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1-Pan Easter Lamb Roast with Root Vegetables and Harissa

Nathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

I love cooking for a crowd, and this recipe makes it easy and is probably the only way I want to cook lamb. You don't get any gamey smell while roasting and having the whole meal in one pan is kinda my thing.

Technique tip: Preheating the pan will make your veggies crisp and caramelized on the outside and will prevent them from going limp and soggy when they finish roasting with the lamb.

Swap option: Use whatever hardy vegetables you like! Just make sure that they are firm veggies.


  • One 2½- to 3-pound lamb leg roast, deboned and trussed
  • 1 cup plus 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt, divided
  • 8 baby rainbow carrots, greenery removed
  • 8 large Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 10 baby red potatoes, whole
  • 1 medium rutabaga, cut in 8 pieces
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup fresh mint
  • 1 cup fresh parsley
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, stems removed and rough chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided


For the lamb:


Preheat oven to 500°F with a large cast iron skillet or baking sheet inside.


Rinse the trussed lamb leg under cold water. Pat dry and rub 1 cup of Kosher salt into the meat, all around. Set it aside for 30 minutes. Rinse the salt off under cold running water and pat dry.


While the meat rests and the oven preheats, toss the veggies in 1/4 cup vegetable oil, dried thyme, paprika, 1/2 tablespoon salt and pepper.


Once the oven is preheated, very carefully slide the hot pan out of the oven and pour the veggies into it. Spread them out evenly and return to the oven for 5 minutes.


Stuff the dried lamb roast (there should be a nice little cavity from where the bone used to be) with the garlic cloves and lemon slices. Take the hot pan with the veggies out of the oven, give them a gentle stir and place the stuffed lamb roast directly on top of them. Brush the roast with remaining vegetable oil and put it back into the oven. Roast for 10 minutes, then without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350°F. Roast for another 40-50 minutes, or until a thermometer reads 125-130°F for medium.


Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest as-is for 20-30 minutes.

For the harissa:

In a food processor, finely chop the jalapeños with the lemon juice, put into a medium bowl (if you like it spicy, include the jalapeño seeds, if not make sure you remove the seeds from the pepper before chopping). In the same food processor, combine the remaining ingredients and pulse until it looks like pesto. Put this mixture into the bowl with the jalapeños and mix it all together. Store in a covered container in the fridge until serving time.

To serve:

Carve the roast against the grain and serve with the roasted veggies and harissa on the side.