Best Greek Lamb Recipes to Enjoy

Greek cuisine celebrates the delicious versatility of lamb. Gamey lamb ribs are the perfect canvas for the assertive oregano and fragrant garlic featured in the Mediterranean diet. This recipe uses a combination of smoking and direct searing to harness the smoke flavor while making sure the fat is rendered nicely.

roasted leg of lamb with rosemary, potato, onion, and garlic on a plate

Lamb is one of the most important and essential ingredients in Greek cuisine. Its reputation has even made its way into pop culture. In My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Aunt Voula couldn’t believe that Ian was a vegetarian. She famously said, “What do you mean, he doesn’t eat no meat?” After considering the dilemma she decided, “Oh, that’s okay. I make lamb.”

It’s a famous scene, and it goes to show you how important lamb is to the Greek culture! To celebrate this delicious food, we’ve collected some of the best lamb recipes we could find.

Roasted leg of Lamb

A roasted leg of lamb is a staple in most Greek households and is present at special occasions and everyday suppers alike. The nice thing about this dish is that it can feed a good-sized crowd or yield plenty of leftovers. This dish is especially great served with roasted potatoes and traditional Greek salad!

Lamb on a Spit

This dish is most commonly served at Easter, but it can be made any time of the year! There’s nothing like a whole lamb, perfectly roasted on a spit, to celebrate life’s great moments. It is not only served at Easter, but also at weddings, Christenings, and other festive occasions. Of course, there are no rules that say you have to wait until one of these occasions comes up to enjoy this. You can make this all year long!

Grilled Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are a simple dish, and they are also easy to make. To make this dish, you’ll want to allow plenty of ties to marinate the lamb chops in the ladolemono. Overnight is best, but you need at least a few hours. This is the perfect barbecue food and it also makes for easy addition to a weeknight supper.

Slow roasted lamb shank with an onion jus.

Preparation

Make the spice rub

  • In a medium bowl, mix the salt, garlic powder, oregano, parsley, onion powder, and cinnamon. (Use immediately, or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.)

Smoke the lamb

  • Heat a smoker or grill to 250°F. Add oak or hickory wood chips to the smoker per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Loosen the membrane at the back of the ribs by slipping a butter knife between the rib bone and membrane to loosen the corner. Then, using a paper towel to grip the edge, pull the membrane away and discard.
  • Coat the lamb with the oil, then season with the spice rub, massaging it in well. Make sure the ribs are well coated, including the underside and between the bones.
  • Heat a skillet (preferably cast iron) over high heat. Put the ribs fat side down in the skillet, and cook to render some fat and start developing color, 4 to 6 minutes. Larger racks may require an extra minute or two.
  • Remove the ribs from the skillet. Put them in the smoker’s bone side down; cook according to the smoker manufacturer’s instructions for about 3 hours, or until the meat is tender.

Make the dressing

  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the lemon juice, garlic powder, dried oregano and parsley, salt, onion powder, cinnamon, and fresh oregano and parsley. Slowly pour in the oil, whisking until well combined.
  • Remove the lamb from the smoker. Slice the ribs between the bones, and serve with the dressing and lemon wedges on the side.

Ingredients

For the spice rub

  • 4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

For the lamb

  • 2 racks of lamb spare ribs (about 2 lb. each)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • Lemon wedges, for serving

For the dressing

  • 3 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. garlic powder
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 3 tsp. dried parsley
  • 3 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

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