Greek Lamb Kleftiko (Boneless)

5 from 1 vote

This Greek lamb is tender, succulent, and wonderfully aromatic. Also called kleftiko, it’s cooked with potatoes and other vegetables in parchment. Start by marinating the lamb overnight so that the flavors infuse into the meat, then roast for a few hours to let those flavors develop even more. Hearty, comforting, and delicious.

closeup: Greek lamb with roasted potatoes and onions with pomegranate seeds on top

Traditional Mediterranean recipes are comfort food at its finest, in my opinion at least. Often made with simple, fresh, and wholesome ingredients, they’re satisfying and — while sometimes involving several steps — are quite easy to make.

I’ve got a soft spot for Greek food, and while I do love quick dishes like chicken souvlaki, sometimes I’m in the mood for dishes that require a bit more work… it’s a labor of love, as I always say! But in reality the oven does all the heavy work and the waiting is the harder part because the aromas are delicious!

closeup: roasted kleftiko in a pan with potatoes, onions, and fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds on top

This recipe for Greek lamb is one of those recipes. Roasted for around 4 hours, I love the savory aromas that fill my kitchen as it cooks. Made with potatoes, peppers, onions, and tomatoes, it’s a one-pan wonder that I serve as often as I can.

overhead: ingredients needed to make lamb in parchment

Tip From Kevin

Crinkle the parchment paper first

Crinkle up 4 half sheet-pan or cookie sheet size pieces of parchment paper separately (makes it easier to form “nest”). Then unfold and take 2 to create a plus sign “+” and do the same with remaining 2 pieces, just offset a bit, creating a parchment paper “nest” of overlapping pieces on the roasting pan or inside the stockpot.

overhead: lamb in parchment with vegetables after roasting

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Boneless Leg of Lamb – Make sure to trim any excess fat from your leg of lamb before getting started. We want the dish to be filling and hearty, not overly fatty and greasy.
  • Vegetables – I roast the Greek lamb with small gold potatoes, green, red, and orange bell peppers, red onions, and Roma tomatoes all in the same roasting pan.
  • Cheese – Opt for kefalotyri or feta cheese, whatever you can find works. Both are pretty salty, though kefalotyri is hard, and feta tends to be creamy.
  • Chopped Mint Leaves Optional, but add a fresh and herby flavor that I love.
  • Pomegranate Arils – The small, juicy seeds found inside a pomegranate are called arils. This ingredient is also optional, but encouraged!
  • Marinade – You’ll need the following to make the flavorful marinade for your kleftiko:
closeup: Greek lamb roasted with vegetables and pomegrante seeds on top

How to Make Greek Lamb – Kleftiko

  1. Create the Marinade. Place the marinade ingredients in a high-powered blender and purée until smooth.
  2. Marinate the Lamb. Transfer the leg of lamb to a large bowl or zip-top bag and pour the marinade on top. Massage it into the meat, cover or seal, and allow the lamb to marinate in the refrigerator overnight. 
  3. Prep to Roast. Remove the meat from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plan to roast. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
  4. Get the Roasting Pan Ready. Create a parchment paper “nest” of overlapping pieces of parchment in a roasting pan or inside a stockpot, as shown in the photos. Refer to the recipe card below for specific tips on how to do this.
  5. Assemble the Lamb in Parchment. Toss the cut vegetables together in a large bowl and transfer half to the roasting pan. Lay the marinated lamb on top and place the remaining vegetables over it. Cover with the marinade.
  6. Close. Pull the sides of the paper up and close tightly to encase the vegetables and lamb in parchment paper. Tie with kitchen string.
  7. Roast. Place the pan on the center rack and roast for 3.5 to 4 hours. Untie the parchment and use a meat thermometer to check the temp for the following levels of doneness:
    1. Medium Rare: 145 degrees F
    2. Medium: 160 degrees F
    3. Well-Done: 170 degrees F
  8. Baste and Toss. Baste with the juices and toss the vegetables. Incorporate the cheese and raise the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Return the pan to the oven (uncovered) and roast for 15 more minutes.
  9. Baste Again. Baste with the juices and let rest 20 minutes before serving your Greek lamb and roasted veggies. Add the optional mint leaves and pomegranate if using, and enjoy!
  • High-Powered Blender – This can be an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processor. You’ll need it to purée the marinade ingredients.
  • Roasting Pan or Large Heavy-Lidded Stock Pot Both can be used for this recipe. The key is to use something that’s safe to put in the oven.
  • Parchment Paper & Kitchen Twine – To create the “nest” for your lamb in parchment.

