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Chef John's Roasted Leg of Lamb

Chef John

"I've done more than a few lamb dishes dedicated to Easter, but inexplicably have never posted one for a whole leg of lamb. It's such a classic Easter menu option, and, when prepared using this method, makes for a very user-friendly hunk of meat."
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10 h 20 m servings 326 cals
Original recipe yields 8 servings


  • Calories:
  • 326 kcal
  • 16%
  • Fat:
  • 20.6 g
  • 32%
  • Carbs:
  • 1.2g
  • < 1%
  • Protein:
  • 31.9 g
  • 64%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 115 mg
  • 38%
  • Sodium:
  • 804 mg
  • 32%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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  1. Stir 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, garlic, rosemary, kosher salt, black pepper, Aleppo pepper, mint, and cumin together in a bowl.
  2. Arrange the butterflied leg of lamb onto a work surface with the fatty side facing down. Cut 2 deep slashes in each of the the fleshy ends of the meat. Flip the lamb and cut 10 to 20 shallow slashes across the surface of the fat.
  3. Spread 3/4 the pomegranate molasses mixture onto the meat-side of the lamb to coat completely. Fold meat together and turn into a large bowl. Spread remaining pomegranate mixture over the fatty side of the meat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place a roasting rack in the bottom of a roasting pan.
  5. Remove lamb from marinade and discard excess marinade. Gather roast and place onto a work surface with fatty side facing upwards. Tie the center section of the roast with kitchen twine to cinch the roast together. Repeat ties four times along the length of the roast.
  6. Season roast with salt and transfer to prepared roasting pan. Pour water below the rack to cover the bottom of the pan.
  7. Roast in the preheated oven until hot and slightly pink in the center, about 1 3/4 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 135 degrees F (57 degrees C). Rest for 15 minutes, transfer to a plate, and brush with remaining pomegranate molasses.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You can substitute red pepper flakes for the Aleppo pepper.
  • Nutrition:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the marinade ingredients. The actual amount of the marinade consumed will vary.

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Read all reviews 34
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I hadn't heard of Aleppo Pepper before, and looked for it for this recipe. Current conflict in Syria (Aleppo) has affected the availability of this spice. Pray for peace! Here is a substitute: ...

I used John's recipe to cook a leg of lamb for Christmas. Home run for my finicky eaters. I like the way he details how to prepare the meat by cutting slashes. I did substitute honey for the mol...

Chef John I want to thank you for sharing this recipe for all of us to make. I did it exactly as you describe. It came out outstanding!!! I will certainly be making this again. Thank you!!

Thank you, Chef John, for making our Christmas dinner a smashing success! I followed your special pomegranate mollases recipe and it was wonderful! I tripled the recipe for 3 boneless lamb roast...

Even if I didn't love cooking I would watching you. I grow my own pomegranates and make my own jellies--this year I will also add molasses and syrup. This one goes in the oven---but the one si...

I had to make my own pomegranate molasses, but it was pretty easy and the roast was awesome! Recipe I used for the molasses was 4c.pomegranate juice, 1/2 c. sugar, and 1/4 c. lemon juice reduced...

Fantastic. The only change I made was that I omitted the garlic from the marinade. Instead i used about 10 cloves, cut into thick slivers and cut deep slits all over the meat and inserted the ga...

I made this for the family this weekend and it was simply amazing! Although I could not find Pomogranate Molasses I took some plain dark molasses and added cranberry juice then reduced it. For...

Delicious! Our guests loved it too! The only change I made was to add a little organic dark brown sugar to the marinade, as I found it too tart without it. All Chef John's instructions about ho...