By Vanessa Greaves
Photo by Chef John

Your kitchen's going to smell amazing.

Spring lamb has a distinctive flavor all its own that makes for mouthwatering roasts fit for special occasion feasts. And when it comes to roast lamb, there are two main cuts you'll want to look for: leg of lamb and rack of lamb. I'll share our top-rated recipes for each of these tender roasts, plus tips for roasting lamb.

Top Tips for Roasting Lamb

  • Let your lamb roast sit out for at least 30 minutes before roasting to ensure even cooking.
  • Fat = flavor. Trimming fat from a roast will reduce the "gamey" flavor.
  • Make sure the leg of lamb you buy does not include the shank, as it does not roast well. Lamb shank should be cooked with moisture (braised or stewed) in order to create a tender dish.
  • Don't skimp on rubs and seasonings. Lamb pairs well with bold spices, herbs, and other flavorings including rosemary, thyme, cumin, garlic, fennel, coriander, citrus, mint, mustard.
  • Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before carving.

More: Get additional tips for roasting lamb, including best roasting times and temperatures.

Roast Leg of Lamb

A roast leg of lamb can come with or without the leg bone. If you you want a boneless roast but can't find one, you can either ask your butcher to remove the bone for you, or, if you're confident enough in your knife skills, you can debone it yourself.

1. Roast Leg of Lamb

This simple recipe is as easy as it gets. Slivers of garlic are inserted into the meat before it's roasted with salt, pepper, and springs of fresh rosemary. Recipe creator MBENHAM suggests placing cooked peeled potatoes in the pan to roast along with the lamb. You could also cut small new potatoes in half and place them cut-side down in the pan to let them cook in the juices as the lamb roasts.

Photo by Allrecipes

2. Chef John's Roasted Leg of Lamb

Chef John flavors this boneless lamb roast with pomegranate molasses, garlic, rosemary, cumin, mint, and Aleppo pepper. What's this? You don't have pomegranate molasses? Good thing you can very easily make your own pomegranate molasses.

More: See how to debone a leg of lamb.

3. Roast Leg of Lamb with Rosemary

An overnight marinade of fresh rosemary, garlic, mustard, honey, and lemon zest amps up the flavor of this bold roast.

Photo by meesh

4. Stuffed Leg of Lamb with Balsamic-Fig-Basil Sauce

This deboned and butterflied leg of lamb is stuffed with dried plums, currants, almonds, creme de cassis, and mint. But the flavor fest doesn't stop there because you'll finish it off with an easy-to-make balsamic basil fig sauce. Watch the video to see how to stuff and tie up the boneless roast.

Roast Rack of Lamb

Most recipes for roast rack of lamb call for searing the roast on the stovetop to get a flavorful crust before finishing it in the oven. Learn how to sear meats.

5. Roasted Rack of Lamb

A crust of bread crumbs, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard gives this tender rack of lamb an extra layer of flavor with every bite.

Photo by Kyle Benson

6. Mint Crusted Rack of Lamb

For this version, the crust goes in a sweeter direction, with mint, honey, rice vinegar, and Dijon mustard.

7. Moroccan Lamb with Shiraz Honey Sauce

You'll rub a rack of lamb with a Moroccan spice mix called ras el hanout for a quick lamb roast that's done in about 50 minutes. While the roast is resting, you'll cook down wine and honey to make a delectable pan sauce to drizzle over the meat.

Photo by Chris Pirrotta

8. Rack of Lamb with Blueberry Sauce

Lamb pairs beautifully with fruit, as you'll see in this recipe for lamb and blueberries. Of course, you can use frozen blueberries when fresh aren't available. You'll want to watch the video to see how it all comes together.

9. Pistachio Crusted Rack of Lamb

Crunchy pistachios and tangy Dijon mustard team up with bread crumbs and herbes de Provence to make the crust for this special occasion roast.

10. Rack of Lamb with Strawberry Mint Sauce

Sweet and savory come together when you serve this mustard-crusted roast with a minty strawberry sauce.

More: See our entire collection of lamb recipes.


Serve your roast lamb with crispy, crunchy roast potatoes and fresh spring asparagus.