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Roast Leg of Lamb with Moroccan Spice Rub


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Rate this recipe 4.1/5 (24 Votes)


  • For Moroccan Spice Rub:
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds [or 1 tablespoon ground cumin]
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns [or 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper]
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 20 threads saffron, finely broken
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup minced parsley
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 leg of lamb, 5 to 6 pounds



Step 1

Make the spice rub. Toast cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a dry skillet over medium low heat, stirring frequently, for 5 or so minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to plate and let cool thoroughly. Grind cumin, coriander and peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Combine the cumin mixture in a bowl with the remaining rub ingredients, stirring to thoroughly blend.

Spread the rub evenly over the entire surface of the leg of lamb. Wrap the leg of lamb in plastic wrap and marinate, chilled, for 4 hours or longer. Remove from fridge for last half-hour of marinating to let it warm up slightly before roasting.

Roast the leg of lamb. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly oil a baking pan and place the leg of lamb in a rack in the pan. Roast in the center of the oven for 15 to 20 minutes per pound, rotating the pan once halfway through. Variations in ovens and the size of the leg of lamb will cause cooking times to vary quite a bit. Use a quick-read thermometer to check the lamb well before you think it should be done. You’re shooting for an internal temperature of anywhere from 130 to 145ºF. Remove from the oven and let it rest, tented lightly with foil, for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

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