Lamb Kleftiko is a recipe for lamb shanks marinated in lemon juice and herbs while it is oven braised, low and slow, to fully develop the rich flavors. You will know that the dish is done when the lamb is falling off of the bones. It is truly a one pot dish and both the lamb and the potatoes are amazing! The tomatoes add a lovely contrasting flavor and a pop of color. This dish is well worth adding to your Greek culinary repertoire.

Lamb Kleftiko

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Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Greek
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Tip : I used medium sized white potatoes for this dish. For best results, just cut the potatoes in half after peeling. Large'ish pieces of potatoes will cook nicely and will not become mushy. They are actually quite delicious.


  • 4 whole lamb shanks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole lemons juiced
  • 10 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 6 whole bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • 4 large white potatoes peeled and halved (these should be large pieces)
  • 6 medium tomatoes cut into chunks
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • olive oil to drizzle
  • water


  • fresh oregano
  • 2-3 tbsp crumbled feta cheese optional


  • Gather all ingredients before starting the recipe.
  • At least one hour, or more before starting, season lamb shanks well on all sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Set aside until ready to cook.
  • Pre heat oven to 375°F
  • Mix all ingredients, except lamb, potatoes and tomatoes in a large casserole with a tight fitting lid.
  • Add peeled and halved potatoes and the squeezed out halves of one lemon to casserole dish with herb and olive oil mixture. Season and toss to coat the potatoes on all sides.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and tuck in between the potatoes.
  • Add seasoned lamb shanks. Nestle in between the potato mixture. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
  • Add enough water to come half way up the potatoes.
  • Cover with a close fitting lid and cook for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the meat is falling off the bones.
  • After the lamb is fully cooked, uncover, and bake for another 15-20 minutes.


  • Garnish with fresh oregano and crumbled feta cheese.

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