Lamb Chops

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

The best Lamb Chops recipe for easy, perfectly cooked lamb in 30 minutes.Tender lamb chops topped with a red wine, garlic, and thyme gravy.

While a full Lamb Leg Roast or Roasted Lamb Shoulder makes a stunning Holiday Main Dish for a crowd, individual chops are perfect for a more intimate special Dinner. Plus these smaller cuts of meat gives you juicy, succulent lamb meat in less than an hour including marinating time.

Sabrina’s Lamb Chops Recipe

These pan-seared lamb chops have all the decadent rich flavor of lamb without needing to be reserved for holidays like an expensive full leg of lamb. Not only are they cheaper than a full cut of lamb, they have a shorter marinating and cooking time than lamb leg roast to get juicy, flavorful meat.

This recipe for Lamb Chops is great for beginners in the kitchen and those new to eating lamb! It has a fool-proof method for getting perfectly medium rare tender meat that pairs perfectly with the red wine and fresh herb gravy made with pan drippings. The flavorful pan sauce balances any gaminess and is made with just a handful of ingredients like fresh thyme, garlic cloves, and tomato paste.

Lamb Chops ingredients laid out on cutting board and in prep bowls.

Ingredients

  • Lamb: This recipe uses lamb rib chops because they are fattier and more tender than lamb loin chops. They come from a rack of lamb and are arguably the most premium cut of lamb. You can use lamb loin chops, but be careful not to cook them as long.
  • Thyme and Garlic: The sauce is seasoned simply with fresh thyme leaves and 2 garlic cloves. The earthy herbs and spicy garlic are all you need to bring out rich, deep flavors.
  • Red Wine: A good rule of thumb when making a pan sauce with wine is to use a wine you would like to drink. The best red wines for cooking lamb are Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon to balance the savory, gamey flavor.
  • Butter: Cooking the lamb in butter gives them an rich amazing flavor and gives the lamb meat a caramelized crust. Later the butter is combined with the pan juices for the base of the savory buttery garlic sauce.
  • Tomato Paste: The thick tomato paste brings out the deep notes of the red wine and cuts through the fatty richness of the meat and butter.

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

Cast Iron Skillet: You want a large heavy duty skillet like a cast iron pan because it will hold the heat evenly and is less likely to burn your meat or the butter for the sauce.

Aluminum Foil: The foil is a key tool because it indirectly finishes cooking the meat off the heat. This gives you perfectly cooked lamb that is extra juicy and succulent.

How to Make

Time needed: 30 minutes.

  1. Season the Meat

    Rub lamb chops with salt and black pepper and let the meat rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. Resting at room temp allows the meat to cook evenly throughout. Set aside a baking sheet and a piece of aluminum foil large enough to tent the baking sheet.Lamb Chops seasoning raw whole rack of lamb

  2. Sear the Chops

    Add 6 tablespoons butter to a large heavy skillet, preferably a cast-iron skillet, on medium-high heat. Cook the lamb for 4-5 minutes on each side. You are looking for a good brown sear on each side and for the internal temperature to reach 145 degrees with a meat thermometer. Transfer the lamb chops to the baking sheet and tent with foil to continue cooking to 150 degrees while resting.

  3. Start the Sauce

    While the lamb is resting, reduce the skillet to medium medium and add red onion to the pan. Cook onions for 3-4 minutes until softened and translucent. Stir in the thyme and garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.Lamb Chops sauteed onion and garlic in pan with wooden spoon

  4. Reduce with Wine

    Using a wooden spoon, stir in the red wine and tomato paste, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring until the paste is melted into the liquid. Cook until red wine is reduced by half, about 5-6 minutes.Lamb Chops preparing sauce collage

  5. Finish and Serve

    Turn off heat and whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter to combine with the sauce as it melts. Plate lamb chops and spoon red wine sauce over the chops.Lamn Chops on plate before and after sauce

Can Lamb Chops be made ahead of time?

While you can absolutely season the lamb rib chops and marinate them overnight, they are best enjoyed freshly cooked. Pan-seared lamb chops will be the ideal temperature the first time they are cooked but will continue to cook if you reheat them. 

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Lamb Chops
Amount Per Serving
Calories 778 Calories from Fat 630
% Daily Value*
Fat 70g108%
Saturated Fat 34g213%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 27g
Cholesterol 161mg54%
Sodium 506mg22%
Potassium 429mg12%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25g50%
Vitamin A 506IU10%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 43mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cooking Lamb Chops Tips & Tricks

  • Perfectly Cooked Lamb Meat

In order to get the lamb meat perfectly cooked to medium or medium rare, you actually want to under cook it by 5 degrees. Transfer it to a plate or non-porous cutting board and tent with foil. The foil helps indirectly cook the meat to the perfect temperature and the meat soaks up the juices.

