Herb and Garlic Roasted Leg of Lamb

leg of lamb with lemon and herbs
Roman_Makedonsky/iStock / Getty Images Plus
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 2 hrs
Total: 2 hrs 10 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1016 Calories
63g Fat
4g Carbs
98g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1016
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 63g 80%
Saturated Fat 26g 131%
Cholesterol 355mg 118%
Sodium 576mg 25%
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 98g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 55mg 4%
Iron 8mg 44%
Potassium 1258mg 27%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

When you need an impressive roast for a holiday or special occasion or a casual meal, consider a leg of lamb. It's an easy preparation, and it makes an attractive presentation. Garlic, lemon juice, and a few basic herbs—preferably fresh—flavor the lamb perfectly. All you need for a perfectly cooked roast is a reliable meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer.

If you are feeding a small group or party, you'll love the creative dishes you can make with the leftovers. Mince leftover lamb to make a fabulous shepherds pie or lamb and potato hash. Or use sliced or diced lamb in gyro sandwiches and serve them with tzatziki sauce. Use leftover lamb in just about any recipe calling for leftover pork or beef.

For an even faster leg of lamb, take a look at this Instant Pot leg of lamb.


For the Lamb:

  • 1 (5-pound) leg of lamb

  • 3 cloves garlic, divided

  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Gravy (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup dry red wine

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Place a rack in a roasting pan and set aside.

  3. Pat the lamb dry with paper towels. Remove any excess fat with a sharp knife, leaving some on so you'll have rich drippings for gravy.

  4. Peel the garlic. Cut 2 cloves of garlic into thin slivers. Mince the third clove of garlic and set aside.

  5. With a small, sharp knife, make several tiny, slits—about 1/2-inch to 1-inch deep—evenly over the surface of the lamb. Insert the garlic slivers into the slits.

  6. Rub the lamb all over with the lemon juice.

  7. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic with the herbs, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Rub the garlic and herb mixture over the surface of the lamb.

  8. Place the lamb, fat side up, on the rack of the prepared pan.

  9. Insert meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meat, not touching fat or bone.

  10. Roast for about 25 to 30 minutes per pound, or until the meat thermometer registers 145 F (medium rare) to 165 F (well done). 

  11. Remove the roast to a platter and let it rest for 15 minutes before carving. 

For the Optional Gravy

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Remove the rack from the roasting pan. Skim excess fat from the drippings and place the pan over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the red wine and cook for about 2 minutes while scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

  4. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup of the chicken stock with the flour; whisk until smooth. 

  5. Add the remaining 1 cup of chicken stock and the flour-stock mixture to the roasting pan, whisking frequently until thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.