Roasted boneless leg of lamb is full of flavor and perfect for special occasions and holidays. The boneless lamb is stuffed with rosemary, parsley, and garlic then rolled up and roasted until it's pink, tender, and juicy. Perfect served with a salsa verde and roasted potatoes.
As Spring approaches, I find myself pondering the age-old question, "which meat should I roast for Easter?".
While I love the fennel and orange flavor in porchetta and appreciate the crowd-pleasing neutrality of a turkey breast, I almost always lean toward lamb and more specifically, this roasted boneless leg of lamb.
And since we're on the topic of Easter, do make sure to make pizzagaina or Italian Easter bread for breakfast and Pastiera Napoletana for dessert. There. Now your whole meal is set! 🙂
Boneless leg of lamb is mild in flavor and tender enough to appeal to those who don't always enjoy lamb which is perfect for Easter when you're feeding a crowd.
And the garlicky herby filling seals the deal.
I usually serve with a salsa verde as well as it pairs perfectly with the roasted lamb.
My salsa verde recipe doesn't include mint, however, when I'm making it to serve with lamb, I always add mint in addition to the parsley.
How to make it
Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.
- Preheat the oven to 450f and set the rack to the middle level. Begin by mincing 5 cloves of garlic into a paste. Also, cut another 10 cloves of garlic into pointed slices for stuffing later on. Mince 5 tablespoons of fresh rosemary and a ¼ cup of parsley.
- Dry off the leg of lamb with paper towels (this will help with better roasting). In pic 2, I am demonstrating how the lamb should look after being rolled. You want a cylinder formation for even cooking.
- Open the lamb up (inside facing up) and drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil on the lamb's interior. Season with half of the kosher salt and pepper and all of the garlic paste. Note: Use ¾ to 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of meat for the whole roast.
- Sprinkle all of the parsley and half of the rosemary into the inside of the lamb. Lay pieces of butcher's twine out and tie the lamb tightly into a cylinder. In the accompanying YouTube video, I demonstrated how to tie a butcher's knot. You don't need to do this, but it does help to get a tighter cylinder. In the pic above I simply tied regular knots about 2 inches apart.
- Once the boneless leg of lamb is securely tied, begin cutting slits into all of the exterior areas of the lamb. Make each slit about 2 inches apart and the depth of the garlic clove pieces.
- Push the garlic pieces into the slits. Don't worry about using all of the garlic, but try to get a good amount in there. If you love garlic, take your time and get it in there!
- Coat the lamb with the remaining olive oil. Use your hands tospread it all over. Season the lamb's exterior with the remaining salt, pepper, and rosemary.
- Place the seasoned lamb on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1 ½ cups of water into the roasting pan making sure to not pour too high and hit the lamb's underside.
- Roast the lamb for 15 minutes then turn the heat down to 350f. Continue roasting until the internal temp reaches 130f. Once the temp hits that level, remove the lamb from the oven and tent with foil for 10-15 minutes before carving. During the resting stage, the interior of the lamb will climb to 135-140f making it a perfect medium-rare to medium. If you want it more on the rare side remove the lamb at 120-125f internal temp. Note: It is so much easier to use an oven-safe digital thermometer for accurate cooking. Simply place the probe exactly into the center of the lamb and set the temp timer to your liking. Regardless, the lamb should take about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook so make sure you keep an eye on the time as a small roast can cook quickly.
- After 10 to 15 minutes of resting, slice the lamb. The outside parts will be the most well cooked and the center will be the rarest. Enjoy!
Top tips for perfect roasted boneless leg of lamb
- The lamb. Boneless leg of lamb can run the gamut when it comes to pricing. When we were buying ours for the dish, we priced it anywhere from $6.99 to $14.99 per pound. We decided to try the $6.99/pound from Costco and were not disappointed, although we did find that the lamb we used for our video last year was a bit more tender. The lamb in the video was pricier as it was purchased at our local butcher.
- The temperature. We cooked the lamb until it was 130f to achieve a medium-rare center. We prefer our lamb to be on the medium-rare to medium side as opposed to beef which can be a bit rarer. Use an oven-safe digital thermometer to ensure the temperature is exactly where you want it.
- The seasoning. We love the combination of rosemary and garlic with lamb and included parsley in this as well. Another great option would be to use mint and/or oregano. Feel free to use whichever herbs you prefer.
- Resting. As with any roasted (or grilled) meat, it's best to just let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the moisture to reabsorb back into the meat and ensures a juicy roast!
- Making ahead. You can definitely prepare the uncooked lamb a day ahead of time with the herbs and garlic. It will achieve similar results to a dry brine if stored uncovered in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Remove the lamb from the fridge about 2 hours prior to roasting.
What to serve with rosemary and garlic roasted boneless leg of lamb
- Crispy roasted potatoes - With Lemon and garlic, these are our favorite side to serve with lamb!