  • Lollipop the Chops

For a fancy French presentation, you can “lollipop” the chops. This means you cut away the excess meat and sinew away from the bone just under the thick lamp coin. You can save the scraps of meat to make a savory meat broth later or let your pets indulge in some fancy lamb too!

What to Pair With Lamb Chops

Drinks: This rich, flavorful red meat goes beautifully with red table wines like Pinot Noir or Bordeaux blends. It also tastes amazing with full-bodied Merlots and Cabernet Sauvignon. Idealy, you should serve it with the same wine you use in the sauce.

Sides: Rustic simple sides like Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Crusty French Bread would be perfect for soaking up the amazing garlicky wine gravy. Garden fresh Sauteed Carrots or Green Bean Almondine would be delicious as a spring dinner side.

How to Store

Serve: Lamb chops should reach 150 degrees internal temp before serving. They can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours. Once lamb and sauce are cool, store separately in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat: If you want to reheat your lamb chops, let them come to room temperature for about 10-15 minutes. Brush them lightly with oil and either reheat them over medium heat or covered with foil in a preheated oven at 350 degrees.

Freeze: Cool everything completely before freezing to prevent freezer burn. Freeze in separate sealed containers for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Alternative Cooking Techniques

Grilled Lamb Chops

  • Coat the lamb chops in ¼ cup olive oil, dried thyme, salt and pepper, and ¼ red wine.
  • Let sit for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • You can marinate the lamb in the seasonings and oil for up to 8 hours before grilling.
  • Lightly brush the grates with oil and heat to high heat.
  • Pat the meat dry and season with salt and pepper again.
  • Sear the lamb on the preheated grill for 4-5 minutes on each side, until medium heat.
  • Once the meat hits 145 degrees inside, remove from the grill and tent with foil.
  • Prepare the pan sauce on the stove with 6 tablespoons of butter and the ingredients on the recipe card.

Frequent Questions

Are lamb rib chops the same as lamb chops?

No. While lamb rib chops are specifically from a rack of lamb, or bone-in cut from under the rib, lamb chops can refer to cuts of meat all over the lamb. Lamb chops can be boneless and are from the shoulder blade, loin, or thick cuts from the rack.

How many lamb chops per person?

Lamb rib chops are a rich, succulent cut of meat so although they look small, you should plan on 2 lamb chops per person, maybe 3 at the most. The rich, fatty meat will fill you up more than a leaner cut of beef steak or chicken breast.

Recipe Card

Lamb Chops

The best Lamb Chops recipe for easy, perfectly cooked lamb in 30 minutes.Tender lamb chops topped with a red wine, garlic, and thyme gravy.
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

  • 2 lamb rib racks , cut 1-inch thick, with bones trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup red onion , minced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme , removed from sprig
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

  • Season lamb chops with salt and black pepper, let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
  • To a large heavy skillet, add the butter on medium-high heat.
  • Sear the lamb for 4-5 minutes on each side, until you have a good brown sear on each side. Using a thermometer, look for the meat to hit 145 degrees.
  • Remove the lamb chops, tent them with foil to rest, they will continue cooking to 150 degrees while resting.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add red onion to the pan.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion is translucent, then stir in the thyme and garlic and cook for 30 more seconds.
  • Add in red wine and tomato paste, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the pan.
  • Stir until paste is melted into the liquid and cook for 5-6 minutes until red wine is reduced by half.
  • Turn off heat and add in final tablespoon of butter, whisking to combine it with the sauce as it melts.
  • Serve lamb chops and pour red wine sauce over the chops.

Nutrition

Calories: 778kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 70g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 27g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 161mg | Sodium: 506mg | Potassium: 429mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 506IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 3mg

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Variations

Lamb Loin Chops: If you want a less expensive cut, go with lamb loin chops. They will cook for less time but they are just as delicious. They are best served rare to medium rare, or an internal temperature of 145-150 degrees.

Herbs and Seasonings: Other earthy herbs that work well with the gamey flavor of lamb are fresh rosemary, parsley leaves, or sage. A squeeze of fresh lemon juice in the wine sauce would bring out the freshness of the herbs.

Creamy Mustard Sauce: Swap ¼ cup Dijon mustard for the tomato paste to make creamy Dijon pan sauce. Use white wine, like a Pinot Grigio, instead of red wine for an even lighter Dijon-thyme sauce.

More Amazing Lamb Recipes

Lamb Chops cooked and plated with mashed potatoes and red wine sauce, recipe title across bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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