Kleftiko (Greek Lamb Cooked in Parchment) Recipe – Greek Special

This recipe is all you need to make the best fall-apart tender lamb kleftiko! This traditional Greek lamb roast is easy to make and perfect for a small crowd.

  • Prep Time20 min
  • Cook Time3 hr 45 min
  • Perform Time2 hr
  • Total Time6 hr 5 min

Kleftiko (Greek Lamb Cooked in Parchment) Ingredients :

  • 1 boneless leg of lamb, about 3 ½ pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • 2 ½ tablespoons dried oregano, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley, divided
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Extra virgin olive oil, I used Greek Private Reserve EVOO
  • 4 to 5 large Russet potatoes, about 3 pounds, peeled and quartered
  • 2 large sweet bell peppers, cored and cut into large chunks (I used red and orange sweet peppers)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into thick wedges
  • 1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
  • ½ cup vegetable or beef broth
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, cut into blocks, optional

How To Make Kleftiko (Greek Lamb Cooked in Parchment)


Season and marinate the lamb. Place the boneless leg of lamb in a large bowl. Using a sharp knife, make a few slits in the boneless leg of lamb. Rub the lamb all over with 2 tablespoons dried oregano and ½ tablespoon each dried thyme and dried parsley. Season well with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides. Then rub with the mustard and the majority of the garlic (reserving 1 tablespoon of the garlic for the vegetables). It’s important to push some of the garlic and seasoning into the slits you’ve cut earlier for best flavor. Transfer the lamb to a large bowl and add the lemon juice, red wine vinegar, white wine and about ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil, turning the lamb in the bowl to make sure it is well coated. Set the lamb aside for a few minutes while working on the vegetables. (But if you do have the time, cover the bowl and refrigerate for a couple hours or up to one night).


Preheat the oven to 375°F. And position a rack in the middle.


Prepare the roasting pan and parchment paper. Line a large roasting pan with two very large pieces of parchment paper, making a cross shape so that you have long pieces of parchment overhang on all sides of the pan (I like to have about 8 inches of parchment overhang on all sides of the pan).


Assemble the vegetables and lamb in the pan. Spread the potatoes, bell peppers, tomatoes, and onions in the bottom of the pan over the parchment. Season with a good pinch of kosher salt and black pepper and the remainder of the dried oregano, thyme, and parsley. Sprinkle the remainder of the garlic on top and drizzle with a little olive oil. Add the lamb on top of the vegetables and pour the broth in from the side of the pan.


Fold the parchment to cover the lamb and vegetables. Pull parchment paper sides together and tightly crimp them up to fully encase the lamb and vegetables in the parchment parcel.


Roast. Place the roasting pan on the center rack of your heated oven and cook for about 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours or until the meat is tender and falls apart easily at the touch of your fork (you can check partway through and add more broth or water, if needed).


Brown. Uncover the meat and veggies and fold excess parchment paper into the inside of the pan. If using, add the feta cheese at this point. Raise the heat to 425°F and return the pan to the oven (uncovered) for a few more minutes until the lamb and vegetables gain some color (about 15 to 20 minutes) to 425°F to allow the meat and veggies to brown).


Let rest. Once ready, allow the lamb kleftiko to sit for about 20 to 30 minutes before serving.


Serve. Pull the meat apart using two forks to shred. Serve the lamb in bowls over the vegetables!

Recipe Notes:

Tiropitakia are the perfect make-ahead party appetizer. Once you form the triangles, brush with olive oil and cover well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

To freeze: Freeze unbaked filo triangles in a single layer on a parchment-lined tray. When the tiropitakia are completely frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and return to the freezer for up to one month. To bake them, place the frozen tiropitakia on baking sheets. Brush the tops with some olive oil and bake until golden brown, about 30-35 minutes.

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