Mint Sauce for Lamb

Total Time

Prep: 10 min. + standing


6 servings

Updated: Sep. 13, 2023
This mint sauce recipe has been in our family for nearly 80 years. Our backyard mint patch provided the main ingredient. We won't eat lamb without this sauce. —Ruth Bogdanski, Grants Pass, Oregon


  • 1/4 cup loosely packed mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper


  1. Place mint leaves in a small bowl. Stir in water, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper until sugar is dissolved. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes, then serve immediately with lamb.

Mint Sauce Tips

How long does mint sauce last in fridge?

If covered, mint sauce will last for two weeks in the fridge.

Why is mint sauce served with lamb?

There are several theories why mint sauce is served with lamb. One is that it disguised the gamey taste of lamb during Medieval times. Another theory is that Queen Elizabeth I decreed that lamb could only be served with bitter herbs (like mint) to curb people from eating it too much in an effort to help the wool industry. Once sugar became more popular, mint sauce was less bitter, making it a perfect partner for lamb.

What can I do with leftover mint sauce?

Mint sauce can be delicious with other foods, like mixed into peas or into a yogurt as a dipping sauce spiced chicken. Research contributed by Maggie Knoebel, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 tablespoon: 19 calories, 0 fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 100mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Free food.