Roast Leg of Lamb

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Ethan Calabrese

A roasted leg of lamb is the perfect centerpiece for a special occasion meal, especially Easter dinner. Preparing an expensive cut of meat like this one can be anxiety-inducing, but we promise, YOU CAN DO THIS! Even prepared super simply, it can be incredibly delicious. Check out our tips below for making a leg of lamb you can be proud of.

Buying The Best Leg

As always, buy local, grass-fed and organic meat when you can. It just tastes better! When it comes to meat, you really get what you pay for, and splurging on special-occasion meat is well worth it. You’ll have a decision to make: boneless or bone-in leg of lamb. Which you choose is totally up to you. We prefer bone-in because bones bring a lot of flavor to the table, but boneless works just fine too! Many people prefer boneless because it’s easier to carve, so choose what works best for you. If you do go the boneless route, pick up some oven-safe kitchen twine too. Boneless leg of lamb  needs to be tied together in order for the meat to cook evenly.

Let The Meat Come To Temp

This one requires some foresight. Give your meat at least an hour (or up to two) to come up to room temperature. This is helpful for two reasons: one, a cold leg of lamb will take longer to cook and two, a cold leg will potentially cook unevenly. 

Getting The Temperatures Right

We like to start roasting at a high temperature to get the outside of the lamb crisp and golden before reducing the temperature for it to roast relatively slowly. It’s the best of both worlds: crisp, caramelized outside and tender, flavorful interior. Keep in mind that everyone’s oven is different; your meat thermometer is your best friend. Look for an internal temperature of 125° for rare, 130°-135° for medium-rare, and 135°-140° for medium. Remember to insert your meat thermometer into the thickest point in your cut (without hitting the bone) for the most accurate reading.

The Flavorings

This recipe includes some of the most common pairings for roast leg of lamb: rosemary, garlic, lemon, thyme, and onions. Feel free to improvise with your favorite herbs and alliums. Other variations on these classic flavors include shallots, fresh oregano, bay leaves, yellow or red onions, and oranges or clementines. Choose flavors that speak to you! If you’re a big fan of spices like smoked paprika or cumin, add a teaspoon or two to you herb oil. Make it your own! Just please, don’t skimp on the salt and pepper. 

Let It Rest

As with any large cut of meat, it is SO important to let the meat rest after roasting. Give your leg of lamb at minimum 10 minutes to reabsorb all those flavorful juices that were drawn out during roasting. Your guests will thank you!

Looking for more ways to cook lamb? Check out our recipe for the perfect roast lamb.

Love this recipe? Don’t forget to comment and rate it below! 


– 10

Prep Time:





Total Time:






plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more greasing


cloves garlic, minced


minced rosemary, plus 2 sprigs


minced thyme


(6 lb.) leg of lamb

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper


heads garlic, cloves peeled


cipollini onions


lemons, halved

  1. Heat oven to 400°. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup oil, garlic, chopped rosemary, and thyme.
  2. Place lamb in a large roasting dish, then season all over with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush herb oil all over lamb (you won’t use it all right now). Roast 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together whole garlic cloves, onions, rosemary sprigs, and lemons with 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and pepper.
  5. Reduce oven to 350°. Spread garlic, onions, rosemary, and lemon halves evenly around lamb, then coat lamb in more herb oil. Add ¼ cup water to roasting dish, then roast for 1 to 1 ½ hours more, until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers about 145° to 150°.
  6. Let lamb rest 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Food, Dish, Roasting, Hendl, Cuisine, Ingredient, Chicken meat, Cookware and bakeware, Meat, Lemon chicken,

Ethan Calabrese

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