Italian Lamb Stew

Lamb dishes are usually a must on ‘Eid day celebrations, but every culture has a different, delicious way of making it. I love this way of preparing the lamb using ingredients common in Italian cooking, but you can substitute ingredients typical of your favorite cuisine.

Italian Lamb Stew

(*this is the original version. An updated version is at the bottom of this post).

Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 4 large boneless lamb chunks, approximately 3 ½ pounds total (you can also work with less meat than this), cut into small to medium size pieces.
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 dried red chili or ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  1. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Sauté onions and green peppers until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  2. To the Dutch oven over the medium heat, add the lamb and sauté to brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Add the black pepper.
  3. Return onions and green peppers to the pot and add the tomato sauce, water, basil and salt. Stir well and raise the heat to high.
  4. Add the garlic cloves and red chili. Allow to boil for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 2 hours.
  5. Serve while hot with risotto or a large noodle pasta like pappardelle.

*Update (Jan. 26, 2020) Making this again, I’ve done things a little differently, but nonetheless still delicious. Instead of basil, I used dried oregano and ground cumin. I’ve added sweet paprika, ground red chili and tomato paste instead of tomato sauce- just working with what I have instead of what I don’t. Served atop a bed of rice or even bulgur would be good, too.  

 Here’s how I’ve made it recently.

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