Marinated with olive oil, sundried tomatoes, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme, this delightful recipe for Garlic Herb Lamb Chops is special enough for a holiday, but easy enough for a weeknight dinner!
Easy, Savory Pan-Seared Lamb Chops Recipe
Although lamb is extremely common in many parts of the country, for others, it’s a bit unusual. However, it seems that more and more grocery stores are carrying lamb these days, which is great! It’s a wonderful, tasty red meat that has its own unique flavor.
Lamb goes really well with North African and Middle Eastern flavors. There are also classic British approaches to cooking lamb. This fail-proof recipe for lamb chops has a Mediterranean spin, using sundried tomatoes, rosemary, garlic and olive oil. It’s a simple combination that plays well with the stronger flavor of lamb chops.
This is a dish that’s easy enough for any weeknight, but I also think it’s special enough for a holiday! Mother’s Day comes to mind, or maybe a birthday or anniversary dinner. It’s also traditional to serve lamb at Easter, but usually a leg of lamb or a roast is more common then.
What You’ll Need
For this simple lamb chops recipe, I recommend using loin chops or rib chops. Loin chops tend to be a bit larger and are often less expensive than rib chops.
- Lamb Chops: 1 ½ to 2 pounds lamb chops, 3/4-inch thick.
- Olive Oil: I like to use 3 tablespoons of good oil in my marinade.
- Sundried Tomatoes: Finely chop a couple tablespoons of drained sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil.
- Garlic: You’ll need one tablespoon of fresh garlic, minced or pressed.
- Fresh Rosemary & Thyme: You’ll need 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary and 1 teaspoon chopped thyme.
- Salt: ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste.
- Pepper: ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste.
- Olive Oil: For sautéing. Use a lighter oil, rather than extra-virgin, which doesn’t handle heat as well.
- Chopped Fresh Parsley: For garnish.
What are Lamb Chops?
Lamb chops are small, steak-like cuts of lamb that are usually tender and meant for fast cooking.
Rib chops are cut from the rack of lamb, similar to ribeye beef steaks which are cut from rib roasts. They are considered one of the finer cuts.
Loin chops are slightly less popular, but still very good, comparable to a Porterhouse steak. Keep in mind that lamb chops are much smaller than steaks!
How To Make Garlic Herb Lamb Chops
I like making lamb chops in a cast iron skillet or grill pan, but you can use any heavy skillet here. Happy cooking!
- Marinate the Chops: In a zip-top bag, combine olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the lamb chops to the zip-top bag; seal and squish around to completely coat the chops with the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour, OR in the fridge for up to 6 hours. Note: If the lamb is marinating in the fridge, take it out at least 20 to 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook.
- Pan-Sear the Chops: Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, take the lamb chops out of the bag, shake off any excess liquid, and place them in the hot skillet. Cook for few minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom. Flip over and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 145˚F.
- Let Stand: Transfer the cooked lamb chops to a platter; loosely cover and let stand for 8 minutes. Garnish with parsley and serve.
Tips for Success
A lot of readers have questions about cooking lamb correctly, since it’s not as common as chicken, beef or pork, and that’s great! I love answering those questions and helping readers enjoy this savory protein option. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions, and the answers!
Is it possible to marinate lamb for too long?
- Yes, it’s best to marinate for under 8 hours for these lamb chops. They are smaller and tender, and marinating them for too long will actually degrade, rather than improve, the texture of the meat. I recommend marinating for about an hour at room temperature, and no longer than 6 hours in the fridge.
Why is it important for meat to sit at room temperature prior to cooking?
- Letting meat come to room temperature, or at least taking it out of the fridge a little bit early, helps the meat during cooking and produces a juicier end result! Even just fifteen minutes will do a lot to create a luscious, juicy dish.
What temperature does lamb need to be cooked to?
- Depending on your taste, lamb can be served medium-rare, medium or well-done (or anywhere in between!). The USDA recommends 145°F as the safe minimum temperature, and that’s medium. Remember that well-done lamb may be dry.
What To Serve with Lamb Chops
So what should you serve with your delicious, tender lamb chops? Well, there are certainly lots of great options out there! But I’ve rounded up a few that I think work especially well. Enjoy!
- Oven Roasted Veggies: I like to make oven-roasted vegetables on a sheet pan. It’s so easy, and they come out flawless every time. Try my Easy Oven Roasted Veggies and you’ll be an instant fan!
- Spinach: You can do a simple wilted spinach, but this Steakhouse Creamed Spinach is a really special side that goes super well with steak and lamb. Yum!
- Sugar Snap Peas: The lightly sweet flavor of these Roasted Sugar Snap Peas is the perfect partner for savory lamb. You’ll love the combination and the bright, beautiful flavor.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
If you have leftover lamb chops, you can easily store them for a future meal. Here’s how!
- To Store: Refrigerate the lamb chops in shallow, airtight containers or food storage bags. Lamb chops keep in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat: Place the chops in a covered skillet on low heat until just heated through. Do not overcook them, or the meat may dry out.
Can I Freeze Lamb Chops?
- Yes, you can freeze leftover lamb chops! Just wrap them tightly in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil, or a layer of plastic wrap followed by a freezer bag. Press out as much air as possible before sealing to reduce freezer burn.
- Frozen lamb will last for up to 3 months.
Garlic Herb Lamb Chops
- 1-½ to 2 pounds lamb chops, 3/4-inch thick
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, drained and finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
- ¾ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- In a zip top bag combine olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Add lamb chops to the zip top bag; seal and squish around to completely coat the chops with the marinade. Set aside to marinate for 1 hour, OR in the fridge for up to 6 hours.
- If lamb is marinating in the fridge, take it out at least 20 to 30 minutes before you’re ready to cook.
- Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat.
- When oil is hot, take lamb chops out of the bag, shake off any excess liquid, and add to the hot skillet.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom.
- Flip over and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145˚F. Please use an Internal Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness.
- Transfer cooked lamb chops to a platter; loosely cover and let stand 5 to 8 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.
More Easy Dinner Ideas
Want some more easy, protein-packed meals for your family? These recipes are the best!