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Melissa Jo’s Roast Leg of Lamb

My grandma always served Roast Leg of Lamb every Easter as the main course. First course, was always something Italian and I will add the recipe for my favorite Italian first course from grandma below. And this recipe is exactly how she made her leg of lamb and let me tell YOU…it is absolutely amazing! It’s fall of the bone savory delicious with a lemony olive oil marinade with herbs and garlic. I am going to teach you just like she taught me! And of course, serve with a side of mint jelly to really seal the deal for an amazing Easter dinner! You will be surprised just how easy this is & it may become a part of your Sunday dinner rotations! Let’s Make it!

Grandma's Roast Leg of Lamb


grandmas leg of lamb

Grandma’s Roast Leg of Lamb

Melissa Jo


  • 5.5 lbs Leg of lamb I do NOT remove fat
  • 2 quartered red onions
  • 20-25 cloves of garlic some sliced in slivers; some left whole
  • 3 lemons juiced
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. of oregano dried flakes
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • 3 tsp. of kosher salt
  • 3 tsp. of cracked black pepper
  • 2-3 sprigs of rosemary
  • mint jelly for serving


  • defrost the leg of lamb the night before prepping and make sure you bring the lamb to room temperature before prepping.
  • add about 7-8 cloves of garlic left whole at the bottom of the roasting pan
  • place the leg of lamb on top of the garlic cloves fattiest side up
  • stab wholes (make slits) all over the leg of lamb on BOTH sides. Slice up about 15 cloves go garlic into slivers. Push the slivers into the holes. (This adds tremendous flavor as the garlic caramelizes as it roasts in the lamb)
  • make the marinade by whisking together the juice of 3 lemons, 1/2 cup of olive oil, crushed red pepper, dried oregano, salt and pepper.
  • pour the marinade over both sides of the lamb and rub and massage it in all over. Allow the lamb to marinate for 1-2 hours at least before roasting. OR, you can marinate overnight. But be sure to bring it to room temperature out of the refrigerator before roasting.
  • Scatter 2 quartered red onions around the roast and add a few sprigs of rosemary.
  • Cover tightly with foil and add to a 400 degree F. oven and roast for 30 minutes. Then, drop the heat to 350 degrees F. and roast an additional 2-2 & 1/2 hours. Baste the lamb with the pan drippings halfway through the cooking time. I roasted my lamb for almost 3 hours total.
  • Allow the lamb to rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
  • Serve with potatoes and mint jelly and enjoy!
  • Happy Easter! Make it!


I used a 13″ x 16″ All Clad Roaster. It’s the perfect Roasting pan for every holiday! https://amzn.to/3G7wDXq

The lemon is a must! It cuts the gaminess of the lamb and results in a tremendously delicious leg of lamb!

Cover the roaster tightly with foil when baking…this will give you a fall of the bone result!

I am going to give you the exact recipe for how I made my leg of lamb, but always check the internal temperature to make it the way you like and ensure it’s done cooking, since all ovens are different. I made mine well done, simply because I wanted it to cook longer to really make it moist and fall off  the bone. Amazing!

  • medium rare: 145 degrees F

  • medium: 160 degrees F

  • well done: 170 degrees F

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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