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Roasted Leg of Lamb is flavored with zippy lemon juice, fresh garlic, rosemary, and is topped with a sauce made from its own pan drippings and herbs. This is the best way to enjoy roast lamb!

Roasted leg of lamb on a platter.

While leg of lamb isn’t the most popular red meat out there, we’re firm believers that it should be! When prepared properly, roast lamb is a total crowd-pleaser. It produces succulent meat, and the sauce…oh the sauce! It is packed full of seasoning and really brings out all of the mild, delicate flavors of the meat. It’s perfect for the holidays or any main course. 

Grades of Lamb:

There are different grades of lamb which you should look out for when choosing yours. The grades range between prime, choice, good, utility, and cull. If you opt for prime cuts, you won’t be disappointed! 

Covered vs. Uncovered:

Many roasted meat recipes call for you to cover your dish while it roasts. There’s no need for that in this roasting recipe. If you’re working with a shoulder, you’ll be roasting it for much longer and so in that case, you should cover it. Covering helps to retain moisture, but because your meat is only roasting for about 2-hours tops, it’s not necessary here.

How Long Should Leg of Lamb Rest?

No matter how you choose to cook your dish, giving it time to rest is key if you want it to turn out well. This is because letting the meat rest will help it become juicer, as well as allow it to finish some of its internal cooking. The FDA recommends that you let your meat rest for a minimum of 3 minutes before slicing and eating. If you have the patience, you should wait 15 minutes. 15 minutes of rest gives it enough time for the inside to finish cooking and delivers the juiciest cut of meat you can get.

Cooking to Temperature and Not Time:

There are some recipes where cooking time isn’t a suggestion but rather an obligation. Okay – no one is going to bang down your door if you don’t follow the timing instructions to a tee, but you get the gist. That said, the FDA recommends that you cook your lamb to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This will help ensure that all the harmful bacteria are killed and that it is safe for you and your loved ones to enjoy.

Roast lamb is one of those instances where you’re going to want to cook to internal temperature and not time. That means you’ll need to use a food-safe thermometer. Here are the internal temps for each level of doneness, after your meat has rested:

We always recommend you cook your lamb in accordance with FDA guidelines to 145 degrees F. However, you do get to choose your doneness preference in your own kitchen. Make sure to use a thermometer for 100% accuracy and the best results.

Does Lamb Get More Tender the Longer You Cook it?

Like most red meats, lamb does get more tender the longer you cook it. You should always opt to roast it for longer and at lower temperatures. That’s why this recipe calls for you to adjust the heat in the middle of the cooking time. Leg of lamb is naturally filled with more muscle fibers, and you need those low temps to break them down. This process makes the meat more tender!

Serving Suggestions:

Serve your roast lamb as the main course alongside some of these sides, and your meal is sure to please. As a rule of thumb, a well-rounded meal includes protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables:

Close up view of a roasted leg of lamb, carved.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

If you have any leftover leg of lamb, make sure that it has completely cooled, and then transfer to an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or up to 2 months in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy, simply reheat in the microwave for a few minutes until it’s thoroughly reheated. If you’re working from frozen, let it defrost in the fridge overnight before reheating for best results.

If you like this recipe, you may be interested in these other delicious main course recipes:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTubeFacebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Roasted leg of lamb on a platter.
Roasted Leg of Lamb is flavored with zippy lemon juice, fresh garlic, rosemary, and is topped with a sauce made from its own pan drippings and herbs. This is the best way to enjoy roast lamb!


  • 1 leg of lamb approx. 6 lbs
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 8 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pepper


  • Pan drippings
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1/3 cup fresh rosemary chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh chives chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup red grape juice or red wine
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Put your leg of lamb in a roasting pan and pour lemon juice over it. In a small bowl mix together garlic, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, rub the spices all over the lamb.
  • Roast the lamb for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. After 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Continue roasting for about 1 hour longer, until your meat thermometer reads 145 degrees.
  • Remove lamb from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.


  • While the lamb is resting, make your sauce by pouring all of the drippings from the roasting pan into a medium-sized sauce pan. Get all the little bits, and burned chunks that you can.
  • Heat the sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add in herbs and flour and sauté for another minute.
  • Add in chicken stock and grape juice and bring to a boil. Sauce should begin to thicken.
  • Remove from heat. Strain out all the herbs and onions (if desired), leaving a pure sauce. Serve the sauce drizzled over the lamb once it is sliced.
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse 2004
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roasted Leg of Lamb
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