Authentic Greek Lamb Recipe – How to Make Lamb Roast at Home

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Is there anything more traditional than authentic Greek Lamb recipes?

Not for a Greek, there isn’t.

Celebrate Easter – or any other special occasion – with what is arguably the best meat you can roast, either in an oven, on the Weber BBQ or if you are lucky enough, on the spit (rotisserie).

Today we cook Greek lamb, one of our favorite lamb dishes. Greek lamb roasted using traditional herbs and spices as a marinade – yum!

Simple to prepare and cook, Greek lamb is a great dish to make, especially when cooking for a crowd. The scent of roasting lamb combined with garlic, rosemary, and lemon is one of life’s great pleasures. If you were hoping to find the best lamb recipes for dinner party menus, you’re in the right place.

It is a classic dish and leaves the host or hostess with plenty of time to entertain and impress your friends and family. It’s a great choice of lamb dish for a dinner party.


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Lamb is a popular red meat in Greece as it is elsewhere in the region. We take a closer look at traditional Greek lamb dishes, how lamb is eaten in Greece and in expatriate Greek communities around the world.

Reader favorites from Compass and Fork!

Read on for the recipe and learn how to serve the best Greek Sunday dinner!

Greek Lamb in Greece and Around The World

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Before I visited Greece, when thinking about Greek food, I always imagined myself eating fresh, Greek seafood from a taverna, as well as eating Greek lamb on the spit, accompanied by a village salad.

It is very traditional in Greece to break the Lent fast on Easter Sunday feasting on Greek-style roast lamb, roast potatoes and village salad. Family groups (and invited friends) often gather at a designated house to enjoy the roasted lamb being cooked on a spit.

A whole sheep is used and this can take most of the day to cook. Whilst the lamb is cooking, there is much merriment with raki, wine, dancing and mezethes (small dishes) being consumed in the meantime.

Can you just imagine that with the sweet scent of roasting garlic and rosemary-infused lamb? You can read more about Greek Easter here, including the fact that it is not this coming weekend in Greece!

Other popular methods of roasting lamb in Greece are in the home outdoor oven. We saw these everywhere on the island of Naxos. Essentially the same as an outdoor pizza oven, the only difference being, it is wood-fired. The lamb can be hot-roasted (usually a leg of lamb) or slow roasted (usually a shoulder of lamb). Bread is also cooked in the outdoor oven.

Other great ways to cook Greek lamb to enjoy:

  • Loin chops or cutlets over a charcoal BBQ
  • Gyros (the meat part in souvlaki)
  • Lamb baked in a clay pot with kritharaki (a form of Greek pasta)
  • Moussaka (usually with eggplant)

I could go on. The bottom line is that Greeks know a thing or two about cooking lamb. It is an essential part of Greek cuisine, and it is good. So good that Greek methods of cooking lamb have been exported all over the world.

How to Cook Greek Lamb Roast at Home – Step By Step

Unfortunately, I don’t have a spit or outdoor oven to cook Greek lamb dishes. The next best option, in my opinion, is to use a charcoal-fired Weber (or kettle) BBQ. An indoor oven also works and it is what I use in the winter.

Your next decision is which cut of lamb to select. For high-temperature roasting like this, I prefer to use a leg of lamb. It can be either boned or whole.

I also prefer to marinate my lamb overnight to allow all those great, Greek flavors to permeate through the meat. If you don’t have time for an overnight traditional Greek lamb marinade, you can cook the roast straight away. You will still end up with a great result.

Marinating your leg of lamb is the only preparation required – until you are ready to slice the cooked meat.

Cooking time will vary depending on the size of your lamb leg. Here is a great website to calculate the cooking time based on the weight (in pounds or kilograms).

It is traditional to serve Greek lamb with roast potatoes and village salad. It is a great combination everyone will enjoy.

Looking for a salad to go with your lamb roast? Try this easy Greek village salad. It’s one of the best side dishes for roast lamb – . Greek or otherwise.

Other delicious side dishes for lamb include:

And for dessert? Continue the Greek theme with these loukoumades (Greek donuts).

Or you can go the full Monty and prepare a Greek-themed feast, just perfect for a dinner party or special occasion lunch.

Fancy roast lamb with Latin American flavors? Click here for roast lamb with chimichurri sauce.

Slow- cooked, roasted lamb is another easy option for roasting lamb and is beautifully moist. Greek leg of lamb slow -cooked is oh-so-divine!

