Roast Leg of Lamb

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By Alicia Ghio


At Easter, our Italian family tradition is to make a roast leg of lamb. However, I don’t think it should just be reserved for a holiday. It’s delicious any time. I’ll often cook a lamb roast on the weekend and enjoy the leftovers throughout the week.

If you are unfamiliar with cooking leg of lamb, there are a few key things to know. You can get it bone-in or without the bone. I prefer bone-in; it is a little trickier to carve, but I think the added flavor is worth it. Lamb is inherently tender so there is no need to marinate it. In fact, marinating it can sometimes make it tough. That’s why I simply season it with garlic, lemon juice and fresh rosemary. With little preparation time, the oven does most of the work. Once the roast reaches an internal temperature of around 130 degrees Fahrenheit (for medium-rare), take it out of the oven and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes. Then, carve and enjoy.


Roast Leg of Lamb

Serves 6-8



  • one 5 lb. leg of lamb
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • Juice of 2 fresh lemons
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
  • Salt, to taste



  1. Remove lamb from refrigerator one hour before roasting.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Make small slits just large enough for garlic slices in the leg of lamb. Insert the garlic slices.
  4. Pour the lemon juice over the lamb and then pat the rosemary and black pepper evenly over the surface. Sprinkle with salt; taste.
  5. Place the lamb, fat side up on a rack in an uncovered roasting pan.
  6. Roast 30 minutes per pound or until an internal thermometer reaches 175-180 degrees Fahrenheit (for well done) or 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit (for slightly rare).
  7. When done, remove from oven. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Carve and serve.


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