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Lamb Chops: the best recipe for tender, perfectly-cooked lamb

Total time: 30 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 2 people
By Cookist

Lamb chops are a wonderful easy-to-make dish that's perfect as a quick weeknight dinner but delicious enough to serve on special occasions. Perfectly tender and juicy with a lightly crisped browned outside and mouthwatering pink inside, lamb chops have a savory yet delicate flavor.

This tasty pan-seared lamb chop recipe is cooked with butter, garlic, and thyme, which flavors the meat beautifully while still allowing the taste of the lamb to come through with each bite. Serve your lamb chops with your favorite spring veggies and a side salad for a fantastic meal that will satisfy everyone's taste buds.

Garlic Butter Lamb Chop Ingredients

To make these delicious garlic butter lamb chops, you only need four ingredients, plus a dash of salt and pepper.

First, you'll need some fresh lamb chops that are about 1-inch thick. This will ensure they cook evenly, at about 2 to 3 minutes on each side, plus 5 minutes of rendering the fat.

To make the sauce, all you need is some butter, garlic, and fresh thyme. If you don't have fresh thyme, dried thyme works just as well.

How to Pick Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are rib meat cut from the back of a lamb, a sort of mini T-bone steak. The meat is ultra-tender which is why lamb chops and rack of lamb are such popular cuts of meat.

Whether you're at your butcher's shop or the meat counter of your local supermarket, you'll want to buy lamb chops that are pink to red, with a nice amount of white marbling. While the marbling isn't as essential for lamb as it is with steak, there should be enough marbling throughout the chops.

Buy chops that are just over an inch thick – this will ensure they cook evenly and that you don't wind up with the outsides being overdone while the insides are still raw.


Double Rib or Single Rib Lamb Chops?

You can purchase either single rib or double rib lamb chops, depending on your preference. As you can guess, double rib chops are thicker and can be a better option if you like rare or medium-rare lamb.

How to Cook Lamb Chops

Cooking lamb chops at home is a cinch. Start by patting them down with a paper towel, then season them generously with salt and pepper. Heat your skillet over medium-high heat. Using your tongs, balance the chops on the narrow side with the fat and cook it for several minutes until the fat renders out and becomes crispy and brown. Turn the chops on their flat side and cook until they become brown. Turn them over and repeat on the other side. Lower the heat and discard most of the rendered lamb fat.

Add butter, garlic, and thyme to the pan, stir it, then spoon some of the butter sauce over the chops to flavor them. Put the lamb chops onto the serving plates. Drizzle the butter sauce over the chops, and enjoy with roasted vegetables, potatoes, rice, or pasta.

What is the Best Internal Temperature for Lamb Chops?

In general, lamb chops should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145F.

For rare, cook them to 130F, or for medium-rare, aim for 135F. Well-done lamb chops (which aren't recommended because they'll dry out) are finished cooking at 165F.

You can use an instant-read meat thermometer to tell when your lamb chops have finished cooking and are ready to be served.

Can You Marinate Lamb Chops?

You can marinate lamb chops for a richer flavor and more succulent, tender meat. Use your favorite marinades. Popular options include olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs; lemon juice, lemon zest, and spices; or garlic and yogurt. Feel free to get creative.


What to Serve with Lamb Chops

Lamb chops taste fantastic with a variety of side dishes. They're excellent with roasted or mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, roasted veggies, dinner rolls or homemade French bread, and virtually any of your favorite salads.

For a gluten-free option, serve your chops with rice, quinoa, or cauliflower rice. Lamb is in season in spring, so enjoy it with other seasonal foods like asparagus, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and artichokes.

Tips for the Best Lamb Chops

Don't overcook the lamb. You don't want it to dry out!

Let the lamb rest at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking it.

Try different herbs like rosemary, tarragon, or sage, for a simple variation of this delicious lamb recipe.

Rendering the fat by cooking the lamb with the fat-side down first will give your chops extra flavor.

How to Store Lamb Chops

Let the chops cool down slightly, then wrap them in foil and place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

More Lamb Recipes You'll Love

lamb loin chops, pat dry
salt and pepper to taste
butter, melted
2 tbsp
Garlic, minced
3 to 4 cloves
fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp


In a small bowl, whisk butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper.

Spread well the seasoning.

Let it stand for few minutes.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Put the chops fat side down on the narrowest part of the lamb chop. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until the fat crisps up and browns.

Place the chops flat in the pan. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes until browned. Flip the lamb, and cook until browned. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour off the majority of the fat.

Plate the lamb chops. Drizzle the butter sauce over the chops, and serve.


Don't forget to take your lamb chops out of the fridge about 20 to 30 minutes before you start cooking.

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