This Lamb Chop Recipe has been sponsored by the American Lamb Board. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Sizzling stove-top Lamb Chops marinated in a flavorful combination of garlic, fresh herbs, and olive oil. Learn How to Cook Lamb Chops and have this stunning, no-fuss dinner on the table in just 15 minutes.
Lamb chops, you guys! Where have they been all my life? I mean, I’ve had lamb chops before – at restaurants, mostly – but it wasn’t until this year that I started cooking these adorable little chops (that look like mini T-bone steaks) on the regular.
The best part? Learning how to cook lamb chops is super easy and uncomplicated – promise!
Naturally full of flavor, all you need are a few simple marinade ingredients like garlic and fresh herbs, thirty minutes to marinate your cute little chops, and a good skillet. Of course, you don’t have to marinate for the full thirty minutes, but you should let your lamb come to room temperature before cooking (more on that later).
Juicy, tender, and delicious, this lamb chop recipe really is that easy. Anyone can do it!
What does lamb taste like?
Lamb, by definition, is a sheep under the age of one year.
The taste of lamb – earthy, and perhaps somewhat “gamey” (although, typically, I don’t experience the gamey taste as much with lamb chops) – is all due to a specific type of fatty acid, called a branched-chain fatty acid. This type of fatty acid is not found in beef, which is why we can’t taste it there.
The primary factor contributing to the strength of these branched-chain fatty acids is diet. A lamb raised on only grass will have a stronger lamb ‘flavor’ when compared to one that is grass raised, but finished on grain for the last 30 days of its life. This change of diet in its final days will change the fat composition of that lamb, and therefore the flavor.
In either case, I find that lamb chops (especially those trimmed of excess fat), while incredibly flavorful, are less “gamey” when compared to other fattier cuts of lamb.
Different cuts of lamb chops
There are three different cuts of lamb chops-
- Rib Chop – recognized by a long, thin rib bone extending from the rich and tender lollipop of meat. They are best when cooked to medium-rare, or 130 degrees F. Rib chops are great for entertaining or as an appetizer as they don’t provide a large amount of meat and they can be quite expensive.
- Loin Chop (shown in this recipe) – the lamb equivalent to a porterhouse or T-bone steak, these chops are pretty darn adorable. Loin chops come with more meat than the rib chop and are less expensive. Some claim they are less flavorful – I’m not convinced. Also best-served medium rare (130 degrees F), but should be allowed to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Shoulder Chop – A hard-working and fatty area of the lamb, it makes sense that shoulder chops are the least tender, but most flavorful (remember those branched-chain fatty acids?) Given its tougher meat, shoulder chops prefer to be cooked longer and at a lower temperature with a long 10-minute rest before serving. They also benefit from brine, marinade, or rub.
Ingredients in Garlic Herb Lamb Chops
The ingredients needed to make this lamb chops recipe include:
- Lamb Chops – read about the different types of lamb chops available (or ask your local butcher) and decide which cut is right for you. For this particular recipe, the whole family (even my picky 5-year-old) loved the tender, buttery, loin chop.
- Salt + Pepper – I like to generously salt and pepper my chops before adding the marinade. The salt adds flavor, of course, but it also acts as a no-fuss brine, tenderizing the meat as it marinates.
- Olive Oil – You’ll need olive oil for both the marinade and for your skillet. Any olive oil will work.
- Fresh Herbs – I added rosemary and parsley because that’s what I had on hand, but feel free to add other tasty herbs, such as, thyme or oregano.
- Garlic – fresh sizzling garlic with fresh herbs, olive oil, and butter? Your house is going to smell amazing. Trust me.
- Butter – I like to add 1-2 tablespoons of butter in the final few minutes of cooking for extra flavor. If you prefer to keep this recipe dairy-free, feel free to skip it.
Why American Lamb?
Well, for me, this is easy- I live in the United States. As such, it makes sense that I eat locally raised meat.
But, it’s not just that…by choosing American Lamb I am supporting local family farmers and ranchers throughout the United States who are dedicated to the health and welfare of their animals and the land. These farmers and ranchers are passionate, family-focused, and dedicated to bringing you the best quality meat in the most natural way.
Did you know there are more than 80,000 family farmers and ranchers caring for more than 6 million sheep in the United States? These farmers and ranchers are real people, not mass corporations.
