Lamb Chops with Garlic & Herbs

4.94 from 524 votes
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Sizzling lamb chops recipe in a skillet creates a beautiful crust loaded with flavor! Marinating in garlic, rosemary, thyme, and olive oil infuses herbaceous notes and tenderizes the meat for a fast and stunning meal.

Lamb chops cooking in a cast iron skillet.

Recipe Science

  • Searing lamb chops at a high temperature quickly browns the exterior, initiating the Maillard reaction that enhances flavor through caramelization and complex flavor compounds.
  • Resting after cooking allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that each bite is moist and flavorful.
  • Cooking lamb chops to the recommended internal temperature optimizes tenderness and flavor, as excessive heat can cause the proteins to contract too much, making the meat tough.

Why It Works

Cooking lamb doesn’t need to be intimidating, nor should you wait for a fancy occasion to enjoy it. Learning how to cook lamb chops is relatively easy! I think the well-marbled and robust flavors are enhanced when pan-frying on the stovetop.

A simple herb and garlic marinade give each bite a rustic flavor. Then, this particular cut needs a few minutes to sear in a hot pan. The fat bastes the outside of the meat as it renders, keeping it super juicy, tender, and rich in taste. This lamb chop recipe has a major wow factor with little effort and pairs nicely with a couscous salad or quinoa tabbouleh.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Lamb: I use lamb shoulder chops for this recipe, but loin or rib chops are quick to cook and work well for searing. The lamb chops range from ½ to 1 inch thick, depending on the butcher. They only take about 3 minutes per side to sear, while thicker pieces will take longer.
  • Seasoning: The meat is simply seasoned with salt and pepper to enhance the savory taste. Minced garlic adds pungency and earthiness to the paste.
  • Herbs: A combination of robust rosemary, thyme, and parsley to add herbaceous notes to the lamb.
  • Oil: Adding fat, like olive oil, dissolves the fat-soluble flavor molecules in the aromatics to diffuse them more efficiently on the lamb.

See the recipe card below for all ingredients and measurements (US and metric).

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Lamb Chops: Use lamb rib chops for very tender pieces; they are cut from the rack of lamb). Bone-in lamb loin chops will have a “T” shaped bone for an attractive appearance. The shoulder chop portion cooks quickly and can be purchased as the blade or arm chops. Sirloin chops are very meaty and cut from the leg with a round bone in the meat.
  • Cooking Oil: Instead of olive oil, try neutral-tasting, high-smoke-point avocado oil. Clarified butter or ghee adds tremendous flavor.
  • Herbs: Other herbs that work well are chopped oregano, basil, sage, or mint. These are also great to add to a compound butter to serve on top.
  • Spices: Lamb chops are very robust in flavor and can withstand potent spices. Coriander, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, chili powder, mustard powder, or paprika will add a nice punch.

How to Cook Lamb Chops

Raw lamb chops marinating with garlic and rosemary.

Step 1: Marinate the Lamb Chops

Prepare a simple herb paste by combining minced garlic, rosemary, fresh thyme, parsley, and extra-virgin olive oil. Dry the surface with a paper towel if moist. Generously season the lamp chops with salt and pepper, then spread on the herb paste.

Marinating the meat for at least 30 minutes before cooking adds layers of flavor to the surface and helps tenderize it with salt. The recipe doesn’t use any acids in the marinade, so it’s safe to prepare and refrigerate for hours without the risk of becoming mushy in texture.

Tongs flipping over a lamb chop in a pan.

Step 2: Sear the Surface

The tender meat needs brief high-heat cooking like a ribeye steak, and it’s best to eat at medium-rare to medium temperatures. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the first side of the lamb chops until a golden brown crust forms, about 3 minutes.

Beautifully cooked lamb chops in a skillet.

Step 3: Check For Doneness

Give the chops a flip and cook the other side for about 3 to 4 minutes. Using a meat thermometer, target an internal temperature of 125°F (51°C) for medium-rare or 135°F (57°C) for medium.

