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Mint Sauce for Lamb

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
  • Total Time
    Prep: 10 min. + standing
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 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


  • 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.

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Average Rating:
  • S
    Apr 14, 2020

    This was tasty and so easy to do. No more mint jelly for me--usually the contents got thrown out before the jelly was finished. Such a waste. This made just the right amount for the two of us.

  • bokken
    Nov 27, 2013

    Love this simple sauce. Mint jelly is great but when you are in a hurry and don't have time to make jelly this is the recipe I go to.

  • Mary Ann
    Jul 15, 2007

    No comment left