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Slow Cooker Boneless Leg Of Lamb – boneless leg of lamb roast, cooked in the slow cooker with just a few simple ingredients. Learn how to prepare, season and cook boneless leg of lamb in the crock pot. This recipe is perfect to make year-round.
While lamb is one of my favorite kinds of meat, I can not say I have a lot of experience cooking it.
I do have a foolproof method for coking boneless (or bone-in) leg of lamb in the slow cooker.
Lamb meat has all the benefits of beef, being rich in protein and iron, has an amazing flavor if it comes from a young sheep and is perfect for festive celebrations.
What does lamb meat taste like?
I come from a part of the world, where lamb meat is popular and cooked quite often, but I know that a lot of people don’t like lamb or just haven’t had it cooked right.
If the smell of this meat is your concern, keep in mind that the younger the animal (needs to be under 1 year old), the less smell there will be.
It is best if you can find grass-fed lamb.
Seasoning helps with the flavor as well. If you absolutely can’t handle the smell and taste of lamb like a few people I know, just don’t cook or try to eat the meat.
Lamb meat has meaty flavor, stronger than beef and very distinct, you can never mistake the flavor for some other meat.
It has a texture firmer than chicken and softer than beef and it is a fatty meat, packed with good fats, perfect for low-carb diet. A meat with soft texture, distinct flavor, that melts in your mouth.
Is lamb hard to cook and how do you cook lamb?
While lamb is not difficult to cook, you need to know some tips about preparing and cooking it, so you can make a decision how to make yours.
Slow cooked lamb tends to have milder flavor and more tender texture, compared to roasted lamb, which has stronger flavor and is tougher and chewier.
What ingredients do I need to make leg of lamb in the slow cooker?
- boneless leg of lamb
- olive oil
- black pepper
- thyme (fresh or dried)
- mint (dried, optional)
- stock (vegetable or beef)
- red wine (optional)
What is the best seasoning for lamb?
Lamb meat goes well with simple, fresh seasonings, that don’t overpower the natural flavors of the meat.
Here are some good seasonings for lamb meat:
- rosemary (not a lot of it)
- lemon juice and zest
Where I come from, dried or even fresh mint is the go-to seasoning for roasted and slow cooked lamb. So I always use mint when cooking lamb, and especially leg of lamb or shoulder.
Why use mint on lamb?
Mint (either fresh or frozen) pairs well with lamb and can be used to season the meat or as a condiment for a dipping sauce or topping (like Chimichurri or yogurt sauce with mint). It has a lot of freshness and combines well with the strong flavor of the lamb.
Did you know that mint is the staple seasoning for lamb in Bulgarian cuisine.
How long to cook boneless leg of lamb roast in the slow cooker for?
For “medium well” cooked boneless leg of lamb in the slow cooker, where the meat cooked is between 3-4 pounds, cook for 4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low.
A thermometer inserted in the middle should read 145-150 F.
Cook for 2 extra hours on low if you are cooking a frozen lamb roast.
What temperature to cook leg of lamb to?
The recommended safe temperature is 145 F for medium-well lamb meat and 165 F for ground meat.
- Rare: 115 to 120°F
- Medium-rare: 120 to 125°F
- Medium: 130 to 135°F
- Medium-well: 140 to 145°F
- Well-done:150 to 155°F
But this recommended temperature does not mean you should cook every single cut of lamb to 145 F.
It does depend on what part of the lamb you are cooking, for example – slow cooked leg of lamb or even lamb shoulder could be cooked to 155-160 F and still melt in your mouth, while for lamb loin chops and rack of lamb are better off to be cooked to medium, medium rare doneness, because if they are well done, it is difficult and unpleasant to consume them.
How to cook boneless leg of lamb?
In a small bowl combine olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and mint.
Rub spices on the outside of the lamb (you can rub the inside as well, if you want to).
Place onion at the bottom of a crock pot.
Add the meat.
Add fresh garlic on top (garlic powder can be substituted – about 1 tbsp and added to the olive oil and herb mixture).
Pour the stock and water (and wine optional) in the slow cooker.
Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
Remove the meat from the slow cooker and slice or shred with fork.
Optional – brown the top of the roast under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, if you want to have crispy outside.