Storing and Reheating

Allow the vegetables and Greek lamb to cool completely before placing it in an airtight container. When properly stored, leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. 

To reheat, warm gently in the oven to avoid overcooking and drying it out. Alternatively, you can reheat single servings in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warmed through.

closeup: lamb in parchment after roasting with pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley on top

Frequently Asked Questions

Should you sear lamb before roasted?

You don’t have to for my Greek lamb recipe. Searing does help to lock moisture into the meat, but I find that my marinade does the job just fine. That said, you can try it if you’d like. Sear for 2-3 minutes on each side before adding it to the roasting pan.

What is kleftiko made of?

Kleftiko is made by slow-roasting a leg of lamb with potatoes and other vegetables. Traditional recipes are always roasted in a “nest” of parchment paper, just like mine. I tried to stick to the traditional method as closely as possible, and am thrilled with how it comes out!

Should lamb be cooked slow or fast?

It depends on the recipe and the cut of lamb you’re using. Typically, leaner cuts roast up better in very hot ovens — that’s why I increase the temp of my oven for this lamb in parchment recipe during the last 15 minutes and indicate to remove the fatty bits before getting started. Alternatively, fattier cuts do better low and slow, like my Slow Roast Leg of Lamb on my other site, Kevin is Cooking.

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Greek Lamb Kleftiko (Boneless)

5 from 1 vote
Marinated Greek lamb is roasted to perfection with potatoes and veg in parchment. Also known as kleftiko, it’s perfect for Sunday supper!
Servings: 8
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Marinate Time: 8 hours
Total: 12 hours 15 minutes


  • 3-4 lb boneless leg of lamb trim any excess fat
  • 1 1/2 lbs small gold potatoes halved
  • 3 bell peppers green, red, orange, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 red onions peeled and quartered
  • 2 roma tomatoes plum, quartered
  • 4 oz kefalotyri or feta cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 3 tbsp mint leaves chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils optional



  • Using a blender, food processor or immersion blender, puree the marinade ingredients.
  • Take the lamb out of any netting and transfer to large bowl or ziploc type bag that can seal. Pour marinade over and massage into lamb. Cover or seal and marinate overnight in refrigerator.
  • Remove lamb from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to roasting. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Prepare the roasting pan or large oven-safe, heavy-lidded stockpot with parchment paper. Crinkle up 4 half sheet-pan or cookie sheet size pieces of parchment paper separately (makes it easier to form “nest”). Unfold and take 2 to create a plus sign “+” and do the same with remaining 2 pieces, just offset a bit, creating a parchment paper “nest” of overlapping pieces on the roasting pan or inside the stockpot.
  • In a large bowl toss together the cut vegetables. Transfer half on top of the parchment paper and lay the lamb on top. Pour remaining vegetables on top and sides of lamb. Drizzle remaining marinade over all.
  • Pull parchment paper sides up and together. Tightly crimp them up to fully encase the lamb and vegetables in the parchment and tie with kitchen string.
  • Place the roasting pan on the center rack of heated oven and roast for about 3 ½ – 4 hours. Untie the parchment, exposing the lamb and vegetables, and fold excess parchment paper to the outside of the pan. Look for desired internal temps: Medium rare (145°F), Medium (160°F) and Well Done (170°F).
  • Baste the lamb with the juices and toss the vegetables. Add the kefalotyri or feta cheese at this point. Raise the heat to 425°F and return the pan to the oven (uncovered) for 15 minutes until the lamb and vegetables get browned (or remove lamb and keep warm until vegetables and cheese are slightly browned).
  • Baste the lamb again and let rest 20 minutes before serving. Slice or shred the meat and serve with roasted vegetables and pan juices poured over. I like the addition of chopped mint leaves and pomegranate at time of serving sprinkled on top, optional.


Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 573mg | Potassium: 941mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1848IU | Vitamin C: 85mg | Calcium: 129mg | Iron: 4mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: main dishes
Cuisine: Greek
Author: Kevin
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
Greek lamb Kleftiko with cheese and roasted vegetables


I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was so delicious and easy. We marinated the meat for 18 hours and baked it for about 4 hours. It was perfect for a dinner party. We were visiting my son so we popped it in the oven then went site seeing for 3 hours. We will definitely make it again

    1. I’ll work on that Christine. There is a significant amount of time and money involved with making a video for each recipe and I try to do all. It also depends on the amount of people searching for a specific recipe or the popularity at the time. If there is a specific technique I’d like to show, I do them as well. This is pretty straight forward, but will keep it in mind when I next get a window of opportunity. Thanks for following along! 🙂