Roasted Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Roasted Butterflied Leg of Lamb

The Spruce

  • Total: 75 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1 leg of lamb (serves 10-12)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
484 Calories
34g Fat
5g Carbs
38g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 leg of lamb (serves 10-12)
Amount per serving
Calories 484
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 43%
Saturated Fat 13g 66%
Cholesterol 142mg 47%
Sodium 162mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Protein 38g
Calcium 59mg 5%
*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.)

Leg of lamb is a great cut to serve for entertaining. This meat is sweet and tender and very popular in England but may be hard to find here. Ask the butcher about this cut a few days before you want to serve it in case he needs to order it.

In cooking, "butterfly" just means you cut the meat in half so it lies flat and it cooked more quickly. You can do it yourself if you have a sharp knife and pretty good knife skills, but I like having an expert perform this task.

It makes a complete meal, add some whole small potatoes and chunks of carrots to the pan with the lamb. They will roast right along with the meat. Serve with a green salad tossed with sliced mushrooms and chunks of avocado, and some nice red or white wine.


  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves (minced)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless leg of lamb (butterflied)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for roasted lamb
    The Spruce 
  2. In a heavy duty zipper lock food storage bag, combine the thyme, rosemary, garlic, onion, oil, vinegar, orange juice, and mustard, and mix well.

    Combine ingredients in ziploc bag
    The Spruce
  3. Add the leg of lamb; seal the bag, and turn to coat. Massage the meat through the bag for a bit to help the marinade penetrate into the meat. Put the storage bag into a large roasting pan and marinate for 24 hours in the refrigerator.

    Massaging meat through the bag
    The Spruce
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  5. Remove the lamb from the marinade and place in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper.

    Lamb in glass tray
    The Spruce
  6. Roast the lamb, uncovered, for 50 to 70 minutes or until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 140 F for medium-rare or 150 F for medium. Make sure the lamb is cooked to a minimum of 140 F for food safety reasons.

    Roast the lamb
    The Spruce
  7. Baste the lamb with the remaining marinade several times during the time it's in the oven, using all of the marinade.

    Baste the lamb
    The Spruce
  8. Remove the lamb from the oven, cover with foil, and let stand for 15 minutes before serving.

    Cover lamb with foil
    The Spruce
  9. Carve the lamb into slices against the grain.

    Carve lamb into slices
    The Spruce
  10. Serve with the sauce that forms in the bottom of the pan.


  • You can find fresh herbs at just about any grocery store these days; if you can't, substitute 1/3 ​of the dry herbs. Either will be delicious in this wonderful recipe.

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