Cooking an Instant Pot Leg of Lamb is a quick way to have a delicious roast on your table in about an hour. The pressure cooker cooks the lamb to tender goodness without a lot of effort. Rosemary and garlic flavor the leg of lamb which is cooked with carrots and potatoes for a complete low carb meal for Easter, Christmas or just a Sunday dinner.
I enjoy cooking with lamb because it makes a nice change from beef and pork. Lamb has a strong, meaty flavor that is distinctive and delicious. I frequently make lamb stew, but sometimes for a special dinner I’ll make a whole leg of lamb.
Many people serve leg of lamb for Easter dinner although it also makes a great nontraditional Thanksgiving meal too. Leg of lamb is an excellent meal for a special dinner and making it in the Instant Pot makes it less time consuming to make.
How to Make Leg of Lamb in the Pressure Cooker
Making the leg of lamb in a pressure cooker takes about an hour, at least half the time it would take to roast it in the oven. I love the time savings the Instant Pot provides on most recipes!
I used a boneless leg of lamb, which is what I recommend for this recipe. A bone-in leg will take longer to cook and is more difficult to slice. So I prefer to use a bone-in leg of lamb. A 4 pound boneless leg of lamb will easily serve 8 people and fits in a 6 quart Instant Pot.
Seasoning the Leg of Lamb
I seasoned my leg of lamb with salt, pepper, garlic and rosemary and cooked the lamb with carrots, onions and red potatoes, so it was a complete meal.
Lamb is delicious when it is nice and garlicy, so feel free to use even more garlic than the 2 cloves I used! I chopped up the garlic and rosemary and rubbed the spices all over the leg of lamb.
Then I set the Instant Pot on saute and browned the lamb in some oil. Browning the meat before cooking it adds to the overall taste of the lamb and makes the roast look better too. Meat cooked in the Instant Pot will not brown as much as meat that is roasted, so don’t skip this initial step.
Deglaze the Instant Pot
The next step is to deglaze the Instant Pot with broth. Scrape the inner pot well to remove any pieces of lamb that are stuck to the bottom. Then add the carrots and onions to the broth.
The pieces of carrot should be cut big so that they will cook more slowly. If you use something like small baby carrots they will be turned to mush by the time the lamb is cooked. Save the potatoes to add later.
Put the leg of lamb on top of the vegetables so that they act like a kind of rack for the lamb.
Pressure Cook the Leg of Lamb
Put the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the pressure valve is closed. Set the pressure cooker to Manual mode at high pressure for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes are up let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes and then manually release the remaining pressure.
Opinions differ on the best temperature to cook lamb too, which I discuss here. But I was looking for a temperature of 140 F, which is medium rare.
Always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature, don’t try to cook based just on time. A thermometer is not expensive and the peace of mind they give you is priceless. Food poisoning is not fun! This is my favorite inexpensive meat thermometer, which you can buy on Amazon.
Adding the Potatoes
When I made this my leg of lamb was at 130 F after the initial 30 minute pressure cooking. So I knew it needed a little more time. I also wanted to cook potatoes without having them be overcooked so, I added the red potatoes to the broth and put the leg of lamb back in the Instant Pot.
I cooked the leg of lamb on Manual, high pressure, for another 8 minutes and let the pressure release manually for 5 minutes. When I check the lamb temperature this time it was right around 140 F.
If the lamb had been done the first time I checked it I would have taken it out and let it rest covered with foil. Then I’d have put the potatoes in the Instant Pot and brought it to pressure again for 8 minutes to cook the potatoes. So the only difference is whether or not the lamb needs a little extra time.
You can add the potatoes at the start of the recipe when you add the carrots. I just know my family doesn’t like their potatoes to be overly soft and if they are pressure cooked for that long they will be mushy. If you are going to add potatoes at the start don’t use small red potatoes, use larger ones cut into big pieces.
Temperature for Leg of Lamb
Personal preference is the biggest factor in what temperature you cook leg of lamb to. Some people only like lamb when it is rare and others like it well done. I personally like mine medium rare, so that is how I serve it. Here are the temperatures for the different options:
- Rare: 125°F
- Medium-Rare: 130°F to 135°F
- Medium: 135°F to 140°F
- Medium Well: 140°F to 155°F
- Well-Done: 155°F to 165°F
If you prefer a more well done leg of lamb you will need to adjust the time given in the recipe to add cooking time, which will probably take some trial and error on your part.
What to Serve With Instant Pot Leg of Lamb
This recipe makes a complete meal with the addition of the carrots and potatoes to the dish. I just added a green salad to my meal. If you are making leg of lamb for Easter or Christmas you will probably want to add a few side dishes, like some bread or green beans.
This garlicky Instant Pot leg of lamb is delicious and easy to make. It is a naturally low carb dinner that can be ready in about an hour and will taste tender and delicious! Consider lamb the next time you are looking to make a special meal for your family.
Find More Lamb Recipes
- 3-4 pound leg of lamb
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 Tablespoons rosemary
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 carrots, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 pounds small red potatoes
- Combine the salt, pepper and rosemary in a small bowl.
- Rub all over the leg of lamb.
- Set the Instant Pot on Saute and add the olive oil. Heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Brown the leg of lamb in the Instant Pot, turning to get all the side.
- Take the lamb out of the Instant Pot. Add the chicken broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the Instant Pot to deglaze it and remove any browned bits of lamb.
- Add the carrots and onion to the Instant Pot and put the lamb on top.
- Put the lid on the Instant Pot and close the valve. Set the pressure cooker to Manual, high pressure, for 30 minutes.
- When the pressure cooker is done let it release pressure manually for 10 minutes. Then release the remaining pressure.
- Check the temperature of the lamb using an instant read thermometer. If it is 140 F take the lamb out and cover it with foil to rest while you cook the potatoes. If the lamb needs a little longer leave it in the Instant Pot.
- Add the potatoes to the Instant Pot. Put the lid back on and set the Instant Pot on Manual for 8 minutes. When it is done let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then release the rest of the pressure.
- If the lamb needed more cooking let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Slice the lamb and serve it with the potatoes, carrots and onions.
I make and test my recipe in a 6 quart Instant Pot. Using a different size or brand might effect your results. If you are using an 8 quart model I'd suggest increasing the broth to 1 1/2 cups.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 732Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 16gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 212mgSodium: 554mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 61g
Nutrition facts are estimates.