Grilled Garlic- and Mint Pesto–Stuffed Leg of Lamb Recipe

Grilled lamb is woefully underrated. This recipe produces a leg of lamb that's infused with the complementary flavors of intense garlic and mild mint, and completely worthy of being your holiday roast.

Joshua Bousel

Bits of caramelized roasted garlic define each bite of this stuffed leg of lamb, while a milder mint pesto adds a touch of freshness and saltiness, making this a worthy holiday roast.

Recipe Facts

Active: 25 mins
Total: 0 mins
Serves: 6 servings

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  • 2 heads garlic

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1/2 boneless and butterflied leg of lamb, about 2 1/2 pounds

  • 3/4 cup mint pesto, plus more for serving

  • 1/4 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut top quarters off of heads of garlic. Place garlic cloves, cut side down, in center of a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with olive oil. Seal foil and place directly on oven rack. Cook until cloves are browned and very soft, 45-60 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for 10 minutes, then squeeze cloves out of the skin into a small bowl and mash into a paste with a fork.

  2. Lay leg of lamb open on a large cutting board, fat side down. Season meat generously with salt and pepper. Spread roasted garlic paste over exposed meat. Spread mint pesto on top of garlic. Roll lamb closed and tie securely with butcher twine about every inch. Season outside of lamb generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Sear lamb on hot side of grill until browned all over, about 4 minutes per side. Move to cool side of grill, cover, and let cook until meat registers 130°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into thickest part of lamb. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve immediately.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
562 Calories
42g Fat
6g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 562
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 42g 53%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 139mg 46%
Sodium 882mg 38%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 4mg 21%
Calcium 118mg 9%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 550mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)