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Recipe for Youvetsi – Greek Macaroni Baked With Meat

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Youvetsi is a traditional Greek stew that is usually made with beef or lamb. This baked macaroni version is great for large family dinners or neighborhood potlucks. Using lamb adds a whole other element to the dish!


  • 2 lbs. lamb or beef
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 medium sized, minced onion
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 lb. orzo (choose gluten-free orzo if following a gluten-free diet)
  • Kefalotiri Cheese

Directions on How to Make Youvetsi:

Cut the meat into 5 portions. Heat the butter in a saucepan and brown the meat.

Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and enough hot water to cover the meat. Simmer covered, over a very low heat, until meat is tender and sauce is thick.

Boil orzo in boiling salted water. Drain.

Put half the orzo into a buttered baking dish (youvetsi), cover with the meat, add the remaining orzo, and spread the tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in an oven set to 350 Degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes or until the mixture cooks through. 

**Please Note:  Recommended cook times for GreekBoston.com Greek recipes vary depending on elevation, environmental conditions, the cookware being used, and the nature of the oven or stove. Although we have given approximations, these don’t always take into account your unique environment.

PLEASE NOTE: Greek recipes can be slightly different based on a variety of reasons, such as the region of Greece that the recipe is being made in. If you have seen this Greek recipe made another way, please send us an email to greekboston@worldwidegreeks.com and we will evaluate your suggestion. Thanks!

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This post was written by Greek Boston