You can make gravy to serve with the lamb. All you need is: 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup of flour and 3 cups lamb stock (left over in the crock pot). Cook over medium heat , stirring frequently until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
What is the best cut of lamb for slow cooking?
Leg of lamb, either boneless or bone in and lamb shoulder are the perfect cuts of lamb for slow cooking.
Did you know that you can slow roast a whole young lamb? Of course you need to have the oven for this, which I don’t.
But this is a staple dish in Greece and the Balkans. I’ve even seen whole frozen lambs selling at my local Costco around Easter (I live in an area with a lot of European people, this is why Costco is offering it I guess).
Parts of the lamb that you can cook: (Check this post out for the ultimate guide for lamb cuts)
- shoulder (slow cooking is the best option)
- leg of lamb (boneless or bone it, slow cooking or roasting are recommended)
- rack of lamb, or if the rack is sliced into chops (sear on the stove top, then finish cooking in the oven for the whole rack, or cook on the stove top for the individual chops), check this recipe out:
- lamb loin chops (like lamb T-Bone steaks, cooked similarly to the rack of lamb), I have a Baked Lamb Loin Chops Recipe , which is awesome
- lamb shank (slow or pressure cooking for a soft texture and meat that melts in your mouth)
- neck or neck fillet – this inexpensive cut of lamb could be slow cooked and used for stews
- lamb rump (comes from the back of the lamb and has tender meat, best cooked on the stove top quickly and then could be finished in the oven to achieve safe temperature)
Do you have to brown lamb before slow cooking?
You don’t have to, but you can brown the leg of lamb either before or after slow cooking, for a nice crispy outside. I did not brown the meat for this Slow Cooker Boneless Leg Of Lamb Recipe.
If you’d like to, after rubbing the meat with seasoning and olive oil, brown for 2-3 minutes on all 4 sides and then add to the slow cooker.
Another option, which is preferred is to broil the roast, after it is finished cooking for 2-3 minutes on top to achieve nice crust.
Can you cook frozen leg of lamb in the slow cooker?
I usually purchase the boneless leg of lamb from Costco, which is a great quality for the price.
This lamb meat comes from Australia or New Zealand and is relatively young with a great flavor.
Almost always it is defrosted, but if you happen to get frozen lamb meat, don’t worry, if there is no time to defrost in the fridge or at room temperature (not recommended).
You can cook frozen leg of lamb in the slow cooker, just have to allow it to cook for 2 extra hours to defrost. So if you follow this recipe, but use frozen, instead of non-frozen meat, cook for 2-3 extra hours on low, until the inside reaches 145-150 F.
Tips for cooking boneless leg of lamb:
- Pick good quality meat, from a young grass-fed sheep, preferably under 1 year old.
- Season, but don’t go crazy on the seasoning. I usually use thyme, salt, pepper, garlic and mint (optional).
- Slow cook the boneless leg of lamb for a tender texture and milder lamb flavor.
- Keep checking the temperature of the meat during the last hour of cooking, if you are concerned with overcooking it. But honestly, don’t worry if the meat temperature is higher than the suggested one. This cut of meat is very forgiving.
- Make gravy with butter, flour and the leftover stock from the slow-cooker, after the meat is finished cooking.
What to serve this Slow Cooker Boneless Leg Of Lamb with?
More lamb recipes:
Slow cooker boneless leg of lamb
- 3-4 lb leg of lamb
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp dried mint, optional, but recomended
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 cup beef of vegetable stock
- 1 cup water, or sub with stock
- Optional – use 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of red wine
- Purchase boneless leg of lamb, that is usually tied. Season on top, you don’t need to season the inside, since with slow cooking the seasoning will eventually get inside.
- In a small bowl combine olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme and mint.
- Rub spices on the outside of the lamb.
- Place onion at the bottom of a crock pot.
- Add the meat.
- Add garlic on top.
- Pour the stock, water (and wine optional) in the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook for 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.
- Remove the meat from the slow cooker and slice or shred with fork.
- Optional – brown the top of the roast in the oven at 400 F for 2-3 minutes, if you want to have crispy outside.
- You can make gravy to serve with the lamb, by using 2 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup of flour and 3 cups lamb stock (leftover in the crock pot). Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.