HomeRecipies Meat & Seafood Roast Leg of Lamb with Blackened Honey Dijon Crust

Roast Leg of Lamb with Blackened Honey Dijon Crust

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Roast leg of lamb makes an unforgettable main dish for your Easter celebration! Roast lamb is so delicious, moist, and tender when it is done right. The secret is to crank up the oven to 500 degrees for a few minutes to get that blackened honey dijon crust, then lower the temperature to get the most tender, juicy roast lamb you’ve ever had. 

roast lamb

This post is sponsored by Mirum, but all opinions are my own of course! Thanks for supporting the amazing brands that keep The Food Charlatan chugging along. 

We just got back a couple weeks ago from a cruise with the whole family, which was so fun, but also required a 5-hour flight to Florida, which was less “fun” and more “endure to the end.” People who travel with children and manage not to strangle anyone  or be strangled by fellow travelers deserve an honorary Olympic medal, I say.

Roast leg of lamb

Honestly though, the kids were amazing. I was the problem. I just kept losing track of all our stuff. At our first TSA security check, I left one of our suitcases behind while shuffling passports. It’s a good thing we had our name on it or I’m sure they would have taken it to a remote location and detonated it. Probably I forgot it because I was distracted by the TSA lady who INSISTED that all our kids hold their own passports and boarding passes, even the baby. She’s like, “It makes it easier,” and I’m sitting there literally sweating, carrying 5,000 items, and thinking, um, easier for WHO, lady?? Who gives a 2-year-old an irreplaceable document??

roast lamb recipe

Then there was the fact that there just weren’t enough hands to carry everything. Instead of carrying Valentine in our arms, we had her ride on our hard shell suitcase, seated right on top. This works great most of the time, except for the times when she randomly launches herself off of it, wailing loudly and glaring at us like it’s our fault, while other people stare.

roast lamb

Don’t let this innocent face fool you.

Then when we actually got on the plane, I left my suitcase again, just completely abandoned it in the center of the plane aisle while dealing with Valentine and trying to help Eric get our other bags up in the overhead bins. It blocked Charlotte and I turned around eventually to see her struggling to carry two suitcases while dozens of seated passengers looked on awkwardly. “Did you see that incredibly frazzled looking mom leave her kid to carry two suitcases?? Oh the humanity!” I’m sure that’s what they were whispering.

roast leg of lamb recipe

And finally, we made it to our room on the boat, and we’re unpacking, and Eric’s like, where’s the other bag, and I’m panicking like, I don’t know!! And he opened the door and I had just left it in the hallway.

Seriously I don’t know what it is with me. I needed a nice long cruise just to meditate and prepare for the plane ride home.

Who is ready for Easter?? I’m so excited. Have you ever had lamb for Easter? If you have never had roast leg of lamb, you have never liiiived! Lamb is just not that common in the United States, and it’s honestly tragic. Lamb (when cooked properly) is juicy, tender, and has gorgeous flavor. I am here to teach you the right way to get it done!

roast leg of lamb recipe

First we start out with an incredible rub. I used Maille Mustard (pronounced “MY” mustard) to bring you this amazing roast leg of lamb recipe, so our rub is starting out with their FANtastic Honey Dijon. Seriously guys, I could eat this stuff with a spoon, or douse a salad with it solo and be happy. It’s the perfect balance of sharp and sweet.  We are combining it with a bunch of garlic and a few dried herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary) and plenty of salt to pull out the lovely natural flavors found in lamb.

how to cook roast lamb

Maille® Honey Dijon is not hard to find, I picked it up at Walmart. I was pleasantly surprised to find such a wide selection of condiments there actually! They not only had the regular Maille Dijon, but they had the Honey Dijon too. I love it when I find exactly what I’m looking for at the store! It’s the best!

how to cook roast lamb

But back to the lamb. Lamb is best when it is not overcooked. Technically it is supposed to hit 145 F before you take it out of the oven, but if you do that you will end up with tough lamb. Walk on the wild side a little bit and take it out a few degrees before that. You will get the most flavorful, succulent lamb roast. In the notes I go over the precise temperature to aim for according to what doneness level you like (medium or medium rare, etc.)

roast lamb

One thing that cannot be compromised on though is blasting the lamb with an incredible amount of heat in the first few minutes. This is how you achieve that gorgeous crusty exterior. (It’s the same method used in my most popular recipe, Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork. To.die.for.) Crank up your oven to 500 degrees (yes, really, 500) for the first 10 minutes of cooking to sear the outside, then lower the temperature to roast the inside into juicy, tender submission.

(Word to the wise: if you live in a crappy one-bedroom apartment with questionable appliances, do not blast your oven to 500 degrees. You will smoke out the neighbors. At least that’s what happened to me and Eric every time we tried to make homemade pizza at 450 back in our college days. Those apartment ovens were terrible! I had my oven up to 500 for at least an hour while prepping my lamb, making sure it was really hot, and the smoke alarm didn’t even go off. It’s the little things, guys.)

roast leg of lamb

The other secret to really flavorful lamb is to use tons of GARLIC. Garlic and lamb pair so well together, and honestly I’ve never seen a roast lamb recipe that doesn’t use it. It’s basically essential! We are tossing some garlic in the roasting pan as an aromatic (it ends up in the gravy, yum), using several cloves in the rub itself, and there’s one more: use a long sharp knife to make cuts in the lamb, and insert a sliver of garlic into each cut. This infuses the lamb with tons of flavor so there is no bite left behind! It’s easy to do and takes your lamb from good to WOW.

roast leg of lamb

You will have to let me know if you try out this recipe! I am a total lamb convert!

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Three years ago: Sautéed Carrots and Shallots with Thyme << one of my favorite holiday sides!
Four years ago: Easter Bunny Dinner Rolls (Lion House Rolls) << so fun for Easter
Five years ago: Greek Lentil Tacos with Cucumber Pico de Gallo

Roast leg of lamb makes an unforgettable main dish for your Easter celebration! Roast lamb is so delicious, moist, and tender when it is done right. The secret is to crank up the oven to 500 degrees for a few minutes to get that blackened honey dijon crust, then lower the temperature to get the most tender, juicy roast lamb you’ve ever had. 

by The Food Charlatan

*The photos show one red onion and one white onion. It’s just what I had on hand! Either will work. I slightly prefer the flavor of red in this recipe but they are both good. 

Lamb internal temperature guide: remember that your lamb will continue cooking when you take it out of the oven. It will rise about 5 degrees. 

Rare: 115 to 120°F

Medium-rare: 120 to 125°F

Medium: 130 to 135°F

Medium-well: 140 to 145°F

Well-done: 150 to 155°F

How to Cook Tri Tip (Grilled or Oven Roasted) << huge favorite of mine!


Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork (Lechon Asado) << this is the number one recipe on my blog!

Cuban Mojo Marinated Pork from The Food Charlatan


Easy Sriracha Ham (Slow Cooker) << this one has 3 ingredients. Can’t beat that!

Easy Sriracha Ham (Slow Cooker) from The Food Charlatan


Honey Dijon Chicken Recipe from Dinners, Dishes, and Dessert
Ribs with Honey Mustard Glaze from Taste and Tell
Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Drumsticks from Foolproof Living

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