: Jan 27, 2015
Diet: Original
1 Helpful

Really amazing meat sauce!

By: Kindra
Posted: Jan 10, 2015
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

The only thing I would change is to use parmesan instead of feta. It's a more acidic tasting tomato sauce.

By: Marabeth
Posted: Oct 24, 2014
Diet: Original
1 Helpful

Had some friends over for dinner to share this and they loved it! So did I!

By: Rosemary
Posted: Sep 13, 2013
Diet: Original
0 Helpful