Grilled Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary

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Here’s a cool tip from chef Cal Peternell to make grilling a boned leg of lamb even better. Instead of butterflying it, simply find the four natural muscle separations (you’ll see them easily) and use your fingers to pull the pieces apart. Not only does this make grilling faster, but it also helps you check for doneness and makes carving a breeze. Plus, the meat gets a lovely mellow flavor and an amazing crust. Yum!

But wait, we’ve got more! To make your grilled lamb leg even more scrumptious, pair it with some tasty side dishes. Our top picks are grilled asparagus and a refreshing white bean salad. Enjoy!

Active Time: 45 mins | Total Time: 3 hrs 45 mins | Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless leg of lamb, not butterflied
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Spread the lamb on a work surface. With a boning or paring knife, cut between the muscles and separate them using your fingers. Trim away any excess fat and gristle.
  2. In a large, shallow dish, combine the olive oil, garlic, and rosemary. Add the lamb and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours, turning a few times. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before grilling.
  3. Preheat grill to high (450°F to 500°F).
  4. Season the lamb with salt and pepper; do not scrape off the garlic or rosemary. Place lamb on oiled grates; grill, uncovered, turning often until an instant-read thermometer inserted in each piece registers 125°F to 130°F for medium rare. The times will vary according to the size and shape of the lamb leg, anywhere from 8 minutes for a 6-ounce piece to 20 minutes for a 1 1/2-pound piece.
  5. Transfer the lamb to a carving board as each one is done. Cover loosely with foil and let rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice the lamb and serve.

Make ahead

The lamb can marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.

Serve with

Grilled asparagus and white bean salad.

Suggested pairing

Grilled leg of lamb tastes best with a medium-weight red that has soft tannins, such as a California Merlot.

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About the Author: Jenny Kristy

Spice Seeker, Recipe Weaver, Nomad Chef |With a passport bursting with stamps and a pantry overflowing with global spices, Jenny Kristy isn't just a cook, she's a culinary nomad. Her travels fuel her passion, transforming exotic flavors into recipes that tantalize and transport. She weaves magic in her kitchen, sharing her adventures through meals that whisper of Marrakesh markets and Tuscan trattorias. From teaching sushi to whipping up Moroccan masterpieces, Jenny ignites wanderlust and connects cultures, one delicious bite at a time.

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