How to Make the Best Roasted Leg of Lamb

roasted leg of lamb

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb

Enjoy an Easter classic at home. This delicious roasted leg of lamb is a satisfying dinner after a long Easter egg hunt!

In my big fat Greek family, lamb is the only meat you will find on the Easter dinner table, especially a roasted leg of lamb.

Lamb has both a cultural and religious significance to Easter and growing up we would go to a local farm and purchase a whole lamb to roast over a spit in the backyard and baste often with lemon, olive oil, and oregano while the lamb was rotating over the coals.  All the cousins would be there and the kids would line up to have a piece of the crisp skin as it was roasting over the fire – oh the memories!

Fast forward 20 years, and now I’m hosting Easter, we still have lamb, but rather than the whole lamb, we stop by our local Safeway and pick up a leg of lamb to roast in the oven. 

We also pick up some lamb rib chops and grill those and frankly, the lamb chops have become my kid’s favorite part of Easter – even the youngest will devour  4 to 5 “lollipop” lamb chops before the day is done.

Making a roasted leg of lamb is incredibly easy. 

The key is to marinate in a lemon and herb marinade ahead of time and also to bring the lamb roast to room temperature before roasting in the oven.  If you’ve never had lamb, it’s incredibly tender meat, but you do not want to overcook it as it can get tough. 

The flavor is very distinct as well – while some people serve with mint jelly (yuck!), I think the key is the right amount of lemon, oregano, or rosemary and you’ll have the most tender, delicious lamb you’ve ever tasted!

I like to serve it with roasted potatoes, a colorful spring salad, and a roasted vegetable – like these herb citrus roasted carrots.  We always have spanakopita as well – it wouldn’t be Greek Easter without it!

roasted leg of lamb

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Leg of Lamb

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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Calories: 308kcal


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 Tbs minced rosemary
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 4 to 4 ½- pound Open Nature ® partial bone-in leg of lamb


  • Mix to combine all ingredients (except roast) in a gallon sized zip-top bag. Add roast and let sit on counter for 1 hour, flipping bag over after 30 minutes. If not cooking right away, store in refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Remove 1 hour before cooking and let rest on counter.
  • Preheat oven to 450°. Remove lamb from marinade and place in a pan with a roasting rack. Cook lamb for 20 minutes. Tent lamb and turn oven down to 350°. Roast for an additional 75-85 minutes, until internal temperature of 145° for medium rare is reached. Tent loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve.


Pro Tips: 1. Oregano is a great substitute for rosemary. 2. To serve the roast, cut thin slices across the top of the roast, stopping at the bone. Then, cut horizontally along the edge of the bone to remove the slices.


Calories: 308kcal



lemon roasted leg of lamb

Thanks to our friends at Safeway for letting us share this video and recipe!

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