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Lamb rib chops
There are actually three different types of lamb chops. Loin chop, shoulder chop, and my personal favorite, the rib chop. Here, the lamb is connected to a long, thin bone that extends from the chop. These are also occasionally referred to in restaurants as lamb lollipops (and yes, my family picks them up and eats them with our hands – no judgment!).
Cooking lamb chops requires very few ingredients. Quality American grown lamb is a must, but beyond that you need oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
You can jazz up pan fried lamb chops however you want. I love this bright and vibrant garlic herb sauce. To make it, grab the following:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- Dijon mustard
- Lemon zest
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Salt your meat before cooking
As with most meats, I allow the protein to come to room temperature and then season about 20-30 minutes before cooking. This helps to tenderize and flavor the lamb chops.
How to cook lamb chops
First, season lamb on both sides with kosher salt and black pepper. Next, heat a large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add a small amount of neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed or canola oil.
Carefully add lamb chops to the hot pan, then sear for 2 minutes on the first side and 1 minute on the second. Very thin chops (about ½”-¾”) will be close to medium-rare at this point. If, however, you were lucky enough to get thicker rib chops, they’ll need to cook a little more. My favorite way to finish these is roasting.
Roasting lamb chops and how long to cook
Thickness matters. When cooking lamb chops, your cook time is based entirely on how thick the chops were cut. Thinner chops (about ½-¾”) will be a perfect medium-rare in about 3-4 minutes on a stove top and are then safe to eat. Thicker chops (1-1 ½”) will require a few minutes longer. Either way, these cook up lightning fast!
To finish lamb chops in the oven, place seared lamb on a rimmed baking sheet. Next, add any additional flavorings, such as my herb garlic sauce. I spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon on top of each chop.
Cook in a preheated oven at 400F for 2-4 minutes. This will finish cooking the lamb, as well as make the sauce warm and melty!
Medium-rare temperature for lamb chops
In my opinion, lamb is best when served medium rare, to an internal temperature of 130F. The thing to remember when working with proteins is that they continue to cook after you remove them from the oven, grill, or stove top. Therefore, in order not to overcook my precious meats, I like to undercook them by a few degrees. When my meat thermometer says 125-128F, I’m done. Pull them out!
Make sure you give the meat 5 minutes or so to rest before serving. By the time you slice into your chop – or let’s be honest, pick it up with your hands! – it should be a perfect 130F.
What to serve with lamb chops
The possibilities are endless. I always serve a vegetable. Roasted broccolini, grilled asparagus, or brussel sprouts would be great. Add some rice pilaf or roasted potatoes and you’ve got yourself a perfect weeknight dinner.
Regardless of the sides, I will often serve an additional sauce (homemade tzatziki is my fav!) or some crumbled feta — I have always loved the way lamb pairs with salty feta cheese!
Perfect as a meal or appetizer
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. If you’re hosting a holiday party or entertaining friends on a weekend, a tray full of pan fried lamb chops makes an amazing showstopper of a dish! No seated dinner required! You already know that this recipe is quick, simple, and requires very few ingredients. You could make these one of many appetizers or hors d’oeuvres. Everyone loves a party full of finger food!
If you make Pan Fried Lamb Chops, please let me know by leaving a review below!
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For additional recipes that pair well with lamb, check out the following:
Pan Fried Lamb Chops
- 12 lamb rib chops about 1 ½” thick each, from domestic lamb
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt divided
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper divided
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed or canola oil
- ½ cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh oregano finely chopped
- 1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- ¼ tsp dijon mustard
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over high heat until very hot.
- Season lamb chops on both sides with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. When pan is hot, add grapeseed or canola oil, then sear lamb in batches, making sure not to over crowd the pan. Lamb will cook for 2 minutes on first side, then flip and cook 1 minute more. Transfer lamb to a rimmed baking sheet, then continue with remaining lamb chops.
- Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small bowl, combine parsley, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, dijon, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and remaining ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Drizzle in extra virgin olive oil, then whisk to combine.
- Place 1 heaping teaspoon of sauce on top of each lamb rib chop, then roast in preheated oven for 2-4 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches just under 130F (for medium rare). Allow lamb to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.