Shawarma-Spiced Roast Pulled American Lamb Leg Tacos


May 17, 2022

These shawarma-spiced lamb tacos are a cross between gyros and tacos for a flavorful feast!

  • Prep: 1 hrs 30 mins
  • Cook: 6 hrs
  • Yields: 8 Servings


For the pulled lamb

1 tbsp kosher salt

1 tbsp paprika

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 bone-in American lamb leg, about 6 pounds

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 garlic cloves, minced

For the Greek pico de gallo

2 cups cherry tomato, halved

1/4 cup diced red onion

1/2 small cucumber, seeds removed and diced

Juice from 1 medium lemon

1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves

Kosher salt, to taste

For serving

Small flour tortillas, warmed

2 cups Greek yogurt, separated equally in containers

4 cups wild arugula, separated equally in two resealable bags

1 cup crumbled feta cheese separated equally in two bags or containers


For the pulled lamb

1In a small bowl stir together the salt, paprika, cumin, coriander, pepper and cinnamon until combined. Set aside.

2Rub the lamb leg with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and garlic then rub all over with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate to let marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

3Preheat oven to 450°F. Add the lamb to a large roasting pan. Roast lamb until well browned all over, 20–25 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. Add enough water so the liquid comes about 1 inch up the side of the roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, and roast until meat is tender and easily pulls apart, about 4½ hours, turning once halfway through cooking.

4Transfer the lamb to a platter and tent with foil to keep warm. Add the braising liquid to a medium saucepan and boil over medium heat until it reduces by half. Shred the lamb and pour the reduced juices over the top.

For the Greek pico de gallo

1In a medium mixing bowl stir together the tomatoes, onion, cucumber, lemon juice and mint. Season with salt, split into two containers (one for your family and one to share) cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made up to two days in advance.

For assembly

1To assemble the tacos, top with Greek yogurt, a small handful of arugula, topped with lamb, a scoop of the Greek pico de gallo and crumbled feta cheese.

Recipe and photos courtesy of the American Lamb Board and Cooking with Cocktail Rings.