Step 4: Rest the Meat

Rest the lamb chops for at least 10 minutes before serving. This allows for carryover cooking and hits just the right doneness temperature. Overcooked or well-done lamb will be dry and stringy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does lamb taste like?

A lamb is a domestically raised sheep under one year old. Compared to older sheep, lamb provides very tender meat with a subtle gaminess. The richness comes from the fat on the animal, so when buying lamb, look for even distribution in the meat, with some surrounding the edges of the chop.

What kind of meat is lamb chops?

Lamb chops are typically bone-in meat chops cut from the animal’s shoulder, loin, sirloin, or rib. They are loaded with flavor and cook very quickly, generally under 10 minutes at medium-high heat, depending on thickness. They are also much more affordable than a rack of lamb and more straightforward to prepare if you are looking for a casual meal.

Why is it so important to rest the meat?

Resting after cooking maximizes the juiciness. Meat is composed of 75% moisture, and the rest is protein and fat. The proteins that hold the water in the flesh contract when cooked, which squeezes out moisture. However, some can be reabsorbed during resting as the proteins relax.

Serve This With

If you tried this Lamb Chops, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the 📝 comments below!

Lamb Chops with Garlic & Herbs

Lamb chops marinated in garlic, rosemary, thyme, and olive oil then pan-seared on the stovetop to create a wonderfully flavorful crust.
4.94 from 524 votes
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Servings 2 Servings
Course Entree
Cuisine French

Ingredients 
 

  • 2 pounds lamb chops, cut ¾” thick, 4 pieces
  • kosher salt, for seasoning
  • black pepper, for seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons chopped thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chopped parsley
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Instructions 

  • Marinate the Lamb Chops – Season both sides generously with salt and pepper. Combine garlic, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl. Rub the paste on both sides and let them marinate for at least 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Sear the Surface – Heat a large 12" cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add the lamb chops and sear until the surface is browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Check For Doneness – Flip and cook until the internal temperature reaches 125°F (51°C) for medium-rare, or 135°F (57°C) for medium on a meat thermometer, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Rest the Meat – Rest the chops for 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: Marinate the lamb chops in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, but no longer.
  • Storing: Cool lamb and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 2 Servings
Calories 465kcal (23%)Carbohydrates 12g (4%)Protein 14g (28%)Fat 38g (58%)Saturated Fat 15g (75%)Polyunsaturated Fat 3gMonounsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 79mg (26%)Sodium 274mg (11%)Potassium 343mg (10%)Fiber 2g (8%)Sugar 4g (4%)Vitamin A 800IU (16%)Vitamin C 35.5mg (43%)Calcium 30mg (3%)Iron 1.6mg (9%)

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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156 Comments Leave a comment or review

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can cook the lamb chops in the air fryer. Cook at 370ºF for about 3 to 5 minutes per side, depending on the thickness.

  1. Pamela says

    Hi Jessica: I just bought some loin lamb chops, about 3/4 – 1″ thick and I wanted to marinate them overnight. Would that be okay, and I wondered how long to cook for medium rare to medium?

    Thanks.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yes, you can marinate them overnight! I would follow the same instructions in the recipe for cook times. However, if the meat is very thick, I would turn down the heat to medium/medium-low after flipping to allow it to gently finish cooking to medium rare or medium: 125°F (51°C) for medium-rare, or 135°F (57°C) for medium.

  2. Kathryn says

    Since lamb is bizarrely more affordable than beef these days we’ve been eating more of it. It hasn’t been something I cook regularly so this recipe was welcome. Simple, easy and came out really well! Made a quick pan sauce with some ww and leftover oxtail sauce, served with Yukon golds and an artichoke. Delicious classic dinner. Thanks for the recipe.

  3. Sue says

    Absolutely the best no-fuss lamb chop recipe. I was interrupted by illness, so they sat with salt and pepper in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator for 22 days, but I think it must have helped because they were melt-in-your-mouth tender. So quick, easy and fabulously delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

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