Mediterranean Grilled American Lamb Leg with Mint Pesto


June 28, 2022

Recipe provided by Mediterranean Grilled Lamb Leg with Mint Pesto | The Mediterranean Dish, courtesy of the American Lamb Board (Mediterranean Grilled American Lamb Leg with Mint Pesto | American Lamb).

  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins


1 cup Packed fresh parsley

1/2 cup Packed fresh mint leaves

1 small Red onion, chopped

4 cloves Garlic, chopped

1 1/2 tsp Ground allspice

1 tsp Ground coriander

1 tsp Sumac spice

1/2 tsp Ground cardamom

Juice of a lemon

1/4 cup Private Reserve extra-virgin olive oil

1 Boneless & butterflied leg of American lamb (3-4 lbs)


Mint Pesto

2 tbsp Toasted pine nuts

1 cup Packed mint leaves

1/4 cup Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1 small Garlic clove, peeled

1 small Shallot, chopped

1/2 tsp Honey

1/8 tsp Salt, more if needed


1Make the marinade. In the bowl of a food processor, add the parsley, mint, onion garlic, spices, lemon juice and olive oil. Run processor until you have a smooth green marinade.

2Pound lamb. Place the lamb leg on a large cutting board, cover with heavy plastic wrap. Using the smooth side of a meat tenderizer or mallet like this one, pound lamb and make sure to even out any pieces that are too thick. But remember, the goal is NOT to achieve paper-thin lamb.

3Pat the lamb leg dry and sprinkle generously with salt on both sides. Place lamb in a large freezer bag and spread the marinade all over it. Zip the bag closed and work the marinade into the lamb to make sure every part of the lamb is well coated. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

4Remove lamb from fridge and let sit in room temperature for 20 minutes. (To make the lamb easier to turn on the grill you can insert a couple of metal skewers through the lamb, crosswise).

5Heat an outdoor gas grill on high on all burners (this is just for the start).

6Place lamb, fat-side down, on the hot grill. Sear 2 minutes or so, then turn over and sear on the other side for 2 minutes. Lower the heat to low (temperature between 300 and 350 degrees F). Cover and grill for 15 minutes or so, flipping once midway through, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the lamb reads 130 degrees F (for medium-rare). [Read note] Remove from grill onto a cutting board. Cover with foil and let rest about 5 minutes. If using skewers, remove them, and cut across the grain and place on a serving platter.

7To make the mint pesto (during downtime as the lamb is grilling or resting), simply add all the ingredients into the bowl of a clean food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Top the grilled lamb with some of the pesto and transfer the rest of the pesto to a small serving bowl.

8You can also serve this grilled lamb with a side of this homemade Greek tzatziki sauce. Be sure to see suggestions for salads and sides up in the post under “what to serve with grilled lamb.” Enjoy!

Grilling time will vary depending on how thick, and exactly how many pounds the lamb is. Mine was 1-2 inches thick and weighed about 3.25 pounds. Also, I used an efficient Weber grill. You’ll notice also that my lamb is not medium-rare, I went a few extra minutes for my children’s sake.