Best Ever Leg of Lamb
Lamb is one of those cuts of meat you only eat about once a year, maybe twice if you are lucky. For us it is either a Christmas or Easter dinner – this year we made it for an early Christmas dinner with my mom and I knew I just had to share our recipe with you guys! It is tender, juicy and the taste and flavor is just insane. Seriously the best roast lamb you will ever have. For best results, don’t forget that delicious Lamb Seasoning and Lamb Mint Sauce – both just bring this piece of meat to the next level!
Why This Recipe Works
- Fat Side Up: Cook the fat side up so it self-bastes throughout the cooking process.
- Garlic, Garlic and More Garlic: Cut a TON of slits in the lamb and stick slivers of raw garlic inside …. amazing.
- Seasoning: This classic, flavorful lamb seasoning is so perfect for this recipe.
- Dipping Sauce: Don’t forget that dipping sauce – of course it is optional, but I wouldn’t recommend skipping!
What You Will Need
- leg of lamb: you may need to order this directly from your butcher, if you can’t find it at the local grocery stores. You can definitely adapt the recipe for a boneless leg of lamb, but I generally use a bone-in.
- garlic cloves: we slice up fresh garlic cloves and put them right in the lamb!
- olive oil: you could also use avocado oil here.
- lamb seasoning: a delicious combination of herbs and spices! You don’t want to skip this herb mixture! Lemon zest would also be a great addition.
How long to cook a leg of lamb
In order to determine how long you need to cook your leg of lamb you need to determine how many pounds your lamb is and how well-done you want it cooked.
- Medium-Rare Finish – you need to cook your lamb approx. 20 minutes per pound (145 degrees F internal temp)
- Medium Finish – you need to cook your lamb approx. 25 minutes per pound (internal temp of 160 degrees F degrees)
- Medium-Well Finish – you need to cook your lamb approx. 30 minutes per pound (175 degrees F internal temp)
If you are have something different than a whole leg of lamb, check out this awesome chart that really breaks it down for you! So handy!
How to Cook a Leg of Lamb
Combine your Lamb Seasoning and set aside for later. I also usually take my lamb leg out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature for an hour or so.
Cut up your garlic into thick slices.
Cut approx. 1 inch deep slits in your leg of lamb all over – the place a garlic slice inside each slit.
Rub the lamb roast all over with that lamb seasoning.
Do you sear the lamb before roasting
No. You do not need to sear the lamb before roasting. That being said, you certainly can and it won’t hurt and change this recipe. But we have made this countless times without searing and it turns out so flavorful and amazing! One less step to worry about!
Cook in a shallow roasting pan on the middle rack according to the cooking times below (in the recipe card) – cooking time will depend up on how big your lamb is and how well you like it done (use internal meat thermometer). Let the meat rest on a cutting board before serving.
Do you cover lamb when roasting
No. You do not need to cover lamb when roasting. Since it is a long, slow roast you don’t need to and it allows that skin to get nice and crispy. You can loosely cover it with foil, if you want, but I would highly recommend removing the foil for at least the last 30 minutes.
Slice and serve.
Don’t forget the Creamy Lamb Mint Sauce!
Other recipes you might like:
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Roasted Rosemary Garlic Leg of Lamb – An absolutely delicious and simple roasted leg of lamb recipe that is always a crowd pleaser at Easter, Christmas or any special occasion!
Leg of Lamb:
- 1 bone-in leg of lamb (picture shows 8lb leg of lamb)
- 2–3 garlic cloves, cut in thick slices
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine your Lamb Seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place leg of lamb in roasting pan with rack, fat side up.
- Pat dry with clean paper towel. Rub all over with a little olive oil.
- Take a small knife and cut approx. 1 inch deep slits randomly all over the lamb, large enough to fit a slice of garlic in.
- Slide a slice of raw garlic into each slit (you really can’t have too many, but the more you have obviously the more garlicky your lamb will be).
- Season all over (every nook and cranny) with the lamb seasoning.
- Place lamb in oven, uncovered, and cook approx. 25 minutes per pound for a medium finish* (160 degrees internal temperature at the thickest part – check with instant read thermometer).
- Remove from oven and let the lamb rest approximately 20 minutes before carving, lightly covered with aluminum foil. Slice with a sharp knife.
- Serve with this Creamy Lamb Mint Sauce!
- *Alternate Cooking Times: 20 mins per pound for medium-rare – 145 degree internal temp; 30 mins per pound for well done – 170 degree internal temp
- Serving Suggestion: I highly recommend serving with some creamy mint sauce, some mint jelly or even some roasted garlic.
- Gravy: I generally don’t have enough pan juices/pan drippings to make a gravy, but if you do you could easily follow this recipe for homemade turkey gravy (uses flour, butter, broth etc.) and just substitute the lamb juices for the turkey juices.
- Leftovers: if you have leftover lamb I would suggest a sandwich or use it in a gyro bowl.
- Serving Size: 6oz
- Calories: 419
- Sugar: 0 g
- Sodium: 510.2 mg
- Fat: 17.1 g
- Carbohydrates: 0.9 g
- Protein: 61.5 g
- Cholesterol: 196.6 mg
Keywords: leg of lamb, leg of lamb recipe, roast leg of lamb
Originally published December 17, 2018.