Panko Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

4.88 from 16 votes
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Incredibly delicious panko herb crusted rack of lamb is impressive yet easy to make meal! Served with fresh sautéed vegetables for a hearty dish for two.

Herb crusted rack of lamb on a plate with vegetables

My husband and I have done a few fancy special occasion dinners at steak houses, some good then some okay. You know the ones where everyone is packed in like sardines, offered an overpriced prix fixe menu and rushed through it for the next seating, soooo romantic!

Okay, so whenever I’m at Trader Joe’s, I always eye this beautiful New Zealand rack of lamb. It looks phenomenal but a little too pricey for a typical weekday meal. However, any holiday is all the excuse I need to splurge! So I got to brainstorming on how to make an out of this world lamb recipe. I knew that a panko herb crusted rack of lamb with vegetables was the way to go.

rack of lamb on a wooden cutting board

The dish is all about big aromatic flavors coming from fresh herbs, garlic, and red wine, all things to entice your special someone into the kitchen. I start by making my rosemary au jus sauce to give it enough time to simmer and reduce as I cook the other components of the dish.

Guess what? Since you need to open a bottle of yummy red wine for the sauce, you might as well pour a glass for you and that special person and get the evening off to a good start!

Since lamb is the best served medium-rare, just like a nice juicy piece of steak, all you need to do is use a frying pan to sear each side. Once you’ve got that beautiful golden-brown crust, then switch to the oven and finish cooking for an additional 10 to 15 minutes.

knife slicing into a rack of lamb

It’s super helpful to have an instant-read digital thermometer, so you know when you’re close to the desired doneness that is about 125°F in the center of the meat. Allow the lamb to rest for 10 minutes before slicing, so it finishes cooking for that perfect pink center.

This rack of lamb came with 8 ribs, so I sliced them up but keeping two ribs together. I wanted to interlace the ribs, 4 ribs per person, to get that restaurant-quality look. You could stop there if you wish to serve the lamb without a crust, but I recommend a little extra “wow” effect.

Adding homemade herb panko breadcrumbs to this beautiful rack of lamb

I contemplated adding the coating before searing the meat, but I didn’t want the panko bread crumbs to burn or get too soggy. A smart solution was toasting them with fresh herbs and garlic in the oven, coating the meat with some tangy Dijon mustard, and then dipping each side in the crunchy breadcrumbs just before serving. The added crunch to each bite made the lamb, even more, delicious.

To complete this meal, I paired some fresh vegetables to serve with the lamb. You can make a quick saute of zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, and onions. I roasted some red potatoes on the side to make this meal a little more hearty, entirely optional of course.

Lamb and vegetables on a white plate

By now your rosemary au jus should be ready to go, just reheat and serve in a small gravy bowl to pour over the juicy pieces of lamb. Enjoy your elegant meal in the comforts of your own home with no crowds to contend with or stressed out waiters. Just a peaceful evening with your special guy, gal or friends and a bottle of chilled champagne perhaps?

This fabulous rack of lamb is all you need for the most romantic night of the year. If you’re looking for more intimate dinner ideas, try my individual beef wellingtons or pan-seared halibut with lemon dill sauce. Cheers!

How do I know when to stop cooking lamb to achieve the desired internal cooking temperature?

Something to always remember when cooking red meat; it continues cooking after being removed from the heat source and it needs time to rest before serving. These two things contribute to carryover cooking; when heat from the outside of the food continues to transfer to the center of the food. Allowing the meat to rest for at least 10 minutes tends to increase the internal temperature about 5 to 10 degrees. Therefore, you should stop cooking your lamb when the internal temperature reaches: 120°F to 125°F for medium-rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium, 140°F to 145°F for medium-well.

Panko Herb Crusted Rack of Lamb

Incredibly delicious panko herb crusted rack of lamb is impressive yet easy to make meal! Served with fresh sautéed vegetables for a hearty dish for two.
4.88 from 16 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American


Rosemary Au Jus

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ¼ cup yellow onions, diced
  • cup rosemary, stems removed, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup cabernet sauvignon, or red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock, or broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

Panko Herb Crust

  • ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, minced fresh
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Sautéed Vegetables

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • ¼ cup onion, diced ¼-inch by ¼-inch
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, diced ¼-inch by ¼-inch
  • 1 cup zucchini, sliced on a bias
  • 1 cup yellow squash, sliced on a bias
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • black pepper

Rack of Lamb

  • 1 pound rack of lamb, frenched, 8 ribs total
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons dijon mustard


Rosemary Au Jus

  • Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, shallots, rosemary, peppercorns, bay leaf, and wine. Cook until reduced by half over medium heat, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add beef stock and continue to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through fine-mesh sieve. Discard solids.
  • Return liquid to the pan. Add butter 1 tablespoon at a time over low heat, whisking well. Season to taste.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, reheat over low heat.

Panko Herb Crust

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Cover baking sheet with foil.
  • Mix all ingredients in a small bowl using your fingers to help evenly coat the crumbs with the olive oil. Transfer to the baking sheet and place on the center oven rack; bake for 5 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and use a spoon to stir and redistribute the crumbs, bake for another 2 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Watch carefully to prevent burning! Remove from oven and cool.

Sautéed Vegetables

  • Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, sauté for 3 minutes or until onions are tender. Add diced bell pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add zucchini and squash and sauté for 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Rack of Lamb

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Season lamb with salt and pepper.
  • Pour olive oil into large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Place lamb fat-side down and sear all sides, about 7 minutes total.
  • Transfer lamb a baking pan lined with foil. Place in the oven on the center rack and cook about 10 to 15 minutes, until desired internal temperature is reached. About 120°F to 125°F for medium-rare, 130°F to 135°F for medium, and 140°F to 145°F for medium-well.
  • Remove lamb from the oven, cover immediately with foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. Slice each half rack into two 2-rib pieces.
  • To serve, spoon half of the vegetables in the bottom of each serving bowl. Drizzle rosemary au jus around the vegetables, or serve on the side. Brush mustard on each side of the lamb, press into bread crumbs and place 2 pieces of lamb on top of each serving of vegetables, one slightly crossing over the other. Repeat with remaining bowls. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 718kcal (36%)Carbohydrates 45g (15%)Protein 35g (70%)Fat 43g (66%)Saturated Fat 11g (55%)Polyunsaturated Fat 5gMonounsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 103mg (34%)Sodium 1223mg (51%)Potassium 595mg (17%)Fiber 8g (32%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 1550IU (31%)Vitamin C 57.8mg (70%)Calcium 10mg (1%)Iron 5.9mg (33%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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4 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says

    Great recipe, Jessica! I love Lamb, and your sauce is wonderful. What a great date night in idea!

  2. Thalia @ butter and brioche says

    I cannot remember the last time that I cooked a rack of lamb but after seeing this post Jessica, you have inspired me to go out and buy some so I can make this! You have cooked this dish perfectly!