Greek Lamb Roast
Greek Lamb Roast
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Imagine the aroma from your Greek-marinated lamb as it roasts in your oven or Weber BBQ. It’s simple and quick to prepare from everyday ingredients. Great for feeding a crowd!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
8people 10minutes 100minutes 12hours
Servings Prep Time
8people 10minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
100minutes 12hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: people
Units:
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, make a marinade by combining the crushed garlic, chopped rosemary, sea salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.
  2. Make 4 slits about 1 inch (3 cm) deep in the lamb leg. Push half a clove of garlic and a small sprig of rosemary deep into the slit. Place the lamb in a dish, rub the marinade over all of the lamb and then cover the dish and refrigerate overnight.Marinated - How to Cook Greek Lamb to Enjoy at Easter www.compassandfork.com
  3. About 45 minutes before cooking, bring the lamb to room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 350 f (180 c) or prepare your Weber BBQ ready for roasting. Place the lamb in the oven and roast for 1 hour 40 minutes. If using a Weber, follow the cooking instructions contained in the guide. Ovens vary so check the internal temperature of the lamb about 10 minutes before it is due to be removed.On the weber - How to Cook Greek Lamb to Enjoy at Easter www.compassandfork.com
  4. Remove the lamb when the temperature registers about 140 f (60 c). Loosely cover the lamb in aluminum foil. The lamb will continue to cook for a short time and should result in a medium rare to medium done roast.
Recipe Notes

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31 Responses

  1. STACEY
    | Reply

    Can you provide an appropriate cooking time if the leg was boneless? I’m looking for to cooking it!

  2. Francesca
    | Reply

    I made this over Christmas and am about to make it again on Easter Sunday. It is so delicious and easy to prepare. I will serve will lemon potatoes and Greek salad. Yum!

  3. Audrey
    | Reply

    Hi, quick question: do you cover the lamb when you cook it? Looks delish btw 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      No- leave it uncovered. Only cover it loosely at the end with foil while it rests. Enjoy!

  4. This looks incredible!!! I am living in Guatemala at the moment and I’m really missing my lamb! I have a holiday tothe US in a few weeks so hopefully I will be able to give this a go 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      Yes I don’t remember much lamb in Guatemala. I hope you enjoy it in the US. Thanks for your comment.

  5. Linda
    | Reply

    What a great post! I love lamb! Thank you so much for sharing. 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      My pleasure, one of my favorite dishes. Thanks for your comment.

  6. This looks amazing!!! Perfect for Easter!

    • Editor
      |

      Yes and easy to prepare and cook. Thanks for your comment.

  7. Ali from Home & Plate
    | Reply

    I’m the only one in my family that likes lamb. Your recipe looks mouth watering. I’ll be sure to keep it for when I have a dinner party.

    • Editor
      |

      I feel sorry for you. Everyone in my family likes lamb (lucky me). Thanks for your comment.

  8. Revathi Palani
    | Reply

    Looks perfectly done. Surely a perfect addition to the Easter table 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      Indeed. But let me tell you that I make this dish numerous times throughout the year. Thanks for your comment.

  9. Sarah
    | Reply

    Wow this looks gorgeous! You make it look so easy! I’m loving the herb and flavor combos 🙂

    • Editor
      |

      It’s a sensational combination of flavors. My favorite roast. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Brian Jones
    | Reply

    Lamb is my idea of food heaven and this sounds like a corking way to cook a leg of lamb, I have used similar flavours with a sloww cooked shoulder before. Such a shame that lamb is difficult to find in these parts!

    • Editor
      |

      Brian. Sorry to hear about the difficulties of sourcing lamb. I feel blessed as to its availability where we live. Thanks for your comment.

  11. Sam | Ahead of Thyme
    | Reply

    Wow this looks like the juiciest lamb ever! My hubby loveeees lamb so I will be bookmarking this to make for him!

    • Editor
      |

      Sam, You will definitely be in the good books!

  12. Wow, that is a picture-perfect roast! Thanks for the plan to make lamb for Easter!

    • Editor
      |

      Dorothy, It is a great dish to anytime, but Easter provides a great occasion.

  13. Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy
    | Reply

    This looks so good. My husband and I love lamb, but no one else does. I wish I could cook this for Easter…but will have to do it later just for the two of us. Looks awesome.

    • Editor
      |

      Gloria, Wow- they don’t know what they are missing. Oh well more for you two!

  14. This looks like the perfect Easter dinner main dish to me! Mouthwatering!

    • Editor
      |

      Kelly, It is a great meal for Easter, or any other time really. It is a favorite in our house.

  15. Lisa @garlicandzest.com
    | Reply

    I’m such a sucker for a leg of lamb! We usually make them for Easter and Christmas, and the occasional dinner party. That marinade sounds like the way to go!

    • Editor
      |

      Lisa, It keep sit very moist and it very nice. Hope you enjoy it. It is probably our go to marinade for lamb.

  16. This lamb roast looks delicious from the fresh herbs to the crust you got by cooking on a grill.

    • Editor
      |

      Peter, Yes the crust and the charcoal taste both just add to the flavor. It is nice in the oven as well if you don’t have a grill. We make this one all the time.

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