Grilled Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb

Grilled Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb by

Lamb is one of those cuts of meats where you either love or hate it. Luckily for my family, we love it! Most people who hate lamb say it’s because of it’s overwhelming aftertaste or smell. The preparation of lamb is pretty important. One of our favorite ways to serve lamb is grilled, either skewered or straight up, like with this Grilled Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb.

Yogurt? As a marinade?


Grilled Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb by

Yogurt makes a fabulous marinade for any cut of meat. It not only adds great flavor, but it also tenderizes the meat. We use yogurt to marinate chicken, beef, and yes, even lamb.

Seasoned with mint, basil and even oregano, you can picture yourself on the Mediterranean and feasting on this meal. I like to serve it rustic style, with fresh herbs, flat bread, mast-o khiar (yogurt with cucumbers) and with pickles and olives. We sit together, tearing off pieces of bread, make little sandwiches filled with herbs and dipped in yogurt.

Grilled Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb by

My husband felt like a king, while he savored each bite.

“This is so GOOD!”

There was only a little drama at the dinner table when the hubby innocently teased our 6-year old future veterinarian/princess that she was going to eat Lamby tonight. Some tears were shed. I reassured her we were eating an ugly, mean lamb. Please animal rights activists don’t hate me. We are an omnivorous family.

And we love lamb.

Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb

Yogurt is not only a fabulous condiment, but it also makes a terrific marinade, offering both flavor and a tenderizer for any cut of meat. Recipe by Laura Bashar of Family Spice


  • 4 1/2 lb leg of lamb (boneless), butterflied
  • 1 1/2 cup yogurt, plain
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 onion, grated, with juice
  • 5 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp mint, dried, crushed
  • 2 tsp basil, dried, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground


  1. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels:
    • 4 1/2 lb leg of lamb (boneless) , butterflied
  2. Open lamb up and cut into the larger chunks of meat so that it is of even thickness.
  3. Remove and discard the larger deposits of fat, reserving some fat on the meat which will add flavor during the grilling process.
  4. Place lamb in a large non-reactive pan.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together:
    • 1 1/2 cup yogurt, plain
    • 1/2 cup lemon juice
    • 1 onion , grated, with juice
    • 5 large garlic cloves , crushed
    • 2 tsp mint, dried , crushed
    • 2 tsp basil, dried , crushed
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground
  6. Pour marinade over the lamb, covering all parts of the lamb entirely. Massage the marinade into the meat.
  7. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours and up to 24 hours.
  8. About an hour prior to grilling, remove lamb the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.
  9. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  10. Sear lamb on one side, about 7 minutes, then flip over to sear the other side.
  11. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking the lamb until a thermometer inserted to the center of the meat reads 145ºF for medium-rare, 160ºF for medium and 170ºF for well-done.
  12. Allow meat to rest 5-10 mins prior to carving and serve.


Serving Suggestions: Serve with yogurt, fresh herbs, olives and flat bread. Dried oregano can used instead of or in addition to dried basil.

Cooking Tips: The cooking time will vary depending on how thick your meat is. You can also decrease the cooking time, by cutting the lamb into smaller chunks of equal size.

Prep Time:

Yield: 10 servings

Cook Time:

Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb Detail

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9 Responses to Grilled Yogurt Marinated Leg of Lamb

  1. Awww your daughter is such a sweet girl. She wants to be a vet? How wonderful, from such an early age she knows what she wants to be! I’m one of people who are hesitant to eat lamb. In Japan only northern island of Japan called Hokkaido uses lamb but it’s not commonly eaten meat. I think I first tried lamb since I came to the US. I liked some lamb prepared very nicely (grilled) but didn’t like lamb in hot pot (Chinese hot pot). Like you said it was smell. However, my husband loves lamb and he often complains I don’t cook. This might be a good recipe for me to try. I love yogurt marinate – I know it will be delicious!

    • Laura at #

      Persians use lamb all the time, traditionally, more than beef. When stewed for several hours or grilled, the meat is tender and flavorful. And not stinky at all!

  2. What a yummy recipe! And loved your picture!! Tempting!

  3. Fantastic adaptation of a Saudi classic!

    Different Mediterranean spice profile altogether. The Saudi’s use a complex mixture of everything from cinnamon and cloves to dried Persian limes and marinate for at least a day. Then slow roast (200F) for hours or if a bedu – make a fire pit and bury it in the sand.

    Great to find this on tasteologie!



  4. We love lamb in my house. Unfortunately it’s hard to find, but when we do we gobble it up. Love the marinade and recipe! Thanks for being a part of the YBR 🙂

  5. wow Laura jan this looks gorgeous and I love your side dish choices. and your little veterinarian princess sounds so cute. kisses for her


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