Instant Pot Leg of Lamb

Instant Pot leg of lamb sliced on a platter with vegetables

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 42 mins
Building/Releasing Pressure: 24 mins
Total: 81 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Yield: 1 leg of lamb
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
862 Calories
55g Fat
8g Carbs
79g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 862
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 55g 70%
Saturated Fat 22g 108%
Cholesterol 285mg 95%
Sodium 542mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 79g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 53mg 4%
Iron 6mg 35%
Potassium 1051mg 22%
*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.)

A festive leg of lamb is a wonderful centerpiece for special celebrations. Traditional methods might take up to 8 hours of slow cooking in the oven and many arduous preparation steps, but our easy Instant Pot recipe will put dinner on the table in no time. Although cooking lamb shoulder seems to be the go-to recipe when using this protein, don't let the size of a leg of lamb be discouraging, as our recipe is easy, delicious, and time-saving.

Seasoned with garlic and fresh herbs, this leg of lamb is cooked to medium-rare juicy perfection. Simple side dishes like white or brown rice, quinoa, mashed potatoes, or cauliflower rice for a low-carb approach, are excellent choices. A green salad with a fresh herby dressing will pair perfectly with the robust flavor of this leg of lamb.

Serve this Instant Pot dish at your next celebratory meal, holiday gathering, or Easter feast.

Instant Pot Leg of Lamb/Tester Image

"The Instant Pot makes cooking a whole leg of lamb incredibly fast. If you like your lamb more done, cook it a few minutes longer. My roast was just shy of 4 pounds and came out medium-rare after 30 minutes. To enhance the herb flavor, serve this with an herby sauce like gremolata."—Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Lamb:

  • 1 (4-poundboneless leg of lamb

  • 2 large carrots

  • 1 large onion

  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced, or 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock

For the Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 3 tablespoons cold water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for the Instant Pot leg of lamb recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Bring the lamb to room temperature before cooking, about 1 hour. Pat the lamb dry with paper towels. Truss the lamb with kitchen twine in several places, about 1 1/2 to 2 inches between tie, so it is uniform in thickness.

    Leg of lamb tied together with twine on a cutting board

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Peel the carrots and onion. Slice the carrots on the diagonal into 2-inch lengths. Cut the onion into 6 to 8 wedges.

    Onions wedges and carrot chunks on a cutting board with a knife

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the lamb.

    Seasoned leg of lamb on a platter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the Instant Pot and choose the sauté setting. When the oil is hot, add the lamb, turning to sear on all sides, about 7 minutes total.

    Leg of lamb seared in an Instant Pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Cancel the sauté setting. Add the chicken stock and scrape up the brown bits. Add the sliced carrots and onion wedges to the pot.

    Lamb leg, onions, and carrots in an Instant Pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Lock the lid in place on the Instant Pot and turn the venting knob to the sealing position. Select the manual setting, high pressure, and set the time to 35 minutes (for medium doneness level).

    Instant pot closed with the lid

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. When the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Carefully turn the knob to the venting position to release the remaining pressure. Remove the meat and vegetables to a platter and keep warm with a foil tent. The temperature will rise another 5 to 10 degrees as it rests.

    Lamb leg and vegetables on a plate, next to a roll of aluminum foil

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  9. Strain the liquids into a bowl or gravy separator, skim and discard the fat, and return the liquids to the Instant Pot. Select the sauté setting.

    Strained lamb cooking liquid in an Instant Pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  10. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch with the cold water and mix until smooth.

    Cornstarch and water stirred together in a bowl with a spoon

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  11. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the simmering liquids and stir until thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings as needed.

    Thickened gravy in the instant pot

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  12. Place the thickened gravy in a saucer and serve with the leg of lamb and vegetables.

    Instant Pot leg of lamb in slices, with vegetables on a platter and a gray boat next to it

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


  • When browning, if the leg of lamb isn't as brown as you'd like, transfer the roast to a baking pan and place it under a preheated broiler for about 5 minutes. Turn the pan a few times so the lamb will brown evenly.
  • Do not use glass bakeware when broiling or when a recipe calls to add liquid to a hot pan, as glass may explode. Even if it states oven-safe or heat resistant, tempered glass products can, and do, break occasionally.

Recipe Variations

Try cooking these potatoes using the Instant Pot and serve a complete meal:

  • When the roast is done, transfer it to a platter along with the vegetables. Cover and keep warm in a 170 F to 200 F oven. Place 1 1/2 pounds of baby potatoes in a steaming basket inside the Instant Pot with the lamb liquids. Select the manual setting, high pressure, for 8 minutes. Do a quick release and remove the potatoes to the platter with the lamb. Make the sauce as directed.

For more complex and deep flavors:

  • Replace about 1/2 cup of the chicken stock with dry white or red wine, or if you want to skip the wine, add 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar to the pot alongside the stock to add some acidity into the cooking juices.
  • Use additional spices of your liking, such as turmeric, red chile flakes, dried sage, dried marjoram, ground cumin, or a pinch of nutmeg to enhance the leg of lamb's flavor.

How to Store

  • Store the cooked leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • If you have plenty of leftovers and you'd like to freeze them, portion and place in zip-top bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.

Does Lamb Get More Tender the Longer You Cook It?

Some cuts of lamb, like lamb shanks or stew meat, benefit from a long, slow cooking process, becoming more tender as they cook. However, most cuts of lamb, like lamb chops and leg of lamb, are already tender to begin with and will become tough if over-cooked. Aim for medium or medium-rare.

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