How to cook lamb chops
No idea how to cook lamb chops? Follow these step-by-step instructions,
Season first. Generously season both sides of your lamb chops with salt and pepper.
Prepare the garlic herb marinade. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil with the freshly minced garlic and fresh herbs. Use a pastry brush to brush both sides of the lamb chops until completely coated with the marinade. Discard any remaining marinade and allow chops to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Cook. When ready to cook heat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. When the olive oil just starts to smoke, start adding the lamb chops to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the butter to the skillet, flip each lamb chop, and continue to cook until they register 125-130°F for medium-rare using a digital meat thermometer, approximately 4-5 minutes more.
Rest. Remove lamb chops from the skillet and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes.
Serve. Serve lamb chops with homemade mint chutney or other favorite dipping sauce.
Super easy, right?
What temperature should lamb be cooked to?
Use this as a guide when determining what temperature your lamb should be cooked to, and please, always use a digital meat thermometer to help let you know.
- 120°F (rare)
- 125°F (medium-rare)
- 130°F (medium)
- 145°F (well done)
Tips and Tricks
- For best results, allow your lamb chops to come to room temperature before cooking. This will help ensure even cooking.
- If you are marinating for more than 30-60 minutes, cover your lamb chops and transfer to the refrigerator. While we want them to reach room temperature, we do not want them to sit out at room temperature for long periods of time.
- Speaking of marinating- don’t forget to marinate. Ok, so you don’t have to marinate, but it will help in tenderizing the muscle fibers. This is especially true if you choose to cook shoulder chops.
- Ask for your chops to be cut thicker – approximately 1-inch to 1 1/4-inches. This helps prevent them from being overcooked.
- Always rest your chops. If you’re cooking loin chops or shoulder chops, make sure you wait to cut into them for at least 5 minutes. This helps maximize their juiciness and allows them to slowly finish cooking.
What to serve with lamb chops
For starchy sides, I like to serve this recipe with Baked Potatoes, Baked Sweet Potatoes, Cranberry Wild Rice Pilaf, or Garlic Roasted Potatoes. Anything that pairs well with a little extra garlic and herbs is guaranteed to taste awesome.
But what about vegetables?
One herb, however that lamb chops really seem to gravitate toward is fresh mint. For that reason, I topped these delicious and juicy pan-seared lamb chops with homemade mint chutney.
For more lamb recipes check out:
If you try making this Lamb Chops Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Lamb Chops Recipe
For the Lamb Chops
For the Mint Chutney (optional)
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro
- 2-3 bunches fresh mint - stems removed (approximately 2 cups packed)
- 1-2 green chile peppers - seeded and chopped (such as serrano peppers)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 white onion - peeled and roughly chopped
- ½ lemon - juiced
- 2 tablespoon water - plus more as needed
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin - (optional)
For the Lamb Chops
- Season. Generously season both sides of your lamb chops with salt and pepper.
- Prepare the garlic herb marinade. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil with the freshly minced garlic and fresh herbs. Use a pastry brush to brush both sides of the lamb chops. Discard any remaining marinade and allow chops to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes (see notes).
- Cook. When ready to cook heat a large cast-iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat the surface of the skillet. When the olive oil just starts to smoke, start adding the lamb chops to the skillet. Cook until lightly browned, approximately 3-4 minutes. Add the butter to the skillet, flip each lamb chop, and continue to cook until they register 125°F for medium-rare or 135°F for medium using a digital meat thermometer, approximately 4-5 minutes more.
- Rest. Remove lamb chops from the skillet and allow them to rest for at least 5 minutes.
- Serve. Serve lamb chops with homemade mint chutney (recipe below) or other favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!
For the Mint Chutney (optional)
- Prepare mint and cilantro. Chop off the thick, tough ends from the cilantro and rinse the leaves under cold water and dry thoroughly. Even better if you have a salad spinner. For the mint, remove the leaves from each stem and set aside (yes, this is the most time-consuming part). Rinse leaves under cold water and pat with paper towels to dry.
- Process. Add all ingredients to the bowl of a high-speed blender and blend until fully pureed. Season with additional salt, lemon juice, or onion, to taste.
- If you are marinating for more than 30 minutes, cover your lamb chops and transfer to the refrigerator. For even cooking, allow lamb chops to come to room temperature before cooking.
- You may marinate your lamb for up to 24 hours.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)