- Roasted garlic mashed potatoes - Airy mashed potatoes filled with buttery garlic flavor.
- Green beans with tomato sauce - Similar to the Greek version that's often served with lamb in Greek restaurants.
- Baked cauliflower - With Pecorino cheese, Sicilian oregano, and breadcrumbs.
- Baked artichoke hearts - Canned artichoke hearts in a white wine, lemon, garlic mixture topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.
- Roasted broccoli - with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- Italian American Lasagna - More of a first course than a side, we almost always make lasagna for Easter in addition to lamb.
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- 1 boneless leg of lamb about 5 pounds
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 10 cloves garlic roughly sliced
- ¼ cup parsley minced
- 5 tablespoons rosemary chopped
- 5 teaspoons kosher salt or 1 teaspoon per pound of meat
- 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ cups water
- Preheat oven to 450f and set the rack to on the middle level.
- Trim the leg of lamb interior of any large excess fat pieces. Dry off the lamb with paper towels then spread it out, interior facing up, onto a large cutting board. Drizzle with half of the olive oil. Season the lamb's interior with half of the kosher salt, pepper, and rosemary. Also, add all of the parsley and minced garlic to the interior.
- Roll the leg of lamb into a cylinder (to ensure even cooking) and tie it tightly. If you know how to tie a butcher's knot, now is the time to do it. Otherwise, tie it every 1-2 inches to secure.
- Cut small slits into the lamb's exterior and insert the garlic slices. Coat the lamb with the remaining olive oil and season the exterior with the remaining salt, pepper, and rosemary.
- Place the lamb in a roasting pan elevated with a wire rack. Pour 1 ½ cups of water into the pan making sure the water doesn’t rise to the bottom of the lamb.
- Roast the lamb for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350f. Cook the lamb until the center of the lamb achieves 130f for medium-rare after resting. Use an oven-safe digital thermometer or check with an instant-read thermometer during cooking to get the temp just right. The lamb should take about 15-20 minutes per pound to cook.
- When the lamb is finished roasting, remove it to a cutting board, and let it sit lightly tented with foil for 10-15 minutes. Remove the twine and cut it into slices. Enjoy!
- ¾ to 1 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of lamb is recommended. If you are on a low sodium diet, cut back to your personal preference.
- Use an oven-safe digital thermometer for accurate stress-free roasting.
- Make sure to let the lamb rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to reabsorb into the roast.
- Tying a cylinder ensures even cooking. A butcher's knot is the best way to tie a tight cylinder. The accompanying video on YouTube shows how to tie the knot.
- Leftovers can be saved in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Julia Salerno Chapdelaine
Great flavor & cooked to perfection!
Great to hear! Thanks, Julia.
Looks great! I am going to try it.
Thank you, Lori!
First time to try this yesterday. It was roasted 60-70% well done and was highlighted during the dinner party with my friends. Thank you for sharing this recipe!
Hi Lori, thank you for sharing! So happy you and your friends enjoyed!
Great recipe. Thanks so much. Easy to follow instructions. Tasted great.
Hi Sherryl, I'm so happy you liked the lamb and found the instructions to be helpful. Thank you for the comment!
Delicious and very easy to make. First time trying leg of lamb and I am glad I found your recipe!
Hi Tammy, so happy you liked the lamb recipe and thanks or the comment!
Down to earth recipe and excellent instructional. I really liked the tying technique and learned a lot. Will make for New Years this year. I like a little more mint than parsley in the sauce so will take a little adaptation to it.
Hi Manuela, thanks for the comment and so happy you liked the recipe and instructions!
first time trying lamb but i like it more well done what temp would that be ?
Hi Annette, cooking the lamb to approximately 160f will give you medium and 170f will give you well done.
The recipe looks good! I always enjoy instructional videos. But I would have liked a traditional fresh mint sauce recipe instead of a parsley one. Thank you.
Looks great. Sure it tastes great too
Leg of lamb looks fabulous and I’m sure tastes even better. Can’t wait to make this. Thanks for explaining everything in detail
Thanks for the comment, Camille. Hope you enjoy!
I've made this recipe several times and each time it comes out perfect. The combination of garlic, rosemary, and parsley is outstanding. It brings back memories of my Mom's leg of lamb recipe from many years ago. It's the perfect Easter Dinner roast and perfect whenever you want a five star meal.
Thank you as always for sharing and Happy Easter!
Hi Marian, I'm so happy you've enjoyed this recipe a few times, and that it helps bring back some memories for you. I really appreciate the comment and Happy Easter to you as well!
Great video. I’ve made similiar in the past. I just marinated overnight and added red wine. Thank you!
Hi Alexcia, I'm so happy you enjoyed the recipe and appreciate the comment!