Fennel and Black Olive Stuffed Leg of Lamb is the perfect dinner option for Easter dinner if you are serving a crowd. Get your butcher to butterfly a leg of lamb or buy a boneless, rolled leg of lamb from the supermarket. Cook up this meaty spring dish for your whole family for a successful Easter dinner.


Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Serves: 6 to 8



4 lb (1.8 kg) boneless and butterflied leg of lamb

3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided

1 bulb fennel, cored and finely chopped (about 3 1/2 cups)

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped thyme

1/4 cup (60 mL) white wine

1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken stock

1/3 cup (45 mL) black olives, chopped

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped dried figs (about 4 to 5 figs)

1 cup (250 mL) breadcrumbs

1 tsp (5 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fennel fronds

1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley

1 egg


1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add fennel, onion, garlic, anchovy and chopped thyme, cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Add chicken stock, olives and fig. Cook for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in bread crumbs. Season with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper. Remove from heat; stir in fennel fronds and parsley. Let cool completely. Stir in egg. (Makes about 4 cups.)

3. Lay the lamb flat and pat dry with paper towels. Season with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each the salt and pepper. Pat stuffing evenly over meat. Roll up the lamb tightly and tie with the butcher’s twine.

4. Rub outside of the lamb with the remaining olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast for 50 minutes or until internal temperature reaches for 145°F (63°C) for medium rare or cook until your preference of doneness. Tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

5. Remove string. Slice into thick slices and serve.



Amanda Riva is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.