Cypriot Lamb Kleftiko Tray Bake

Cypriot Lamb Kleftiko Tray Bake

This lamb kleftiko traybake is one that my family makes the most when we get together!

Super easy to make as you just simply mix all the ingredients together and then voila! 3.5 hours later you have the tenderest and tastiest meal ever. The only issue really is all the wait haha… while the whole house fills with that amazing smell!

My family make the kleftiko traybake using a clay pot but it’s something I don’t own. So when I make it at home I use a large and deep baking tray. The key step to this dish is to ensure that the tray is well-sealed to keep all the steam inside. For that, I use both baking paper and foil to cover the tray. The kleftiko traybake recipe is super adaptable to suit your family’s taste buds. The spices I use are very typical of the Cypriot flavours and ones that I tend to add to all my dishes. Especially the addition of bay leaf, which gives the lamb such a distinguished flavour!


2 kg lamb large cooking pieces, forequarter or leg, see notes
750 g potatoes, peeled and quartered
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 onions, peeled and quartered
2 celery stalks including leaves, chopped

Spice mix
3 tbs dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
4 bay leaves
1 1/2 tbs salt
1 tsp black pepper

Recipe Notes
The size of the cooking pieces is usually large, as big as a closed fist.

Sometimes I might add ½ cup of water if there isn’t much fat on the lamb but honestly the majority of the times it is absolutely not necessary.


  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Combine all the spices together in a small bowl. Place all the ingredients in a large baking tray and sprinkle the spice mix on them. Rub the spices well on to each piece.
  2. Re arrange the ingredients so that the lamb pieces are on top and everything else lies underneath them. That way all the vegetables will be super flavoursome and moist.
  3. Cover the tray with baking paper, followed by two layers of foil. Make sure the food is sealed well. Place the tray in the oven and cook for at least 3.5hrs.

  4. Serve warm combined with some salad, yoghurt and a side of pikla!